Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Eating off the Hill: Northern Smokes BBQ in Scarborough

I believed I've mentioned before my fondness for southern-style BBQ developed during several trips to the Austin, Texas area during my previous career. Obviously nothing can compare, but a lot of BBQ joints in this style have been popping up in Canada and I recently tried one of them -- Northern Smokes -- in Scarborough.

It being Scarborough, Northern Smokes is, of course, Halal, to broaden its potential market. So no pork ribs or bacon, but lots of beefy options and great sides. It's a bit of a schlep to get to on transit, but I'll consider it worth the trip. Located in a non-descript strip mall (it's Scarborough, everything is located in non-descript strip malls) there's limited indoor seating but I enjoyed my BBQ on the patio, beside a grill and several good-sized smokers.

The menu has the usual BBQ options minus the pork, such as beef ribs and brisket, as well as a few choices catering to local tastes such as Jerk chicken and lamb leg. There's also the expected BBQ sides, including corn bread, means and slaw.

I decide to balance off the meat with the sides and make what's a fairly standard BBQ order for me, minus the pork ribs. I build my meal around the tri tip plate, which is half a pound of tri tip steak. I add, as I often do, a sausage. For my sides, mac and cheese (my favourite southern side) and japapeno creamed corn -- cause I'm all healthy like that.

It was all pretty good, although I have to say the sides were the standout for me. Which is usually a negative as you want the mains to shine. But the mains were good, I just really enjoyed the sides.

The sausage was just ok, I would have liked more juicy flavour. The bun had a nice toast on it though The steak had a nice smoke and flavour. The mac and and cheese was hot and had real cheese and was realtively creamy, which I look for. And the corn was deliciously creamy though not reallty spicy at all, which I was fine with.

I took home some leftovers so I didn't leave in a complete meat coma. Very tasty; I'll be back but hopefully I can find a ride.

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