Tucked away between a house and a yoga studio close to the corner of Dundas West and Bloor Street, Uncle Smoke Cookhouse is a tiny shop that packs a big, flavourful punch. Open for both lunch and dinner, this BBQ joint delivers just the right amount of comfort food without leaving you completely weighed down after eating. What started originally as a pop-up, eventually became a permanent fixture just North of Roncesvalles when Uncle Smoke’s opened its doors last year. Now just in time for BBQ season the team invited us to try the menu and experience a little bit of the South first hand.
The menu naturally caters to meat lovers with an array of options from beef brisket and BBQ pork to fried chicken and spare ribs. But they’ve also put a little something on the menu for those looking for a veggie option in the form of a Veggie VLT Sandwhich. We, of course, did not come here for the veggies. After driving past the doorway the first time around (if you blink you may miss it), a sweet guy greeted us and suggested we order The Barnyard-Sample Platter. The platter is a meat-lovers dream consisting of a Smoked Angus Beef Brisket, BBQ Pork, Fried Chicken, Wings, Cornbread with Honey Butter and a selection of all of the sides. And because that wasn’t enough meat, we also ordered the Angus Beef Burger.
I started off with a few bites of the burger, which was slightly reminiscent of the flavours in a Big Mac but much cleaner and healthier tasting with its own original spin. My guess is this had something to do with the “magic sauce.” Whatever it was, though, it tasted amazing and may have been my favourite item after all was said and done. I then moved onto the sides, which featured Crispy Fries, Mac & Cheese, Signature Slaw and the freshly baked Cornbread. We devoured the fries within five minutes, which had a delicious seasoning on them and were the perfect amount of crispy and soft. The slaw was a nice healthy accompaniment to all of the meat, while the mac and cheese was not my favourite. I’m not a mac and cheese girl to begin with but if I do eat it, I want to splurge on a whole lot of cheesiness. Given that the mac and cheese is accompanying a lot of meat, this is probably a blessing in disguise in hindsight.The cornbread was also to die for and was eaten clean off the plate. The other stand outs for me were the fried chicken and the wings. I’m not a huge consumer of red meat so that’s probably a subjective choice. All in all, the meal was delicious and left me feeling entirely satisfied. The only thing I would not recommend is going to the gym an hour after but I guess that’s my attempt at balance for the day. Next time I’ll be sure to polish off my Uncle Smokes with a Gooey Butter Square and go home to watch Netflix instead.
Uncle Smoke Cookhouse
Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario, M6R1X6