Tag Archives: Montreal BBQ

Le Boucan

13 Aug

Last month, for the event of my birthday, I was looking for a nice relaxed spot to enjoy a great meal amongst friends and perhaps have a few drinks along the way. After decided that (of course) the Burgundy Lion was the happy hour spot we would start at, Le Boucan seemed like the ideal location to continue the evening. It certainly helped that we could simply walk over from the pub… also I just love BBQ. I had only been once prior and quite honestly the events of that first visit are quite hazy for some reason or another. Because of that, I was quite excited to “re-try” Le Boucan.

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Located on a strip of Notre-Dame street that is quite literally booming, Le Boucan is a relatively small restaurant inside that was a nice terrasse out back to enjoy in the summer time. The interior has a rustic barn look – red wood panels on the walls, sliding barn doors at the washrooms, worn wood signs and hand drawn menu boards. The key focus point inside is the bar area with all the bourbon bottles exposed to the patrons to see. It is a very relaxed and enjoyable ambience.

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Le Boucan is a smokehouse so the menu is all BBQ – pulled pork, ribs, etc. On the drink side, they have a full bar menu with a particular focus on bourbon cocktails. As a starter, we ordered a pitcher of bourbon lemonade because well… I’m completely hooked to the stuff and can’t ignore it when it is on a menu. This particularly version of it was quite good – not as sweet of many variants around town but definitely the strongest in terms of bourbon which was perfect for our evening…. but which made the second pitcher ordered later on a little more problematic…

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Needed a bit of food now, we grabbed some entrees. First up was a plat of Le Boucan’s Nachos which I forgot to take a picture of….. either way, excellent plate of nachos with quite a nice amount of toppings over top. Sadly, you will just have to take my word for it. One of my friends ordered the meat balls. Topped with some scallions and served with some croutons and sauce, the meatballs were nice and moist. Nice flavour to them as well.

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I myself ordered the mac n’ cheese. Served in a onion soup bowl, topped with some scallions and some bread crumbs, it was a nice macaroni however the cheese sauce was not creamy enough for my personal tastes. As such, the cheese didn’t stick to the macaroni itself very well. The cheese sauce had a nice rich flavour at least but wasn’t really one of my favourites.

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For the mains, most of us wanted to order some pulled pork however our waitress informed us that they had run out! Not cool so we worked around it. However, they had enough for one dish so one of us got the pulled pork poutine. Such a heavenly combination – beautifully tender pork with nice fries, cheese curds and some gravy. I would come back for this dish alone…. I guess I just need to make sure to reserve my portion early when I dine later.

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Given the lack of pulled pork, I went for the full rack of ribs with fries and cheesy corn. The fries were solid and the cheesy corn is a play on creamed corn which I enjoyed. The real star of course were the ribs. A massive portion of ribs – tons of meat on the bones with a good crust on them. No knife required to remove the meat here… that is the level of tenderness we are talking about. Very nice all around.

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The only other different main on the table was the rib and chicken combo with the side of potato salad. The chicken was nicely smoked – tender and juicy with a nice smoky flavour. The potato salad was pretty good as well – more on the chunky side of things but still creamy enough. A solid dish all around. Dessert was tempting but frankly at this point, we were too full to even consider the options. That will have to wait until next time.

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Le Boucan was a solid evening of delicious BBQ and drinks – the perfect setting to celebrate me getting another year older. Our group of 7 walked out happy and contend which is all I could ask more on this evening. BBQ in Montreal is getting better and better – Le Boucan has a solid spot in the best this city has to offer… thankfully I can remember enjoying it this time.

Cheers!

Le Boucan
1886 Notre-Dame Ouest
514 439 4555

Le Boucan on Urbanspoon

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Blackstrap BBQ

7 Oct

I am a big fan of BBQ. Pretty much everyone who knows me will agree with that. Southern style BBQ is not something we are known for here in Montreal but that is starting to evolve. We have recently been spoiled with the additions of Dinette Triple Crown and Diablos BBQ to the local scene. There is now a new contender for the crown which, given they won the Quebec BBQ competition this past summer, may be a mute point.

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Blackstrap BBQ just opened this past week in Verdun amongst much fanfare in the local food scene. Started up by the former owners of Grifintown Cafe, they are focused on Memphis style BBQ and based on all the pictures and quick reviews I was seeing online, I knew I couldn’t wait long before going to try it out and my god was it worth it….

I went for a fairly ridiculous amount of food mostly because there was so much I wanted to try and couldn’t decide. First off, I went for a pulled pork sandwich, some brisket and the most tempted side they had, fried Mac ‘n cheese balls. Yeah…. you read that right. Fried Mac ‘n cheese balls. There was nothing on this plate that wasn’t amazing. The pulled pork and brisket had great natural smoky flavor and that was before you added your choice of sweet or spicy BBQ sauce. The fried balls were outstanding. Soft and melty interior with a great crispy exterior. I could a bunch of those as a meal.

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I would have been satisfied with that alone but the special item written on the wall got my attention : burnt ends poutine. Oh baby…. that poutine. Words do not properly describe how great this was. The burnt ends on their own were perfect but you add to that a very good poutine especially the gravy which clearly wasn’t an afterthought and you have a amazing dish which made the experience that much better.

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Verdun may be a little out of the way for some of you but I cannot recommend you check this place out more. As soon as I left, I waited to come back the next day. A sign of the quality and the word of mouth for this restaurant: they ran out of all their meats about an hour after we arrived…. almost 2 hours before their closing time. This was a great experience and one you shouldn’t miss out on.

Cheers!

Blackstrap BBQ
4436 Wellington
514 507 6772

Blackstrap BBQ on Urbanspoon

 

Diablos BBQ

2 Sep

A couple of Sundays ago and in the mood for a nice spot to enjoy the weather, I was tasked to pick a restaurant in the latin Quarter for me and some friends. Given that everyone likes BBQ, I decided that we’d try out Diablos BBQ, a new-ish place located on St-Denis between Ontario and De Maisonneuve. Now, this was the same weekend where I tried out Dinette Triple Crown, so Diablos had much to live up to.

We arrived around 1:30 and were surprised to find that we were the only ones there! A little strange but the gay pride parade had just ended so maybe the lack of people was a function of that but either way, for the entire time we were there, no other patrons showed up. The restaurant is relatively small inside with the look and feel of a southern style BBQ place. However, they have an awesome terrasse outback which was one of the same reasons we went that day.

 

 

To start, I had the pulled pork sliders because, as I mentioned previously, the quality of a BBQ place’s pulled pork says a lot about the restaurant to me. The sliders were okay. The pulled pork was good texturally however it lacked sauce somewhat and was a little on the cold side temperature wise. The cornbread was well done but given its nature dry and dense nature, the lack of sauce with the pork was all the more glaring.

 

As a main, I went with the abattoir burger which is an 1lb patty formed with equal portions of beef, veal and pork. The burger is served with the option of a number of sides. I chose to go with the coleslaw because I really didn’t feel like eating fries at that moment which incidentally were quite good having picked a few from my friends. Anyway, the patty was perfectly cooked and quite good. Again, while the burger has some BBQ sauce in it as a condiment, I definitely think it needed more. The bun was quite good as well. The coleslaw was solid – nothing really standout but nothing bad either.

 

Overall, Diablos BBQ was a solid meal but somewhat disappointing. I truly believe my experience at Dinette the day before really set me up for this kind of experience. The actual BBQ itself was well done. It was just the little extra touches that were missing for me on this day. If you are a fan of BBQ, I would still encourage you to check them out if you’re in the area.

Cheers!

Diablos BBQ

1693A St-Denis

(514) 283-4666

Diablos on Urbanspoon

Dinette Triple Crown

23 Aug

On my regular Saturday bike ride to and from Jean Talon Market, I occasionally use the opportunity to stop and try some desired location located on my route through Mile End and Little Italy. Last week, I was in the mood for some BBQ so I headed off to a pretty new addition to the scene in Little Italy, Dinette Triple Crown.

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I had first heard of this location through Natasha Pickowicz‘s blog. As a fan of BBQ, I was instantly intrigued and boy… was I not disappointed. The restaurant is in a small space at the corner of St-Zotique and Clark across from Martel park. There is a small counter area to sit inside but the place is really set up to pick up and enjoy elsewhere. In fact, they offer an option to provide a picnic basket filled with your order to bring across the street to enjoy outside. Had I not been alone, the option would have been a perfect one but inside was just as enjoyable. The restaurant has a cool look with amazing music playing throughout. Any place that plays jazz, crooner and soul music the whole time is a winner in my books!

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The menu options run the gamut of classic southern style food: brisket, fried chicken, pulled pork, biscuits, sweet potato, greens, etc… I went for a large wide swatch of their options for my lunch: Pulled pork sandwich, one piece of fried chicken, a buttermilk biscuit, sweet potatoes and a lemonade. There wasn’t a single bad option on this plate. The sweet potatoes were perfectly cooked with a nice crisp exterior without the interior becoming complete mush. The biscuit was a perfect combination of rich, soft, flaky goodness. It was the kind of thing where you can just tell that lots of butter and buttermilk was used in its making but you don’t care in the least. The fried chicken was simply perfect – the skin was crispy, seasoned perfectly and not overbearing. The chicken was probably the moistest I’ve ever experienced with fried chicken. That classic feeling of needing to drink loads of water to offset the dryness of fried chicken was nowhere to be found. The chicken definitely deserved to be enjoyed in a larger quantity but that had to wait because I needed to try the pulled pork.

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When I want to judge a BBQ place, the pulled pork or the ribs are, to me, the to go options. The pulled pork here is just amazing. Perfectly done with the right level of tenderness & amazing flavor and that is without sauce because at Dinette, the pulled pork sandwich comes un-sauced. On the table, you have numerous options of sauces from which to choose from. You have a more classic Memphis BBQ sauce, a South Carolina mustard sauce and a vinegar based East Carolina sauce. Dinette Triple Crown also experiment with other sauce options from time to time. When I was there, the chef came over to provide me with a sample of his current concoction, a peach jalapeño sauce. Let me repeat that because I believe it deserves to be repeated: peach jalapeño sauce. Now, I really don’t enjoy jalapeño spice but I definitely needed to try this one. I tried both it and the Memphis BBQ sauce. The BBQ sauce was spot-on and hit the notes you expect from a top notch BBQ place. The Peach jalapeño sauce was just out of bounds. Spicy to start with a nice sweetness midway to cool the pallet before the heat kicks up again at the finish, this sauce was ridiculous. Just ridiculous. Not sure how much I use it given my lack of hot sauce enjoyment but for those who do, Dinette does sell the sauces they make periodically so check it out with that’s your style.

All in all, Dinette Triple Crown is the best southern BBQ experience I’ve ever had. Period. Anyone who loves BBQ needs to stop over and give this place a shot. I will definitely be heading back very soon to try the rest of the menu.

Cheers!

Dinette Triple Crown
6704 Clark (corner St-Zotique)
514 272 2617

Dinette Triple Crown on Urbanspoon

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