I love where I live (in the middle of Old Town Toronto) and I don’t mind my shoebox of an apartment because I’m rarely at home. Once in a while, however, I have a pang of regret for not having a backyard. My dream would be to have a garden to grow my own hops, space for a Big Green Egg and room to host spectacular dinner parties where I force my guests to try my beef ribs and drink my home brewed IPA.
The second best thing to watching people puzzle over my presumably perfect fictional BBQ sauce is to find a neighbourhood joint to frequent where other people make BBQ for me. And at long last, that has happened.
Triple A Bar is a Texan styled BBQ bar/restaurant just north of St. James Park. The scuffed wood, distressed steel and hanging Edison bulbs bring about a southern road side saloon ambiance. Their menu is simple: a handwritten note lists items such as smoked beef brisket ($15), dry rub ribs ($15) and pulled pork sandwich ($10). Sides include spicy or regular coleslaw ($4), beans ($4) and fries or onion rings ($6).
My dining companion and I settled on trying their brisket and the pulled pork sandwich. We accompanied that with fries and spicy coleslaw.
The brisket: tender slow-cooked smoky quality beef with good fatty to lean ratio (enough for flavour, not enough for a heart attack). Served with two slices of Wonderbread.
Pulled pork sandwich: shredded moist pork atop Wonderbread bun. Served “dry” (aka not swimming in a pool of sugary BBQ sauce) which is how I prefer it, and that meat stood well on its own.
Bottle of homemade BBQ Sauce ON THE SIDE: This was awesome because 1) I like controlling how much BBQ sauce (in particular) is on my food and 2) it was homemade and good. Simple maple sweetness and sufficient tang – it truly accompanied the meat instead of stealing the show.
I also have to give a huge thanks for the variety of habanero and scotch bonnet hot sauces that were offered. None of this “tabasco IS a hot sauce” scam at this BBQ joint!
Fries: Are these double-fried?! So good. Crispy exterior, slightly seasoned. We asked the server to bring a second basket (don’t judge!).
Spicy coleslaw: Finely shredded peppery purple cabbage was used in this slaw. I loved it – refreshing crunch and NOT swimming in mayonnaise (gross), or oil. It looked like it was squeezed with a cheesecloth?
The meal, along with cold pints of beer, hit the spot for a BBQ craving and I can’t wait to go back to try their dry rub ribs and onion rings. I highly recommend this place for other apartment dwellers in the Old Town Toronto area who can’t fit a smoker in their den.
Post Script – I heard a rumour that there’s a $3 tequila special each night and that they make a mean bourbon sour. Will have to return to back up these claims.