Friday, October 9, 2015Cloudy 12°C

Stack Restaurant

Posted by Libby Roach / Reviewed on August 29, 2012 / review policy

stack restaurant torontoStack Restaurant opened for business in early April, and already has a steady flow of customers coming in for their take on Southern-style barbeque. Located on Yonge Street, north of Lawrence, Stack is a glistening new beacon in a neighbourhood already brimming with restaurants. Anchored by a glorious 1,200 pound Southern Pride smoker, Stack's ambitious two-storey dining room (with its mini Yonge Street facing patio) is a combination of diner meets smokehouse, in a modern and upscale setting.

stack restaurant torontoGutting what was formerly Sorrento Ristorante, Stack isn't what you would normally expect to see in a classic smokehouse. Cozy warm wood floors mix with large flat screen TVs. The stylish d├ęcor separates them from their competition (Gabby's is smack next door, and Wildfire is up the street). But how does the food stack up?

stack restaurant torontoStack was originally imagined as a trendy burger joint but owners Todd Savage and Bill Panos decided to offer significantly broader choices to cater to the neighbourhood's burgeoning family-friendly demographic. Tacos? Check. Got a hankering for Pear and Prosciutto salad? Sure, no problem. But their true focus is the smoker, and after months of testing and tasting (and a couple menu changes after their initial opening), Stack offers a Memphis-style meat goldmine, so save the salads for home and give in to the smoky goodness that prevails over the leafy plates (remember, you don't make friends with salad).

stack restaurant torontoStack features only local beers on tap, with the selection updated every month or so with a new beer featured to keep things interesting. Flying Monkeys, Lake of Bays, Creemore, Mill Street and Beau's are just some of the selected beers during our visit. A full wine list also available, as are Jones Soda pops and floats.

stack restaurant torontoA Memphis-style rub preps the impressive Stack Brisket Sandwich ($10). Tender morsels of shaved brisket (tossed in your choice of BBQ sauce) are smothered in delicate crispy fried onions and a dollop of buttermilk dill sauce. Although it comes with a la carte sides, they're hardly necessary; the tasty sandwich is large enough on its own to satisfy most appetites.

stack restaurant torontoThe half rack of Baby Back Ribs ($18) comes with a small ramekin of sweet and salty baked beans, tangy coleslaw, and fresh cut fries. With three different sauces to choose from, the Memphis medium offered a slight blend of sweet and heat. The perfectly smoked ribs were dynamite; fall off the bone with the slightest poke from my fork, which is a trademark of properly smoked ribs. While I prefer my ribs a bit less saucy, the giant stack of napkins from the cheerful server was ready to remedy any sauce-related disaster.

stack restaurant torontoS'mores doughnuts ($7) were too tempting to be turned down, even if we were rather stuffed. They arrived piping hot and covered in tiny marshmallows, crumbly graham crackers and a drizzle of chocolate. We didn't even finish half of them, but the few we managed closely resembled the iconic Tiny Tom doughnuts from the CNE, in a good way.

stack restaurant torontoWhile Stack suffers from the far too common 'people pleaser' gene, they do take their barbeque seriously, and their commitment to the smokehouse movement is evident in every delicious bite. As far as the sandwich and salads, well, save it for Subway.

Stack is available for private parties (commonly held upstairs) and takes reservations of all sizes, but note that Stack is not wheelchair accessible.



Ryan / August 29, 2012 at 02:49 pm
This place sounds great, good review; save for this: "The perfectly smoked ribs were dynamite; fall off the bone with the slightest poke from my fork, which is a trademark of properly smoked ribs."

I hope you didn't eat your ribs with a knife and fork.
Rafa / August 29, 2012 at 02:52 pm
North of Bloor? Ewww. How will I make it up there in my fixie?
ken / August 29, 2012 at 02:53 pm
Always pass by this place on the way to/from work. Definitely will hop in for a try.
Thanks for the review!
Jacq / August 29, 2012 at 02:58 pm
I tried to go once a while back and have a few comments:
1. the wait time for a table was stupidly long (got told was going to be at least an hour or more), so if you go make a reservation (but over heard from other people they still had to wait forever for the table they have a reservation for)
2. I know busy restaurants are loud but this one was over the top, I couldn't even hear my brother while standing next to him.

ashleigh / August 29, 2012 at 03:21 pm
Except for Chinese and Vietnamese I always eat with a knife and fork, it's what separates us from the barbarians, serfs, philistines, animals, Uzbeks and other unclean riffraff.

And again, congratulations on recovering from Real Jerk withdrawal and managing to discuss non-Ossinton restaurants. Thumbs up!
RoFo / August 29, 2012 at 03:25 pm
Do they have gravy? Because once I went looking and didn't actually find any and then couldn't come up with any new ideas... now I may lose my job... I like beer though! Maybe I can get drunk and belligerent here. Now that I know how to do!
alan / August 29, 2012 at 03:52 pm
perfectly smoked / cooked ribs are not supposed to fall off the bone at the slightest provocation, like a poke with a fork or must work at it a bit...just a slight tug should get the meat off the bone...i had ribs at one place where the meat did fall off the bone, but the meat was mush...great flavoured mush but mush none the less....
jer / August 29, 2012 at 05:01 pm
Really enjoyed my meal there a month or so ago. My server was awesome, I think his name was Chris. Not a lot of BBQ places I like in GTA but this is one of them.
w-hat replying to a comment from alan / August 29, 2012 at 05:48 pm
Rib meat should not be mushy or flaky and fall off the bone. That's pulled pork territory. Properly cooked rib meat should, as mentioned, be slightly firm, certainly not flaky and come off the bone only after a bite.

Sounds like these guys are overcooking the ribs.
Robert / August 29, 2012 at 05:54 pm
Alan is correct, good ribs should not "fall off the bone." They should be tender and juicy, but the meat should still maintain its integrity.
Rob / August 29, 2012 at 06:34 pm
what sorts of boutique tacos are available here? aand where is lawerence? is that near the Junction? how many tatts did the server have?
Sam / August 29, 2012 at 07:37 pm
Waiting for the usual turnip that will ask if this place serves vegan.
Mike / August 29, 2012 at 09:53 pm
Alan is right and Todd (one of the owners) would be horrified to hear his ribs described as fall off the bone. This is the ultimate insult for properly cooked ribs and something you would never hear at a rib competition. They're not as good as you can get smoking you're own but they are properly cooked/smoked and are pretty darn good for the large production setup required in a resto setup. I'd say they're better than Barque's (which aren't too bad either).
Aaron replying to a comment from Rob / August 30, 2012 at 09:02 am

I see what you did there
kook / August 30, 2012 at 10:30 am
OMG - the smores looks so tempting!
wtfskies / August 30, 2012 at 11:00 am
i've never heard of this "law-ren-chey" avenue before. could this be consiered east or west parkdale?
Holy Chuck / August 30, 2012 at 12:30 pm
"Originally imagined as a trendy burger joint." Oops, Burger's Priest beat us to it.
Sidney P / September 3, 2012 at 11:48 am
I have had several great meals here. The menu has everything from ribs to fish tacos and the big salads are pretty great too. Plus I'm always down for a Menchie's after.
James@STACK / September 18, 2012 at 08:29 pm
Thank you for the comments everyone! I agree with Alan that ribs should have a firm texture. At STACK we always cook our ribs pull off the bone. come try for yourself at 3265 Yonge North of Lawrence on the east side.
Patrick / May 4, 2013 at 09:08 am
Went there last night. The hostess was very nice but sat us at one of the worst tables despite it being quite early and most of the better spots being empty. Then I asked our server what beers were on tap, he pointed to the drink menu (which said "ask your server what's on tap!") and walked away.
Watched our then-poured beers get warm on the bar for more than five minutes before our server returned to deliver them to us (again, despite over half the place being empty). Received our food thinking it was the only possible way the experience could be salvaged. Not quite. It was good. That's all, just good. Nothing that a bbq and a store-bought Kraft bbq sauce couldn't recreate at home. The pitiful amount of fries I received for 4 dollars was depressing. I left slightly less than full after we waited a painful amount of time to be asked if we wanted more drinks let alone the bill.

Will not return.
Loved it / June 14, 2013 at 10:59 am
Just ate there last week and LOVED IT! Didn't have much of a wait but everyone from the servers to the bartenders were very nice and extra accomodating. For an appetizer I had the bang bang shrimp- 6 mediocre shrimp for 11 dollars- don't bother. I had the ribs for my dinner and they were nicely smoked and every side (fries,coleslaw,beans) was really good as well.Didn't finish all my ribs because the portions are really good size. You will either feel full or not finish. Don't like that the burgers don't come with sides(what the hell is that about) but I'll definitely be returning. I would reccomend asking for the red pepper sauce they put on the chicken for whatever your eating- its DELICIOUS
Lolli / August 17, 2013 at 11:25 pm
You have to try the strawberries and cream doughnuts!! Even though I was stuffed after having the poutine with smoked beef brisket...I couldn't resist trying the doughnuts and oh my goodness...they are a lighter version of the funnel cakes at Wonderland...but please do not rush here all at once...wouldn't want the price to go up...$7 is reasonable for the portion (but not really comparable to the Tim's accross the street =)My friend had the ribs and the cinnamon doughnut shake. While the ribs were good...they weren't anything friend said the shake was the best he ever had...overall good place to eat, they just need to include sides with the burgers. You shouldn't have to spend $4 extra for fries.
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KMG / September 25, 2014 at 08:56 am
Went there last night for my B-Day. Early night had mostly families there; service was nice, food was pretty good and atmosphere was pleasant. Would return.
Not worth the visit / November 14, 2014 at 09:13 pm
This place is overrated. Went there last night for an early dinner. Had the half pound brisket dinner. The sauce was super salty. And they charged extra for my mashed potato when the menu said it's should be included. Their burgers doesn't have an side. WTF! The place was super noisy and little kids are running everywhere . Portion was tiny. Overall, an overrated restaurant with mediocre food. This place would find sneaky ways to squeeze every dime out of u. Will not visit again.
Alita / March 21, 2015 at 03:40 pm
We called to see if we could get an early reservation for the evening, it was Saturday at 3:30pm so we were prepared to dine as early as 5pm. We called and a woman answered the phone without identifying the restaurant. She just said hello so I asked if it was Stack Restaurant... she then just said, "Sorry we are closed for the day!"! She then just hung up! Wow! closed for the day on a Saturday??? How interesting! We love trying out restaurants and we dine out all the time. Unfortunately, we will not be calling Stack again!
Mike / March 30, 2015 at 05:19 pm
you had me giving it a try till until you said "fall off the bone ribs". Eww! Ribs are meant to be removed with your teeth and eaten with two hands. Sorry, another bbq joint that's not going to last! hour long wait, non of you new restauranteurs get it!
jay / May 17, 2015 at 04:25 pm
Hey alita. There is a women who has a similar phone number to stack that gets mistaken. The women is so mad that she tells people the place is closed. The proper phone number is 647 346 1416. Plus the BBQ is pull off the bone. This blog is very dated and has a lot of incorrect information. I suggest they go into the store and update their blog because it has been over three years now and this place is a great neighbourhood spot.
A. / June 10, 2015 at 07:48 pm
INCREDIBLE!! Went for my sister's birthday and totally do not regret it. Even though I'm not vegetarian, the black bean burger is honestly to die for.

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