cherry st bbq

This is the secret behind Toronto's craveworthy Texas-style BBQ

If you're looking for Texas-style barbecue in Toronto, Cherry St Bar-B-Que is among your best bets.

Lawrence La Pianta is the owner and pitmaster of the Toronto smokehouse located on Cherry St. in the Port Lands.

His first experience with barbecue was when he cooked a pig in his friend's backyard. He refined his skills over the years by finding others who were willing to teach him what they had learned. He attended classes, traveled and entered competitions. 

Eventually he realized "I want to do this all the time, full-time, and I want to do it the way I [am] most passionate about, which [is] just cooking on wood."

The process La Pianta uses to prepare the meat is quite simple. He told blogTO all it takes is salt and pepper, the best meat with simple seasoning and attention to detail while cooking. 

The cooking process at Cherry St. Bar-B-Que starts when the morning workers arrive as early as 3 a.m.. The barbecue turns on at 4 a.m. and then the meat starts cooking.

Some meats take between 12 to 15 hours, coming off at 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. and are then saved for the next day. 

The food is very much inspired by Texas-style cooking but also has influences from Tennessee and the Carolinas. Offerings from the smokehouse include chicken, turkey, sausages and most famously—their brisket. 

You can find Cherry Street Bar-B-Que at 275 Cherry St.

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Lead photo by

Jesse Milns


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