Bourbon Street Smokehouse
Bourbon Street Smokehouse is a spacious restaurant and bar serving up lots of BBQ that’s not specific to any regional style. This place has been a few things over the years though always owned by the same Kritzer family, including Chicago Don and Sheesha Lounge & Coffee House.
Waffling laws on hookah smoking made the sheesha business in particular difficult to keep up, though it’s easy to see how the space used to house that type of lounge, with a gigantic back room with comfy chairs and TVs. Despite the similarity in name, this place actually has no affiliation with Smoke Bourbon Bar-B-Q.
Did I mention how much space is in here? From a bank of tables that fills the front room to several back spaces with more seating, this place may be a little dim but it’s certainly got room to spare. Fortunately the darker atmosphere fits well with a BBQ place.
Triple-A prime rib sliders ($11) are a little dry but definitely have the right number of pickles on top, maybe I should have put some on top of the patty which was otherwise only topped with house smoked cheddar. Plenty of sauces are available for adding to anything, too.
A sampler for two ($40) includes three mains and two sides. Our platter includes St. Louis ribs, Texas brisket, and smoked sausages.
The ribs are lean and smoky and heavily sauced, and fall off the bone extremely easily. Marinades or seasonings for these and the brisket are heavily guarded.
Twelve ounces of medium-lean slow-cooked Texas beef brisket makes the perfect base for nine different sauces. There are gold and white mayo-based options, and one super-spicy sauce that’s simply labelled with three dots.
Two grilled smoked pork sausages come in an ample portion, flakes of spice bursting through the smoky, juicy flavour. This place even smokes a pile of seasonal veggies ($16) so non-meat-eaters can get a taste of BBQ too.
Strawberry peach corn bread ($4.50) puts a unique sweet twist on the classic BBQ side.
Four cheese mac ($4.50) is also topped with house smoked cheddar, and though the top layer is a little oily and plasticky it’s definitely a stretchy, cheesy, hearty side that actually goes really well with their Carolina sauce.
$12 standard cocktails include a fishbowl of a mojito with a generously salted rim that adds sweeter orange and lemon into the citrus mix with typical lime and mint.
Perhaps not the ultimate contender for best BBQ in Toronto, but certainly a chill and dependable spot where you can reliably down pitchers of beer and massive plates of crowd-pleasing southern favourites, relax and watch the game.