Rally has a modern counterpoint to its more traditional, older smokehouse and sports bar location in East York.
There’s still an array of meat on the menu, though some of the bar fare has unexpected twists that veer from the offerings at the original location.
A former Moxie’s, the sprawling space at the base of Madison Centre can be entered at street level or through the tower. There are two bars, and I count at least two dozen TVs.
Thai brussel sprouts ($10) are a shareable starter drenched in sticky sweet sauce that offsets the crunch of the sprouts while bringing out their natural roasted sweetness, lifted by the toasty nuttiness of sesame seeds. This could even function as a fun side.
A kale crunch salad ($11) tosses finely chopped kale and veg in a light plum vinaigrette, stacking julienned cucumber, carrot and beet on top, the whole thing crowned with a pile of juicy pomegranate seeds.
Smoked wings ($15) are just the beginning of a selection of offerings smoked at the O’Connor location.
Ontario-farmed wings are available tossed in hot, medium, suicide, Buffalo or Asian sauces, or BBQ like ours. The sauce is sticky and viscous, malty and mild, definitely appropriately messy, the meat tender and succulent. The dish comes with obligatory veggie sticks and ranch.
The smoked brisket sandwich ($16) stuffs a floury ciabatta bun with beef brisket that’s been slow-smoked for thirteen hours. Smothered in a thick, sweet BBQ-like sauce, the moist meat is topped with crispy fried onions, chipotle mayo spread on both sides of the bun for a slight kick. All sammies come with a choice of side.
Southern-leaning sides include collard greens, Creole rice, sweet potato mash, chili or coleslaw for $5. Shell out a little more for yam fries or onion rings ($6) or mac n’ cheese ($7).
A Reuben ($16) loads up buttery grilled sourdough with fatty corn beef, sauerkraut, melty Swiss and Dijon. Slaw on the side is chopped super fine like the kale salad, more tangy and vinegary than creamy.
The Black Basil Smash ($10) is a gin-based signature cocktail with (can you guess?) blackberry and basil, filled out with simple syrup, lime and soda for a refreshing and crushable beverage that’s relatively easy on the wallet.
A selected signature cocktail also dips to $7 every Monday, drinks specials every night of the week.
Similarly, Smoked Old Fashioneds ($11) are $9 on Saturdays, the typical bourbon, bitters and orange combination amped up with maple, a smoked glass and flamed orange.
Happy hour is from 3 to 6 p.m. on weekdays, with $5 bar rail and craft beer, plus deals on apps like nachos and wings.