Love BBQ? Then Get Your Strap On!

Have I told you before that I love BBQ? Oh, I have? Please forgive me. I get distracted by the loving, adoring look in your eyes. You’re pretty. I’m pretty too? Aww, thanks but please, no more talking, this is my gig here and I am trying to help you. What was I saying again? Right, BBQ. Some joints have popped up over the last few years with mixed results. Some have been decent, some pretty good. But no place had smacked my tastebuds with enough tough love to make me want to drive 35 minutes into town just to eat. Then I heard about Blackstrap BBQ. Located in revitalized Verdun on  a happening strip on Wellington Street this place gets everything right not only about good BBQ but about running this style of restaurant. Here’s a quote from their site that tells me all of the right things:

“The meat is cooked fresh daily in our two Old Hickory Pits, imported from Cape Girardeau, Missouri. We fill our smokers everyday so we can only cook as much as they can hold which means we often run out of certain items before closing time, just like they do in the South.”

These guys focus on quality over quantity, as it should be.

You order at the counter when you walk in and can get seated at one of two giant communal picnic tables or at counters along one of the walls. The staff is friendly and they all know their product well and are happy to answer any questions you might have. They are efficient and organized so you will not wait 45 minutes for your food. They not only have interesting side dishes to choose from they actually put effort into making them as vital to your experience as the BBQ you’re eating. Too many restaurants neglect side dishes and you’re often left with frozen fries, frozen veggies, or store bought coleslaw or something that is just there to fill up space on your plate.

There isn’t much more disappointing to me than frozen fries. Especially when I’m being charged 4$ to 5$ for them. No worries here. The fries here are homemade and kick some serious ass. The coleslaw here does not glow in the dark. That is a good thing. With a nice sharp hint of dijon(I think) and the perfect amount of vinegar this one is another hit for me. Braised greens here are done in the traditional Southern style and this side dish was just meant for good BBQ so they are a must try. Another dish that is found everywhere in the south that goes hand in hand with ribs, brisket and every juicy tasty morsel of meat you find here is BBQ beans. Hot damn this is some good sh*t! Perfect amount of smokiness to them and a nice little zip in them too. I could eat a bucket of this stuff. No joke. I might just ask for a bucket of them and prove it. No fork required, I am going in face first.

Photo courtesy of http://notable.ca/montreal/

Photo courtesy of http://notable.ca/montreal/

And what BBQ joint can be taken seriously without some mac-n-cheese? None. It is a necessity. Here, in a unique take on the dish, they deep fry balls of mac-n-cheese. It’s brilliant really. It’s something people will talk about and they are not just a gimmick. They are freaking awesome. This side is heavy in most places and will get you overly full and bloated but here you get a few of these and you are all set! Now, I’m not one to make jokes with any kind of sexual connotation so I hope you don’t read anything into this but once you pop these balls into your mouth you will settle for no other.

“Hey Phatman, what about the meat already?” Ok, ok. This young generation…you have no patience. Although I wonder if I should be concerned that I can hear you through the computer screen. Fine then. Let’s get to the meat of the matter. What is the quintessential BBQ meat? That is easy. Ribs. No, wait, pork butt. Oh oh maybe brisket. Can’t not have chicken either. Throw in some turkey too. Oh and gotta have a bowl of chili. See? Easy question to answer right? Well, have no fear. Dylan Kier, the Black Strap pitmaster, is here for you. This dude wins more awards than Wayne Gretzky.

All the meats here are slow smoked with an indirect heat, some for up to 16 hours. And, as is my preference, they use a highly protected, top secret dry spice rub and add NO sauce at any point during the cooking process. How secret is this dry rub? Let’s just say my friend asked about it. They told him what was in it but then they had to kill him. I miss him so much. Just messing, this spice rub is soon to be available for purchase in house. Have no fear about any of this stuff coming out dry. The process they use ensures an unbelievably flavorful, tangy crust on the meat that locks in moisture and smoky goodness. If you really are the type that needs sauce with BBQ they have two housemade styles. A thick, sweeter sauce which I find works particularly well with the ribs and pulled pork. There’s also a vinegar based spicier sauce. While this one is not as spicy as I would like it to be I am hooked on how the bite of the vinegar compliments the zazziness of the brisket.

With ribs I find there’s a fine line between perfectly cooked and overdone. When they slip right off the bone as you pick them up that is too done for my liking. I like them with a little resistance, a tiny bit of pull should be necessary to get it off the bone. You can’t just expect meat to hop right off the bone and into your mouth. You gotta work for it. The ribs here are as good as I’ve had. I love them. To be honest though it is virtually impossible to get me to cheat on my one true love: brisket. Hands down this is the best brisket you’ll find in the city. It’s made me forget all about the standard Montreal smoked meat too. This brisket is where it’s at. There. I had to say it. My kids are fully converted to the chicken here and go absolutely insane for that mac-n-cheese side. Oh, this place is cool with kids too. That’s an important thing to note. Many places suck the bag when it comes to dealing with kids.

And hey, are you a hippie? Take a look at this note on the website:

“To reduce our carbon footprint, we have made sure that our disposable containers are environmentally friendly. Our take-out containers are made of bagasse, which is 100% compostable and biodegradable. Our “plastic” cups are made from Poly Lactic Acid, a derivative of corn that is compostable and our “plastic” forks and knives are made from Plant Starch Material, also compostable. We recycle all our bottles and cans. In addition to environmental considerations, we also take our customers’ health seriously so we use hormone- and antibiotic-free meat whenever possible.”

So not only are you obliged to eat here if you love BBQ, but every day that you don’t eat here you are helping destroy the planet. Ok, seriously though it’s a great initiative that I hope more places follow. Look, this is in a great neighborhood with a great vibe, serving food that grabs your tastebuds by the crotch and looks you in the eye and quietly asks,”Whose tastebuds are these?” They’re your tastebuds Black Strap! They’re your tastebuds!

Stay phat.

Contact BlackStrap BBQ @:
Phone Number:
1+ (514) 507-6772

They are located:
4436 Rue Wellington
Verdun, QC
H4G 1W5

Email:
info@blackstrapbbq.ca

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Sunday: 11am – 9pm or when they run out of food.

Photo courtesy of www.blackstrapbbq.ca

Photo courtesy of http://www.blackstrapbbq.ca



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