The Portlands just got smokier and in a very good way.
For those who don’t know, pit smoking bbq involves cooking meat over a wood burning pit or grill at a constant temperature for a long time. Low and slow. Those familiar with the technique and taste can rejoice in the opening of Cherry Street BBQ.
With the burgeoning Canary District a few blocks away its location among manufacturing plants, circus tents and axe throwing warehouses isn’t really that much of a brow furrower. In fact with its rather remote-to-suburbia location it allows the patio and it’s live music or DJ to pump long and loud while the constant smoke from its “pits” leaves the teary eyes to its masters and maybe an alley cat or two.
Walk into the restaurant and order your food from a butcher paper list of meats and sides then wander to the bar for a drink. Beer is a given but cocktails will surprise. Grab one of the many seats in this a bright and woody space or if you come at the right time you may even score a seat on the patio while enjoying the views of the “six”.
It is not the decor or neighbourhood ambience that brings you back to Cherry Street. Forever learning from BBQ masters around the continent, Pit master Lawrence Lapiante has created a simple yet effective menu in educating the city on proper southern BBQ. Whether it is the salt and pepper brisket, sweet and sour pulled pork or finger sticky ribs each item on the menu is meticulously smoked at the right temperature for the right amount of time. A technique a lot harder than it looks.
Sides change up seasonally and can include a gooey Mac and cheese, tart coleslaw and beans that have been brilliantly simmered underneath the fat dripping meat in the smoker. And in true Texas form each brisket is served with a slice of white bread, onions and jalapenos for the perfect impromptu sandwich.
Take the time to visit this neighbourhood restaurant. In an area slowly giving way to more places to eat and hang out Cherry Street BBQ is not only a beacon in a food desolate area but a mainstay for years to come.
Cherry Street BBQ
275 Cherry Street, Toronto