Toronto’s best southern food
For pure comfort, nothing satisfies quite like bone-sucking, finger-licking, rib-sticking southern food. Here, the best barbecue and fry-ups in town.
SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN
It took four years of research and experimentation with 70 chickens, but Tom Davis got the recipe right just in time for the opening of his popular takeout joint. Soaked in buttermilk as part of an elaborate 48-hour marinating marathon, these birds are beyond juicy and swaddled in crisp, peppery skin. $12. The Stockyards Smokehouse and Larder.
After 18 years in the business, pit master Phil Nyman does things his way: he insists on using the fattier (and tastier) side ribs when back ribs are all the rage. Four hours over Ontario fruit wood, a moment on the grill and a light brushing of Phil’s tangy sauce make these ribs the ones other barbecue cooks talk about—kindly. $22. Phil’s Original BBQ.
LOW AND SLOW PORK SIDE RIBS
These down-home southern ribs are cooked sous-vide for 24 hours and finished on a wood fire stove. The meat melts off the bone and dissolves in a whisper of smoke. $14. Back Alley Woodfire Grill.
BLACK ANGUS BEEF BRISKET
When New Orleans chef Troy Brocato lost his restaurant to Katrina, the owners of Southern Accent gave him shelter from the storm in their kitchen. Troy’s gone back to NoLa now, but thankfully, the recipe for his dark, juicy, sweet and spicy brisket stayed behind. $19. Southern Accent.
Chef Jervis Cameron jazzes up the standard hock with some island spice, fresh thyme and a generous shot of Guinness. An hour and a half of braising later, the meat is succulent, and a thick layer of flavourful fat begs to be eaten; Cameron reports that even the most virtuous diners can’t resist. $18. Harlem.
PULLED PORK SANDWICH
The city’s juiciest pork is pulled twice for extra tenderness, then basted with the luscious pork drippings. Tossed in house-made maple barbecue sauce, piled on a modest bun—who wants to fill up on bread?—and crowned with caramelized onion, it’s just sweet enough and completely satisfying. $8. Black Camel.