What’s on the menu at J&J Bar-B-Que, a new Texas-style smokehouse

What’s on the menu at J&J Bar-B-Que, a new Texas-style smokehouse

Name: J&J Bar-B-Que
Neighbourhood: Kensington Market
Contact: 193 Baldwin St., 416-531-4227, @jandjbarbque
Previously: Thomas Lavers Cannery and Delicatessen
Owners and chefs: Jonathon Lucas (The Harbord Room, Ursa) and Jay Moore (Momofuku Shoto, Ursa, Petite Thuet, Sushi Kaji)

The food

Central Texas–style barbecue (turkey, brisket, beef ribs, pulled pork, house-made sausages) that’s smoked over white oak in wood-burning smokers. “It’s a purer style of barbecue that only needs a little salt and pepper,” Moore says. “There’s nothing to hide behind.” J&J also serves a couple of extreme sandwiches, like a smoked beef–stuffed pretzel bun, and chopped brisket between jalapeño-bacon danishes. The shop opens at 11 a.m., and closes when everything’s sold out (usually around 2:30 p.m.).

Turkey is brined, then smoked and finished in a butter bath. $12 for a half-pound.

Spare ribs are smoked for six hours. $9 for a half-pound.

Moore and Lucas haven’t completely abandoned the use of modern cooking techniques: all sausages are finished with a blast from a Searzall blowtorch.

A rotating menu of hand-cranked sausages includes the “mac n’ chz,” inspired by that old-school deli loaf. $5 each.

All of the meat is priced by weight, so trays (like this one) can be customized.

Sides include pickled jalapeños ($1), cornbread ($3), coleslaw, macaroni salad and potato salad topped with Hickory Sticks ($2.50–$4).

Cabbage gets the same spice treatment as the meat, and then it’s smoked for six hours. $5.

House-made cornbread. $3.

All of the condiments (hot sauce, barbecue sauce, vinegar) are made in house.

For dessert: banana pudding topped with crushed banana chips and vanilla wafers (left), and pretzel fluff bars—like Rice Krispie squares but with pretzels and potato chips instead of cereal. $3.50 each.

The drinks

Fountain pop, including Big Red, a cream soda–type drink imported from the States, and sweet tea. There’s also Topo Chico sparkling water, which Lucas says is synonymous with barbecue in Texas.

Note the bread station to the left of the soda fountain.

A freezie made with Big Red. $2.

The space

The long room features take-away and butcher counters, as well as a communal high-top table—there’s no sit-down dining here.

Around here, you stand to eat your barbecue.

The retail counter sells cured-and-smoked honeyed ham ($4.50/lb), double-smoked bacon ($12/lb) and maple pork loin ($10/lb) to go.

Jay Moore (left) and Jonathon Lucas.


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