What’s on the menu at Smoke Signals Bar-B-Q, a new smokehouse that serves Frito Pie
Name: Smoke Signals BBQ
Neighbourhood: Little Portugal
Contact: 1242 Dundas St. W., 416-588-7408, smokesignalsbarbecue.ca
Owners: Diego Bergia and Nick Chen-Yin
Chef: Nick Chen-Yin
While working as a designer for Vice, Chen-Yin picked up a niche hobby: building oil drum smokers. Back in 2007, his only kitchen experience was working at A&W and Golden Griddle, but his dad’s stories about growing up in Jamaica kindled a latent barbecue obsession. The menu has no allegiance to any particular style of barbecue. After travelling through the south, and staging at Austin’s Stiles Switch, Chen-Yin chose his regional favourites: Carolina pulled pork, Tennessee pork ribs, Texas brisket. Although the meats are traditional, Chen-Yin’s a bit more playful with the sides. The burnt end–studded baked beans and his mac and cheese might be by the book, but a few others—like the coleslaw flavoured with pineapple, fish sauce and mint—have Southeast Asian twists.
Lighter beers to cut through all of the salt and fat (Coors Banquet, Woodhouse, Lost Craft), a short list of bourbons and a few wines. There’s a single four-ounce cocktail on the menu: The 13th Floor Elevator is made with smoked black tea, yuzu, peach schnapps, vodka and lemon ($23).
The split-level space seats 50 at communal tables. Chen-Yin’s hoping it’ll become a hot Tinder date spot, though we’re not sure how first-date friendly caveman-sized beef ribs are.