What’s on the menu at Smoke Signals Bar-B-Q, a new smokehouse that serves Frito Pie

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

The food

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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.

Frito Pie: corn chips topped with brisket chili, cheddar, crema, green onions and jalapenos. $8.

Mac and cheese made with elbow macaroni, mornay sauce, cheddar and smoked gouda and panko. $8.

The pickled jalapeno sausages are stuffed with cheddar. $6.

The Bama White: smoked chicken, bacon, white barbecue sauce and pickle slices. $12.

Beef ribs are rubbed in pepper and salt before being smoked for eight hours. Market price.

The Trey Deuce is a special, which runs from 5–7 p.m. and comes with any two meats, two sides and two pints for $40. Pictured here: brisket and pork ribs with pecorino-topped collard greens and baked beans. Photograph by Caroline Aksich

The smoker that Chen-Yin built is made from a 1,000-gallon water tank.

Chen-Yin chopped a ton of ash logs out back. He says he almost cut off his thumb earlier this year.

The drinks

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 space

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.



A ‘zine machine.