We kept on hearing about Stockyards from quite a few folks and had plans to check it out at some points soon. So on a cold Sunday evening we finally made our way to St. Clair…to realize we already visited the place - during the “burger week” in Toronto last year. It was packed back than so we simply grabbed a burger, bought some beer (from the closest LCBO) and devoured it in the local park. In all the rush we did not even fully register the name in our minds.
dark, rudy, popular
Dark on the outside with a round sign, the place can easily be passed by. But it is not - by a lot of people. It is permanently busy here. You will likely have to wait (there are benches both inside and outside to accommodate the eager, hungry crowd). McDonalds across the street was not as busy - a good sign.
plums, earthy with a sense of age
The interior is nicely decorated with old deli equipment, vintage mirrors of irregular shapes on the walls and lots of aged wood. I especially liked the ceiling lined up with reclaimed planks. Even the lamps hanging from the top were original. Puts you in the right mood for something tasty!
hint of pepper, but lacking more nuances
The waitress was pleasant, but not overly chatty. There were lots of people to serve and they seemed a bit under-staffed. The menu is very simple and easy to read, a plain nicely spaced sheet of paper one is not afraid to put grease stains on or run some pen ink - our waitress did so to show us the things they are out of, including onion, slaw, etc - with a grocery store next door, really? We asked for BBQ Beef Brisket to share with some fries and an authentic looking soda in a glass bottle to chase it up with. Also we decided to give their home-made lemonade a shot.
full-bodied, overwhelming, unbalanced
Hmmm…we ended up with a Pulled Pork Sammy served in a heavy pan and fries. We were not too sure if we were thinking brisket and asked for pulled pork, it was too busy to think or hear clearly.
Ma Cherie is not a big fan of pulled pork, but we already waited for close to an hour (in between the lineup, sitting down, waiting to be served and actually getting the food) so we made up our mind to eat and drink. We decided to come back and simply grab something to go next week. The pulled pork had the typical bloody hint and there was loads of it - in strings and chunks everywhere. It was quite saucy so the bun ended up soaking it all and being squishy. It hit all the points it probably should (lots of meat, sweet BBQ sauce and grilled buns), but was lacking in taste. It simply was a decent pulled pork sandwich, simple as a bicycle. Not really sure what we expected, but that was not it. The vintage looking soda in a glass bottle was nice and not overly sweet. At the same time, the homemade lemonade was on a sugary side and we didn’t quite enjoy it as much.
And we did end up coming back in a few days and ordering a BBQ Beef Brisket and Cider Braised Pork sandwiches to go, tho. Once again both came loaded with meat, probably even overloaded. I would suggest sharing, we were barely able to finish both of these. Ma Cherie was saying a place like this makes people become vegetarian. Once again, we failed to find anything overly special about the food – came as somewhat of a disappointment given the hype about this place. I would say I preferred the apple cider. We also got a side of their recommended home-made coleslaw – again quantity, over quality.
We cannot argue the venue was impressive – warm and filled with people, it was glowing in energy but that unique, secluded feel has a long way to go in making it to our mouths.
Overall.. a heavy, home-made attempt at a Cabernet Sauvignon