Marky’s BBQ Smokehouse
Bloor West Village, Toronto
Note: Marky’s BBQ Smokehouse has now closed
About a month ago I was invited to the Marky’s BBQ media event. They are a smokehouse on Jane street slightly new to the area.
I arrived slightly early and spent my time talking to the owner and head chef learning about their processes.
They obviously smoke all meats in-house from extremely high quality meats only sourced in Ontario, some from less than an hour away.
They use Super marbled brisket to ensure that they don’t need to throw a large quantity, it is brined 24 hrs then injected with beer and dry rubbed then smoked for roughly 24 hours as well.
The same can be said for both the ribs and pulled pork as well, they detailed the processes to me – I won’t be sharing their secrets – but I can tell you that they involve curing, smoking, rubbing, injecting, brining and all take at least 24 hours; most of the meats taking 48 hours of work before thy hit your table.
Their menu is designed to be a family style sharing menu to showcase all the items and let you be able to try them all.
Now before they served us platters of food I went and watched them prep everything, realistically I just wanted a picture of them basting the ribs as they finished them on the grill.
Once I was back at the table the photo’s of everything ensued.
I started with the wings, dry smoked, they were soft and juicy with an interesting flavour; however, I don’t like dry smoked wings; I’m a fan of sauce and that really swayed my judgement, it wouldn’t be something I’d order again.
I then did a quick round of side to make get them out-of-the-way; the meats are the stars after all.
I started with the beans, a fantastic side, creamy, sweet and a tiny bit spicy; while they didn’t add the burnt ends I would have liked them in there, that being said it was an absolute solid side without them. The mac n cheese was creamy and cheesy; two critical things that historically are lost by some other people, I would suggest that they need to toast some crumbled up biscuits for a topping to add texture and a bit more depth.
The coleslaw was a solid side, a crisp and creamy mix with the right amount of seasoning it was a nice cool break from all the heavy meats while the fries were stellar, I love fries and I have to say these some of the best i’ve had in awhile, skin on double fried with a crisp outside and a fluffy inside.
I tried the pulled pork first and was overwhelmed with how good it was, the flavour and texture were perfect. A tart, sweet and savoury flavouring all coupled with the flakey texture of a well smoked pork shoulder.
The first round of brisket was equally as good as the pork, thick pieces of soft and fatty brisket that was moist and luscious melt in the mouth while still having the rub being crisp on the outside.
We all finished this very quickly and asked for seconds, the second lot was heavily over salted and left you feeling empty and disappointed after having eaten the good stuff the first time round.
Lastly what I thought would be the best for last were the ribs, the biggest let down of the night. While being smoked nicely with a great bite (not fall off the bone but not chewy, the mid-point of perfection in my opinion) they were extremely dry and salty. Salty to the point I had 1 and a half and called it quits. The rub had way too much salt and the sauce just couldn’t compensate for it, the sauce on its own was definitely a winner, a great bbq sauce if I’ve ever had one. Overall, they could have been better.
While the food left something to be desired I was impressed with the set out and night overall; I think with a fit more fine tuning Markys will have a hit on their hands