Since it opened earlier this year, I’ve read many rave reviews about The Stockyards Smokehouse and Larder (699 St. Clair West at Christie) so I knew it was time to do my own investigative reporting. Problem was I arrived at 6:30 pm on Sunday, a mere 90 minutes after Rib Night began, and the racks were already sold out.
Thankfully all was not lost cause they still had Rib Tips ($9). From the first bite I knew this place was going to live up to all the hype. The pork boasts a smokey taste, a tender texture and a crispy outside with a nice kick to it. Owner Tom Davis uses a dry rub on the ribs (which I prefer over the saucy alternative) and cooks them on a custom-made, wood-fired smoker.
The Rib Tips were lip-smacking good and despite all the finger-licking, I required more than the allotted two napkins per person. The side of BBQ sauce was a nice touch and more sweet than tangy. My eating companion Rana (aka Arcee of the Real Freqs) had a look of complete satisfaction on his face. “This is quite possibly the only food I would like to remain stuck in my teeth after eating,” he proclaimed.
It’s important to note that Rib Nights are only on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, and clearly it sells out fast. A full pork rack is $25, half rack for $13, and there’s also beef short ribs ($13) and BBQ Pit-Smoked Chicken ($13 for a whole one). The rest of the menu is available on all days, except Monday, when they’re closed.
The closest we got to eating vegetables were the specks of herbs used in the Non-Dairy Potato Salad ($5). This was very different from the traditional creamy type that’s ladden with mayonnaise. This version was light and very fresh tasting. Red potatoes were tossed with seven different herbs, garlic, red onion, grainy mustard, vinegar and olive oil.
We each ordered a Limeade which was incredibly thirst-quenching, not overly sweet or sour and came with a fresh sprig of mint. Just like their bio-degradable take-out containers, the plastic cup and straw are environmentally friendly. The straw did start to get soggy and felt like it was degrading in my mouth. Next time I’m going for the pitcher.
The Stockyards is housed in a narrow space with seating for about 10 people. They do swift take-out business and recommend you call ahead for pick-up orders. The prices are reasonable and the food is exceptional. I can’t wait to try the pulled-pork sandwich on my next visit. In the words of my friend Rana: “I wish I lived here.”