One of those food trends of the last few years in Toronto has been barbecue. We have seen a renaissance in classic, Southern-influenced BBQ restaurants, each with their own spin on the canonical dishes like ribs, brisket and fried chicken. Among the stars of those spots setting out put the South in our mouths is The Stockyards.
Located up on a stretch of St. Clair West that is poised for a gentrification renaissance is this sliver of a restaurant. It’s unfussy, chaotic, and crowded- but that’s all part of it’s charm. Those who dine out will wait at the front for their cardboard containers of heavenly delights, but you’ll likely opt to eat in, so push your way to the back and perch yourself along the flattop to enjoy the sights.
Sitting here, you’ll watch tattooed and pierced chefs assemble plates of bacon grilled cheese, beef brisket sandwiches and burgers with bone marrow. Most orders come with heaps of fries, grilled crisp to perfection. The ribs here are good- though only available on certain days of the week- but for me, the thing to get here is the fried chicken. It comes battered in this divine peppery skin, and you can dip the juicy morsels into a spicy sauce, cooled only by their fresh coleslaw.
The space is certainly not what one might call “charming” or “elegant”. It’s loud and downright hot in there- but the food makes it totally worthwhile. A completely local spot- a coup for the traveller.