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J&J Bar-B-Que: A Smoky Slice of Texas in Downtown Toronto

j&j bbq

When plucked from the exact right part of a fat, hefty steer, then seasoned and smoked just so, a bar-b-que beef rib is a dish of irrefutable majesty.

J&J bar-b-queIt is the king of ribs – in size, succulence, and flavour. Salt, pepper, and their slowly rendered fat and collagen combine in the most addictive barque. Unfortunately, the single best beef rib I ever sourced was from a place called Terry Black’s, nearly 3,000 km away in Austin, Texas. But I have some good news. Great news, actually: the second most luscious, meltingly tender, peppery, sweet, smoky and addictively fatty hunk of beef I ever pulled from its bone with nothing more than a flimsy plastic fork was right here in Toronto, in Kensington Market, at J&J Bar-B-Que.

And there’s more. Lots more.

J&J serves beautiful brisket, both blade and deckle supple, moist, and infused with just the right complement of smokiness – which if you like you can drizzle with a Texas style BBQ sauce wherein the espresso has been swapped out for Valrhona chocolate. There are tender pork ribs, whose juicy meat pulls from the bone with just the right amount of tug. There’s tangy pulled pork, mixed with pastrami-flavoured pork belly, dressed with a tangy, peppery sauce. There are also two excellent examples of Texas style-sausages: spicy beef, and an unctuously oozing mac-n-cheese. There are great sides of baked beans with chopped brisket, crisp coleslaw, pommes alumettes, and a crazy-rich corn-bread infused with brisket drippings.

And for the record the only reason their beef rib comes second is the beef itself – for in Texas, aka Brobdingnag, a single plate short rib can tip the scales at well over a kilo, and we just don’t get that here.

J&J Bar-B-Que opened just over a week ago, and is off to an exceptional start. The place is named for its co-pitmasters Jay Moore and Jonathon Lucas, whom you may remember from their previous collaboration, Ursa. From Adam Perry Lang to Tuffy Stone the American barbecue circuit is full of evidence that classically trained chefs cook barbecue best.

Same story here.

J&J Bar-B-Que

193 Baldwin Street


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