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“Don't wait in line for a crap shoot” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Barque Smokehouse

Barque Smokehouse
Ranked #185 of 8,405 Restaurants in Toronto
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $11 - $45
Cuisines: American, Southwestern, Barbecue, Canadian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Special occasions, Large groups, Local cuisine, Families with children
Dining options: Brunch, Breakfast, Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Delivery, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Neighborhood: West End
Description: Serving refined BBQ and thoughtful hospitality in the heart of Roncesvalles Village since 2011.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
32 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Don't wait in line for a crap shoot”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 24, 2013

Barque must be the most inconsistent restaurant in the west end of Toronto. I went by myself when it first opened and had a great lunch experience on the patio: tasty brisket on a flawless bun, cold draft and standout sides, including a memorable spicy corn chowder. So I booked the Sunday family-style, prix fixe dinner for myself and some foodie friends a while later and we were all thoroughly disappointed: every one of the meat choices was bland and dry and not to be rescued with the sauce they somewhat sheepishly produced for us. The sides were limited by the fixed menu, and were boring. The only saving grace was the "dessert", a smoked banana milkshake, which I found very interesting, but it wasn't exactly a general crowd-pleaser.

I have gone three times since, and it has been a complete mixed bag: 1. a near-disaster with my husband and our children, when the starters and caesers were very good and the server quite kind, but our toddler son was so hopeless we had to leave (points to the restaurant, -100 points to us for ruining the atmosphere for a half-hour); 2. a thoroughly mediocre night of very salty wings, dry ribs and brisket; and 3. a trip with my mom where the drinks were very good, which was a relief, because the merely decent food took so long we ate about three buckets of courtesy spiced popcorn. If you want consistently wonderful food for reasonable prices on Roncesvalles Avenue, go north two or three blocks and dig into some meat at Lardon, which is (nerve-wrackingly) never full. If you're looking for hipster atmosphere, the Blue Plate next to Lardon is both friendly and on-trend. Unless you're going for the bar, don't bother waiting in line at Barque: you don't know what you're going to get.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank eatigs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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300 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    133
    103
    42
    14
    8
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
23 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Just ok...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 23, 2013

The chicken wings were very good, crispy, well seasoned and perfectly smoked. The merguez sausage was good, it was cooked perfectly and didn't taste too greasy.
My biggest disappointment was the ribs, they were really just ok. I don't understand what's all the hype about it. Last but not the least, the fries were overloaded with salt !!! Although I love eating salty food, this was just inedible, especially as all the other dishes were already very salty. I ended up drinking the whole pitcher of water all by myself, it was that bad!!

However, the service was very good, efficient, fast and pleasant.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank butterfly_183
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Delicious food, 'hostessing' a bit slow”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 20, 2013

I was a bit put off when we first arrived since the hostess was very slow to greet and seat customers. A simple "I'll be with you in one second' would have helped. When she finally greeted us, she didn't apologise for the delay. Again, simple little things would have turned our wait time into a no-big-deal kinda situation. There were 3 free tables at the time so we really shouldn't have been waiting at all. Anyway. The food and actual serving staff more than made up for this. I was having such a hard time deciding on brunch but went for the brunch burger and it was one of the best burgers of my life. The side salad was a little weak - not a lot of lettuce or anything to it, but tasted OK. The two people I was with also really enjoyed their meals as well - my sister had poached eggs with brisket which she loved and her boyfriend had the fried chicken thigh salad which came with really good fries. All in all, really delicious food, and had the hostess been a bit smoother, it would have been a 5-star experience.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank kmb045021
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Helsinki, Finland
Level Contributor
22 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Superb smokehouse”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 19, 2013

Absolutely fantastic smokehouse. Everything that was served was superb. The ribs are to die for. The only problem with this cool place is that you might not get a table. Book early. But book it.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Kimmo E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
79 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Delicious”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 3, 2013

We went there for the Sunday fixe prix dinner and had a lovely meal and a lovely time. The restaurant is small, but has a lively atmosphere. You will need a reservation, as many people were turned away. Perhaps that is a feature of the Sunday family style menu, with two specific sitting times. If you have to drive to the restaurant, you will need to leave time for parking, as you will have to find it on the street.

The meal itself was delicious and we enjoyed every bite. Our only complaint was that the food was served lukewarm. Perhaps that was because we were late, having been held up in traffic, but it was rather disconcerting. Other than that, it is worth a visit.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank HighlandCreek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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