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“Problems galore”
Review of TheSmoke

TheSmoke
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Ranked #4 of 124 Restaurants in Collingwood
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $8 - $23
Cuisines: Barbecue
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Delivery, Reservations
Description: TheSmoke has taken BBQ to a Whole New Level. From traditional award winning BBQ such as succulent Smoked Ribs, Beef Brisket, Chicken and Pulled Pork to Non Traditional BBQ such as Smoked Trout, Smoked Balls of Meat, Smoked Burgers and Smoked Ice Cream. Everything is made from scratch on the premises from the Chef's own recipes. Recently filmed for the Food Network Show, "You Gotta Eat Here" Season 4, with Host John Catucci, tells you we are doing something right. We have also won many awards, including the People's Choice Award for Collingwood's Taste of The Town, two years in a row. Our menu offers creative BBQ Sandwiches, like a Wild Boar Bacon Lettuce, Tomato and Smoked Cheddar Sandwich (WBBTLC) on grilled Sourdough, to our "Cow Meats Pig" Sandwich (basically and Beef Brisket sandwich on top of their Pulled Pork sandwich. Also voted "Best Burgers" by Days Out Ontario, with their smoked Beef, Turkey or Salmon Burgers, or the Poutine Burger, Pig on a Patty or Wholly Cow. Don't leave out the other mains, like Smoked Salmon, Trout, Wings, Brisket, Pulled Pork and Bacon Wrapped Loaf of Meat. And pick one or two sides from Sweet Potato Fries, Mac n Cheese, BBQ Beans (a 24 hour process to make), Salads and more. In addition to dine in, and take out, we also have take home. Most of the meats are smoked and fully cooked, individually cry-o-vacked, ready to take home and re-heat. From Full racks of Pork Back Ribs, Smoked Burgers, Trout, Bacon and More. Everything is made in house, and full of flavour. Five house made BBQ sauces are at the table to play with, and purchase to take home
Reviewed February 18, 2013

Out with my wife for dinner and a movie, We previously had a good burger there soon after it had opened and thought to try some of the other offerings. It was early enough and we had plenty of time before the movie (lucky). The place was full I think we got the last table (yes the crappy one near the toilets), still we were happy to get a table and as it turned out being near the kitchen was quite informative.
I ordered the pulled pork on a bun with fries, my wife a quarter smoked chicken, sweet potato fries and coleslaw. Feeling hungry I also ordered a side of cornbread for $5.
I was quite interested in what was going on at the serving station, the stainless steel platters they use were stacked on every surface with some part of a meal already applied, there seemed to be an ongoing argument between the wait staff and the kitchen, I couldn’t hear exactly, but the result was a lot of waiving around of order tickets and no movement of food. The place was packed and I watched for 20 minutes as burgers cooled and salad wilted under the heat lamps. When food eventually moved it was soon back, rejected for either wrong side or wrong temperature. I grabbed the attention of the waitress as she was passing and asked after our side of cornbread, I was hungry by now and at least wanted an appetizer. Clearly in a bad mood she paused then snapped that she WAS going to put the cornbread on the side of our entrée and not charge us, but since we were asking for a side she would charge us the $5. I guess you had to be there to appreciate how she burned her own tip.
She marched over to the serving station, got a pair of tongs and dug into a pan under the heat lamps for two small squares of cornbread and dropped them on a steel platter…5 bucks for cornbread that had been drying under the heat lamps all evening. No butter or anything to go with it. Just dry crumbling bread with no butter. Oh and the bottom of the cornbread was burnt.
When she returned we had to ask for a refill of my drink, she ignore that my wife’s drink was just about gone…because by now we had been sitting there for half an hour. Of course drinks were the only thing moving, the table next to us was getting rather surly and people from other tables were walking to the kitchen to ask where the food was. Not good.
Strangely enough our food was some of the first to come out even though we were clearly one of the last to get a table. So here is the food review bit:
On the good side, for my wife there was plentiful sweet potato fries and the coleslaw was great… the quarter chicken was well smaller even than Swiss chalet, it was grey, not smoked, it was tepid and dry. It was only edible with the generous application of one of the table sauces. We did think about sending it back, but given the chaos…we would still be there waiting now.
My pulled port sandwich. The bun was good.
The pork was tasteless I had to smother it in sauce to eat it. My fries were just this side of cold. The steel platters look very chic, but they suck the heat out of the food instantly. My fries were also lacking in body count. Measly, paltry…disappointing.
We finished the food quickly and left. Complaining would have been pointless. It would have stopped us getting to the movie (silver linings playbook, quite good).
I do however believe to not post this review would be a disservice. They need to sort the chaos in the kitchen, watch for slipping standards with the food or frankly they won’t last the long gap between ski seasons. I will only go back when I hear good things; there are too many other restaurants to risk a bad meal.

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9  Thank Dave N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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585 - 589 of 596 reviews

Reviewed February 18, 2013

Stopped for lunch and had the pulled pork on a bun. The selection of sides is awesome and both our sweet potato fries and soup were great. The pulled pork was the best I have ever had. Love the fact that it is not smothered in sauce and that you can add your own from 4 selections on the table. Great meal, great service at a great price.

1  Thank runnarunna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2013

This place has potential.The food tastes good,but the portions are Tiny and service Slow.We waited for 1hour for our meal.I wanted to cry.The waitress kept telling us our food was coming.Their more interested in selling beer and wine.
Another weird thing is they dont sell take-out meat from their take out counter,Yet they only sell smoked fish,but if you want to have smoked salmon or trout for dinner you have to buy it by the Kilogram in a vacuum sealed package.If they fine tune their business they will do well,if not they will be another flash in the pan.

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Thank GuyFiero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cam D, Owner at TheSmoke, responded to this reviewResponded July 24, 2013

Hi Guy, First, you are the only one who has called our portions tiny. Not sure what you ordered, but most people say our portions are huge.

You came in January, we opened one month before. We did have some system bugs, new staff, and process flow glitches, as does every new restaurant, and for the most part they were fixed a few months ago.

Regarding the selling of Meat. All Smoked and Cured Meat can only be sold cold, if it came from a Meat Plant, of which we are not. Fish comes under different guidelines, and that is why we can sell our Trout, Salmon, and more. Sorry, we would love to sell our Bacon, Sausages and more but we can't. We can sell our meat only if it is hot, ready to eat.

Finally, the reason we sell the fish by the kilogram is due to the difference in sizes, and our customers really like the method. It is no different than "market" price for Lobster at a restaurant.

I am glad you enjoyed the food. I hope you will come back and see.

Regards,

Cam

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

I have been to the smoke several times now. I have thoroughly enjoyed everything I have had. My favorite is the pulled pork with coleslaw, which is so delicious and is by far the best I have ever had. The ribs are moist and tender and full of flavor. I have had the burnt ends as an appetizer almost every time they are so good!

The service has been very good as well. This is a true gem for Collingwood and well worth the drive if you are not local! We can’t wait to go back.

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2  Thank Bonmar07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2013

Came here for a late lunch, after 2:00. Place was pretty quiet. One other table in the large open dining room. Tough to decide on menu options, all sounded good. I decided on the Quattro. A sample of 4 different sandwiches. I'd eat each one of them again. Wasn't the biggest fan of the burger, found it a little dry, but I'd still try it again. The flavour was outstanding. Should almost put Memphis Blues on the radio. Add a little southern vibe.

Congrats on opening The Smoke, been to many "smokehouses" in Ontario trying to find the right taste to my liking, and may have found it.

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1  Thank Jeremy7777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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