There’s something comforting and delicious about the sweet smokey smell of barbeque as it somehow transports you back to happy memories of warmer days. Perhaps you are recalling the sweet summer evening dinner with loved ones, a meal at a parilla as you were travelling through Latin America or a warm, comforting hug from someone special.
If you are in Toronto, take a trip to The Big Crow for a great backyard BBQ vibe. The discreet entrance of a few cement steps in between the Rose and Son Diner and the Esso Station leads you down a narrow alley lit up with lights. As you follow the sweet smokey aroma; you can’t help but smile as you see the open concept kitchen along with the long picnic tables supporting the communal nature of a real southern bbq.
This restaurant is a sharing style restaurant where the dishes are sure to impress most carnivores. There is a fair bit of meat on the menu, but what do you expect? It’s a bbq place! There are some dishes to please the pescatarians. Let’s be real, grilled fish is great by the beach but grilled or smoked meat is the only way to go – especially on an Argentine Grill.
My absolute favourite dish is the Salmon Poke, a staple in Hawaiian cuisine. Big Crow’s Poke is chopped up salmon sashimi, tossed in sesame oil, peanuts, chili flakes, soya sauce, ginger and seaweed served on housemade nachos. I’ve never been to Hawaii but have no doubt that I will be snacking on Poke bowls all day long if I ever get the opportunity to visit.
We then ordered an onslaught of delicious bbqed and smoked meat dishes: BBQ chopped pork served with soft corn tortillas with guac, salsa and other fixings, succulent Perth pork belly grilled to perfection complemented with a side of sautéed dandelions (if you’re into that kinda thing), and finally to end off our carnivorous trifecta with baby back ribs served with a pesto sauce. Truth be told, every time I come here I swear that I will save room to have the s’mores ice cream sandwich which never happens. Oh well, there’s always next time 🙂
Why is this one of my fave places? You completely forget you’re in the city. The communal style dining with the large picnic tables, lighting from the lanterns with the smokey scent from the grill is certainly a different dining experience. For me, it’s always nice to find a place to escape city life, even if it’s for a moment. However, you should book in advance as this place gets full very quickly!