Barbecue in Canada, eh?

Canadian Bacon: Not Just John Candy’s Last Movie

Until yesterday I was under the impression that Canadian bacon is the only meat the Canucks consume with gusto.  Little did I realize Canadians also eat North Carolina barbecue.  Well, at least some of them do.  Yesterday I received an excited note from my good friend Jeremy Goldcue, whose folks escaped the sweltering Carolina heat to settle in Toronto, Ontario quite a few years back.  Evidently Dr. David Goldcue, Jeremy’s old man, has at long last discovered a cure for the chronic hunger that ails all Canada-via-Carolina transplants: authentic Canadian barbecue.

In late 2010, Toronto’s Drake Hotel opened a… wait for it… barbecue joint.  Drake BBQ chef Anthony Rose explains his qualifications for making barbecue as follows: “I grew up in the south–southern Ontario anyway.”  A sense of humor is a good sign for a barbecue cook, so I’ll give Chef Rose a pass for relying on the seldom used (in Carolina) phrase “pulled pork” to describe his “Carolina”-style barbecue.  Drake BBQ’s menu is endearingly straightforward–a small selection of sides, and main courses limited to a brisket sandwich, pulled pork sandwich, or “60/60” sandwich that features equal parts brisket and pork (maybe 60/60 Canadian is equal to 50/50 American, given the exchange rate and Canada’s inflationary economic policies?).

The Obvious Question: Is Canadian ‘Cue Edible?

Dr. Goldcue raves about Drake BBQ.  Are his raves to be taken seriously or merely the lunatic ravings of a barbecue-deprived dual citizen? Having known Dr. Goldcue for a good many years, I can attest that he is a reasonable man.  Also, there is photographic evidence of Chef Rose cooking meat in a smoker, surely a positive sign.  Still, Dr. Goldcue should not be given a free pass: I have my suspicions of any former North Carolina resident exiled to the pork-scarce Great White North.  For barbecue lovers, the best analogy to living in Canada is serving a life sentence in prison–any member of the opposite sex is sure to attract attention from hungry eyes.  Until I taste Drake BBQ’s offerings for myself, I will reserve judgment as to whether their food is good or Dr. Goldcue has simply lost his bearings so close to the north pole (no closer to the pole than New York City, he might point out, but that would only confirm my suspicions).

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One Response

  1. I have a theory… I was raised on a tobacco in Edgecombe county in the 40s & 50s. Some Canadian farmers that grew tobacco would hire NC tobacco farmers to go to Canada and cure their leaf. So, my theory is that those farmers also took the BBQ culture from NC with them to Canada.

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