What was a big deal in Toronto was the first day when it would hit 30°C. Yesterday was such a day. Just a tad away at 28°C, the humidity factored in, it sure felt like summer. What was also true was that it rained heavily during the early morning hours. So even when the temperature shot up drastically, it was not searing. When afternoon came, the sun was shining and there was a fresh cool mist in the air. It was a perfect time to enjoy the weather. It was a good time to hang out with a friend.
It was opportune that my friend Jojo asked me to go out for dinner that night. As always, I ended up picking the place. That day, I thought about going to Electric Mud BBQ. Sunny days and BBQ always made sense together, doesn’t it? We both agreed to meet up early as the place was known to fill up to the rafters too fast. I did hope that the wait time might be shorter that night as I imagined that they would have opened their patio space as an extension to their dining area. As I was walking up Brock Ave by Queen a little past 6pm, I could already see that the place was about 80 % full, patio included.
Approaching the entrance, I noticed that all tables that seat 4 was designed to be communal. They led me to one to share with another couple. With the folded table umbrella, it was hard to see right across. As I was trying to negotiate the best way to get myself a better view, Jojo arrived and suggested we just take a table inside. There were two tables available inside and I was glad that it was not such a big issue to transfer.
Inside I saw the open kitchen that was most featured in pictures in the reviews I visited. We chose the table in the middle of the dining area. I specifically chose to sit facing the glass wall window as it was majorly exposed to the sun that was streaming through. Even though I was inside, I can feel the heat of the sun on my face. The table and benches were made of hard wood, giving you a feeling of sitting in park benches. I could easily fool myself that I am in the middle of the park and not in Electric Mud BBQ’s dining area; with the noise of people strolling and milling around me and not the blaring music out of an old record playing in a retro turntable. In that little playground in my head, I am having a perfect sunny day anticipating a really good meal.
The server came to our table and told us how the food was served. Apparently, the servings were meant to be shared and she advised us to pick several items to split in two. We chose the ribs, the fried chicken and the BBQ Land salad. The salad came first and I must say it was a salad that I probably finished fast on my own if I was alone. It had a good balance of heat, tartness, bitterness and texture with each forkful I take. The basket of fried chicken followed suit together with a bottle of hot sauce and a squirt bottle of honey. We were warned that it was literally piping hot. I always liked my food freshly out of the frying pan but since I have to do my round of photography, when it was time to taste it, it was with a crunchy- crispy and comforting warmth.
The most photogenic of them all was the ribs. It took me a while to be satisfied with the pictures I took. The sun, the long shadows and a very meaty pile of ribs was too irresistible for a food photographer like me. What was very much notable was that it tasted as good as it looked. The right amount of nuts for texture, spice, tart, thick, gooey, finger-lickin’ sauce smeared on really meaty ribs. The bone totally devoid of meat was a testament how tender the meat was. Between the chicken and the ribs, I would say, if you only have to order one, go for the ribs.
I was almost sad when I see them all disappear. Jojo and I did not leave one morsel on the table. These kind of dinners always brightened up my mood. The food have a satisfying thunk on my belly and it was with that realization that we knew we had to walk it off for a while and seek dessert elsewhere. We found gelato on Queen St. West, strolling on the north side heading towards Dufferin. We went inside Boreal Gelato Company and found a display of artisan gelato and it was the perfect dessert to cool us down. I went for a mix of Wild Berry and Lemon & Olive Oil and Jojo went for Salty Caramel and Boreal Balsam. Of all the four flavors, I still go by my lemon gelato. I just love the tartness to even out the richness that I had for dinner. Jojo and I chose to sit by a bench in front of the café as we ate our treats.
Hours later the last spoonful of gelato eaten and consumed, we stayed there and chatted some more. Ah the warmth of the weather just lets you do more and spend longer time with a good friend. Here’s looking forward to similar nights this coming summer!