Baju BBQ

Posted on March 29, 2015

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I have heard of Baju BBQ from Alexa Clark, once inviting me to dinner get-together. After reading the thread of all of her friends about Baju BBQ, I was indeed curious and wanted to go. It seems that it is that kind of a place that is well known among locals but not so known as I haven’t heard them from any of my foodie radar. But that night, my afternoon thing extended to the evening that I was not able to go. I still wanted to try them out, curious how Alexa just left an open invitation and it seems that her party got bigger and bigger. At the time, I was imagining that the place must be big and the place must have a relaxed atmosphere to it that it just goes along with the flow. All that was confirmed for me last week when I tried Baju BBQ with my EyeCandyTO business partner, Abe Wornovitzky.

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Last Wednesday, before heading for the One Of A Kind Show (see here for my post on the show), Abe and I decided to swing by Baju BBQ. I thought it would be better to be threading in and out of booths of the spring show on a full stomach. The restaurant was decidedly off the beaten path as it is in the intersection of Clinton St and Henderson Sts., south of College and between Ossington and Bathurst. The tavern is on the second floor with an unassuming facade at street level. As we walked in, I was pleasantly surprised of looking into a spacious restaurant with rows of tables, a pool table and a bar that is half the length of the room. I was rather happy that while there were TVs propped on a sports channel and music on the background, it wasn’t blaring and I was hearing Abe without any trouble.

There are a lot of choices on the menu designed on how much BBQ you are in the mood for the moment. There are single servings and a lot of different combinations to let you try several things without breaking the bank. We have already checked out the menu that is displayed by the door and we have decided to go for the shared platter. The shared pig-out platter came with three BBQ’s meats and four sides. We selected sliced beef brisket, smoked chicken thighs and Caribbean chicken drumsticks. For sides we had hush puppies, mac n’ cheese, pickle chips and rainbow slaw. It was but natural to pair it with Apple Cider (I seem to be getting to develop a love affair with apple cider) and I was lucky that they have it on tap.

The platter was impressive when it arrived. Just by the look of it, I already know the meat would be tender and I salivate at the thought of biting into it. For a second I was bewildered what to taste first as all of them seem so decadent but eventually I reached for the drumstick. It was that kind that makes you want to lick the bone until the taste disappears. The chicken thighs and the beef brisket was equally good, really tender meat and the flavours and the smoke just gets you to eat some more. Abe was particularly happy about the pickle chips as the breading was crispy and yet the pickle is still moist. I don’t know how they did that play of textures, but the way the are made into chips rather than spears made more sense to me. When you try the two featured sauces, Baju Kitchen Sink and Baju Carolina Mustard, put the two of them together and dunk the meat into it. It would definitely make you saver the BBQ all the more.

After we literally wiped out the platter, I thought I would be sluggish from all the food but it didn’t give you that heavy feeling. I generally have that feeling after a rich meal. But that wasn’t true of the meal at Baju BBQ. I was going to walk off the food at the One-Of-A-Kind Show but I find if I didn’t have to, it would have been ok. Definitely a plus.

Thank you Alexa for introducing Baju BBQ to me and Chef Jason Rees for such good eats! I would sure be coming back to try the pulled pork and the spare ribs. ;)

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