No offence to all you wonderful Canadians out here, and I mean that whole-heartedly (Canadians are a truly wonderful people!), but sometimes I sure do miss Texas. I’ll tell you what. Especially in the winter! Not just for the warmer climate, the sunshine, all the ruckus and loudmouth bravado with their know-it-all brashness, but especially for the spicy barbecue. Mmmmnnnnnnn Especially when remembering the experience of the smoky flavor and the melting texture of BBQ meat in my mouth. Mmm! Goodness gracious, how one can long for something so far away. So distant in so many ways.
Here, we are worlds apart from all that. Well, there is Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Syracuse, NY (http://dinosaurbarbque.com). And it is awesome. Just perfect. But that’s a three and a half to four hour drive.
Real, exceptional Southern BBQ is hard to come by out here in the North Country, in either Massena or Cornwall. So when great friend, Bob Sloan and his wife, Ayda, invited my wife and I to dinner at a BBQ Restaurant, I wasn‘t expecting to eat real Southern BBQ, to be honest with you. It’s like Mexican food–when you’re picking up Taco Bell and bringing it home to your children as “real Mexican food”, that’s when you know you’ve learned to adapt and assimilate into the culture. Woo Hoo…Taco Bell. Riva Riva! Ándale Niños! Yeah right.
Woo Hoo. I can be a sport about it. Yee Haw! See? Hell yeah, I’m up for BBQ. Let’s go, Bob! I was Not really expecting to eat what I consider real BBQ. Bob was certain that it was. Me?–not so much
Crazy cold weather out. Brrrrgggg! Bob drove. Nice SUV–even the seats heated up. That was good, because it took about an hour to get there. Oh my goodness…all this smoking BBQ Meat smelled so dang good! We ordered the Good Luck Platter, which consisted of every meat item they sell on one platter: 1 Armadillo egg, 2 wings, 1 chicken leg, 2 St. Louis ribs, 1 beef rib, brisket, pulled pork, and 1 of their signature sausages. We also got additional plates of brisket of pulled pork. And as for the taste…Here’s where I let out a long Halleluya! Seriously, there are no complaints. None. Zero! This is heaven here on earth. If I may borrow a quote from one of my favorite shows, Seinfeld, I’d sum up their BBQ like this: “It is real and it is spectacular.” Or, in a more southern tone, ‘It is the real McCoy.’ The food AND the service met and exceeded my every expectation, at par with Texas standards of excellence. They didn’t have to tell me–I can tell that the owner and waiter had spent a lot of time in Texas. Enough to know and bring back the very essence of Southern barbecue right here to Ontario. The service was as impeccable as one would get in Texas, very professional, very amicable, very prompt, and in the paradox of being humble while proud.
I spoke with the chef, as well. And you can really tell that he–and his crew–takes great pride in the food they cook and the generous plates they prepare. Pride…you know, that one ingredient that makes all the difference in the world. Matter-a-fact, they use an enormous Southern Pride smoker which can hold and cook up to 2,000 lbs of meat! Their kitchen is very clean, organized, and the crew is very professional. Thorough.
I know real BBQ. Born & Bred Texan, I grew up on all that. I have very fond memories of my carnivorous childhood, helping my father grill some BBQ in the backyard, or running down to a Bill Miller Bar-B-Q nearby (http://billmillerbbq.com) when he didn’t feel like cooking any, to pickup an order for the whole family. The kind of meal that inspires laughter and conviviality, the ruckus–yeah, yeah, you know!–that Texas bravado. Lawdy Lawdy…sitting at the table, with so much meat it looks like a meal the Flintstones would eat–an enormous plate of brontosaurus ribs–talking loud and licking our fingers, without a worry in the world. To experience all that and feel right at home like that, it’s well worth the hour drive there to D&S Southern Comfort BBQ, in Carlsbad Springs, Ontario.
D&S Southern Comfort BBQ
6501 Russell Rd
Carlsbad Springs, Ontario