I had a chance to visit The Stockyards Smokehouse yesterday at 699 St.Clair W. in Toronto, and I really enjoyed my meal. I'd heard lots of chatter about the ribs, the pastrami, and the burgers and wanted to find out for myself what the real deal was.
We arrived on Friday about 4pm before the evening rush. A quick look about hour later revealed a lineup of people hoping to score the smoky ribs & chicken (Tuesdays/Fridays/Sundays only after 5pm).
All I wanted to try was the burger. Although not included on the current printed menu, the Rowe Farms grassfed burger was on the chalkboard for $9. From the included toppings I only chose the raw fresh onion, tomato, and lettuce. But since I love cheese, I added the cheddar for an extra dollar. No specific cooking instructions were given. We added an order of fries to be shared, along with a ginger tea each.
The griddled burger arrived served in a cast iron skillet and was cooked medium. There was pink in the middle. It wasn't dripping in fat, but that's not what I expect a grassfed burger to be. It was moist and juicy and very tasty. The flavour of the cheese melded into the burger and didn't dominate, just adding that incredible umami mouth feel. The tomato, onion, and lettuce were not exceptional but appropriate. The sesame seed bun was a perfect delivery vehicle for the meat, not overwhelming, but just right to hold all the ingredients together.
The fries were skinny and tasty and none were left over at the end of the meal. The ginger tea was ok, nothing special, but definitely not bad. All night I kept thinking about how much I enjoyed the burger. Too bad for me it's a trip into the city, but it's seriously recommended.
I also took home a 1/2 pound ($8) of their dry cured apple wood smoked pastrami. I tried not to nibble on it as I rode the subway north, but it sure tasted good. I'll be steaming some tonight to put onto some fresh rye bread with horseradish mustard. I'll be reviewing this along with the pastrami from the Cottage Chef (and maybe Pancers) in the near future.