On June 15, we made a trek to Toronto’s Greektown to visit Greenwood Smokehouse BBQ and checkout their new summer menu. Upon entering, we were greeted with a smoked pear mint julep, and by R2BBQ – a smoker painted to look like the iconic R2D2 from Star Wars. Already we knew we were in for a great night ahead – read to see how the evening went.
We took our drinks to the back patio, and while walking through the restaurant, it was hard not to notice the eclectic decor. The walls were adorned with an interesting mix of pop art, license plates, street signs, animal tchotchkes, and even Star Wars comics. It’s a mix of art that you wouldn’t expect, yet it all works together and collectively adds to the charm and coziness of the place.
Being able to check out the back patio was a nice surprise; I try to frequent as many patios as I can during the summer months. Greenwood Smokehouse’s patio felt like a friend’s backyard – a place where you feel welcome and want to stay awhile. There owner and pitmaster, Warren DeSimone, showed off the large wood burning oven where the meats are smoked. We enjoyed our first bite of the evening – the deliciously tender and saucy Memphis rib tips, along with a glass of watermelon beer and shot of bourbon. Having whet our appetites, we then headed back inside, now eagerly anticipating the mains to come.
The Cobbler Salad came first. I liked this take on the Cobb salad, not only because it had smoked turkey and bacon, but also avocado and blue cheese. Next, we sampled ribs done three ways – with a Carolina sauce, a Memphis sauce, and a dry rub. Each of them was fall-off-the-bone tender, and very flavourful. Then came the pièce-de-resistance – a platter consisting of brisket, pulled pork, and smoked wings. We were in barbecue heaven – all of it was delicious, with the brisket being my personal favourite. Accompanying the meats were double-smoked beans, a coleslaw, and a three cheese cream mac ‘n cheese topped with asiago that was brûléed. The sides complemented the meats very nicely.
After the satisfying mains, we sampled another cocktail – this time it was the smoked bourbon lemonade. The smoke flavour worked really well with the tartness of the lemonade. Finally, it was time for dessert – a smoked peach cobbler with crème anglaise. It was sweet, but not overly sweet; rich, though not heavy – it was a delightful finish to a southern barbecue feast.
I enjoyed all of the food and drink tonight – all of the dishes were well-prepared and delicious. Kudos and thank you to Chef Mark Andrade and team! If you’re a barbecue and meat lover, and now with summer just beginning, Greenwood Smokehouse BBQ is great reason to visit Toronto’s east side. Greenwood Smokehouse BBQ is located at 673 Danforth Ave., steps from the new Pape Station.
Photos by John Tan