Where do you go when you want to pig out on some good barbecue? Well, a great place would be the aptly named Pig Out BBQ in Pickering. If that’s too far east of Toronto for you, there is also one on Spadina Avenue near the University of Toronto that picked up on the success of this first location.
The menu features comfort food staples such as pulled pork, beef brisket, chicken wings, burgers, ribs, smoked sausage, tacos (fish, chicken, beef or pork), sweet potato fries, onion rings, poutine, baked beans, mac n cheese, corn bread, warm banana bread pudding and more pig-out worthy dishes.
Although located on a busy road in Pickering, it’s a real hidden gem. Or should I say, it was… until Food Network Canada’s hit TV program You Gotta Eat Here featured Pig Out BBQ on one of their episodes, which aired in 2014. Canadian readers can watch the episode here. The show airs in a few countries, including the UK, so keep an eye out for it.
In fact, my son was present at the filming and got to meet affable host John Catucci and get his autograph and a photo. He’s even featured in the episode’s background… pigging out, of course.
Pig Out BBQ has become a favourite Pickering haunt. The vibe is casual and relaxed with comfortable seating and nicely spaced out tables (they do take out as well). Service is helpful and friendly. Orders are placed at the counter and pre-paid. Your food is then brought to your table.
Muted colours and stone walls make up the decor. They have the cutest collection of piggy banks (get it?) and I was happy to see that they’ve added more to their collection since my last visit.
We were 3 people and we shared the Jr. Pig Out Platter. This option serves 2 people but the portions are generous and we added a pulled pork poutine on the side. The Jr. Pig Out Platter features ribs, beef brisket, chicken wings with your choice of sauce (we opted for Smokey BBQ), coleslaw, dill pickles and two sides (trimmings). We chose mac n cheese and baked beans as our sides.
Each table includes a super spicy hot sauce for those chilli fiends who wish to add some kick to their meal. We were happy with the sweet, smoky flavours of our ribs, brisket and wings so we skipped the hot sauce.
Distinctively smoky flavours permeated our food. Pig Out BBQ have their own smoker and they know what they are doing. The ribs practically fell off the bone, which is exactly how they should be. A delicious sticky, smoky BBQ sauce coated the chicken wings, which were big and meaty. The well-rendered fat throughout the beef brisket made the meat tender and moist.
All of the sides were good too, not just filler. The mac n cheese was deliciously cheesy. My son gobbled up most of it, so really we should have ordered an extra portion, perhaps with a dash of that yummy hot sauce. The baked beans were smoky, sweet and perfectly cooked, not too soggy and not too crunchy. The homemade coleslaw’s refreshing taste and nice crisp texture went well with the crunchy pickles.
The pulled pork poutine was a thing of beauty: a hearty serving of fries, succulent gravy and proper cheese curds topped with tender, juicy pulled pork. Piggy goodness with spuds, gravy and cheese… poutine perfection!
The only downside… the place isn’t licensed to sell alcohol. A beer would go so well with this type of food, especially at dinnertime. I suspect that this isn’t a decision Pig Out BBQ have any control over (perhaps it’s their strip mall location). You can always do take out and enjoy a beer or two at home.
Don’t let the location fool you… look past the large restaurant chains overpowering the strip malls and discover this independent restaurant for yourself, especially if you love meat!
The owners, managers or staff did not invite me to visit this establishment and were unaware that my experience would be the basis of a written review. It is based on my experience at my own cost and I did not receive compensation for my review.
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