You would think I would have to dust off my foodie brain a little to remember going to Hogtown Smoke at 1959 Queen Street in The Beaches but no, no I remember it quite clearly unfortunately.
I took this photo on the way to the restaurant. Look at the Toronto sneer on that young guy’s face and I totally want that little girl’s urban backpack. You know you are in Toronto when…
A friend had heard amazing things about Hogtown Smoke and I had never really been to a real smokehouse before so we decided to check it out.
I heard one of the big reasons to go to this place is so you can hang out on the patio. Sadly I go deaf when there is a lot of traffic outside. This restaurant is in The Beaches so we decided to stay inside where it was definitely very, very quiet.
The menu was very well organized but there was a little problem…
The prices were a tad high! I know the food is cooked longer which must be more expensive but this made me have pretty high expectations for the quality of food. In other words, it had better taste as good as they are charging.
We started by ordering the fried pickles.
They were pretty good. I liked that they were deep fried in a cornmeal crust. It gave them some additional crunch and bite. The dipping sauce was also quite good.
Then our meat meal came. Chicken wings and burnt butts, apparently their specialty. Everyone loves them.
The restaurant had its own plethora of BBQ sauces to choose from for the wings. I did not like any of them. The odds of that are very low. I always need a sauce. I kept trying and trying but they all tasted kind of… funky.
Speaking of which, those burnt butts were all kinds of wrong. Just because you cook something for a long time does not make it more delicious. I have no issues with slightly carcinogenic blackened meat but this was pretty awful. Dry, off tasting, off putting… And not cheap!
Saving The Worst For Last
I could live with the not-greatness of the meal but the worst part was using the washroom down the break-neck-steep staircase in the basement. Hygienically, it is the worst washroom I have ever been to at a restaurant. It stank like a hogtown (maybe THAT is where it gets its name) and the sink did not work. It made me sick to my stomach and I wanted to get the hell out of there.
I will say that the service was very pleasant and we were not rushed out of there at all. Considering the lack of people in the restaurant though…
The only reason why I am giving this restaurant any wooden spoon is because of the service and the deep fried pickles. The people were nice but I am sorry, for that price the quality and flavour of the food were terrible and the pigsty in the basement unforgivable. I will not be back and have actually warned family and friends to stay away.
I give this foodie experience one of out five wooden spoons. Dine there with caution and bring hand sanitizer!