Picture this, you're driving down Kingston Road on a warm summer day. Windows down, music up, trying to soak in every bit of our all too short Toronto Summer when all of a sudden your car is filled with smoke. Not an alarming, what's wrong with my car kind of smoke, but thick BBQ smoke wafting in. You do the only thing you can and pull over as quick as possible to follow your nose like a cartoon character floating towards a fresh pie on a window sill.
This was me earlier this week when I found The Art of BBQ near Kingston and Midland. What I discovered at the source of the smoke was a pit master at work creating incredible southern inspired smokehouse BBQ!
Trevor, the man behind the smoke, has an impressive makeshift set up in the parking lot beside a closed down Pakistani restaurant. He works a couple of smokers and grills under a tent while occasionally running into a Breaking Bad-esque motorhome where he has rice and peas on the go in the kitchen.
He's been forced to make this set up work as his previous location, near Queen and Parliament, had some safety issues that the landlord was ignoring. "This BBQ's not worth dying over" Trevor said as he explained the move. He's right...but it might be close to it.
His scramble to find a new location led him to this parking lot on Kingston Road, where he says he's happy to be as a Scarborough native. Selfishly, I'm happy he's made the move east as well. Of all the amazing food options we have in Scarborough, an authentic southern smokehouse is definitely something that was lacking.
He's currently trying to work out a lease agreement with the owner of the building that housed the closed down restaurant next door in order to make this a permanent home in time for the Winter. But for now, while the weather is still nice the parking lot BBQ vibe is great!
The menu is simple. Ribs, Pork Butt or Chicken. Everything comes with rice and peas and coleslaw and prices range from $15-$20. The portions are more than generous and most people will probably be able to get a couple meals out of one order.
Trevor shifts his meat from the smoker, to the grill and back before finishing it with his own Carolina style BBQ sauce. I tried both the ribs and the pork butt on this trip. Both were fantastic and had the perfect crusty layer of bark formed on top. After being slathered in a good amount of his sauce, this was some genuine smokey goodness. He was already out of chicken for the day when I visited so I can only imagine how juicy it would have been. I will definitely have to go back to see for myself sometime soon. Be prepared for a bit of a wait, especially at peak times around the lunch and dinner rush but know that your patience will be rewarded.
With the Scarborough Bluffs just around the corner this would be the perfect pick up for a picnic and a day at the Bluffs or a meal with a view at Scarborough Crescent Park or Cathedral Bluffs Park. Summer is coming to an end soon and you know you'll miss it when it's gone so you might as well spend some time in the warmth of the sun with a beautiful barky, smokey rib in your hand while you still can!
Art of BBQ
(address on website is out of date as of writing this)
Located in the parking lot next to 2328 Kingston Rd, Scarborough
At Kingston Road and Sharpe Street, just west of Midland.