Name: Blackstrap BBQ
Location: 4436 Rue Wellington, Verdun, QC, Canada
Order: Brisket place with a side of pork. Coleslaw, fries (link to menu)
Bill: CAD 15
Growing up in the south, I had never really associated Montreal with good barbecue. Actually, I had never really associated it with anything other than snotty french people. But I’d like to go on record and say I was wrong. I learned on one of my first trips to Montreal about the famous smoked meat, which I’ve grown to really love. So when one of my co-workers told me about Blackstrap BBQ and swore by it, I decided it was worth giving a try. I’m glad I did.
Blackstrap is about 3 miles (excuse me – 5 kilometers) from downtown Montreal in an area of town that I’m not at all familiar with. It’s relatively easy to get to via the rail system, so I was excited to check it out.
Upon entering, you see the order counter and a small dining room. You can also see part of the kitchen (but not the smoker) where the food is prepared. I was happy to find out that the cashier spoke english completely fluently (you never know up there), so I inquired of her what she thought I should order. She quickly responded that I should get a brisket plate with a side of pork, so who was I to argue? She also recommended the fried mac and cheese, but due to my intolerance of dairy, I opted for the fries. The meal also came with slaw. As an aside, slaw in Montreal is a frequent side dish and it is ALWAYS vinegar based and awesome.
When I went to sit down, I was excited to see a wood pile, making me suspect a stick-burning smoker. I was also excited to see one of the workers slicing the beef brisket in a meat slicer. I prefer brisket to be sliced, but for some reason have been getting pulled or chopped brisket when I’ve ordered it lately.
I sat down and the food was brought out shortly. I must say, I was pretty pleased. The brisket was tender with just the right amount of tug. The pork was also tender and had a bit of bark in it, which is how I like it. I will say that both meats seemed to have been prepared without excessive rub or sauce, which is nice, but I did find it necessary to apply some of the sauce provided on the table. I used the spicy sauce, which was vinegar based and seemed to have a good bit of red pepper. The mild sauce was more ketchup-y and probably a little sweet for my liking.
The slaw also was good and the fries were fine, but it really was the brisket that stole the show for me. This is likely because I rarely get good brisket in NC, while the pork (which I did enjoy) wasn’t really anything that I couldn’t find in a dozen places back home.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised. If you ever find yourself in Montreal and are homesick for some good southern barbecue, you could do worse than going to check out Blackstrap BBQ.
Atmosphere/Ambiance: 3 hogs
Pork – 2.5 hogs
Brisket – 3.5 hogs
Sides – 2.5 hogs
Overall – 3 hogs