Brazilians love Barbecue. This is no secret. That’s why I get so excited every time I learn a about a new BBQ joint in town. Being so far away from my country, this is the closest substitute I have for my truly missed churrasco.
Luckily, Southern style BBQ is a strong trend in Montreal. After Dinette Triple Crown and Le Boucan, the city’s BBQ scene recently got another great addition brought by the former owners of Grifintown Cafe. It’s Blackstrap BBQ.
Blackstrap BBQ opened one month ago in Verdun, really near where I used to live when I first got to Montreal. Good excuse to visit my old neighborhood and have a laid-back lunch with friends. The place looks nice and unpretentious. Not a lot of tables, but there are some seats if you don’t mind eating at the counter.
Like in most BBQ joints, the formula is simple: you choose your meat, then you pick a side. Or you can just have a sandwich. The menu offers all the Southern classics: ribs, brisket, pulled pork, chicken and turkey. Everything smoked in house! And since this is a Memphis style barbecue, meats are prepared with a dry rub and sauces are served on the side. That means you can really taste the meat, just the way I like it!
As sides, there are braised greens, coleslaw, smoked spicy beans, biscuits and, of course, the fried mac & cheese balls. I’ll talk about those later.
Hard to decide what to order? Ask for “Le Gros” ($36) which is literally a BIG plate of everything on the menu. It can feed three people, if they’re not too hungry. And don’t forget to ask for moist towelettes. You’ll need them.
Overall, everything I ordered was delicious. The ribs and the turkey were very tender and tasty. The brisket was equally fantastic, extra juice and so rich. I haven’t tried the chicken and the pulled pork yet but I’m pretty sure they’re probably good too.
Let me go back to the fried mac & cheese balls. I know it sounds so wrong but that’s probably why they taste so crazy good. Their crust was gold and crispy while the inside was deliciously soft and melty. I could eat those all day if my waistline could handle them. Another must have is the burnt ends poutine. I tried just a little bit of my friend’s one and it was fantastic!
Service and Price
The staff couldn’t be nicer and friendlier. We stayed there for hours and nobody rushed us. I found the prices more than reasonable, especially considering the portions sizes you get. The only thing I missed was a beer while having my meal. Unfortunately, Blackstrap doesn’t have an alcohol license yet.
Even if Verdun is a bit out of the path for you, I still highly recommend a visit to Blackstrap. Just one advice: Don’t go too late because all meats usually get sold out pretty fast. There is always a great chance you won’t find anything left if you get there after 8 pm. You’ve been warned.