New to the Wellington strip in Montreal’s Verdun neighborhood sits the greenhorn, Blackstrap BBQ, offering the lucky residents and destination restaurant diners authentic Memphis-style, southern barbecue…
What started as a hobby and delicious weekly specials at his former restaurant, Chef Dylan Kier honed his favorite past time into a crowd-winning recipe. What actually turned out to be a championship-winning recipe has taken Kier and his Blackstrap team to a first place title at a local barbecue competition and then subsequently asked to represent Quebec at the Jack Daniel’s invitational in Lynchburg, Tennessee.
“It started from a small home smoker my wife gave me as a gift and it took off from there.” Unfortunately, he out-smoked the smoker and broke it. Kier’s passion for barbecue and trying to understand every aspect of smoking meat, amalgamated to a cross boarder run with five buddies to haul home a 500-pound, Missouri’s finest industrial smoker.
Hitting up their eatery, I had the opportunity to taste a few items on the menu; first at bat was the Blackstrap brisket sandwich. A generous mound of beautifully smoked brisket, the meat was tender and juicy. The bark – the outer crust of caramelized dry rub – was incredibly flavorful and sweet.
The pork ribs came with a side of coleslaw and braised greens – although all menu items are dry rubbed, there is homemade spicy barbecue sauce and sweet barbecue sauce available should you desire smokey palate lube for your meat.
The secret to Blackstrap’s deliciousness is in the rub – a complex mélange of spices that highlights the meat’s natural sweetness, and draws out the deep and mysterious wisps of smoke that has embedded itself for over 12 hours. Nicely paired with tart and tangy sides, the slaw and cider braised greens, brightens up each bite of ribs.
If you are unable to decide what to order, Blackstrap has made it simple for you, get “Le Gros” (The Big)” – a sample plate of everything on the menu enough for two people or one hungry one. From ribs and brisket, to smoked turkey and pulled pork, Le Gros also includes a sampling of all the side, such as braised greens, smoked spicy beans, biscuits and most importantly, fried mac and cheese balls.
These bad boys are exactly what you think they are and everything you want them to be. Cheesy and lustful, these golden nuggets ooze with cheese and beg to be eaten slowly and not shared. Slow is key – no one needs molten hot cheesy lava singeing the roof of your mouth.
There is something to be said about honest people serving up honest food and nothing is more unpretentious than barbecue. Kier and his team at Blackstrap exemplify southern hospitality, while sharing their passion of barbecue and providing Montrealers another reason to use wet-towelettes.
Blackstrap BBQ, 4436 Wellington, (514) 507-6772