One of the newest players in the Montreal barbecue game, Diablos BBQ, is situated in one of the city’s most eclectic streets – St-Denis. Amongst the boutiques and lively terraces that line this section of the Latin Quarter, billows the smoke signal calling all barbecue aficionados and charcoal connoisseurs…
Started by two buddies Jason Joyal and Rick Escaravage, Diablos began when they drove a vintage car from Texas back to Montreal. Snapping pictures of various “world’s biggest” landmarks and with a gastronomic pit stop schedule in hand, this adventure was the making of a sordid love affair. Don’t get me wrong, not to each other, but to authentic southern smokehouse barbecue.
Putting away meat with denser smoke-rings than what your uncle can do with his Camels, the buddies discovered parts of their palettes that they never knew they existed. “We asked ourselves why we couldn’t get some of the stuff we were eating in the south back at home”, explained Rick. “If you leave me in Louisiana, all I’ll do is eat.”
Arriving back in Montreal with two of tires of their ’53 Pontiac blown out, plus study-notes, tips and pointers from locals that they picked up along the way, the two set out and successfully established a joint that encompassed all the smells and flavours they so deemed Montreal was missing.
I hit up Diablos BBQ with some buddies to get our grub on. Looking over the menu, I knew that these guys were taking their smoke and barbecue serious when I was told that the chicken for the double battered fried chicken was brined and smoked before hand. A quarter chicken order, the meat was tender and juicy. The presence of the smoke flavor was obvious and was balanced by the starchiness of the duo of regular and sweet potato fries and pierced by the tartness of the side coleslaw.
Next up was the pulled pork sandwich in Diablos’ homemade barbecue sauce, with a side of cast-iron baked cornbread and spicy corn relish. To say that they’re generous on the pulled pork is an understatement – the son of a gun had to have weighed at least a good pound and a half on its own. The heat from the barbecue sauce and the relish was quelled by the sweetness of the corn.
On to the side order of fried pickles – golden fried slivers of pickley goodness; addictive and delicious. I thought that the order would be more than enough for three guys; but we found our way to the bottom of that basket faster than Lindsay Lohan finds the bottom of a tequila bottle.
To my knowledge, Diablos is one of the very few places that do a beef rib in Montreal, and subsequently an awesome one at that. Slathered in their signature sweet barbecue sauce, the thing nearly tipped the table over, like Fred’s car a la ending credits of the Flintstones. This order was sided with the jalapeno option of their cornbread as well as the potato salad. Without a doubt this bad boy is Diablos’ claim to fame.
If you’re looking for honest southern smokehouse barbecue and/or an awesome list of tiki-cocktails, get yourself to Diablos like yesterday.
Diablos BBQ, 1693a St-Denis, (514) 283-4666