Traditionally, barbeque joints are located on dirt roads in the middle of nowhere, distinguished by restricted hours, a few picnic tables, and a steady stream of customers. The closest we've had to that around Toronto is Buster Rhino's, open only Monday-Friday, with its back to the street in a crummy industrial mall south of Whitby.
Hog Tails BarBQue opened in September in a half-empty retail strip plaza about two miles northwest of the University of Waterloo (or four miles southwest of St. Jacobs, via dirt roads). That makes it about a 90 minute drive from Toronto. The walls of the small restaurant are covered with the owners' pictures of southern U.S. barbeque places, taken on their epic motorcycle tour of discovery prior to opening their own place.
Two of us had lunch there about a week ago. The full meals include cornbread and choice of two sides. We had one meal of pulled pork, collard greens, and red beans with rice ($11.45), and another of half rack of ribs, sweet potato fries and coleslaw ($15.25). Both meats were covered in barbeque sauce. The large serving of pulled pork was very good, and very smoky. The side ribs were very meaty, and were cured almost like ham. The menu says they smoke the pulled pork for 14 hours and the ribs for 4 hours using hickory wood. All of the side dishes were excellent, particularly the collard greens.
I have had Buster Rhino's ribs several times in the past year, always without sauce. I like them a lot, but lately I've thought they were a bit too salty and a bit too dry (I know, put some sauce on them). The Hog Tails ribs are very different in taste and texture, and I look forward to reading people's comparisons. The place is definitely worth a visit if you're anywhere nearby.
Hog Tails is open Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. The web site is www.hogtailsbbq.com
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