It’s hard to tell what we needed more—superb barbecue, or a reason to go to Verdun—but Montreal’s Blackstrap BBQ satiates both. It’s hard to fathom how they got it so right. Everything from the décor to the aroma screams Kansas City, St. Louis or Memphis. We’re transported off of the island and into a modern-day Western, minus the chaps and gunplay. So what’s their secret?
Finishing his time at Griffintown Café, having trained the kitchen at Dinette Triple Crown, Southern-food aficionado Dylan Kier travelled to the States to experience world-class barbecue. He studied its complexities and vowed to abolish baste-based barbeque in Montreal, a practice so often perpetuated by restaurants claiming to be authentic. Compared to Blackstrap, they don’t stand a chance.
With its open kitchen, rustic wall hangings and carpenter-commissioned tables, this place easily and inarguably is the new authority on Southern food in Montreal. The shining star is Le Gros: a basket of pulled pork, brisket, ribs, chicken, fries, braised greens—takes breath—fresh slaw and deep-fried mac ‘n’ cheese balls. Best split between two to avoid cardiac arrest.
Second to Le Gros, is their Burnt Ends Poutine—which wreaked havoc on social media feeds the week Blackstrap opened. Burnt ends are found at the edges of brisket, where flavour and juiciness is most ripe and the smoke flavour is a little stronger. Cubed into a poutine with perfectly constructed amenities, and you’ve got yourself a candidate for best in Montreal.
While amateur critics complain about missing menu items, Blackstrap operates on “make only what you need for the day.” If you’re so desperate for fall-off-the-bone ribs (and who isn’t), plan to go on a day where you can make it for dinner.
Blackstrap BBQ 4436 Wellington St., 514-507-6772