SOS BBQ has been around for some time, and its steady stream of patrons certainly advocated this, coming and going in a tiny space with contradictory, yet calming glaucous coloured walls, but totally anticipated caricatures of pigs and roasts, chalk-boards, television, and pleather place settings. How could we resist that charm? Or a nice sized menu with all the necessary kinds of barbecue we were both craving the night prior: Joey, ribs; me, pulled pork anything. And, of course, poutine. That was all Joey though. I thought I needed a break from all that. But you better believe that the novelty I always search for was there. This time in the form of a mix I’ve never heard of: Brunswick stew. A tomato base, six bean, corn, and smoked meat stew you could even put on your poutine if you were so inclined. Joey wasn’t. He, like me, got it on the side.
It was barbecue that shouldn’t otherwise exist in the dead of winter. But still, there it was, a full order of smoked ribs on Joey’s side, poutine with chicken and cheese, and stew. And then there was mine: pulled pork piled high on a bun slathered with mustard and sweet barbecue sauce, that Brunswick stew, and a whole lot of coleslaw- my only Mason Dixon weakness.
When it came to the meat, we couldn’t finish fast enough. Our enthusiasm was even rewarded with a pigtail on the side. Tender, fatty, briny; you couldn’t touch it without it sliding off the bone. I liked it; its pickled character was a little too alien for Joey when it came to meat, but if it were anything like his ribs, let me tell you, he’d have no qualms about coming back. I’m eager enough to say the same about my pulled pork. The deep, red ribbons of flesh were moist, tender, and salted just right; I could have easily had it without my pungent, spicy sweet sauce. Without my glossy, droughty bun. Anything meat was certainly the star at SOS BBQ. Our stew was a little too gummy, a little too canned, a brackish brew of overpowering, familiar tomato soup flavor. The slaw, certainly creamy looking, but more wet and lip puckering than we preferred. Any herbs used fell short; I couldn’t taste a thing besides sweet, saline, stale akali flavour. And it was a crying shame, especially with so little side dishes on the menu. We hated to think of them as obligatory options, but we were thinkin’ it. Either way, there was always anything meat.
525 Highland Rd. W.
Sunday 12 PM-8 PM
Monday 11 AM-8 PM
Wednesday 11 AM-8PM
Thurs-Sat 11 AM-9 PM