The Stockyards Smokehouse & Larder

When you plan a visit to The Stockyards, you should also plan a visit to the gym. Stockyards is comfort food done right--their menu is home to burgers, sandwiches, ribs, and chicken, with no expense spared on flavour. It's a modest joint, only seating 20 people at a time even though they could easily fill a much larger venue--especially on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays when they serve their notorious BBQ ribs and chicken. Stockyards is owned by Tom Davis, who's perfected the art of smoking meat. His chicken, for example, is marinated with garlic, cumin, and buttermilk for 24 hours before being smoked (in his homemade wood smoker) for seven hours to create his signature southern style chicken.

It's for this reason that Stockyards is on nearly every Torontonian's 'to-visit' list and why we made the arduous trek to St. Clair West. We ordered the Stockyards Fried Chicken Dinner ($14) which came with four hefty pieces of buttermilk marinated chicken, fries, coleslaw and hot sauce. Even waiting the additional 12 seconds to take pictures was burdensome.

Stockyards Fried Chicken Dinner ($14)

The chicken had thin, crispy skin which led to flavourful, juicy meat. It was absolutely delious and definitely made our top five fried chicken list... not that such a list exists. The shoestring fries were another favourite. They seemed to draw on the flavour of the meat and were rich and flavourful and we ate as many as we could before we despised ourselves. Unfortunately, the dinner fell short on the coleslaw, which was flavoured with celery seed, and would have been welcome to cut through the heaviness of the meal.

Stockyards is the kind of place you wish you lived right next to, but at the same time didn't. On one side, you'd get any cannibalistic craving satisfied... but you'd probably die 20 years earlier from overexposure. It's a gamble we're willing to take.

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