I'm still catching up from the begining of November when I was in Ottawa. Well this particular story was when I went to Ottawa and then went to Belleville for the day. For lunch I went to one BBQ joint, and then once LJ was done work, we went to another.
If you told me Belleville had one BBQ joint, I'd be surprised. But to have TWO BBQ joints in town is down right amazing in a country that is just starting to embrace this culinary technique. Well I was told about it, which was by an excellent review by the Oshawa Ogre. Although I hadn't read the review in a while, it seemed like a good spot to stop for food.
The Bull and Boar is much more like a family/causual restaurant with lots of booths and table seating. It was kind of dark inside, and for a Thursday it seemed a bit quiet. Our server was Kristopher, who was friendly and informative about any questions I had about the BBQ or the wings.
LJ didn't have lunch, so both of us were really hungry. We decided to to a big sampling feast:
We started off with the Iron Skillet Sour Dough, which is "a sour dough loaf dripping in chipotle garlic butter with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese" ($6.99) with cheese (+$0.99). We both love sour dough loafs, but the presentation of this one is quite different than I had seen before. Usually they are a whole loaf that you tear apart (and after going back to Oshawa Ogre's review, seems to have changed) but is now slices with the cheese melted over. The melted butter, cheese and soft bread just make this wonderful.
Going to a BBQ joint means I want to do a lot of sampling. We shared "The Trough" ($18.99): "Belly up; everything including the kitchen sink is here in true Southern BBQ Style. It's loaded with all you favourite including ribs, brisket, pulled pork, BBQ chicken and sausage. We're not finished yet, it also comes with beans, slaw, fries and cornbread."
What a combo!
- The bun. Generic. I would like it to be more fresh.
- The Sausage. Kristopher informed me it was a pork/beef mix. The skin was crispy, the meat was tasty - this was probably my favourite part of the trough.
- Brisket. Sliced thin. It was a bit cold. Was better dipped in BBQ sauce.
- BBQ chicken. Liked the skin where most of the taste lie. The chicken was a bit tough.
- Ribs. had a bit of pull (which is good). There was a mild pork/smoke taste. Not bad, but not great.
- Smokin' Bull BBQ Sauce. Darker, smokeir sauce - not that sweet. Great for dipping the que into.
7. Coleslaw. It left no impressions on me.
8. Pulled Pork: Tender, but no flavour. BBQ sauce was a must.
9. Beans. They came out in this awesome little cast iron-like pot. But the beans really turned me off. I was expecting a rich, thick, savoury bean. Instead they tasted like it was beans mixed with salsa. Maybe this is more my hang up because I expected something else, but I just didn't care for them.
Not shown are the french fries. Crispy, fluffy inside, seasoned well. Good fries.
Oh, our sampling didn't end there. We also had the Fiesta Platter ($18.99). "Stuffed Jalapenos, Pig Skins, Deep Fried Pickles, Wings and a mound of Nachos with cheese, Pico, peppers, onions, jalapenos and baked beans."
i) Deep Fried Pickles. Generic, but good.
ii) Pig Skins. Standard potato skins with pulled pork and bbq sauce. I love potato skins, and if this was warm, it would have been great.
iii) Stuffed Jalapeno. Bacon wrapped jalapenos. They were cold. But it was still good. But would have been much better hot.
iv) Baked Beans. More salsa-like beans.
v) Nachos. Slathered on high. Lots of cheese, lots of toppings. Not a fan of pico cooked right on it, but oh well. The jalapenos actually had a nice kick.
Of course, the Fiesta Platter had wings.
The Fiesta Platter clearly doesn't represent a regular order of wings. On the platter, there are 3. I asked Kristopher how they are cooked and he said smoked, then deep fried and sauced. This is the way to do BBQ'd wings.
The big dissapointment with these wings were that they were cold when they came out. They looked great though and were nice and saucy.
In length they were about a medium, but they were very meaty chickens. The skin was crispy, and the meat was tender. After biting into them I wanted more than 3.
Sauce wise I went with their Hot BBQ. This was their BBQ sauce described above mixed with a hot sauce. This was a nice blend that was going to be palatable and tasty to anyone no matter their heat level. I also got a side of suicide on the side ($0.99). This was very fresh and had a good bite. It was full of chopped peppers and very juicy. Not exactly my favourite style of suicide, but lots of flavour and had a good kick.
The SCORE: I felt the Bull and Boar was all over the place. Some things were good, others ho-hum. Nothing was terrible, but the fact that both platters were half hot, half cooled down food made the experience less enjoyable. The BBQ was decent, but little stood out - I liked the ribs and the sausage. The wings were cold, and that was sad. At the same time, they were really good. Kristopher was a good server, but I should have mentioned the temperature issues. Overall, I liked it there, and I would go back for the wings for sure. I just hope if I do, they are hotter. 6/10
The Bull & Boar Smokehouse Grill
13 Bell Blvd, Belleville ON