For all the times we've been out for late night eats after hockey, I think we have gone through the gamut of various cuisines. Naturally, the large percentage has been Asian, but due to the lack of variety beyond this, we have resorted to re-visits. One thing we haven't eaten in the later hours of the day (or the next morning) is Southern BBQ. Well, there are couple of things working against that including the heaviness of the food and the fact no BBQ houses are open past midnight. Until now... And that is what brought us to Buckstop...
After trying out their fabulous Warm Potato Chips with BBQ Rub and a side of horseradish aioli during Burgerpalooza, I had to order them again. These light and crispy house-made chips were deadly as one could literally eat the whole bowl without knowing it. The sweet and slightly spicy rub added a certain smokiness to the chip while not over-salting it. The aioli provided a notable coolness combined with a mild bite. Next up was the Fried Dill Pickles with cajun aioli. These were nicely prepared with the batter staying put on each pickle wedge. They were lightly crisp with only the slightest doughiness. I thought the spice level of the ailoi was a good match to the salty pickles.
Seeing how this was going to be both a meat and deep-fried fest, we felt guilted into ordering the Smoked Beet Salad with goat cheese, candied walnuts, arugula puree and mandarin vinaigrette. The beets were indeed smoky which was slightly tempered by the smooth goat cheese and mildly bitter arugula puree. The vinaigrette was sweet and only somewhat acidic. I thought the beets were on the softer side though, but the crunchy walnuts added the necessary texture. With a side of salad (yes, that made everything more healthy...), we felt the Bacon & Jalapeno Mac n' Cheese was cheesy enough but not really spicy. Rather, it only exhibited a moderate amount of bacon which helped with the layer of flavours, but ultimately it was closer to the regular version (which was not a bad thing).
Now onto the main event, we shared the Half-Stop BBQ consisting of beef back ribs, St.Louis pork ribs, brisket, smoked chicken, pulled pork, fries, coleslaw and baked beans with hush puppies, cornbread and honey butter. Starting with the brisket, it was juicy and tender with thin ring of bark. The pulled pork was in bigger strands (being a touch stringy) and aggressively laced with a unmistakable bourbon BBQ sauce. It was decently tender. As for the pork ribs, there was a smoky and slightly spicy rub on the outside while the inside was surprisingly moist, falling-off-the-bone. Predictably, the smoked chicken was on the drier side, but not incredibly so. It was mildly flavoured with a touch of smoke. Lastly, the beef ribs were nicely charred while being fatty and tender. On the side, the cornbread had a nice exterior crunch, but alas it was dry. However, the hush puppies were fantastic with a light crispiness yielding to a nearly fluffy dense interior. In the end, we were stuffed and quite pleased with our first ever late night BBQ meat fest.
- Meats are mostly tender and not excessively dry
- Good service
- Open late
- Rather narrow seating arrangements
- Liked the bourbon BBQ sauce but it was a bit too sweet