My Photos from Toronto Ribfest 2008

Statue of pie dressed upas a chef at Toronto Ribfest 2008

Every year around Canada Day, the Rotary Club of Etobicoke holds the Toronto Ribfest, a festival attended by tens of thousands and featuring about a dozen different barbecue places Ontario and the U.S. and held at Centennial Park.

Barbecue places at festivals like these traditionally set up stands with giant facades festooned with signed boasting about how good their barbecue is and the awards they’ve won:

Bad Wolf Barbecue stand at Toronto Ribfest

Many of them set up tables showing off the trophies they’ve won at various ribfests:

\"Real southern bar-b-que\" table showing off statues

And the ribs themselves? Really, really good. Wendy and I might have to say that some of the ribs we had there were better than those at Cincinnati’s Montgomery Inn, a place known for them, and where we’d eaten just a couple of days prior:

Joey deVilla in a Montgomery Inn bib

Perhaps it’s because with the crowds and the rate at which they have to make the ribs, everything you get was just on the grill moments before:

One of the grills at Toronto Ribfest 2008

Since a lot of barbecuers from the U.S. like to come up here for Canadian ribfests, they’re the best opportunities for those of us here in Accordion City to get our hands on real American barbecue. It’s amazing that while you can get cuisine from the most distant lands here, we really fall down when it comes to certain dishes from the States, our neighbour and biggest trading partner. The local places that purport to serve American-style barbecue — Phil’s Original BBQ and Cluck Grunt and Low, I’m lookin’ right at you — are poor facsimiles next to barbecue places from Boston (Blue Ribbon and Uncle Pete’s come to mind), never mind the American cities that are actually known for their barbecue.

I’ve taken my photos from Toronto Ribfest 2008 and put them into a Flickr photoset, which you can see on Flickr or in the slideshow below:

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Upcoming Local Ribfests

“K-Chan” of the blog I Can’t Believe I’m Back in Toronto has put together a calendar of upcoming local ribfests. I might have to add the one in Burlington happening around Labour Day to my calendar…

4 replies on “My Photos from Toronto Ribfest 2008”

Joey, thank you for being one of the few people in this country to spell “barbecue” correctly.

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