Barbecue Meets Pizza at Conspiracy Pizza

Conspiracy Pizza
: 858 Eglinton Avenue East, Toronto

Though Conspiracy Pizza started out as a pop-up inside of the infamous (and defunct) Adamson Barbecue, they’ve since cut ties and have their own space (which they share with Churnt Up, an ice cream shop, and Phamily Eats, which sells patties).

They’ve still got a bit of a barbecue theme, however — their namesake pie, the Conspiracy, comes topped with “white sauce, emmental cheese, brisket, red onion, jalapeno, barbecue sauce.”

Conspiracy Pizza

It’s an odd pizza, but it absolutely works.  In particular, the chunks of brisket are shockingly good — they’re nice and tender, and they’ve got a distinctly smoky flavour.  It makes me wish they served a sandwich, because it’s top-notch BBQ brisket.

Conspiracy Pizza

But then the whole pizza is pretty great, with pops of heat from the jalapenos, a satisfying richness from the white sauce and the cheese, and with the barbecue sauce bringing it a nice zippy sweetness to cut through the meat and cheese.  The crust is quite good too, with a super crispy exterior and a fluffy interior.

I also tried the Government Cheese, which comes topped with “mozza, cheddar, emmental, provolone, manchego, oregano.”

Conspiracy Pizza

It takes a lot for me to say that a pizza is too cheesy, but… this one was too cheesy.  It’s overwhelming.  It also kinda reminded me of a Costco pizza (the cheddar, maybe?).  It’s not bad — a huge pile of gooey cheese is never going to be all bad — but I can’t say I’d ever order it again.

Decent Ribs at Brickyard BBQ

Brickyard BBQLocation: 120 North Queen Street, Etobicoke

Brickyard BBQ is a ribfest vendor with a permanent location (or semi-permanent at least — I can’t imagine they’ll still be around once winter hits), so if you’re in the mood for a mini ribfest experience, it should hit the spot.  There’s even a Tiny Tom’s truck parked across from it, but alas, it was closed when I visited.

They have the usual assortment of ribs, pulled pork, and chicken, though ribs are obviously their specialty (they have a huge sign boasting about their “legendary ‘double-smoked’ ribs”).  I ordered a third rack with coleslaw and baked beans on the side (rice and peas is also a choice).

Brickyard BBQ

It was fine.  I’ve never had ribs from a ribfest that particularly blew me away, and these were far from the best ribfest ribs I’ve had (how many times can I say ribs in a sentence??  Ribs ribs ribs).  They weren’t smoky at all, and they had a mildly leftovery flavour, but mostly they were decent enough.  The texture was okay, with a nice bite that wasn’t overly tough.

The most noteworthy thing about them was the sauce they had slathered them in — the spicing was quite unique, with a really distinctive flavour that was unlike any BBQ sauce I’ve had before.  It’s different enough to be off-putting at first, though it mostly grew on me.

Brickyard BBQ

As for the sides, the baked beans had the same distinctive flavour as the sauce, but were otherwise quite good — hearty and not too sweet.  And the coleslaw, oddly enough, was the highlight.  It’s a pretty by-the-numbers creamy coleslaw, but it’s well executed and tasty (hey, not every dish needs to reinvent the wheel).

Hogtown Smoke

Hogtown Smoke - Brisket Po Boy
Location: All over the place (check their Twitter account)

Over the last few years, Toronto’s food truck scene has gone from a handful of trucks selling stuff like hot dogs and fries to something much, much more interesting (there are enough to necessitate a website like this one to keep track of them).  It’s certainly been a welcome phenomenon, and has made events like the recent Woofstock much more interesting, food-wise.

On this particular day, Hogtown Smoke had a few interesting looking items on their menu, though I decided to go with the Brisket Po Boy.  The sandwich featured a fairly substantial amount of brisket dipped in au jus sauce, cheese, onions (which I honestly couldn’t even taste), and horseradish aioli.

It was a perfectly tasty sandwich, though I kinda wish I had just gone with the plain brisket.  Good brisket is hard to prepare; it has the tendency to be a bit dry and tough, but this was moist, with just the right amount of fattiness and a nicely subtle smokey flavour.  It was good enough that the other stuff felt more like a distraction than anything else; with brisket this good, all you really need is meat and bread, with maybe a little bit of barbecue sauce for flavour. There were a lot of flavours going on in this sandwich, and ultimately they just took away from the brisket.

The bread was perfect po boy bread — lightly crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. The whole thing was pretty good, but I’ll definitely be going for the plain brisket if I ever find myself back in the vicinity of this truck.

Hogtown Smoke - the truck Hogtown Smoke - Brisket Po Boy