On Saturday July 21 Toronto’s Danforth community held a rib competition to raise money for Cancer research at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Six of the local restaurants set up grills and set out to grill “The Best Rack on the Danforth”. The restaurants competing for this coveted honour included Globe Bistro, The Combine Eatery, Allen’s, Factory Girl, 7 numbers and Silk Road.
Over 1,000 people purchased tickets to the afternoon event and dutifully lined up at each station to try one rib and some coleslaw from each. After tasting the six different rib combos they voted for their favourites. In addition there was a panel of celebrity judges lead by Chef Lynn Crawford including Josh Rubin, writer for the Toronto Star, Kris Reyes & Dave Gerry, The Morning Show at Global Toronto (a division of Shaw Media), Graham Duncan of NOW Magazine, and Dr. Georg Bjarnason of the Odette Cancer Centre at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
We set out early to try the offerings and were not disappointed. Each chef created a rib recipe that reflected the style of cooking at their restaurant so the flavours were as diverse as the neighbourhood.
7 numbers prepared their ribs in a traditional style. They were boiled and then grilled to add flavour resulting in a tender meat that fell off of the bone. Silk Road added an Asian flair to their ribs and a hint of sesame oil to the coleslaw. Factory Girl created a combo that held a deep tomato sauce to its grilled ribs for a pub style combo. Globe Bistro added a rich deep flavour by rubbing the ribs with a smoky, spiced rub before grilling. Allen’s cooked their ribs with a Bar BQ sauce that most of us would have made at home. The Combine Eatery created a slightly spicy sauce that was not only dynamic but also rich and flavourful. We voted these the best of the bunch.
The crowd voted for the tried and true Bar BQ ribs from Allen’s but the judges voted for Factory Girl’s pub style ribs.
In addition to the rib tasting there was free water, Steam Whistle Beer and Gnarly Head wines from California for tasting.
We had our fill of great food and wine tasting and headed home. We decided that it was a delicious and entertaining way to spend a Saturday afternoon and look forward to the next charity cook off.