My regular readers will know that I am friends with Rob Butler, Pitmaster of Horn Dawgs Smokin BBQ who for the last 3 years has torn up the Ontario RibFest circuit rising up the ladder as one of the more popular Ribbers.
But the RibFest Season is only from May til October so Rob needed to do some other things in the off season.
First of all Rob & his wonderful wife and business partner Donna Darling launched this summer their retail version of their award winning BBQ Sauce and they are already on their second batch having sold out the first in just a couple of weeks! I will have more on The Horn Dawgs Sauce in a review coming soon.
Rob also set up the kitchen at The Players Bench here in Oshawa that opened earlier this year where Rob developed the menu.
And now Rob has helped yet another local restaurant set up shop. May I introduce to you Stuttering John’s Bistro Bar which is located at 19 Simcoe Street South in Oshawa.
Rob had told me that he would be helping John with his start up but other than knowing that some BBQ would be on the menu I did not know much else. They have not had their Grand Opening yet but were open for business as of Saturday November 19th 2011. When I saw a notice on Donna Darling’s Facebook page that they had indeed opened I asked my buddy Joe if he would like to go check it out with me (Joe never turns down a chance to have a meal at a new place, like me Joe likes to try new things and meet new people in the business.)
So on Thursday Nov 24th, Joe Simeunovich and I dropped over for lunch at about 2pm.
Now most BBQ Joints will advertise themselves as all BBQ but Stuttering John’s is downplaying the BBQ a bit wanting to give themselves a wider image to the customers in the area offering other menu choices.
I was surprised and very pleased to see that Manda who also works for Horn Dawgs in the summer was our server! Manda is a doll and if you have seen any of my RibFest Reviews you have seen plenty of pictures of her but most of the time she is covered head to toe in BBQ Sauce. I must say she cleans up real well!
Being that I am writing about BBQ I ordered the Pulled Pork Sandwich that has their own Smoked Pepper Sauce but rather than getting the traditional sides associated with BBQ I thought I would eat a bit healthier and ordered a salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette.
It may not look like it in this pic but there was a decent amount of Pulled Pork on this bun but with the slaw on top it is hard to see from this angle.
The meat was tender and smoked well though maybe could of been sauced more, I am sure if I would of asked they would of brought over more sauce but but I still found the meal delicious. That was the first time I tried a Raspberry Vinaigrette and loved it, ( after I went to the store and bought some Rene’s brand for at home which is great but I liked Stuttering John’s dressing even more)
Joe said he wanted some fish so requested the Blackened Basa with Fries And Joe loved it!, he offered me a piece of the fish and it was amazing good!.
My Pulled Pork was just fine but I would of been very pleased with the Blackened Basa.
One great thing we both liked about the menu was that all Lunch items are the same price $10.00, Dinners are $16.00 (they come with an extra side) Appetizers and Desserts are all $6.00 too which makes it easier to order as you can know ahead of time what your bill be be which is great if your on a budget.
The Scones were amazing I was expecting something sweeter and was pleased that it was not, really tasty and the end to a perfect lunch. John’s has a Pastry Chef that comes in every morning. And though they do not serve a traditional breakfast they do open at 7 am serving Coffee and Pastries.
Our bills were very reasonable, Joe ate for under $12 and my bill was less than $14 (Joe had water while I had a Diet Pepsi)
After our lunch I had the chance to talk with John the owner and really had an enlightening chat.
I can see how the name for the Bistro came about as John does stutter but by no means is that a fault, he may take a little longer to get his thoughts out but he is still a very good conversationalist.
I found out that John was able to start up this restaurant with his own money and did all of the reno work which I have to say looked very trendy and with a little bit of South Western design. I felt very at ease there and I guess so since we stayed for over two hours.
Since John did not want to borrow money in this start up, one thing he could not do was get a commercial smoker like a Southern Pride or a Cook Shack so what he did do was go to Lowe’s and purchase a home type smoker, but that will have to do for now. From the taste of his Pork he doing just fine.
In behind the bar (yes there is one but they are waiting for their liquor license before they can start serving) you may notice in the pic above BBQ Sauces on the top shelf, they have a supply of Horn Dawgs Sauce and also some Jungle Heat Mild Smoked Glaze which John was kind enough to give me. I will be sure to write a review of that in the future. And my timing was great as having lunch there at the same time were the owners of Jungle Heat Sauces and Jellies, Adrienne Kenney & Ron Savoie We also talked for a while and talk about a small world Adrienne and Joe went to High School together and had not seen each other for years.
After lunch Joe and I dropped by the Jungle Heat Store and sampled some of their hot sauces, they have 11 (soon to be 15) of there own sauces and also hundreds more that they import from around the world. wouldn’t ya know it after just a couple of pics my camera battery died so I will have to head back on another day and do a full review of Jungle Heat.
Here is the Social media contact info for Stuttering John’s Bistro Bar…
Twitter account for Johnathon Boville @3starcatering