I have been all over the East Coast in the US and met lots of good folk in the BBQ community.
And now I have become friends with a guy just one town to the west of me in Whitby, Ontario and his name is Jim Van Allen
Jim found me on Facebook and he mentioned that he was going up North to Sudbury and was going to check out a BBQ Joint while he was there.
That got me thinking… I do not get up that way very often, so I asked Jim if he would take his camera and do a review for me and this blog.
After taking a long time to decide….. yeah about a second!, he said sure.
Here is his review in his words. (but first he will tell you a little bit about himself)
Hello my name is Jim Van Allen, AKA Mr. Bonejangles. Since a lot of you may not know who I am I took a minute to write up a quick breakdown of who I am and what I do. I have been a fan of Southern BBQ for as long as I can remember, and a foodie ever since birth it feels like. I am involved with a Southern BBQ Catering Company and have done some minor BBQ competing as well as other food competitions. When I was laid off due to a company bankruptcy from my full time job I seized the moment and returned to school and finished up graduating with my Culinary Management with honours.
In love with BBQ and visiting various roadside pits throughout Canada and the United States helped me to start making friends in the industry. While these friends are located all over, some of them live surrounding Lynchburg, Tennessee which has made me fortunate enough to visit the Jack Daniel’s World Championship BBQ as a spectator and to show support for some competing Canadian friends a handful of times to date.
I am always trying to become more involved in the food, drink and BBQ scene everywhere I go please feel free to follow me via some of my social media links listed below and I will do my best to keep you updated on things that I find interesting along my travels.
Thanks for taking the time to drop in and read a bit about me, I hope we can talk soon.
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/MrBonejangles
Twitter - https://twitter.com/MrBoneJ
Four Square - https://foursquare.com/user/22970947
Email - email@example.com
Smokin Jeff’s BBQ House
A BBQ Joint Review by Jim Van Allen (Guest writer)
When you think Northern Ontario the last thing on your mind would be Southern Barbeque, but if you head that way today, you may change your mind. Along the way Highway 400 North turns into Highway 69, then 46 and finally Regional Road 80 AKA Old Highway 69 and there you will find Smokin Jeff’s BBQ House.
View Larger Map
Located in Hamner, Ontario just nearby Sudbury, Ontario, Smokin’ Jeff’s has put Southern BBQ on the map in Northern Ontario. There is something unique about a bilingual waitress speaking French to customers ordering Southern BBQ when the outside temperature dips into double digits below zero. Opening in August 2010 owner and Chef Jeff Lavalle uses local meat and vegetables in his restaurant and smokes his meat on site.
Before opening their doors Jeff toured down to the Southern United States sampling Southern BBQ. Upon his return to Canada he convinced top smoker Earl Whyte of Bustin’ Loose BBQ team to teach him the industry of Southern BBQ.
I had the privilege of visiting Smokin’ Jeff’s recently. It is a smaller restaurant just off the highway with enough parking to accommodate its size. Outside is a steel freight locker which I assume housed their smoker, but I was unsure as the smell of smoke was not present outside or in the restaurant. Unfortunately the owner Jeff was away on business while I was in town so I could not sit down and talk with him. But I was able to speak with some of the staff.
While in town over two visits I sampled some ribs, fries and a brisket sandwich meal platter. The ribs had a nice smoke ring visible and were moist. The sauce on the ribs was nice and not too overpowering. Right away I noticed though that there was no rub at all used on the meat. Upon sampling the brisket I found the same thing, no rub. I asked one of the employees if they rubbed their meat prior to smoking and I was told that they just smoke and sauce. Maybe not to every BBQ fan but to me this was disappointing as I prefer dry rubs to sauce. But not given a choice wasn’t the end of the world. A rub would have added additional flavour profiles to the meat.
The Brisket sandwich was a fair size and covered in sauce which made it a little difficult to eat. While it tasted like beef and was moist with the lack of rub all I could taste on most bites was the sauce. There was an absence of any smoky taste to be found in the sandwich. Once again not a bad product but the addition of some rub would have made the taste go from ok to great. The fries were hot and tasty, not to greasy or salty. The coleslaw was brought in, as I saw because I always like to sit where I can see the kitchen. While the restaurant was not overly busy they could have had the time to prepare this in house and ended up with a better product.
Overall my experience was a positive one, the restaurant was clean and tidy and the staff was very friendly and answered any questions that I had about the restaurant and their products. I would return next time I am up North but may try their pulled pork and mention my thoughts on adding a rub to their meats.
You can find Smokin Jeff’s at 6160 Hwy. 69 North in Hanmer 1 705.969.0923
Jim Van Allen
Sourced from my visits to Jeff’s
Jeff’s official media release http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=125622610825664
Northern Life article on smoking Jeff’s
Thanks very much Jim for sending along your review, I appreciate your time in supplying this to be added into this site and I look forward to working with you more in the future.