Review: Wenona Lodge – Kitchen by Pork Ninjas
Wenona Lodge – Kitchen by Pork Ninja’s
1069 Bloor St W Toronto, ON, Canada (1) 647-344-6444
Already known for its craft beer and friendly rustic vibe, Wenona Lodge has quickly become a favourite Bloor Street hang out. Wenona’s classic Ontario cabin-by-the-lake aesthetic, coupled with a wide selection of Ontario craft brews has already earned a place in Now Magazine’s ‘Best Beer Bars’ and Blog TO’s ‘Top 15 Bars on Bloor’. This month they’re launching a brand new menu by Pork Ninjas.
BBQ is what you eat at Wenona since Pork Ninja chef and pit-master Jason Rees took over the kitchen. The impressive new menu focuses on farm-to-table BBQ, with ethically sourced meat. The emphasis is on quality, and it’s immediately apparent that Rees has serious skills and passion when it comes to meat preparation and presentation.
The obvious choice from the menu is the Pitmaster’s Meatatarian ($48) sharing plate, which features a portion of each different BBQ plate. Pork ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, chicken leg with white BBQ sauce and chicken wings. Served with a choice of two sides, there is no mistaking that meat is the feature. The portions are generous and the BBQ was perfectly prepared.
Time and dedication goes into the perfect BBQ. The beef brisket is smoked for seventeen hours, and the pork ribs are marinated in one of Wenona’s featured taps each week. This week, it was the cider, and the crisp sweetness of the ribs was beautifully complemented by the house-made BBQ sauce.
The most important aspect of a quality BBQ meal is the ability to taste the preparation process, the smoking, the time commitment, and the quality of the meat. At Wenona Lodge this is apparent from start to finish. The ultimate finishing touch, are the Signature Ninja Scratch Sauces, made in-house, incorporating featured Ontario craft brews. These are served on the side, allowing the flavours of the meat to feature, the bespoke sauces a complementary addition, rather than the flavour feature.
It’s no longer necessary to head south for real BBQ; Wenona Lodge in partnership with Pork Ninjas is putting Toronto on the BBQ map. This place is a double-threat. Top-quality ethically sourced meat, coupled with a curated list of Ontario’s tastiest craft brews on ten rotating taps. Open since June, it’s no wonder Wenona Lodge has quickly become a Bloorcourt favourite.
Review by Jody Peck
Photos: Faye Blais & Jody Peck