Q Meats Needs Some Sauce

Visited On: April 5, 2012
Gluten Free Menu: No
Server Knowledge:
Server Attitude: 1/2
Variety of Gluten-Free Options: 1/2
Overall Gluten-Friendly Rating: 1/2
Price Range: $10-$20 per person (plus drinks, tax, and tip)

Our last stop on our Great BBQ Adventure was Q Smokehouse and BBQ, located on Argyle Street. We left Q for last as they took quite a while to answer our request for gluten-free information, and the response was not very encouraging. (One line read, “Sadly almost all of our sauces have Worcestershire sauce in them. In Canada Lee & Perrins still use malt in their Worcestershire. That being said some people didn’t seem too concerned with the small amount.”)

However, we decided to give it a shot and headed into town just before the Easter long weekend. I must say, Q’s décor was my favorite of the three places we visited. Southern blues music (which had given way to the Tragically Hip by the time we left), distressed wooden benches and tables, and artistic placard-style menus all made the dining room feel fun. There was lots of room and plenty of tables, too.

Just as at Boneheads, you order cafeteria-style at a long counter at the back of the main dining room. Although we had already asked Q via e-mail what was gluten-free, we asked the server what recommendations she had. She double-checked with the kitchen and confirmed that although all the meats are OK, anything simmered in gravy is out. As well, only one of the five sauces is gluten-free. She mistakenly said that any side dish except cornbread would be fine, omitting the fact that the gravy, beans, and macaroni and cheese have gluten. I asked if the fries were cooked with anything containing gluten and she admitted that they share a fryer with onion rings. Those were out as well.

I decided on the chicken leg with Alabama white sauce and grilled corn on the cob ($9). For a drink, I chose Lynchburg Lemonade ($5.50), which is made right in front of you with fresh lemons and Jack Daniels. Mike had the 1/2 rack pork ribs with quarter chicken breast, both with Texas sauce ($17); fries and beans on the side; and a special Q draft beer made by Garrison ($3.95).

We took a seat and tried the drinks. The lemonade was to die for, and Mike’s draft was quite good as well. It’s nice to see that they created beverages that match the Southern style. Our meals were brought to us in less than 10 minutes. The service jazzed things up a bit, as did the real cutlery and the pie-pan style plates. (Not fancy, but not disposable either.) My chicken was really good, if rather bland. The Alabama sauce was good but definitely different, and not what most people would think of when they think of BBQ sauce. (It’s a creamy white sauce that is fairly sweet.) The grilled corn on the cob was really great; although it was not seasoned, it was extremely fresh and perfectly cooked.

Mike found the ribs a little dry and chewy. “I definitely wouldn’t want to have them without sauce,” he commented. His chicken, on the other hand, was fabulous, the Texas sauce really making it shine. The beans were pretty good (better than Woody’s but not as good as Boneheads), while the cornbread was average. The fries were also nothing special; I couldn’t tell if they were hand cut or from frozen.

Dessert was out: two pies and beignets (like doughnuts) were the only menu items. We were in and out in an hour, and ended up going somewhere else for dessert later on as I didn’t feel full. If Q could make their sauces gluten-free, they would really be a great gluten-free BBQ joint.

Q Smokehouse and Southern Barbecue
1580 Argyle Street (Downtown Halifax)
Website: http://www.qmeats.ca/


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  1. Wrapping Up Our Great BBQ Adventure « Gluten For Punishment

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