Friday, September 10, 2010

Hog Tails BarBQue - Waterloo, Ontario

As I was working on my Hog Tails BarBQue blog entry I saw that Omnivore's Ottawa had done another post on DivaQ. This time the wonderful catering job she did for his father's birthday. Ron Eade has given us the impression that DivaQ of Barrie, Ontario is the benchmark by which all BBQ food should be measured. Based on her many accolades, I am guessing he is right. And as I was reading his blog entry, I was wishing that I had the benefit of tasting her great food as I tell you more about Hog Tails and how they measure up. Perhaps DivaQ and Hog Tails have met out there somewhere on the BBQ competition circuit.

I should tell you first off that I do not gravitate to all things BBQ when looking for a dinner choice. High protein is not my game. This time I was in the presence of 3 beer-drinking males and based on the clientele, it appears that testosterone is generally drawn to Hog Tails.

Hog Tails BarBQue is located in a small strip mall northwest of the University of Waterloo. They have been in business now for just over a year and it seems they have a hit on their hands. They have just a few tables for eat-in service and they do a booming take-out business. 'Just leave the door open' booming. Hog Tails also does catering, equipment sales and rentals.

The menu covers all the basics you would expect on a BBQ food menu.

The beer drinkers tried the F & M Brewery's Stonehammer Pilsner and Dark Ale. F & M Brewery is Guelph-based. Although they enjoyed it well enough, they didn't crown Stonehammer their most favourite craft brewery beer. Their search continues. They would tell you to give it a try and see what you think.

Among the many menu choices, Hog Tails offers a 2 meat and a 3 meat BBQ Platter, along with a piece of Sweet Honey Cornbread and 2 sides. The strategy at the table was to vary the choices of sides in order to taste most of them.

This two meat meal came with Hog Tails' Signature Award-Winning Ribs and Mississippi Hot Wings with the sides being Sweet Potato Fries and Beer Battered Onion Rings.

This three meat meal came with ribs, wings and Southern Style Pulled Pork with the sides being Jalapeno Hush Puppies and the General's Coleslaw.

The BBQ 1/2 Chicken came with the sides of onion rings and a Tijuana Caesar Salad.

It was pretty clear that the team at Hog Tails know a thing or two about the southern pit BBQ and deserve big kudos for their efforts and great pit flavour. However, there is room for improvement.

The ribs and wings seemed like they needed more time cooking to get to a 'fall off the bone' texture. I am guessing since their ribs are award winning, we just came on a night that was too busy for the long slow cook. The 1/2 chicken was just a bit too burnt for the diner's liking. The pulled pork was deemed the best meat of the four on this occasion. All in all, the smokey grilled flavour was there in all the meats.

Some of the sides do need work. On the plus side, the sweet potato fries were cooked well with the right crisp. The coleslaw was fine. The problem is that coleslaw is actually deemed a must side to cut through the pounds of southern pit protein and thus should be more than 'fine'. It should be memorable!. The onion rings were a bit greasy but all onion. We still aren't sure if 'massive' is a good thing. It probably is in the South! The Jalapeno Hush Puppies got a full thumbs down from all and the cornbread got a pass.

But don't let the sides, distract you. It is clear that they deliver on their promise to take pride in their slow cooked meats. They say the meat is locally raised and butchered. The meat is pretty good and this place is definitely worth checking out. I am not a BBQ expert but I can say it is the best BBQ that I have had eating out. It is obvious that they are working hard at their product and want to please. Based on that takeout line up, their is already a solid base of happy customers.

In closing, I should say that the BBQ Platters felt like great value for the money with the 2 meat at $13.95 and the 3 meat at $15.95. The doggie bag was just loaded down with leftovers.

If you find yourself in Waterloo, Ontario and in need of a big smokey plate of protein, head on over to Hog Tails BarBQue.

Hog Tails BarBQue
645 Laurelwood Drive
Waterloo, Ontario

Mon - Wed: 11 am to 7 pm
Thurs - Sat: 11 am to 8 pm
Sun: Closed

Hog Tails BarBQue on Urbanspoon


  1. Thank you for posting such a useful, impressive and a wicked article./Wow.. looking good!

    Catering Equipment

  2. I was at Hogtails last night for the first time.

    Let me sum it up by saying, this is by far the best BBQ I've had in Canada, and in my top 3 anywhere.

    It's absolutely first rate. I had a pulled pork sandwich. It was piled high, with tender pork that I assumed was smoked for 10 hours or more. I nice homemade bbq sauce accompanied it, but in no way overwhelmed it.

    I also had a small sampling of friends beef brisket and ribs. Again, equally authentic and delicious.

    Chris and his staff were extremely friendly, and clearly have a love of southern food. Such a pleasant change and a great addition to the area.

  3. Wow! Sounds like you were treated royally! I am glad it was such a great night. Thanks for stopping in to visit the blog.

  4. Hi,
    Great review. Just discovered your blog today and will be following from now on.

    I'm a Hogtails regular and as such, biased. However, I also compete professionally in BBQ and wanted to say that it is a common misconception that ribs should 'fall off the bone'. If your ribs fall of the bone in a competition you will be scored poorly. The ideal doneness is to pull off the bone, not fall. A minor point to be sure.

    As for the cornbread - it is outstanding! A pass?!?

    Thanks for the great blog.

  5. Ohly Smokes: Thanks for coming by to visit the blog.

    You are right. Poor prose on my part. My expectation of good ribs is indeed 'pull off the bone' done. [I do know I don't want to 'chew off the bone', a tender difference.]

    I accept your challenge to give the cornbread another chance.

    Hog Tails is very lucky to have you as a faithful client. Your competitive BBQ prowess means your word is high praise for them indeed.


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