This BBQ spot provides patrons with a pseudo-religious experience outside of church, proving you don’t have to have faith to get holy. Look no further than Holy Smoke, Thornhill’s latest in boldly flavoured BBQ.
Opening up shop in the GTA this past summer, the spot is true to its name, welcoming diners with kitschy-cool decor, including an image of Moses holding up a brisket, Noah and Angel motifs and some eye-catching neon signs. Backing up the immaculate vibes is the food, which boasts a menu that stays true to central Texas BBQ.
“Texas is huge. So our food is focused around central Texas: Austin, Lexington and Taylor. Barbecue sauce is served on the side of all our meats. We don’t sauce any of our meats, nor do we offer all the trimmings you often
find at other barbecue restaurants,” says Dino Pantelidis, co-owner and pitmaster of Holy Smoke.
Instead, he prefers to focus on what really matters, the “Texas trinity,” which includes brisket (USDA prime), turkey and pork ribs in addition to jalapeno sausage and pulled pork. Pantelidis has spent over a decade honing his craft, learning from the best in BBQ across the USA, including award-winning pitmasters like the late Mike Mills and Dan Hixon, who have over 700 awards and three world championships between the two of them. This mentorship, coupled with years in the food industry working on the breakfast, brunch and catering scene, led Pantelidis to open Holy Smoke (with co-owners Michael Dimitrievski and George Sterjovski), combining his experience in the food industry and passion for BBQ and central Texas eats.
“While meat is definitely the star of the show, a ton of love goes into our side dishes too,” Pantelidis adds. In addition to all the Texas classics, diners can get mac and cheese, coleslaw, creamy dill potato salad, macaroni salad, Holy Smoke baked beans and fresh-made jalapeno cheddar cornbread to round out any meal.
Holy Smoke is located at 8123 Yonge St. spot and is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (or until sold out).