Address: 1455 Youville Dr., Orleans, ON
Hours: 11:30am – 7pm (Tues – Sat); closed Sun – Mon
Green factor: Compostable containers, plastic utensils, garbage can on site
My wife and I recently stopped by Stoked to try out this new food truck, located on the western edge of Orleans, and their “inspired by smoke” barbecue dishes, after a hike around Petrie Island.
Their menu might be less than ten items, but it’s stacked with savoury delights that make deciding what to get as difficult if this was a Chinese restaurant with a few hundred options.
We ended up going for what could be considered some of the lighter items so that we could try more of the menu – Brussel sprouts, peaches and halloumi, and an a la carte order of burnt ends.
Even though we were there for a late lunch, there were some people eating or waiting on their order, and some who came after us as well. The word must be out!
Stoked is barbecue-focused, so I’ll start with our burnt ends ($13). Burnt ends are from the point of the brisket, and their higher fat content requires a longer cook, which gives them a deeper, darker bark, and their name. Stoked’s came jam-packed in a cup, slathered in a lightly sweet and savoury BBQ sauce – this isn’t the cloying garbage that you find at chain restaurants or your dad’s over-cooked steaks, this is top-notch stuff.
The burnt ends themselves were wonderfully tender, but still had structure and bite. The flavour was wonderfully smoky, but without going to the point that it tasted like a forest fire. Fine work on the smoker, gentlemen!
What was probably our favourite dish, and very much not barbecue, was the peaches and halloumi ($14). This relatively uncomplicated salad of seared halloumi and fresh, in-season, Ontario peaches was summer in a bowl, er, takeout container. The sweetness of the impossibly juicy peaches played off the salty halloumi, while red onion and spicy walnuts added some sharpness and texture. This dish is a destination-worthy must while it’s on the menu.
Brussels sprouts have very much been “in” for what must be close to a decade now, and when they’re this good, it’s easy to see why they’ve stayed on the culinary stage when other trendy dishes been pulled off with the proverbial Vaudeville hook. The crispy brassica ($13) was brightened up with a squeeze of grapefruit juice, while finely shredded parm brought its magical flavour, and toasted seeds some further crunch. A simple dish, but still immensely enjoyable.
With a name that evokes both the image of manning the coals of the fires smoking meat, as well as a bro-ism for excitement, Stoked is spot-on in their moniker, as you should definitely be stoked for what’s coming out of their kitchen.