Word spread like wildfire last week when the Drake Hotel (1150 Queen Street West) announced they would be shutting down their Drake Scoops + Tees ice cream shop located a couple of doors east from the hotel proper and replacing it with… the Drake BBQ shop. Featuring sandwiches made with Carolina-style pulled pork and Texas-style beef brisket, and open Thursday to Saturday only from 6pm (starting October 22nd), the shop will offer counter seating and is geared towards the club crowd looking for a quick bite. Although I fully expect that, living a few blocks from the hotel, it will also become a quick and easy dinner option for Greg and I when we don’t feel like cooking.

The menu is short and sweet, with two 5 oz. sandwiches (Tamworth pork from Perth, beef brisket from Treeline Foods), or something called a 60/60 – a sandwich with 3 oz. of each of the meats together. Sides include Covered Bridge potato chips from New Brunswick, Tymek’s old sour pickles, Ezell’s coleslaw (which is also used as a garnish on the sandwiches) and Kernal Ontario-grown red Valencia peanuts. Add a few sodas as the drink options and whoopie pies for dessert and you’re good to go. Hearty, comforting and dee-licious – these will offer some hard competition to other sandwich spots in town.

Chef Anthony Rose explained that he uses the same BBQ spice mix on both meats, and marinates them for 2 days before they spend up to 18 hours in the smoker. He expects to go through 24 9-10 pound pork shoulders a week, and will be smoking the meat on-site.

Over at the hotel proper, they’re adding a Temaki platter to the menu. Known as lazy man’s sushi, temaki is essentially a platter of sushi fillings such as fish (the Drake platters include lobster, shrimp, salmon roe, freshwater eel, tuna, salmon, arborfish and butterjack) and vegetables and greens. Diners get sheets of best-quality nori, bowls of high grade Sacramento sushi rice and a selection of house-made sauces and are encouraged to vary their selections to make unique and exciting flavour combinations. While typically served in Japan in private homes for family meals or parties, the Drake offers platters intended for 2 people to share at either $50 or $70 (with lobster).

And finally, there’s also cocktails. Two new drinks are being offered up for Autumn that are progressions on the classics; the Westsider (Jim Beam, fresh-pressed apple cider and vanilla – goes great with the BBQ) and a Capa Piquante (Cachacha, fresh muddled cucumber and lime and jalapeno syrup).