Metro explores the latest trends emerging on the West Coast of Canada.
Whiskey Six BBQ brings smoke and meat to Renfrew Street
East Vancouver barbecue spot is an outpost worth the travel.
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I try to see the good in the shifting demographic landscape that is Vancouver. When one neighbourhood haunt closes down on Main Street, another opens up or moves to Hastings-Sunrise. It’s unfortunate, but it’s become a reality.
What I do love the most about the times we live in is that some of the best food in the city can now be found on the outskirts. Whisky Six BBQ is a prime example of this shift. Located at 826 Renfrew St. – on the Adanac bike route – it’s an outpost, in an under-served residential neighbourhood.
Marc D. Wicks, owner of Whiskey Six BBQ, was operating out of the Hawkers Mercado at McArthurGlen Designer Outlets in Richmond before setting up a brick and mortar shop. He and Chef Josh McWilliams specialize in making tasty bbq using as many local ingredients as possible, right down to their pickles and in house mustard.
I tried two sandwiches – Crispy Chicken and Whiskey Brisket – with a side of sautéed kale, then washed it down with a bottle of lychee kombucha from Biota Kombucha.
The brisket was sliced not pulled, which I haven’t had in a while. It was lightly smoked with hickory flavours coming through. Served on a brioche bun from my favourite bakery – Fife Bakery – and topped with coleslaw. The smokiness of the brisket was calmed by the cooling coleslaw. The bun did a nice job of absorbing the fat and containing the wet ingredients so nothing felt heavy or greasy. Wicks suggested I dip the sandwich in the side of the homemade bbq sauce which packed a little heat, or slather on some whole grain mustard. The brisket sandwich was tops and at $12, a good lunch investment.
The Crispy Chicken Sandwich was juicy and tender, with a light batter that didn’t taste greasy. Paired with a side of housemade hot sauce gave it a nice kick. The chicken breast wasn’t so big that you felt that greasy grossness in the pit of your stomach. In fact I ate both sandwiches, then rode my bike for two kilometres.
The kale was a nice complement to the sandwiches because it was hearty, but healthy and didn’t add extra fat to the meal. Both sandwiches were paired with a tangy and spicy pickle made from local producer, the Pickle Baron, who happened to wander in while I was eating. That’s the great thing about these local joints, they create a sense of community.
The space itself is warm and inviting with wood tables, slate blue walls and a few taxidermy friends. Perhaps my favourite feature of the space was looking across the street to a buddhist commune that was decorated with messages of peace and monks tending to the garden (funny when you consider I was eating meat and admiring the stuff deer on the wall of Whiskey Six).
Overall, I found the experience calming, welcoming and delicious. I would stop there on your Adanac bike route.