The first thing I thought of when I walked into this culinary establishment:
(Sidenote: If you haven’t seen Beasts of the Southern Wild, I highly recommend it.)
Warm, sunny evening. Side street. Discarded couches on the curb. Feeling hip. Cool exterior with benches outside. Bum fight going on about beer at the neighbouring LCBO.
Enter the restaurant. Tinier than I expected. Smells like barbecue sauce. One open table and a couple seats at the “bar”. We were ushered to the bar as there is two of us. (I will post pictures from Casey Palmer‘s blog post when he posts them. He had his fancy-shmancy camera and whatnot.)
Very concise menu in old-fashioned lettering on the wall with additional items (sandwiches and alcoholic beverages) on a handwritten piece of paper. We’re sitting in front of the guy who prepares the salads, cole slaw and dessert. Pretty cool to watch and he’ll talk to you and let you know that no, you cannot eat the crackers in the Tupperware in front of you because he uses them to bread things. But thank you for asking.
We can’t decide on a side (choice of cole slaw, hush puppies, crack rolls, pickles, salad) so we just nix a side for now.
(P.S. Hush puppies are corn meal “bites” drenched in butter and other lard-esque items.)
Casey and I order the brisket and southern fried chicken to share. The brisket comes super quickly – I am beyond impressed. It is tender, flavourful and the most delicious piece of meat I’ve tasted in forever. (Granted, I’ve been eating turkey and dry chicken breast for months now. This brisket was like an oasis in the Nairobi.)
It comes with this delicious sauce on a bed of cole slaw, but frankly, the brisket is so good without it.
Then came the southern fried chicken – 2 legs, 2 thighs – just the way I like it! This came with honey on the side to drizzle (delicately in Casey’s case; a hot mess for me.) The chicken had a good coating of fried goodness, but we agreed afterwards that we should have ordered two briskets.
I’m a baby with eyes larger than my stomach so I was too full to stomach any more meat, plus I have a mean sweet tooth so on to dessert we went! The dessert menu consisted of hibiscus soft serve, banana cream pie and a mud pie.
Casey had a banana mud pie (we weren’t supposed to ‘publicize’ this but I’m a rebel!) – crushed Oreo, mashed banana, crushed graham cracker, and whipped cream with chocolate drizzle. I had the mud pie: coffee ice cream on crushed Oreos with chocolate drizzle and
OMG IT WAS SO GOOD.
Normally I dislike anything coffee-flavoured, other than coffee itself, but this was the most delicious soft serve ice cream I’ve ever tasted. It was tiny (and I’m gluttonous) so I wish I ordered two!
Other than the hypnotizing aroma of barbecue sauce and the mouth-watering brisket (which I dreamed about last night), I really loved the vibe and open concept of Electric Mud. There was Southern bluegrass-y type music playing on a LEGIT RECORD PLAYER on the counter which was a kitschy, hipsta touch. (Casey and I agreed this place was quite hipster.)
And the kitchen was open, so you could see your food being cooked and prepared and as we were sitting at the bar, we were interacting with the culinary artistes, which is pretty much my favourite thing to do now. It makes the whole restaurant experience much better in my opinion — but I guess it helps that the Electric Mud staff were friendly, young-ish hip peoples — no jaded, old men/women who hated their lives (on the exterior anyways.)
And the grand finale: the bill. Not shabby at all. Another plus to this joint.
The cons (few and far between) would have been:
- very small – difficult if you were bringing a party of four or more
- only takes cash (there’s an ATM upstairs)
- the dishes don’t come with sides automatically – they’re extra ($3.50) but still
- small menu (perfect for people like me who can’t decide but some people need more choices or whatever)
So if you like fried food, a relaxed atmosphere and need the perfect place to kickstart your summer feel-good vibes, check out Electric Mud BBQ. (And it was one of my places to cross of my list! Bonus.)
They’re located on 5 Brock Avenue in Parkdale – a decent jaunt on the Queen streetcar from the downtown core.
Oh, and you might want to bring your own wet naps or moist towelettes. STICKY FINGAZ.