Thursday, January 28, 2010

Eating Detroit (by way of Windsor) - Tunnel BBQ

Going to Windsor, Ontario was always a lot of fun. I remember way back, when my friend Clay and I used to take a bus into downtown Detroit (we were 12 or 13) and then get on the Tunnel Bus that went under the Detroit River and came up into downtown Windsor. It still hard to believe that a couple of kids, with no ID other than maybe our parks & recreation card, could just cross an international boarder and have ourselves a ball. On top of it, we would go and by Pop Rocks candy in Windsor, because it wasn't being sold in the US at that time. We went to the Woolworth store on Windsor's Oullette Avenue and bought them out! What adventures I had then - and now!

Crossing the boarder now is very different, which is why I don't go to Canada very often. It was always so much fun to go there, shop, eat and walk around. You understand the moment you arrive there that you're in a different country. It's still a great place to visit, but getting there is a hassle. You need to have your passport, the lines are long, long, long. I don't fault any of the border guards, they're doing their jobs - trying to keep everyone safe and secure. Just the same, it's a hassle to cross over these days, but that's the world we live in.

So, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, when I was fortunate enough to have the day off, Ralph and I decided to go to Windsor to do a little shopping and a little eating (the two always seem to go together whenever we go anywhere). Our eating destination was the Kildare House, a home in the University/Walkerville district that was transformed into a Scottish pub and served the most delicious fish and chips. We hadn't been there for a few years, but were looking forward to tasting that fried goodness! Imagine our disappointment when we got there and they were closed - not just on that day - but for good. We had to come up with "Plan B."
Instead of going back to the States and eating at one of our regular favorites, we decided to give Tunnel BBQ a try. The place has been there for decades - maybe 50 years. I've noticed it every time I'd come to Canada via the tunnel, as it sits across the street from the boarder crossing/customs station.

It was a little before the dinner rush (about 4:30pm), but there were a few people there. We were seated at a booth. You could tell the place had a history and it looked like it moved many, many people in and out during the years.
On each table is an assortment of homemade BBQ sauces (pictured) - their traditional, which has a little heat to it; a sweet, which has honey in it; and a spicy, which has a bigger bite to it. Ralph ordered a beef brisket sandwich and I had a combo plate (ribs and chicken). We both got crinkle cut french fries and cole slaw. The slaw is worth noting - I think it was the best dish on the table. Fresh and crisp, the cabbage was dressed with a tangy vinaigrette (rather than mayo) and it had a pickle on top. It was really good and an excellent compliment to the spicy BBQ.
My platter (last picture) was good. Basically, they put the meat on a rotisserie and it sort of broils. There's no sauce - no rub - no anything. It's just cooked with low, steady heat. You sauce it up yourself when it comes to the table. It was good - not the best BBQ I ever ate - but it was good.
Ralph's brisket sandwich was yummy, I thought (we always try what the other person ordered). The meat was tender and it did have some sauce on it - just a little for moisture. We also ordered a side of the vegetable of the day - garlic sauteed green beans - those were dee-lish!
While we were there, who walks in but some friends from St. Josaphat, so it was a nice surprise. Our MLK Day adventure didn't go as planned, but it turned out great anyways because we had the chance to be together and share the experience of exploring a new menu in a foreign land.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE the slaw. I think its the best restaurant slaw I've ever had.