Quietly opening up a few weeks ago, it didn’t take long for the crowds to flock to Electric Mud BBQ, a new restaurant opened up by the Grand Electric team.
The location of the new restaurant is also located in Parkdale, a short walk away from Grand Electric. As its name suggests, it serves BBQ and southern-inspired fare. But it’s far from traditional.
Electric Mud doesn’t take reservations and the space is tiny (probably seating no more than 30), so get here early. Our group of 4 arrived around 6pm on a Saturday and fortunately only had to wait 20 minutes. Later on in the night, we heard them quoting 4-hour wait times! The good news is that they’ll take your phone number and will give you a call when your table is almost ready so you can grab a drink at a nearby bar while waiting.
The restaurant has a very casual feel to it and you’ll find that the tables (of the picnic table variety if you’re sitting on a four-top) are very tightly packed. Our four-top was quite small and the food came at a rapid pace, so we had to wolf down our food to make space for more dishes.
Electric Mud only has 4 cocktails on the menu. I tried the Porch Crawler – Thai basil gin, watermelon lemonade & simple syrup ($8) which was wonderfully delicious and refreshing. The perfect drink to go with all the BBQ!
The food menu features “BBQ” items, sides which are $3.50 a pop and other miscellaneous items found on a paper menu. Our server told us that the food doesn’t really come in any order – just whenever the food is ready. So here’s what we ate, in the order it arrived.
The first dish that arrived was the Crack Rolls ($3.50). After one bite of these dinner rolls and you’ll understand why they’re called “crack” rolls. While they tasted great on their own, the whipped butter, made from the smoker drippings, really elevated them. It’s just strange how it only comes with three rolls – it’s a hard number to share, whether between two or four diners.
Next up were the Pork Rinds ($3.50). They should label these “spicy” pork rinds. While they left my mouth burning, I still enjoyed them. They’re really addictive and make for a nice bar snack.
For something more substantial, the next dish that arrived was the Shrimp n’ Grits ($13.50). The shrimp was cooked perfectly and the grits, which sat on top of a tasty ham hock stock had a great flavour. While I enjoyed the dish, I can’t help but think about the killer shrimp n’ grits in Miami from Yardbird Southern Table & Bar.
We tried the BBQ Nuts ($3.50) which wasn’t what I expected at all. They were prepared like baked beans which resulted in a softer texture. I wasn’t a huge fan but that’s only because I don’t like baked beans. The rest of the table enjoyed them though.
For some veg, we ordered the Collard Greens ($3.50) which had little bits of meat mixed into it. My kinda veggie dish! It’s not the most appetizing looking dish with its dark green hue but it tasted pretty good.
Next up, the Buffalo Pigs Tails ($12.50) which were prepared like buffalo wings. I really loved this dish. The skin was crispy, the meat was tender and fatty. It even came with a delicious blue cheese dip. Just as a warning, these are really, really fatty. But definitely worth all the extra calories!
We also ordered the Crispy Pig Ears Salad ($10.50). Thin slices of fried pig ears topped a salad of lettuce, cucumbers, radishes and hard boiled eggs. It was lightly dressed with a creamy dressing. Overall, it was a tasty dish but not quite as memorable as some of the others of the evening.
One dish that really surprised me was the Coleslaw ($3.50). I don’t usually like coleslaw but the one at Electric Mud was something different. I don’t know what it was, but I couldn’t stop eating it! It wasn’t very creamy and was topped with a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Loved it!
A bit hit of the evening was the Duck Ham ($13.50). Unlike some of the other dishes, the portion was more substantial. It consisted of tender pieces of duck which had been prepared like ham. It certainly tasted like ham but fattier, juicier and with a nice bit of skin on top. If only all the ham sandwiches I ate were made with duck ham..
Arriving shortly after was the Hot Links ($8.50). It consisted of slices of spicy sausage which sat on top of a cream cheese dip which helped to cut the spiciness. Certainly not a bad dish by any means but if I were to skip out on one of the items we had ordered, it’d be this one.
Next up were the Ribs ($13.50). One order came with four tender, smoky and delicious ribs which were topped with green onions and peanuts. They had a nice bit of sweetness and were a sticky mess – just like ribs should be!
One of the highlights of the meal was the Southern Fried Chicken ($8.50) which came with two thighs and two drumsticks. Wow. I’d have to say this is some of the best fried chicken I’ve had in Toronto. The skin was crisp, the spice blend was packed full of flavour and the chicken was incredibly juicy.
It comes with a honey glaze and the server recommended putting some Tabasco sauce on it too. Even without the glaze and hot sauce, the chicken was pretty unbelievable. Don’t miss out!
The last savoury dish was the Pork Belly ($12.50). Three thick chunks of pork belly sitting on top of a simple piece of toasted white bread. The meat had a really nice BBQ flavour to it and it came with some honey mustard which complimented it well. You really can’t go wrong with pork belly!
Although we were beyond stuffed at this point, we couldn’t resist getting the Banana Cream Pie ($5). The other dessert on the menu is soft serve ice cream. Our pie came in a small mason jar which was just enough for the four of us to have a big bite each. It had a graham cracker crust, a small layer of filling and a generous whipped cream topping. A nice way to end off the meal!
Despite the high expectations going into this meal, given its ties to Grand Electric, I didn’t leave disappointed! Get here early to avoid the long waits!
At a glance:
• Brought to you by the Grand Electric team
• Serving up BBQ and southern-inspired food
• Located in Parkdale
• No reservations, cash only
• Long waits but they’ll take your number and call you when your table is almost ready
• Very casual, small, cramped space
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 4 stars
• Service: 3 stars
• Atmosphere: 3 stars