When Timbers steakhouse on Wellington closed and was reopened as a more casual smokehouse, I first heard about it at work.
That’s not surprising. I work in one of the news and advertising hubs of the city. The new place, Smoke and Bones, aligned itself with FM 96 and they even have a BBQ sauce named after the radio station. I didn’t like the eatery’s name though so I turned Smoke and Bones into the nickname Tumours and Garbage! (I still think it’s funny!) But I hadn’t even tried their fare.
Over the holidays we met an old friend there for dinner and I will never, ever make fun of the restaurant’s name again. Pulled pork is their signature dish but they also serve a full menu including some pasta dishes and salads. I wanted to try the pulled chicken but I had a concern: the bun. I inquired as to its nature and braced myself to hear kaiser or worse. “It’s our own bun, a pretzel bun”, she said. Intrigued, I went for it.
I’m not a bun person. When I order a burger I tend to waste the bun by removing the patty from it and setting it aside. I used to try ordering my burgers bunless but too often that resulted in some weird, unwanted bun substitute added to my plate like a runny dollop of mayo-laden potato salad. Better to waste a 10 cent bun. So I didn’t have very high hopes for the pretzel bun but that just shows what a fool I can be. It was delicious. Thin, soft on the inside with, as its name suggested, a pretzel-like outer layer. The whole meal was wonderful and the coleslaw came second only to my Mom’s. The guys ate every scrap of their dinners, too. The place was packed, bar and dining room, and I could see (and taste) why.
I liked Timbers but it wasn’t as welcoming as Smoke and Bones. Its name also wasn’t as easy to mock but those days are over. Pass the sauce for my pretzel bun, please!