Review: Moonshine so good it oughta be illegal

Deconstructed pumpkin pie from Moonshine BBQ.

Deconstructed pumpkin pie from Moonshine BBQ.

Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat: You will get dirty. Your hands will be sticky. There will be barbecue sauce under your fingernails and at the corners of your mouth. I can’t speak to the state of your jeans. Welcome to the Moonshine BBQ.

The menu at Moonshine is not extensive, yet it could take you some time to make a decision. The good news is that there are no wrong choices. Over two visits to the Snowdon-area restaurant, we sampled nearly every item—you can do the same in one visit by ordering The Champion ($56), four meats and four sides of the chef’s choosing.

Decor leans toward country, with brick beneath the chair rails and mason-jar lights strung above the checkered-cloth tables like Christmas in Texas. The owners’ energies have not been focused on decorating or presentation. It’s all about the barbecue.

The clear winners are the pork ribs, which peel away from the bone, leaving a dainty trail of sauce on your tray and against the palm of your hand. Next up are the brisket and pulled pork, which have been smoked lovingly and patiently till they’re infused with flavour and tender enough one barely has to chew.

Pitmaster chef Shawn Dascal smokes the local, hormone- and antibiotic-free meat for up to 18 hours. Meats, which come with coleslaw and a large hunk of cornbread, are $10.99-$16.99.

The chicken options are good, too, but tasty chicken isn’t hard to come by in our city.

Moonshine is not the place to bring your vegetarian friends. Their options will be limited to the generous and tasty sides ($2-$3.99): tater tots, traditional homemade mac’n’cheese, collard greens, coleslaw and sweet potato fries.

The cornbread, moist but not grainy, is among the best in North America and perfect for getting up that last little bit of barbecue sauce or spicy vinegar dressing.

Your Southern auntie would expect you to finish everything on your tray, and she’d reward you with an end-of-dinner treat.

I know you’ll think you’re too full for dessert, but have a shot of bourbon, take a few moments to let supper settle and try a unique pie in a jar: we tried the key lime and pumpkin, layered in a small mason jar with spiced graham-cracker crumble and topped with whiskey-infused whipped cream.

Wow. Now what? Go home and take a nap—you’re gonna need it.

5625 Décarie. Open from 11:30 am-3 pm and 5-10 pm weekdays, and 5-10 pm weekends; closed Mondays. Delivery to some areas. 514-508-5511,

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