Calling all carnivores. After my first step into Bofinger on Sherbrooke, I knew that I was in for a treat. Its bright yellow sign calls in the crowds of regulars, the devoted lovers of the delicious barbecued meatâ€”meat that has been dry rubbed and smoked with maple wood for 24 hours, so that it is so tender it falls right off the bone and then basted with rich and tangy BBQ sauce.
Inside, you will find a very relaxed atmosphere, very brightly-lit with long ball-like lamps hanging from the ceiling, white walls with black edges, and black cushion booths with bright red candle holders on the ledges, giving the restaurant a tiny splash of colour. The booths are very comfortable, I might add, as they provide your back with a bouncy comfort.
There are two televisions on mute that usually play sports or Nascar racing for the rowdy sports lovers that come in to enjoy the games with their boys. There is a self-serve soda machine, and candy machines for the kids. On one wall, Bofinger displays faded newspaper and magazine restaurant reviews about their savoury food, giving it a vintage look. On the other wall, there are artistic black and white photos of Blues musicians playing their instruments, giving the seemingly plain restaurant a jazzy feel. The music is always varied in this restaurant, however they always seem to play rock, jazz and blues classics. Thankfully, there was no Nicki Minaj blaring throughout the place which would have surely ruined the comfortable, laid back and south meets jazzy feel of Bofinger.
When I walked into the restaurant and sat myself, it reminded me of walking into a friend’s house with whom you are comfortable enough to rummage through their fridge. Behind the counter, there is a chalkboard displaying “We pull your pork with a smile” on it. You walk up to the counter and talk to one of their friendly young staff. I spoke to a smiling waitress, Kayleigh Peddie, a 23-year-old who says she loves her job. She kindly explained the way that the ordering goes down, since for first-timers, the huge menu can be overwhelming and confusing. Keep in mind that all the food in Bofinger is made with no additives or preservatives; it is completely natural.
Step 1: choose your naturally-smoked dish (pork, chicken, or beef). Step 2: select your homemade sauce (Texas sauce, South Carolina, Honey BBQ, Memphis, Alabama, Crazy Spicy.) My personal favourite is the classic Texas sauce, a tangy and rich BBQ sauce that adds a kick to your sandwich, but for heat seekers, I recommend the Crazy Spicy sauce. Step 3: pick your side dishes (potato salad, baked beans, mac ’n cheese, green salad) My suggestion is to order the fries, as they are just the right amount, deliciously crunchy on the outside and warm and soft on the inside.
After you are done building your sandwich, you tell the waiter your name and when your food is ready they will yell your name out for you to come claim your new creation and to add toppings of your choice. Grab your sandwich with both hands (mine ended up being a monstrosity of deliciousness) and enjoy. It is almost certain that you will get your hands messy, so grab the paper roll that they set on each table instead of napkins and go crazy.
“We get a lot of regulars, people just get hooked and keep coming back for more,” said Peddie. “It gets loud once in a while when the games are on, but it is always fun.”
After you finish your meal, and you still need a sweet fix, try the red velvet cupcake, a moist red cupcake topped off with silky cream cheese frosting. Beware of the the peanut butter and jelly squareâ€”it was very dry and crumbly and the peanut butter overpowered the jelly. Â
It is hard to go over $10 for your meal at Bofinger, so you will leave with a full stomach and relatively full wallet. Go out with your friends one day when you are on break and starving at either Concordia campus, and try some barbecued pulled meat in this friendly south of the border spot.
Near Loyola campus:
5667 Sherbrooke Street West (514-315-5056)
Open: Monday to Sunday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Near SGW campus:
1250 University St. (514-750-9095)
Open: Monday to Friday 11:30 a.m. -11 p.m.
Saturday 12 p.m. -11 p.m.
Sunday 12 p.m. -10 p.m.