Matt’s Smokehouse, the Junction’s newest barbecue joint, is officially opening for pre-orders tomorrow. Originally a home-based business, Matt’s Smokehouse started when owner Matthew Horowitz bought a backyard smoker a few years ago. Gradually, his personal barbecue experiments led to him serving his smoked creations to friends and neighbours. Soon, he was taking orders almost daily via Instagram.
“I did a trial run from about February to June and during that time I was selling five to seven days a week and I would essentially sell out every day to my friends and family and whoever knew me,” says Horowitz.
After purchasing a second smoker, bringing on a restaurant industry friend to help him keep up with the orders and crunching the numbers, Horowitz decided to turn his hobby into a full-time career, quitting his day job and signing a lease to a commercial kitchen.
He plans to operate Matt’s Smokehouse mainly as a takeout restaurant but adds that the space has a few patio tables for outdoor dining in the warmer months.
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The simple menu at Matt’s Smokehouse includes brisket and pulled chicken sandwiches, ribs, wings, and rotating weekly specials like jerk chicken sandwiches and sausages. Meats are smoked over a blend of apple, pecan and hickory woods.
“I do a mix of the three so it’s light but you still get that outer smoke,” Horowitz says. For sides, there’s homemade candy jalapeño cornbread and a Memphis-style slaw.
Horowitz says that his wings have already become a fan favourite because, unlike most barbecue joints, he smokes the wings rather than frying them. They’re seasoned with a dry rub and then coated lightly with a signature sauce on the smoker, which Horowitz says gives them a slightly caramelized exterior.
Matt’s Smokehouse is launching its online ordering platform tomorrow. The initial launch will be for pre-orders only, but Horowitz hopes to start taking same-day orders as well next month.