We recently discovered the newly-opened Buckstop while meandering our way toward English Bay in Vancouver’s West End neighbourhood. Let’s just say this: We were totally blown away.
Located at 833 Denman, the space (formerly a rather run-down looking Chinese restaurant) has been completely transformed by owners and BBQ visionaries, David Coatsworth and Fiona Grieve.
First off, they’ve completely gutted the space and breathed new life into every square foot – giving Buckstop their own signature stamp (right down to the branded menus and coasters). A large bar area commands the front of house, with gorgeous planked wood having been hand-sanded and stained by the owners themselves. When we chatted with Fiona (amidst her expertly mixing cocktails) we learned that, in fact, pretty much all wood sourced for their dining tables and surfaces comes from one giant fir tree purchased in Squamish.
Buckstop is a labour of BBQ love, and this is echoed throughout their menu (which we made a point of trying). All items are made in-house, right down to their tangy take on Ketchup (pairs well with Kennebec Potato Fries). As a “classic barbecue and small plate saloon,” there are plenty of easy-to-share options (a definite plus for the ladies who might not be so inclined to dig into a massive plate of ribs).
After ordering up an icy-cold White Sangria to get things started, we asked the friendly staff for their favourites, and came up with a juicy selection of must-eats, ribs aside.
Micro Greens with Kansas City Brisket-wrapped Scallops are a definite do. If you’re a fan of jumbo scallops wrapped in bacon, you will absolutely love this unique twist. Though it’s a thicker cut of meat, the juiciness of the scallop isn’t drowned out at all, only enhanced by the Alder wood smoke flavours, candied leeks and ginger vinaigrette.
Though the BBQ Buttermilk Calamari had us at hello, we ended up ordering their Pickling Glazed Pork Belly (our first time!) and were utterly impressed. First off, the pork belly is perfectly prepared and covered with sweet/salty caramel-like glaze, topped with apple chips. This tasty and sticky treat is accompanied by a refreshing Waldorf salad tossed in a pickled vinaigrette and is guaranteed to pique your taste buds.
Next up, we had to order their side of Hush Puppies and Cornbread (made in-house, of course). It’s piled-high (perfect for sharing) and is served with an addictively-good honey-infused butter.
To round out our recommendations, be sure to try their Smoked Gouda Grilled Cheese (using house smoked Gouda and double smoked bacon topped with caramelized onion). It is a decadent version of this feel-good staple and hits the spot.
Learn more about Buckstop here and be sure to check out our photos above for more of an inside take on this tasty destination. Buckstop is open Monday to Friday from 11:30am to 2am, Saturdays from 10:30am to 2am, and Sunday from 10:30AM until midnight.