What’s on the takeout menu at Camp Smokehouse, a weekly barbecue pop-up operating out of a temporarily closed arcade bar

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What’s on the takeout menu at Camp Smokehouse, a weekly barbecue pop-up operating out of a temporarily closed arcade bar

Name: Camp Smokehouse
Contact: 300 College St., campsmokehouse.com, @campsmokehouse
Neighbourhood: Harbord Village
Previously: Rancho Relaxo
Owners: Andrew Smyka, Adrian Iwankewich and Jordan Harasinski Gillis
Chef: Jordan Harasinski Gillis (Tokyo Hot Fried Chicken)
COVID-19 safety measures: Hand sanitizer station at the entrance; one customer is permitted in the space at a time; masks must be worn; six-foot distance markers for lineups; curbside pickup is available
Accessibility: Entrance is one step up from street level

The food

Harasinski Gillis was already operating his fried chicken restaurant from the Free Play space (which obviously can’t operate as an arcade right now) so he decided to double down. “I wanted to launch a menu that inspires that carefree feeling you get when you head up north, go to the park, or when you slap that laptop closed and put your feet up,” says Haranski Gillis. “Food can serve as a vehicle to take us to a moment or to a feeling that is nostalgic and comforting—this is what Camp Smokehouse is all about.” The Sunday-only operation serves a short menu of sandwiches made with 12-hour-smoked AAA beef brisket and sides. Pre-ordering online is highly recommended. Camp Smokehouse is open for pick-up and delivery starting at 1:30 pm until the sandwiches sell out.

For sides there are smoked fries ($6) and wieners and beans ($4.50).

 

The Sleeping Giant sandwich loads a brioche bun with a third of a pound of brisket topped with house-made pickles and mustard sauce. $15.

 

The Mess Hall tops the same amount of brisket with house-made coleslaw and zesty apple barbecue sauce. $15.

 

The brisket itself is seasoned with salt, pepper and pink peppercorns, then smoked for 12 hours over locally sourced oak and cherry woods, and left to rest for two hours before it’s turned into sandwiches.

 

Camp’s version of s’mores are made with cognac-dipped marshmallows and melted chocolate between graham crackers. $5.

 

A whole Smokehouse spread

 

From left to right: Harasinski Gillis, Smyka and Iwankewich

 

And here’s Harasinski Gillis again, this time with FreePlay’s managing partner, Jake Yakobi
The drinks

FreePlay carries over 80 different Ontario craft beers compiled in four- and six-packs, but there’s also a handful of basic bottle options. Other boozy beverages include pre-made and sealed cocktails and wine. For something fun without the buzz, there are non-alcoholic slushies. All beverages are available through the bar’s online ordering platform (with food purchase though, because rules).

FreePlay’s curated four-packs feature a selection of Ontario craft beers grouped by type (ales, lagers, IPAs, ciders, sours , etc). $15 and up.

 

Three cheers for bookshelves full of beer

 

In addition to sealed cocktails and rum punch, FreePlay will also be sealing draft beer in cups to go.

 

The space

The arcade bar, which opened early last year, now hosts a collection of food operators on various days throughout the week, Tokyo Hot Fried Chicken and Tokyo Hot Sticky Fingers, Chen Chen’s Nashville Hot Chicken and Cuisine by Noel. Customers can also pick up Fahmee Bakery’s Jamaican patties here. Everything is available for curb-side pickup or delivery through UberEats.

The only part of FreePlay that’s open to the public right now is the takeout counter up front. The arcade games are off limits, of course.

 

E.T. stay home