Anybody here like Russell's Barbecue?
I had been wanting to try this Chicago-area institution for quite a while. Nearly all the online chatter about Russell's is glowing (though barely a word about it here on Roadfood.com), and every fall they run a newspaper ad with a coupon for their anniversary special, a full-slab dinner for $11.99.
So finally last night, my wife suggests we go there for dinner (we live near the Rolling Meadows location; the flagship is in Elmwood Park). I order the full-slab dealie and was asked if I wanted sauce on the ribs. Well, of course, I said. Little did I know ...
Russell's sauce is, well ... it's just plain weird. It's got some spice in it -- nutmeg, maybe, or allspice -- that just doesn't belong in barbecue sauce. I found it rather off-putting. My wife, who had the sauce on the side with her half-chicken dinner, found it thoroughly disgusting (she became quite ill later that evening -- coincidence?). As for the ribs themselves, they're not really barbecue -- no tell-tale smoke ring on the meat; in fact, no detectable smoke on the premises, now that I think about it.
But apparently folks have loved this place for generations, and have the sauce shipped across the country. Me, I don't get it. I suppose I might try it again, with another coupon, get my ribs dry ... and bring my own sauce. The price is right, I guess.
Or maybe I should just do it right and go up to Smoque at Pulaski and Irving ...
Hoffman Estates, IL