Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago???

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BuddyRoadhouse
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RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? 2007/11/16 14:52:12 (permalink)
I agree wholeheartedly on the slaw. It is a brighter, crisper version than the typical creamy slaws usually available. All of their other sides (mac & cheese, beans, fresh cut skin on fries, and corn bread) are equally outstanding. We're going to part ways on the sauce though. While I also think the flavor is excellent, I have no problem with the consistency. The Barbecue world is made up of many regions with many different styles of smoking, predominant meats used, and, of course, sauces.

In the Carolinas alone there are at least four different basic sauce styles that I am aware of, ranging from a very thin, watery, almost crystal clear vinegar base in eastern North Carolina, to a slightly less thin version, tinged with tomato on the west side of the state, to a mustard based sauce in South Carolina. As you work your way south and west through the rest of the deep South and into Texas, you will see many other styles and locally influenced flavors.

Start working your way north through Oklahoma and into Kansas City and you will experience even more different tastes. As you come back east and further north into Chicago and beyond you will find the thicker, sweeter sauces you are used to.

As a native Chicagoan, those are the sauces I too am most familiar with. As the husband of a Kansas City girl I have come to appreciate the different flavors inherent to that region. And finally, as someone who has made his living for the past 18 years in the Barbecue Sauce business, and by necessity has become an informal scholar in the subject, I have found some level of value and good taste in virtually every Barbecue region's sauces. Even that weird white stuff they serve with chicken in Alabama.

As for Smoque, the word has been "getting out" since before the day they opened. I don't think I have ever seen any restaurant, Barbecue or otherwise, take off so quickly, get so much free press publicity, and be so roundly praised as Smoque. Barry Sorkin, the lead man in a team of owners did his fair share of research, visiting all of the areas mentioned above in an effort to learn the true art of regional 'Que. Granted, there are little roadside shacks, still smoking their meat in and old oil drum that might have better, more soulful food, but Smoque is doing more good work with a modern Southern Pride oven than anyone around.

Buddy
#31
kland01s
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RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? 2007/11/24 11:53:53 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by glcarey

The Rib House in Geneva has excellent ribs but it's not a BBQ joint, it's a restaurant like Carson's.


The Rib House in Geneva has been closed for some time now. Lately we have been going to Salt Creek Barbeque in Batavia. Again, I'm not a rib eater but I enjoy their pulled pork and I have had rib tips there, generous amounts of meat, good wood smoke flavor. They have great sweet potato fries and a blue cheese burger to die for.

Salt Creek Barbeque
220 North Randall Road
630-406-5000
(In the Menards area)
#32
Birdhunter
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RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? 2007/11/25 19:56:40 (permalink)
Best place for Ribs in Chicago now is TWIN ANCHORS at 1655 NORTH SEDGWICH STREET.
They have a website or do a search using its nameand address.
#33
BuddyRoadhouse
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RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? 2007/11/26 15:37:21 (permalink)
I'm gonna be as polite and gentle as I possibly can be here, but it'll be tough.

This thread is titled "Best BBQ Joint Around Chicago" (spelling corrections are mine), and Twin Anchors has absolutely nothing to do with Barbecue. Their ribs may taste good, and they may me insanely (if undeservedly) popular, but they have never Barbecued a slab of ribs in their entire existence.

Twin Anchors belongs to group of popular restaurants here in Chicago, most notably Gale Street Inn, that are famous for their ribs despite the fact that they have never been touched by smoke. Most of these places either boil or bake their slabs and then cake them with sauce before serving. A few of them might slap the ribs on a gas fired grill for a few minutes to heat them up creating a little char effect that will fool the uninformed. The fall off the bone, no teeth needed to chew results are referred to around here as "meat jello".

Now I'm not saying that these aren't good ribs. I'm not even saying that the people who like them aren't very smart. There are tastes for everything in this world from meat jello to balut. All I'm saying is, if a place isn't going to actually Barbecue its ribs, it shouldn't advertise them as such and they shouldn't be mentioned in a thread about Barbecue.

Just remember, Barbecueing may be the best way to prepare ribs. But just because they are ribs, doesn't mean they've been Barbecued.

Buddy
#34
buffetbuster
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RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? 2007/11/26 15:47:59 (permalink)
As far as I can see, no one has mentioned two places that have appeared in previous Roadfood books, Leon's or Lem's, both on the Southside of the city. I have never been to either, but I am curious about them. Has anyone been to these places?
#35
tsores
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RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? 2007/11/26 16:02:28 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by BuddyRoadhouse

I'm gonna be as polite and gentle as I possibly can be here, but it'll be tough.

This thread is titled "Best BBQ Joint Around Chicago" (spelling corrections are mine), and Twin Anchors has absolutely nothing to do with Barbecue. Their ribs may taste good, and they may me insanely (if undeservedly) popular, but they have never Barbecued a slab of ribs in their entire existence.

Twin Anchors belongs to group of popular restaurants here in Chicago, most notably Gale Street Inn, that are famous for their ribs despite the fact that they have never been touched by smoke. Most of these places either boil or bake their slabs and then cake them with sauce before serving. A few of them might slap the ribs on a gas fired grill for a few minutes to heat them up creating a little char effect that will fool the uninformed. The fall off the bone, no teeth needed to chew results are referred to around here as "meat jello".

Now I'm not saying that these aren't good ribs. I'm not even saying that the people who like them aren't very smart. There are tastes for everything in this world from meat jello to balut. All I'm saying is, if a place isn't going to actually Barbecue its ribs, it shouldn't advertise them as such and they shouldn't be mentioned in a thread about Barbecue.

Just remember, Barbecueing may be the best way to prepare ribs. But just because they are ribs, doesn't mean they've been Barbecued.

Buddy


Truer words were never spoke. As I have written earlier in this thread, just because ribs are on the menu, it doesn't make it a BBQ place for me. Fact is, there are painfully few places in this great big town to find BBQ. Loads of places to get ribs, most of which are described by Buddy, above. I find most people in the Chicago area equate ribs and BBQ. Bring up brisket or pulled pork or sausage and it is somewhere between a novelty and a foreign concept.
#36
ChiTownDiner
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RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? 2007/11/26 16:10:08 (permalink)
We enjoy Uncle Bub's in Westmont for our BBQ. Close by and friendly, everything is made on the premises. They won first place in the Naperville Ribfest this past year and I believe, a second for sauce.
#37
ppezalla
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RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? 2007/12/09 19:00:51 (permalink)
The holy trilogy of Chicago BBQ is said to be Lem's, Barbara Ann's and Uncle John's. Unfortunatly (or not), Lem's was the first of these that I tried and I keep going back. The ribs and sauce are outstanding, well worth the drive from Oak Park to the south side of Chicago. Honey 1 used to be in west Chicago and I had their ribs a couple of times - ribs were a little better than Lem's (meaty and perfectly cooked) but the sauce was inferior (to my taste buds). Since Honey 1 moved, the quality is nosed dived - ribs are nowhere near the joy they used to be. They also added brisket to the menu. Tried it once and amnot tempted to try it a second time.

Smoque seems to attract a lot of fans and a lot of people who hate it. I am in the later group - meat and sides were very disappointing, almost fast food-like.

I have yet to find good brisket in Chicago, not at Smoque, not as Russels, not at Honey 1 and not at Wishbone. I either make it myself of go to Austin TX.
#38
BuddyRoadhouse
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RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? 2007/12/10 02:38:41 (permalink)
We're gonna have to politely agree to disagree on Smoque. I've said my piece on the subject and I'm not likely to sway you so I won't pursue the subject any further. You've mentioned some great places for 'Que so you obviously have some experience in this matter.

We're in complete agreement on Russell's. I don't know if they ever served "real" Barbecue, but whatever they're dishing out now, and for as long as I can remember, ain't it. You're not likely to find real brisket at Wishbone either. Although they are, IMHO, an excellent provider of Southern comfort foods in general, they are not set up to cook proper 'Que and have never claimed such.

As for Honey 1, I'd never been to their west side incarnation so have nothing to compare it to. What I've had at the Western Avenue spot was good but not great. My first trip included a just OK rib platter. Second time around was Pulled Pork. Pretty darned tasty, but a lousy value. Very skimpy sandwich for around eight bucks. I was not aware that they had started to serve brisket and have read no mention of it at LTHforum.com, where they have a solid fan base who would know if they did.

If you really want Brisket in Chicago, your choices are fairly limited with Smoque being one of the better options. Once again, I know I won't change your mind, but my point of reference is 28 years of brilliant Barbecue in Kansas City. I've had the best down there dozens of times over; Arthur Bryant's, Snead's, LC's, Gates, The Woodyard, and many others. Smoque isn't quite in their league but it's pretty danged close.

Keep searching for that Barbecue Ideal ppezalla, and be sure to write about it here when you find it. Inquiring minds want to know.

Buddy
#39
ppezalla
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RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? 2007/12/10 19:38:37 (permalink)
Maybe I will try Smoque again - a lot of people do love the place.

I think I erred in my statement about brisket and Honey 1. It was a while ago and now I am thinking I had the pulled pork. Your "lousy value" assessment jarred my memory.

Wishbone does say "Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwich" on their menu. It isn't and it redefines "lousy value". A couple of slices of meat on a hamburger bun with a spot of red sauce.
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BuddyRoadhouse
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RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? 2007/12/10 20:50:26 (permalink)
Try almost anything else at Wishbone and I think you'll be happier.

Buddy
#41
Mgmax
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RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? 2011/09/28 23:09:47 (permalink)
Well, long time since much activity on BBQ in Chicago, but maybe this will stir it up.
 
I made a half hour video about the history of South Side Chicago BBQ.  This is a particular historical style of the African-American South Side which was shaped by the black experience in Chicago in the 20th century.  It has interviews with several pitmasters, a sauce manufacturer, historians and others.  It's not a salvo in any BBQ fight, just an appreciation of one of the many styles of BBQ, and one that's definitely been neglected compared to others.
 
Alas, I don't have enough posts to put in the link; perhaps some kind person could do that.  For now, the best thing to suggest is that you search "Sky Full of Bacon barbecue history Chicago."
#42
MilwFoodlovers
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RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? 2011/09/29 22:21:01 (permalink)
Mgmax

Well, long time since much activity on BBQ in Chicago, but maybe this will stir it up.

I made a half hour video about the history of South Side Chicago BBQ.  This is a particular historical style of the African-American South Side which was shaped by the black experience in Chicago in the 20th century.  It has interviews with several pitmasters, a sauce manufacturer, historians and others.  It's not a salvo in any BBQ fight, just an appreciation of one of the many styles of BBQ, and one that's definitely been neglected compared to others.

Alas, I don't have enough posts to put in the link; perhaps some kind person could do that.  For now, the best thing to suggest is that you search "Sky Full of Bacon barbecue history Chicago."

http://skyfullofbacon.com/blog/?p=3116
 
Very nicely done.
 
 
Sorry Chicagoans but both Ashley's and Speed Queen in Milwaukee are more to my tastes than anything I've tried so far in Chicago.
#43
BuddyRoadhouse
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RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? 2011/09/29 23:31:17 (permalink)
Haven't been to Ashley's,but you know I'm a Speed Queen fan.  They definitely belong among the greats in the 'Que pantheon.
 
Buddy
#44
MilwFoodlovers
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RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? 2011/09/30 00:11:37 (permalink)
Where else are you gonna find BBQ Goat ribs?

 
Ashley's
" /> Caution: 70's music alert!
http://ashleysbarbque.webs.com/
 
Ribs and spicy pork chop;

 
Dining, unlike Speed Queen, is ala trunk.
 
Hot link and ribs:

 
Ashley's BBQ

1501 West Center Street
Milwaukee, WI 53206-2102
(414) 372-7666
Open Tue-Thu 11am-10pm; Fri-Sat 11am-12am; Sun 12pm-7pm

#45
ann peeples
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RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? 2011/09/30 09:37:04 (permalink)
Never heard of Ashley's, but am glad I have now!!We are huge Speed Queen followers-MFL-do you think one is better than the other?
#46
MilwFoodlovers
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RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? 2011/09/30 10:31:44 (permalink)
ann peeples

Never heard of Ashley's, but am glad I have now!!We are huge Speed Queen followers-MFL-do you think one is better than the other?

Apples and oranges.
Speed Queen is my choice for shoulder and outside shoulder.
In fact, I've never had anyone else's shoulder that I liked better but of course, tastes are subjective.
Ashley's has really great hot links and ribs.

#47
Birdhunter
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RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? 2011/09/30 13:00:46 (permalink)
This is only carry out, ribs and sauce are outstanding. Go during daylight hours.
Uncle John's BBQ at 339 E 69th St.
773- 892- 1233,  they only take cash.
#48
ann peeples
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RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? 2011/09/30 13:36:22 (permalink)
Bob and I both like the shoulders at Speed Queen. Will have to try the ribs and hot links at Ashleys...Thanks, my friend!
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Davidsanders
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RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? 2012/02/05 01:42:59 (permalink)
Merle's has closed.
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