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 Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago???

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JAHelgy

  • Total Posts: 67
  • Joined: 2/10/2005
  • Location: BERWYN, IL
Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Thu, 02/10/05 11:31 AM (permalink)
What are the best Barbecue joints around/in Chicago??? My top 2 are Russel's in elmwood Park, and Brother Jimmy's Barbecue & Booze in Chicago...........What are your favorites?

--James
 
#1
    BuddyRoadhouse

    • Total Posts: 4074
    • Joined: 12/10/2004
    • Location: Des Plaines, IL
    RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Thu, 02/10/05 9:49 PM (permalink)
    I know this must get little repetitive, but I'm still pushing Country Smoke House on Irving Park. After that, I'd pick LT's Grill at Grand and Wood, Smoke Daddy on Division, Fat Willy's, & Leon's. While Russel's has some nice tradition and history behind it, it has nothing to do with barbecue. If you can't smell smoke outside or inside, it ain't 'que, just roast pork with barbecue sauce on top. Not familiar with Jimmy's but I've heard good things. There are also some good joints popping up in the south and western 'burbs. If you want to make a little road trip try Texan Barbecue and Chile House in Algonquin near Rt. 31 & Rt. 62.
     
    #2
      JAHelgy

      • Total Posts: 67
      • Joined: 2/10/2005
      • Location: BERWYN, IL
      RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Mon, 02/14/05 7:38 AM (permalink)
      You're right. My wife went to Smoke Daddy last weekend, and each gained several hundred pounds!!!! It was AWESOME! Heck, I'm still lickin'my fingers!


      --James
       
      #3
        JAHelgy

        • Total Posts: 67
        • Joined: 2/10/2005
        • Location: BERWYN, IL
        RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Fri, 04/15/05 3:57 PM (permalink)
        BROTHER JIMMY"S BARBECUE & BOOZE!!!!!! Try It!!!
         
        #4
          rlwestbrook

          • Total Posts: 2
          • Joined: 3/31/2005
          • Location: Livonia, MI
          RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Tue, 04/19/05 5:58 PM (permalink)
          We were recently in Chicago and had some great ribs both, pork and beef from Ribs and Bibs in Hyde Park very close to the Industry and Science Museum. Stacks of hickory wood was the first clue that this was the real deal, the second was the owner on site willing to discuss how many hours his meat slow cooks and the merits of different dry rubs. Carry out only, we almost got attacked in the hotel lobby once the odor of ribs and sauce started to get around.
           
          #5
            slackademic

            • Total Posts: 51
            • Joined: 8/10/2005
            • Location: San Diego, CA
            RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Thu, 08/11/05 2:42 PM (permalink)
            quote:
            Originally posted by rlwestbrook

            We were recently in Chicago and had some great ribs both, pork and beef from Ribs and Bibs in Hyde Park very close to the Industry and Science Museum. Stacks of hickory wood was the first clue that this was the real deal, the second was the owner on site willing to discuss how many hours his meat slow cooks and the merits of different dry rubs. Carry out only, we almost got attacked in the hotel lobby once the odor of ribs and sauce started to get around.


            Wow, you liked Ribs and Bibs? That place is truly awful. I like Gale St. Inn at Milwaukee & Higgins. Outstanding stuff.
             
            #6
              glennpan

              • Total Posts: 90
              • Joined: 5/31/2001
              • Location: ,
              RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Thu, 08/11/05 5:21 PM (permalink)
              Gale Street Inn for Ribs? Yipes!!! I have to agree with Buddy Roadhouse here. If there ain't smoke, it ain't 'que! This is one of the huge problems with the Chicago Q landscape.

              The Gale Street Inn has what many in the area consider Chicago Style Ribs. That unfortunately means "meat jello" saturated in an overly sweet sauce. It may even be tasty in some places, but it isn't 'que.
               
              #7
                Tommy2dogs

                • Total Posts: 348
                • Joined: 7/13/2004
                • Location: Chicago, IL
                RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Thu, 08/11/05 7:46 PM (permalink)
                I lived in Chicago area for 40+ years and been in the DFW area for the last 10. On August 30, I will be returning to my beloved Chicago. Food and cooking are my passion and for the most part I have found the DFW area to be a food wasteland, however one of the few things I will miss the most is Barbeque. Sorry folks but there is no real Barbecue in Chicago. Of course this only one mans opinion.
                 
                #8
                  kland01s

                  • Total Posts: 2835
                  • Joined: 3/14/2003
                  • Location: Fox River Valley, IL
                  RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Fri, 08/12/05 8:33 AM (permalink)
                  Saw, either here or one of the other boards I read, that Bobby Flay was in town last week to film a segment for his BBQ show at Smoke Daddys. Not being a Q expert, I have rarely have had any, I make no judgements.
                   
                  #9
                    Jim Ross

                    • Total Posts: 314
                    • Joined: 9/30/2000
                    • Location: Iowa City, IA
                    RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Fri, 08/12/05 9:38 AM (permalink)
                    In the western suburbs I always enjoy the St.Louis style spareribs, smoked brisket or pulled pork at Uncle Bubs on Cass Avenue in Westmont. I skip the baby back ribs. BBQ beans and brunswick stew are also good. A very nice family run restuarant. http://www.unclebubs.com/
                     
                    #10
                      tsores

                      • Total Posts: 653
                      • Joined: 8/27/2001
                      • Location: Evanston, IL
                      RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Fri, 08/12/05 9:51 AM (permalink)
                      The best BBQ I have found in the Chicago area is

                      Hillery's
                      1617 14th street
                      North Chicago, IL

                      Truth is, Chicago is not a BBQ town. Lots of places serve ribs and some aren't bad but a slab of ribs does not make it a BBQ.
                       
                      #11
                        glennpan

                        • Total Posts: 90
                        • Joined: 5/31/2001
                        • Location: ,
                        RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Fri, 08/12/05 5:12 PM (permalink)
                        I wanted to weigh in on the BBQ that I have tried and liked around the Chicago area, as I already mentioned what I didn't like.

                        2 of the previous posts mentioned a couple of places that I have tried and enjoyed.

                        I have had the sampler at Uncle Bub's which for $14 is a tremendous value, you can nearly feed a family off of the sampler. I thought that some of the items were a little too dry (the ribs and tips in particular), but overall were pretty good.

                        I also have been to Hillery's with a friend that swears they have the best Q around. I think he may be stretching it a little, but it is always a good sign when you can smell the place before you see it. Also a good sign when you see the smoke and haze in the air before you see the sign. The Q itself was very good, although I didn't care for their sauce. If I go back again, I will definitely order without sauce. Their best values there are the Rib Tips.

                        The other places I like are the Great Texan BBQ in Algonquin, which has absolutely amazing smoked chicken wings; The Pit Rib House in Hickory Hills for their ribs and chopped pork (although their sauce is a little too sweet too) and they have a rotisserie Greek chicken that is wonderful too; and Chuck's Southern Comfort Cafe in Burbank, with a variety of amazing menu options and specials. I do want to hit the better places in the City itself like Barbara Ann's, Lem's, and Honey 1 just to do a more recent comparison.

                         
                        #12
                          hawkeyejohn

                          • Total Posts: 257
                          • Joined: 5/6/2003
                          • Location: Joliet, IL
                          RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Mon, 08/15/05 8:15 AM (permalink)
                          Merle's Ribs in Evanston.
                           
                          #13
                            jkml

                            • Total Posts: 34
                            • Joined: 2/20/2006
                            • Location: Yardley, PA
                            RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Fri, 03/17/06 10:33 AM (permalink)
                            I agree with BuddyRoadhouse. I used to live in Cary, IL., and Texan BBQ is very good. The smoker smells fantastic when you drive by. I have two brothers from Texas and another who lived in Texas for a while, and they all say it is like good Texas barbecue. It is one of the restaurants in the Chicago area that we really miss. You can buy one of their homemade sauces in plastic deli type containers if you want some for home!
                             
                            #14
                              BuddyRoadhouse

                              • Total Posts: 4074
                              • Joined: 12/10/2004
                              • Location: Des Plaines, IL
                              RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Fri, 03/17/06 2:46 PM (permalink)
                              I'm surprised that you can only buy their sauces in a deli style tub. For years they bottled their sauces at the same co-packer who does my stuff. In fact they sold it in the same glass "barbecue sauce" style bottle (made by Arkansas Glass) that is so prevalent in our little piece of the food biz.

                              When Glenn, the owner, died a few years back, I know his wife took over the operation of the store and all related business. I thought she maintained the bottled sauce business, but I could be wrong.

                              It's been a few years since I've visited the Texan. Hope everything's still going along at a high standard.

                              Buddy
                               
                              #15
                                kland01s

                                • Total Posts: 2835
                                • Joined: 3/14/2003
                                • Location: Fox River Valley, IL
                                RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Fri, 03/17/06 3:05 PM (permalink)
                                This is my posting on the Bar B Que Shack in St. Charles, Il. I have not had the ribs, usually just have a brisket sandwich or pulled pork.

                                http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=5905&highlight=charles
                                 
                                #16
                                  jkml

                                  • Total Posts: 34
                                  • Joined: 2/20/2006
                                  • Location: Yardley, PA
                                  RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Fri, 03/17/06 10:44 PM (permalink)
                                  I think you can buy sauce in the bottle at the Texan BBQ, but I really liked to get it the other way, since I lived nearby. However, I don't live there now. It was still great last time I was there. Even their beans were good. Not wild about the coleslaw, though. Just not my taste, but fresh.
                                   
                                  #17
                                    jaegerdog

                                    • Total Posts: 21
                                    • Joined: 10/19/2004
                                    • Location: Huntley, IL
                                    RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Sun, 04/30/06 6:04 PM (permalink)
                                    Another good BBQ place out in the western 'burbs is a place called The Crystal Lake Rib House located in Crystal Lake (of course) on route 176 and Terra Cotta road. Its a small joint with limited seating. I've been there a few times and have always enjoyed their food. Of course you cannot beat the Texan in Algonquin
                                     
                                    #18
                                      kland01s

                                      • Total Posts: 2835
                                      • Joined: 3/14/2003
                                      • Location: Fox River Valley, IL
                                      RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Mon, 05/1/06 8:49 AM (permalink)
                                      I just recently came upon (by smell) Thomas' BBQ on Montgomery Road in Aurora, just a little north of Copley Hospital. A few threads above, I mentioned BBQ Shack in St. Charles, well Thomas's is 10 times better. I had their Alabama sampler plate which consisted of rib tips, 2 hot links and a pulled pork sandwich. The sanwich was huge, densley packed with nicely pulled, tender pork with a few burnt ends here and there, the sandwich lasted me 3 days, could not eat it all at one sitting! The rib tips were quite good but a little too heavily sauced, once the excess sauce was scraped off, they were tender and very good smoke flavor. I first thought this place might be an extension of LT's, Larry Thomas who has been around Aurora for years doing street fairs, etc but found out that this is Thomas Family Farms of Alabama who raises and butchers their own pigs. They willl do a whole hog for you as well as provide a band if needed, or you can just come to their little strip mall store front and eat there or take carryout.

                                      Thomas BBQ
                                      1649 Montgomery Road
                                      Aurora, Il
                                      630-375-9390
                                      11:30-7:30 M-Sat, closed Sundays
                                       
                                      #19
                                        BuddyRoadhouse

                                        • Total Posts: 4074
                                        • Joined: 12/10/2004
                                        • Location: Des Plaines, IL
                                        RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Mon, 05/1/06 1:55 PM (permalink)
                                        Excellent tip kland! Next time I'm thinking about making the Northwest trek out to the Texan, I'll consider going Southwest instead to Thomas' in Aurora.

                                        Thanks,

                                        Buddy
                                         
                                        #20
                                          BuddyRoadhouse

                                          • Total Posts: 4074
                                          • Joined: 12/10/2004
                                          • Location: Des Plaines, IL
                                          RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Mon, 05/1/06 7:53 PM (permalink)
                                          While we're on the subject of Best BBQ Joint Around Chicago, let me give everybody a heads up warning about what used to be my favorite 'Que house here in town. Country Smokehouse, which used to be N.N. Smokehouse, both of which were excellent, has changed hands again! Now it is called "Tripi's Place" and is run by guys who have limited restaurant experience.

                                          I've given them three chances since the change of ownership and been disappointed each time. The serving sizes have been decreased significantly, the fresh cut, thick potato wedges have been replaced by institutional frozen fries, and they have dropped the "Asian Noodles" which were comparable to a Phillipino Pancit dish; loaded with bite size pieces of all their smoked meats and a variety of veggies.

                                          I don't think I'll be going back anytime soon, and if they continue on this path of self destruction, I don't think they'll be around much longer anyway.

                                          Sadly,

                                          Buddy
                                           
                                          #21
                                            kland01s

                                            • Total Posts: 2835
                                            • Joined: 3/14/2003
                                            • Location: Fox River Valley, IL
                                            RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Wed, 05/3/06 9:45 AM (permalink)
                                            Oddly enough Buddy, I grew up in Algonquin, lived there until I was 18 and my dad still lived there until 2001, I have never been to the Texan even though we would go to Port Edward's across the street about once a year. There is also the Rib House on East State (Rte. 38) in Geneva, been many times but never had ribs, I generally have a brisket or pulled pork sandwich.
                                             
                                            #22
                                              jaegerdog

                                              • Total Posts: 21
                                              • Joined: 10/19/2004
                                              • Location: Huntley, IL
                                              RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Thu, 05/4/06 5:56 PM (permalink)
                                              Has anyone done Sweetbaby Rays in Wood Dale?? Was there once, opening night, never do that again..that is try a new place on opening night....it was so crowded sorta turned me off so I never returned. The place is always crowded so I believe it serves up som mean BBQ.
                                               
                                              #23
                                                BuddyRoadhouse

                                                • Total Posts: 4074
                                                • Joined: 12/10/2004
                                                • Location: Des Plaines, IL
                                                RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Mon, 05/8/06 12:02 PM (permalink)
                                                The folks at the LTHforum have been raving about Honey1 Barbecue down on Western Avenue. Been once and thought it was okay; nothing special. They have since added pulled pork to the menu. Might be worth a return tip just to check it out.

                                                Buddy
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  tsores

                                                  • Total Posts: 653
                                                  • Joined: 8/27/2001
                                                  • Location: Evanston, IL
                                                  RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Mon, 08/6/07 12:19 PM (permalink)
                                                  Has anyone tried Smoque on Pulaski and Grace? A couple weeks ago we tried the ribs, brisket and chicken. Seemed like authentic, low and slow smoked meats. Decent sauce. Sides were OK, too. Looking forward to another visit.
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    BuddyRoadhouse

                                                    • Total Posts: 4074
                                                    • Joined: 12/10/2004
                                                    • Location: Des Plaines, IL
                                                    RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Mon, 08/6/07 8:04 PM (permalink)
                                                    Hey there Mr. Tsores, where ya been???

                                                    Glad you enjoyed Smoque! I've been going there since they opened last December and have been a strong proponent of their's over at LTHForum since my first visit.

                                                    Although pulled pork is becoming slightly more commonly found in Chicago, Smoqoue is one of the few places in town that serves real smoked brisket as well. I stick to their pork and brisket, finding the ribs and chicken, while very tasty, to be a less than worthy value.

                                                    Their sides are quite good too. Fresh cut skin on fries, made properly with a double bath in boiling oil...mac & cheese is creamy and rich with good, toothsome macaroni and an appetizing bread crumb crust...tangy beans with lots of meat interspersed throughout, as good as Gates beans in Kansas City and much closer to home...the Cole slaw is a different interpretation than most here in Chicago; a vinegar base as opposed to creamy mayo. It has very fresh, crispy cabbage and gets its purple color accents not from purple cabbage, but from purple onion adding a sharp, distinct flavor unlike any other slaw around...good yellow cornbread too, although it is served sweet "northern style" as opposed to the less sweet, white corn meal version in the south.

                                                    All in all, it is my favorite northside 'Que joint. I'm in there on an almost weekly basis and have gotten to know the owner quite well.

                                                    They have enjoyed tremendous success almost from day one. In addition to LTHForum they have been spoken of very highly in Time Out Chicago, Gourmet Magazine, Chicago Magazine and all the daily papers in the city and suburbs. All that without a press agent!

                                                    Smoque may not be quite in the same league with the greasehouses in America's Barbecue regions that have a longer history and deeper 'Que tradition, but it comes darn close!

                                                    Buddy
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      tsores

                                                      • Total Posts: 653
                                                      • Joined: 8/27/2001
                                                      • Location: Evanston, IL
                                                      RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Tue, 08/7/07 12:11 PM (permalink)
                                                      Buddy: As usual, your're eloquence combined with your attention to detail makes my meager commentary pale in comparison. I doff my chapeau to you, sir.

                                                      I heartily agree with your comments. First off, Smoque has the first decent smoked brisket I have found in Chicagoland. And after sampling it around Texas and KC, it is my idea of a BBQ staple. Their sides are good. Didn't get to try the pork. Actually, they had sold out of pork and brisket by the time we got there, but managed to find a taste of brisket when asked.

                                                      The owners took a risk at breaking away from the standard "BBQ" formula found around this town and it looks like it paid off. Nice guys, too.
                                                       
                                                      #27
                                                        irisarbor

                                                        • Total Posts: 602
                                                        • Joined: 3/8/2006
                                                        • Location: Deerfield, IL
                                                        RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Fri, 09/21/07 2:41 PM (permalink)
                                                        MY favorite BBQ shacks are
                                                        Hecky's Barbecue, 1902 Green Bay Road, Evanston, www.heckys.com, and
                                                        Hillerys Bar-bq 1617 14th St, North Chicago 847-473-1722
                                                        both have real smoke pits and their food has real smoke rings-
                                                        no fancy tables or servers here-

                                                        However recently hubby and I were surprised by darn good ribs from a real smoker at a place called Bluegrass in Highland Park of all places???? Kind of a white tablecloth restaurant where you need reservations on a weekend night, and can get a blueberry martini(yum)
                                                        But the cajun combo plate with ribs and jambalaya was awesome!
                                                        Crawfish etoufee was the real deal!
                                                        and an appetizer of calamari was not only beautifully presented, it was more than enough for 4 to share....
                                                        http://www.bluegrasshp.com/

                                                         
                                                        #28
                                                          glcarey

                                                          • Total Posts: 3
                                                          • Joined: 11/1/2007
                                                          • Location: Joplin, MO
                                                          RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Thu, 11/1/07 3:58 PM (permalink)
                                                          My vote goes for the Texan in Algonquin. The Rib House in Geneva has excellent ribs but it's not a BBQ joint, it's a restaurant like Carson's.
                                                           
                                                          #29
                                                            timmmahhhh

                                                            • Total Posts: 17
                                                            • Joined: 5/19/2007
                                                            • Location: Glen Ellyn, IL
                                                            RE: Best BBQ Jointa Around Chicago??? Fri, 11/16/07 12:47 AM (permalink)
                                                            quote:
                                                            Originally posted by tsores

                                                            Has anyone tried Smoque on Pulaski and Grace? A couple weeks ago we tried the ribs, brisket and chicken. Seemed like authentic, low and slow smoked meats. Decent sauce. Sides were OK, too. Looking forward to another visit.

                                                            I just tried it today...it was pretty good! I am not a barbecue expert but I expect a thicker sauce and this was soupy. The flavor was very good though. I liked the cole slaw too, very fresh vinegar style, not the creamy stuff, which I know my wife will like, too. They were pretty packed at lunch today so the word is getting out. For those of you that don't know where Grace was (I didn't) this place is just south of the Kennedy...get off at the Irving Park exit and follow Avondale to Pulaski, it will be on your right.

                                                            I heard the owner discussing some of the places mentioned above as his favoites that he is striving to be like. I haven't tried those but will try to do so my next trip to Indiana.
                                                             
                                                            #30
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