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 Anybody here like Russell's Barbecue?

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Jim2903

  • Total Posts: 232
  • Joined: 7/27/2006
  • Location: Hoffman Estates, IL
Anybody here like Russell's Barbecue? Thu, 10/2/08 3:50 PM (permalink)
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 ...

Jim Dudlicek
Hoffman Estates, IL
 
#1
    jeepguy

    • Total Posts: 1555
    • Joined: 3/29/2004
    • Location: chicago, IL
    RE: Anybody here like Russell's Barbecue? Thu, 10/2/08 8:04 PM (permalink)
    That place serves the most disgusting slimy "bbq" sandwich i've ever eaten! Worse than the plastic tub stuff, and yes with some nutmeg or something in there! Gross!!! Didn't go back a second time to try anything else!
     
    #2
      BuddyRoadhouse

      • Total Posts: 4074
      • Joined: 12/10/2004
      • Location: Des Plaines, IL
      RE: Anybody here like Russell's Barbecue? Fri, 10/3/08 1:52 AM (permalink)
      re: Russel's;

      My momma taught me if you ain't got nuthin' good to say, don't say nuthin' at all...

      Buddy

      P.S. Just wondering, where are you reading these "glowing" reviews?

      B.
       
      #3
        KingCrab

        • Total Posts: 122
        • Joined: 8/26/2008
        • Location: La Salle County, IL
        RE: Anybody here like Russell's Barbecue? Fri, 10/3/08 10:40 AM (permalink)
        Russels is near the bottom of the heap of Chicagoland BBQ, just above the likes of Carson's, Twin Anchors, etc.

        Do yourself a favor, and go to Honey 1, or Smoque.
         
        #4
          firecommander3565

          • Total Posts: 505
          • Joined: 3/7/2007
          • Location: Chicago, IL
          RE: Anybody here like Russell's Barbecue? Fri, 10/3/08 10:51 AM (permalink)
          Russell is not known for good food, but it is "ok". My grandparents lived near the Russell off North Ave. and Thatcher. Rd.

          I recently took my 3 boys there for memory sake and that was all it was worth. The food was ok and my boys enjoyed it enough. They could be messy and more importantly KIDDIELAND was only blocks away.
           
          #5
            Jim2903

            • Total Posts: 232
            • Joined: 7/27/2006
            • Location: Hoffman Estates, IL
            RE: Anybody here like Russell's Barbecue? Fri, 10/3/08 11:47 AM (permalink)
            quote:
            Originally posted by BuddyRoadhouse

            P.S. Just wondering, where are you reading these "glowing" reviews?

            B.


            Via Google search, sites like Metromix and Trip Advisor, where the raves outnumber the bad reviews by a wide margin, especially from people who claim to have been going to Russell's for decades. I've posted my own reviews on those sites in an attempt to even the score. Searching this site didn't turn up any warnings, so this thread will help to rectify that.
             
            #6
              Jim2903

              • Total Posts: 232
              • Joined: 7/27/2006
              • Location: Hoffman Estates, IL
              RE: Anybody here like Russell's Barbecue? Fri, 10/3/08 11:51 AM (permalink)
              quote:
              Originally posted by KingCrab


              Do yourself a favor, and go to Honey 1, or Smoque.


              I actually did eat at Smoque a couple months ago -- excellent 'cue. They had just added a Texas hot link to the menu that was very tasty, and their beans are amazing. I was even impressed by the fries, fresh-cut and served in a paper sack.
               
              #7
                carolina bob

                • Total Posts: 3420
                • Joined: 1/1/2005
                • Location: Chicagoland
                RE: Anybody here like Russell's Barbecue? Fri, 01/16/09 11:21 PM (permalink)
                I've wanted to try Russell's for a long time and, in fact, had been thinking about making the long drive up there this winter. Boy, I'm glad I found this thread!  Many thanks, folks - you just saved me a lot of gasoline and a nice chunk of change. Ain't gonna be going there!
                 
                #8
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