Monday, March 28, 2011

Frank's Pizzeria

Eating like a local:
Regional food specialties

-Quad Cities Style Pizza Pie

Hello again my friends. It's time for some regional eating as we head on down to the Quad Cities area for some of it's namesake style pizza. Last Fall I went on a classic American road trip that took me and a friend out West thru Middle America and back. As summer nears so do the reports from this trip which ended in Silvis, IL before heading back to Chicago. The reason we stopped in the Quad Cities was because of it's location along the Mighty Mississippi which we had driven down from Minnesota. In case your unfamiliar with the Quad it consists of five cities located in Illinois and Iowa that are straddling the Mississippi river. Together the cities add up to about 400,000 people and they even have their own signature style of pizza. Luckily for me my travel companion was all about the food stops on this trip and she didn't complain once about going a few hours out of the way for some pizza. I had heard many good things about Frank's Pizza in Silvis, IL (about 10 mins from Moline, IL) which put it on my must visit list and this trip gave me that chance.

a locals favorite in the Quad Cities area

Frank's has been proudly serving the people of the Quad Cities since 1955. When it comes to tavern pizza joints from the 50's they all have similar vibes and looks inside the place and also look great from the outside and there were no exceptions to this legitimate stereotype with Frank's. It was pretty easy to find for us and when you walk up to the place you can see the pizza makers in a large window busy at work making pies. We were there on a Saturday a little after 8p and there were a good amount of people there but I think we missed the family rush just before that. There are two cafeteria like dining rooms on each side of the bar which is in the middle. As always I took a seat at the bar.

The window from outside where you can look in

After taking our seats the friendly waitress asked if we wanted anything to drink and we ordered our usual's and she asked us for id. That was fine and it sparked up a conversation with the older Harley riding dude sitting next to me at the bar who said "that cant be anything but a good thing if your over 21". Frank's doesn't have any beer on tap (all bottles and cans) and no pop from the fountain, it's all cans at this old school favorite.

View from my seat at the bar

View behind me at the bar of the dining room

The Harley riding dude was there on his birthday for his favorite meal, a small cheese pizza from Frank's which he said he has been eating for 51 years. We did some shots for his bday and then I took a look at the menu. In the Quad Cities there's a place that claims to have created the taco pizza and I was surprised and intrigued by a taco pizza on the menu at Frank's. But with this being my first visit I already knew that I was getting my usual standard order of a large sausage pizza. Frank's pizza comes in two sizes and they are different in shape and crust. After a few drinks the Harley dudes small cheese came and he offered both of us a slice and I happily accepted and he raved on about how good it was. However for some reason didn't eat the crust, which I thought was excellent, leaving the leftovers from each piece on his plate like he must of done on his 1st visit 51 years ago. No, I did not ask him for his unwanted pieces of crust.

a small cheese pizza from Frank's

I thought the cheese slice that was shared was excellent and I would of been happy had we ordered that. I anxiously awaited the arrival of our large sausage. As you can see in the pic above the small pizza is a round pie similar to the standard pizza pies found around the country. It certainly however didn't taste standard. The large pies at Frank's are made in that true Quad Cities style. The pies are made with a thin, but not cracker thin, bread like dough and crust. They come sliced in long thin strips as opposed to squares like they do with tavern thin in Chicago or in wedges, like they cut them on the east coast. When you order a sausage pizza it comes layered with ground Italian sausage heavily laced with fennel. This however isn't the first time I have come across this unique style which is enjoyed in the Cal City/NW Indiana region at John's Pizzeria in Whiting. I was a fan of Frank's and Quad Cities style pie before I took a bite.

Large sausage "Quad Cities" style pizza from Frank's Pizzeria

So when our pie and arrived, piping hot, I ordered another one to go and let the one we were gonna chow down cool down for five minutes. My girl mentioned they were like "pizza bread sticks" and was very excited to try them (she loved it) and was wondering how the hell I knew where to eat at every dot on the map.

Each piece of pizza has the middle part and some crust

The odd way of slicing is not the only somewhat unique thing about Frank's pizza, the other being the loose sausage. Something about loose meat in the Midwest, we love it. They make their own blend and I am a fan of this style, though not as much of the tavern style sausage found at many Chicagoland favorites, I still really like it. Frank's sausage was off the chart, I wish they stuffed this stuff into hog tubes and sold it next door or something. It was loaded with fennel and full of spice, I mean real nice amounts for a heat head like myself. Even before loading the red pepper flakes on my pieces it was spiced to perfection with a perfect amount of zing.

Up close of the goodness

I didn't dig too deep but there isn't too much info around the WWW about Frank's. It seems the best info is from the Quad Cities Pizza thread from LTH. In that it mentions that this (Silvis) location is the original, which it damn sure felt like. There's also a location in Bettendorf, IA. I hope this story can attract some lurkers or web searchers who have a little something to dole out to me, maybe some interesting tidbits to share? What's your favorite spot for Quad Cities style pizza? Which place did you eat it at in your youth and where did you grow up on it?

Quad Cities style pizza

Frank's Pizzeria
711 1st Ave
Silvis, IL 61282
(309) 755-0625

Frank's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 25, 2011

Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket

-Grubbing in Chicago(land)
Eating along Old Route 66.

Hey, hey how 'bout some good ole kicks on Route 66 today? Whaddaya say? In the Western suburb of Willowbrook along the old Route 66 sits a legendary eatery that first got started in the late 30's. The Chicken Basket started off as a lunch counter at the local gas station and the fried chicken phenomenon began when two ladies overheard the owner of the counter talking about serving more food at his place. They approached him and said they would teach him how to fry their secret chicken recipe if he would buy the chickens from them. It all took off from there and eventually the business outgrew the counter and the car repair spaces were turned into a dining room. With it's location on Route 66 business was really booming and they opened up a much larger spot where it stands today in 1946 right next door to it's original location.

The Chicken Basket's Classic Route 66 Neon Sign

There was a time when the Basket was a boomtown of sorts. They had a Blue Bird Bus Stop terminal for people traveling as far away as LA with the old Hinsdale airport across the street you could see planes coming and going and there was always entertainment going on inside and outside of the restaurant. The Chicken Basket was it's peak when Route 66 was as well. Sometime in the early 1960's Route 66 bypassed the Basket and the Route 66 icon would fall on hard times. People had trouble finding the place and the area around it was empty. It was 1963 when Dell Rhea and his wife Grace bought the Basket at a bargain price. Since Dell was well known around the area he used his popularity to bring people back and it's been pretty good ever since. While at first the fact it was no longer on Route 66 hurt it actually ended up helping that it's now located on historic Route 66 which attracts lots of interest from travelers these days. It's been featured in too many publications to name and been on quite a few food shows including Diners, Drive In's and Dives. In 2006 it was named to the National Register of Historic Places.

Inside you'll find lots of old memorabilia

View from the table

Today the Basket is a pretty big place. I don't know the exact amount of people it can hold but the number is up there. Just like back in the day it's a very popular stop for lunch and dinner for travelers coming to and from Chicago. If your taking the highway Dell Rhea's has it's own sign on the exits under food. I've been to the basket a few times and always enjoy my visits there. I tend to sit at the bar when I do go and am always given first class service with nice prices on booze and everyone in there is very freindly. It almost feels like the 50's inside there. It definitely takes you back to another time. The menu is big and they hold a lunch buffet every Tues-Fri from 11:30a to 2:30p. It includes all you can eat fried chicken along with soup and salad bars and sides. I've never had it but I have seen it while dining in and for under $10 it's a bargain. On my last visit it was a Tuesday and that's fried chicken special night. A four piece basket is $8.95 and that includes biscuit and fries. I'm also a fan of Dell's onion rings, these bad boys are big. You'll see below they don't cut the rings thin and in some cases they arent even rings, they're rocks.

Biscuits baked in house from Dell's

A basket of homemade onion rings from the Chicken Basket

An onion rock...that's all onion inside

Dell Rhea's has always been known for their chicken and they've done a good job keeping it that way. They still use the same recipe that they've always been using and the birds they use are some of the biggest chickens I've seen from anywhere. I always get fully stuffed after a chicken dinner from Dell Rhea's. The main difference in the fried chicken at the Chicken Basket is that they use bread crumbs in the batter and not a flour based mixture like most other places do. The result is maybe a little more grease than the other spots but the flavor is there and that's what matters to me. Plus the skin is scrumptious and that's the best part so I aint complaining. The Tuesday night special is well worth it if you take the ride during the summer months and enjoy a night on old Route 66.

Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket fried chicken dinner

You know what though? The fried chicken isn't my favorite. I love the chicken fried chicken sandwich, maybe even more so than Chick Fil A. Whenever I get a taste for a fresh battered fried chicken breast laid onto a bun with some mayo and pickles this is the place that pops into my mind. it used to be the Fil A but things change and they did the day I found this sandwich. I'm not a big chicken sandwich guy but I do like them and when you need one you want one. Dell Rhea's gets my endorsement for the best fried chicken sandwich in town. Great food paired with top notch service and a classic ambiance all around make Dell Rhea's a darn good establishment.

Chicken fried chicken sandwich from Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket

Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket
645 Joliet Road
Willowbrook, IL 60527
(630) 325-0780

Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Another Neighborhood Tradition

-Oh Yeah, I've been there too
Gale Street Inn

Neighborhood: Jefferson Park
Cuisine: Traditional American
Price Range: $15-$30
Would I go again? I've been to the Gale Street a few times although not in quite a while. I assume I will one day go again when invited to a function or dinner there. It's one of the areas busiest restaurants and always has people eating there, it will forever be a part of that neighborhood and the city.

a Chicago tradition on Milwaukee ave in Jeff Park

The Gale Street Inn is a Chicago institution, especially to people of the Northwest side. Its the oldest tavern in the neighborhood located at Gale Street and Milwaukee ave and people have been gathering there to drink and eat since 1963. What started out as some BS ended well when George Cholies was forced to abandon his sandwich shop across the street so the city could construct the Jefferson Park Blue Line Stop/Bus Terminal. The place was sold to the current family which owns it in 1984 and is a popular hangout for neighborhood folk which consists of alot of cops and quite a few people who work at O'Hare. Gale Street as you can see from their neon sign is known for their ribs. However you wont see me calling these bbq because that they arent and they have no smoke whatsoever. They're ribs, baked, Chicago style much in the same way Twin Anchor's and Miller's Pub do theirs. All three also happen to be historic Chicago taverns that are great places to visit for a drink and maybe some eats. Now I'm from the camp of all ribs are good and I like these but no they arent the best. No smoke means not real bbq and no liquid smoke does not count!

a slab of ribs from Gale Street Inn

Ever since I started my site I've gotten emails and suggestions with people asking me if I've been to Gale Street Inn? Oh yeah I've been there. I went quite a few times as a kid and have been back twice since. I'll admit that as a kid I really loved these baked Chicago style's many spots are famous for but I've grown out of that phase. I'll still eat ribs made this way but wont ever be rushing to get me some. Referred to by some as meat jello, these baked ribs have meat that literally slides right off the bone with no resistance whatsoever. This picture below just about sums them up. So if you were wondering if I had ever been to Gale Street (because you never saw a post on here) now you know. I have indeed and imagine I will get back there again at some point in my life. It's here to stay.

a slider rib from the Inn

Gale Street Inn
4914 North Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60630
(773) 725-1300

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mazo's Hamburgers

-Got beef?
The Burgers of Wisconsin

Warm weather is very near and that means some summertime excursions are too. Chicagoan's flock to Milwaukee quite often especially over the summer for Cub's-Brewers games along with Summerfest and family fun. It's a very underrated city and for being so close to Chicago makes for a great time with not too much work getting there or money spent while there. I went up to Milwaukee in late February for a Bulls-Bucks game at the Bradley Center. It was a great night we had a blast and ate and drank very well at some classic Milwaukee establishments which I'll report on as the days go by. But today I wanted to share a famous burger joint in Milwaukee that's been around since the 30's. I visited Mazo's this past summer and it was classic old school Milwaukee. If your heading to Milly this weekend (3/25-3/27) for the Bull's-Buck's game and like burgers and shakes you might want to check this place out.

a locals favorite in Milwaukee, WI

According to Mazo's website "It all started in 1934." The year that the current owners father, John Mazos, opened his first restaurant at 14th Street and Lincoln Avenue in Milwaukee. "Times were difficult but John correctly thought that people had to eat. He served his hamburgers for 5 cents each and business prospered." Eventually Mazo's moved and Nick, the owners son would take control in 1954 when he returned home from service. Nick spent most of childhood at the restaurant learning the tricks of the trade. Mazo's has maintained the same quality and upkeep since it's beginning and is loved by generations of Milwaukeeans. Inside it's vintage with the service counter with stools and the grill right behind them. Mazo's has been grounding their beef fresh on site since it's start.

The view from the counter

Anyplace that's been doing up burgers and shakes since the 30's will always be on my "to get to" list. On my visit last summer it was almost full with customers but it was only me ordering so I just got one to go from the young waitress. She said her favorite was the bacon cheeseburger so that's what I went with. I asked for it medium rare and that's is how it came out. The beef had that real beef flavor and the grilled onions and bacon as always paired well. It reminded me alot of a good old fashioned diner burger and I was very happy with the product. It's also really nice that Leon's Custard, the famous Milwaukee custard stand, is across the street and that's the only reason I didn't order a milkshake from Mazo's but they seemed to be very popular with how many were being ordered. I liked this burger and would very happily have one again. I think Milwaukee has some great burgers and I'd advise you to check them out.

Bacon cheeseburger from Mazo's

Mazo's Hamburgers
3146 South 27th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53215-4338
(414) 671-2118

Mazos Hamburgers on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 18, 2011

Vaca Frita

--Tailgatin' and how to make mofos start playa hatin' (Recipes)

Sticking with the springtime theme it's time to take a trip to Miami...thru my kitchen. With lot's of spring breakers down in South Florida this month, the smart ones are seeking out great Cuban food which Miami has plenty of. I had a taste for some classic Cuban cuisine this past winter and decided to make some vaca frita one Sunday for the football games. Vaca frita literally means fried cow and it's a takeoff of the classic Cuban dish ropa vieja. I would highly recommend trying this one day when you want something other than a grilled steak with big beef flavor with not much work involved.

Vaca Frita (Serves 4-6)

- 2-3 lbs of Flank steak
- 1 large Spanish onion, sliced thinly
- 2 oranges and three limes and fresh garlic
- White rice and Black beans

1) I got some flank steak on sale and cut it down into cubes

Cubed flank steak

2) I then cooked the steak cubes in a pot with water for an hour or so and let them cool.

Cooked beef chunks

3) After they weren't too hot to handle I shredded them down into pieces and marinated it in fresh squeezed orange and lime juice (save one lime for later) and placed it in the fridge during the games (a few hours).

Shredded beef marinating in juice

4) Start out by adding some bacon grease or oil into a pan and saute the sliced onions until done and set them aside. Add more oil into the pan (not too much) along with come chopped garlic and handful by handful throw the shredded beef into the pan and let it fry for two or three minutes. Remove and repeat until done. Once all the beef is cooked set it aside and squeeze some more fresh lime juice on top of it and toss.

Spanish Onion sauteing away

fried beef and sauteed onions...all is well

5) Serve with rice and black beans. I also did up some 'Cuban' potatoes which I cooked in bacon grease and sauteed with chopped bell peppers, onions, garlic and more bacon. I felt like I was on the island that night despite the fact it was freezing cold outside.

Vaca Frita for Dinner

See ya next time on S'C'&C.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Frank's Chicago Shrimp House

-The Shrimp Shacks of Chi

With the fried shrimp season in full swing I figured now was Frank's time. With all the pub and press given to pizza and hot dogs sometimes other famous city eats get forgotten about. Chicago is actually a big fried shrimp town and alot of the spots with it go back to the 50's. We have 100's of different shrimp shacks throughout the city and its surrounding area. In fact we even have "Chicago style" shrimp which is fried and usually has a heavy batter that contains herbs and spices in it. Served with a sauce containing both cocktail sauce and hot sauce these dinners usually will come served with fries and slaw. Many people in the city have their favorite spot for it and Frank's Chicago Shrimp House is one of the more popular choices.

This location sits on Addison

I've long been a fried shrimp guy, it was one of my favorites as a youth. Then when I got my license I remember going on fried shrimp and Italian beef excursions seeking out the best of the best in the city, which I'm still doing today. Over time I have passed quite a few Frank's locations and a little research tells me there are currently four still standing. I like to go to the location on Addison when in the area and in the need for grease. Steve 'the hungry hound' Dolinsky recently did a fried shrimp report and came away naming Frank's best in city. I might have to agree with that.

Frank's Chicago Style Fried Shrimp

One of the more important things for fried shrimp with me is fresh breaded which Frank's does. They have a bunch of fresh shrimp in a bus tray full of breading and they pull them out and shake off the excess breading to order which is important. I don't really love the frozen pre-breaded straight from the freezer stuff some places serve. Everything else at Frank's is frozen so the shrimp are the way to go. At Frank's they have a way with shrimp and it starts with getting nice sized pieces of it. They claim to use Gulf shrimp and I don't dispute that since the pieces of shrimp here are always well sized meaty pieces. The other part of Frank's shrimp that stands out is the breading itself. It's a thicker Chicago style but not too think and that's the way I like it. The shrimp have a perfect crunch to them when you bite into one and when you add a little hot sauce they become magnificent. Frank's is a place I would recommend to anyone in the mood for some "Chicago Style" fried shrimp so go check it out. See ya next time on S'C'&C.

a piece of Chicago style shrimp from Frank's

Frank's Chicago Shrimp House
5439 West Addison Street
Chicago, IL 60641
(773) 286-2533

Frank's Chicago Shrimp House on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 14, 2011

La Palapita

-Got Beef? taco's de carne asada

I was out in Portage park a little while back and I drove by an old lunchtime staple from when I was with the Sheriff's department. Back in the day we would run around the area with a few others over summertime making sure the city parks and people in them were ok. We ate out for lunch everyday and one of the favorite stops of another one of the kids who worked with us was La Palapita on Milwaukee ave. He was from the neighborhood and this is the popular spot for tacos with all locals in the area.

Located on Milwaukee ave in Portage Park

I've been to Palapita a multiple number of times and have made visits thru the years since my days with the county. I'll admit it, when I was a young'n my favorite Mexican joint was Taco Burrito Palace in the old neighborhood but I grew up and grew wiser. I liked Palapita when we went there with the Sheriffs but would never admit it back then that it was better than TBP, my go to drunken late night Mexican eats stop. But to be fair, they're both different, they serve Mexican food and that's about where the similarities end. La Palapita may or may not be owned by relatives of the family who owns La Pasadita. I'm not sure but they are both very familiar. It's all about the steak which is char grilled. I've had both bad and great experiences here but I must say, when they are on these carne asada tacos are as good as any. A recent trip verified that as I was served a couple of perfect tacos with juicy steak full of flavor that when added in with the tortilla, onion, cilantro and salsa is still one of the best flavor combination's out there.

Rating Scale 5/5

steak: 5 (when fresh)
cilantro/onions: 4
tortilla: 4
salsa: 4

Score: 17/20

Steak taco from La Palapita

La Palapita
4263 North Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60641
(773) 427-4438

La Palapita Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 11, 2011

Chicago q

-Smokin' in Chi

Today were heading downtown to the Goldcoast to a relatively new restaurant located on Dearborn. If your from the city and follow the food scene, odds are you've heard of Chicago Q. Before they even opened their doors this place was being chatted about amongst the self righteous food snobs from all around town. Since it's in the Goldcoast, at the start of fancy downtown, and resides in a space that before Q moved in, housed one of the most expensive restaurants in the city, the prices are a little higher than most BBQ places. But this is by no means a shack. In fact it's gotta be the nicest restaurant anyone can eat bbq at. I got a chance to visit the fancy upscale BBQ sitdown restaurant that opened in the fall of 2010 about a month back. I thought now was the perfect time to post about it.

Chicago Q located in the Goldcoast neighborhood

Why was now the perfect time to post about Chicago Q? March Madness is here. When I made my visit me and some other BBQ enthusiasts headed over to watch a KU basketball game and eat some award winning BBQ and put down a few too. The place has two levels and upstairs you can dine with groups of people both large and medium sized, they got you covered. Chicago Q will let you sit upstairs where they have a room with a large flat screen TV with couches and tables for you and friends to eat and drink at while you watch the games all while they serve on you. So its a great spot to go with a group if you want to watch a sporting event. You might want to call ahead if you plan on using this setup. On my visit I got comfortable upstairs and took a look at the drink menu and went with a mint julep to start.

Mint Julep from Chicago Q

My cocktail was very refreshing and tasted as good on a freezing cold January day as they do on a hot July afternoon. Chicago Q has a full liquor license and they offer some nicely mixed cocktails and a very nice selection of micro brews and other fine beers, wines and spirits from around the world. After my drink came, some complimentary pickles arrived and I was pleasantly surprised. I love pickles, these lil' guys are called their bread and butter pickles and they also bottle them for retail sale. Their made from a special recipe that starts with cucumbers and then combines them with a sweet blend of onions, garlic and spices. As if these spectacular comped cucumbers weren't enough, they also comp you with some 'Pig Powder Chips'. Which are homemade potato chips dusted with their award winning rub, also available retail. Again, very good, these are great treats during the game before you get going on the BBQ part of the menu.

Bread & Butter Pickles from the q

Pig Powder homemade potato chips

The upstairs large dining room with a table for 15+

Well it wasn't just the fact that there was a fancy BBQ restaurant opening that created so much buzz. It wasn't just the prices either, even though Chicago q offers two types of ribs, the regular rack and the award winning rack which is $11 more. So it's got some weird things going but so far so good for me. But the real reason the buzz was there was because of who was opening the q. It's ran by Lee Ann Whippen who happens to be a BBQ world champion. The name might sound familiar if you watched "Pitmasters" on TLC. Lee Ann was on the show that featured some of the more popular BBQ pitmasters from around the country. She is a regular and well respected smoker on the BBQ trail. She's the force behind Wood Chicks BBQ in Chesapeake, Virgina. That restaurant developed after the Wood Chicks BBQ team she is a part of took several state BBQ championships and made $1,000's of dollars while smokin' away on the BBQ competition trail. I got a chance to take a tour of the kitchen at q given by none other than the beautiful Lee Ann.

Lee Ann's explains the kitchen at Chicago q (Video)

So all that food talk and some amazing appetizers made me really hungry. I was lucky to be there with five others so we were able to sample a few things off the menu. We started with an order of hush puppies and onion rings for each table. The puppies are described as "house bacon cheddar hush puppies" and were one of the best app's I have had all year and or in a while. They were addictive and the best of their kind I have ever had. The onion rings were pretty much just as good too. They make them the way I like them which is with a light hand tossed buttermilk batter, cooked to a perfect crisp golden brown. MMM MMM good.

House bacon cheddar hush puppies

Buttermilk Battered Onion Rings

Both complimentary items as well as both of the appetizers were excellent. I liked all four to the point where I will return for them and some good beer and well mixed cocktails. After the app's we moved onto another dish off the starter portion of the menu which were the smoked dry rubbed chicken wings. Explained by Lee Ann in the video up above these were sent from the low country heavens. I absolutely loved these and thought they were the best non fried set of chicken wings that I have had in a lifetime, definitely the best set of smoked wings I ever had. These were sticky from the rub and smoke and the meat inside was a perfect pink. I thought these were fantastic and I would eat them up all day. However my friend who came with me to meet the rest of them wasn't a big fan so I guess like all BBQ it's about preference.

Smoked dry rubbed chicken wings from Chicago q

Nice start to the meal huh? After all the wonderful starters we moved onto the BBQ. Chicago q offers a nice selection of smoked meats including Kobe beef brisket, pulled pork, smoked chicken and both baby back and spare ribs. You can order them by the plate and in some cases in sandwiches. Also on the menu is a two meat combo with a half slab of ribs. We would end up going with the combo with pulled pork and kobe beef brisket along with a half slab of baby backs. The meal comes with choice of fries, cornbread or cole slaw and also all of the house made BBQ sauces. They make a mild, spicy and Eastern Carolina vinegar sauce for your dipping pleasure. They are served on the side as they should be. I thought the spicy was the best one and my favorite to dip the meats in. Sorry for the poor pictures but I was really hungry as were the others with us so I snapped fast.

Selection of housemade BBQ sauces

Two meat (Kobe brisket and pulled pork) and half slab combo

My combo platter seen up above came with some pickled red onions which were a nice pair with the pulled pork and cornbread which was the side I chose. Unless I'm in the Carolina's I'm not usually going to order pulled pork at a bbq place. It's also the easiest of the big game BBQ meats to smoke so I like to do them in my yard. This wasn't the best pulled pork I ever had but I liked it paired with the onions and corn bread which made for a hearty sandwich. My half slab of baby's were pretty good too. Again not the best ever but I don't usually get baby backs opting for spares over them and these reminded me why. It wasn't q's fault, these were just tender and had little resistance since they were baby backs which arent as fatty as spare ribs. However the brisket was phenomenal and my favorite of the three. Some of the best brisket I have ever had and surely the best in Chicago. It reminded me it's time to get my ass to Texas. The brisket melted on my tongue and had the perfect hint of smoke, I could eat that all day. The fact it was Kobe beef gave it great flavor and texture too. I will give their spare ribs a try next time and I am betting they are much better. After all who am I to question a grand BBQ champ like Ms. Lee Ann? So in very short summary, I am a fan of Chicago q. I encourage those in the area who like award winning BBQ to check them out sometime soon.

Racks of ribs smokin' away

Chicago q
1160 N. Dearborn St.
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 642-1160

Chicago Q on Urbanspoon


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