Friday, September 5, 2014

Ream's Elburn Market

- The Midwest: Butchers + Bakers + Sausage and Cheese Makers

Today's post is a longtime coming, I've been saying that alot lately. I decided to wait this one out until football season got underway as I'm about to share with you your one stop shop for all your tailgating needs. Ream's Elburn Market is located on Main Street in Elburn, Illinois. It's about a 50 mile drive from the city but what you're about to see will justify that ride. If you call yourself a grillmaster than you're obligated to shop for your meats at a place like Ream's. Today I offer a detailed photographic tour of what I can say with confidence is the best overall meat market I've ever visited.

The Pride and Joy of Elburn, IL

The building itself has been a meat market since 1904 however it didnt become Ream's until 1954 when a husband and wife team purchased the place. From the website "As the area started to change, Ream’s Elburn Market has evolved into a specialized meat market with which no other store in the area can compare. Around 1980, Randy Ream, Robert and Phyllis’ son, started to learn the art of smoked meats and sausages. The store has become well known throughout the entire Chicago area for their award-winning sausages and smoked meats."

Some peaks inside

More from the website "Randy Ream has won over 200 awards in state and national competitions. Randy has also earned his spot in the Cured Meat Hall of Fame! Ream’s Elburn Market is an old-fashioned family owned business that specializes in knowledgeable, friendly service and high quality fresh meat, smoked meats, and other unique food items. Customers enjoy the Elburn Market’s specialty meats and sausages for gourmet dinners, parties, barbeques, quick and easy meals, and tasty snacks."

Ream's makes the best sausage sticks in the business and the 20+ flavors of jerky are no slouch neither

While the size of Ream's isnt huge they pack an insane amount of meats and other treats inside. There's a couple things that go into my basket no matter what each and every time I visit. First is their bier snack stix which they've won countless awards for. Meat snacks don't get any better my friends. Then there's their jerky which comes in so many flavors I've forgotten which ones are my favorite though the Jamaican jerk I do remember for being tongue tingling in a very favorable way. Don't forget about the encased meats as they make a mean all natural 100% beef wiener that both the kids and adults cant get enough of. Visit on a nice weekend day and they'll be selling them ready to eat outside. I suggest eating a wiener as this is one of those spots you don't want to shop at while hungry. Trust me on that.

Ream's Award Winning Beef Wieners

Continuing on with their encased meats you cant go into Ream's and not get some of their award winning brats. Let's get something clear, there's maybe one or two other people out there that have been to as many Wisconsin meat markets as myself, I'll put my mortgage on that. What they make at Ream's is better than all of them, that place people like to go to across state-lines on the Wisconsin side doesn't compare. It's no contest when it comes to Ream's award winning bratwurst. Back in 1994 when Randy started entering these contests they beat out Miesfeld's of Sheboygan which many say make the best brats in the business. They're great but my vote goes to Ream's.

Endless displays of Meat and Sausage for your grilling and smoking needs

Most everything is made in house or smoked on site

Truth be told I could on and on about this place as its one of my favorite stops to shop. Another item I cant get enough of are their signature Pork 500's. Seen in the pic up above these are pork rolls with cheese and stuffing mixed in. Never did something so simple to prepare, taste so much like a home cooked thanksgiving day meal. All you have to do is place them on aluminum foil and put them on indirect heat on the grill for 35 minutes or so. So simple, so good. The fact of the matter is whatever it is you think looks like it would be really great for dinner that week will be as long as you know what you're doing in the backyard.

Grilled Pork and Sausage Kebab, Pork 500's and Brats ready to roll

Love the boneless Pork Chops for sandwich consumption

Bonus Recipe!

One day last year I bought some thinly sliced prime rib that was very appealing to my eyes on a visit. They encouraged I get a thicker piece but when I told them my plans to make it into a French dip sandwich they knew I knew what I was up to. This was a winner. So easy to prepare and better than most you'd be served should you order a Prime Rib sandwich in a restaurant. Check it out.

1) Slice a roll down the middle and dress it like you would some garlic bread. Toast the roll until browned. Add a slice of cheese to the top of the bun and put the sliced meat into the oven with it for 5 minutes or so before taking them both out.

2) Slice some onions while bread is baking and saute them up until done. Place the onions on the meat and prepare sandwich for eating.

3) Make a horseradish sauce to serve the sandwich with and warm up the cup of au jus they give you when you buy the ready to eat prime rib meat. Enjoy.

Bonus Food Stop!

On the way to Ream's from the city you'll pass a tavern/eatery in Elburn that looks promising and brags about their "almost famous belly busting" burgers and Reuben's.

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Elburn, IL

We stopped in for dinner here before heading back to the city after a quick shop at Ream's last year. They've since closed and reopened. Having been in the area for over 20 years they had a nice crowd coming in for dinner the Wednesday night we were there. It's your typical small town Midwest tavern as far as feel. The bar was really nice and the place as a whole was clean, shiny and upkept really well. We sat at the bar and went with one of their famous belly busting Reuben's and the special that night which was a fried chicken dinner. Both pleased. The sandwich was massive, served open faced it could easily be split.

Definitely a belly buster

The chicken was very good to. Fried fresh to order it took about 20 minutes and came out piping hot. It wasn't quite Lasalle County area down there good but better than most I've had in the city. The breast was actually my favorite part to it and that's rarely the case.

Blackberry Inn Fried Chicken Special

Ream's Meat Market
128 N Main St
Elburn, IL 60119
(630) 365-6461

Blackberry Inn
1S731 Il Route 47
Elburn, IL 60119
(630) 365-2200

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