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Aug 1, 2003 06:44 AM

Sally's Barbecue

  • b

There was a barbecue joint in Chicago. It began on the west side but eventually moved to north Western Ave. The name was Sally's. If anyone has the formula for their barbecue sauce, I would be eternally grateful.

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  1. It's funny you should ask about this sauce. My husband and I stopped at Russels in Elmwood Park on Saturday night and he was commenting that their sauce reminded him of Sally's. I know they sell it by the bottle because I saw a sign. Actually the whole place reminds me of Sallys.

    1. The formula is long gone. I worked as a Soda Jerk for Sally's for 5 years (as a yoot). The owner (Sally Wrightman) mixed the secret spice mixture in her office, and handed it to her brother who ran the kitchen. Even HE did not know what was in it. When she dies, she took that to the grave with her. (Unless someone can dig up an antique bottle of Sally's sauce that they used to bottle in the 30's and 40's.)

      And YES that sauce was freaking awesome. Spicy, with kick and vinegar. THe sraff snacks used to be a bowl of fries or french bread and a bowl of that sauce. Total blissful YUM

      BTW I am trying to locate any photos of the Sally's from Western Ave, expecially of the sign. Any help would be DEEPLY apreciated.

      1 Reply
      1. re: benjybeaver

        Sally never mixed anything in her office! Her office was this tiny little space with papers all over. We used to mix the sauce out in the kitchen. Never seemed like a big secret to me. I used to help Seymour do that and the slaw mixing. Never paid much attention to exactly what was going in as we made them.

        I worked as a jerk for more than 3 years and then into the kitchen part time as I went through college at U of I, Chicago. I started at Sally's in 1962 and worked on and off though about 1970.

        Seymour who ran the kitchen when I was there was not her brother. I don't recall her brother being involved at all. Maybe that was later.


      2. My Dad (Gordon Goch) headed up the delivery service for Sallys Barbeque. When it folded he was given the recipe for her famous sauce. I am the sole survivor of that recipe.

        11 Replies
        1. re: jeff.grant

          So you resurrected an eight-month-old thread just to tell us you won't share?


          1. re: bourj

            It's actually an eight YEAR-old thread. But who's counting?

            1. re: chicgail

              I am. :) It's a thread that began seven years ago and the previous post was eight months ago.

          2. re: jeff.grant

            Jeff, can you email me a copy of that recipe? I am 64 yrs. old and would like to taste it again.
            I live in Oregon now and used to eat from there all the time, mostly carry outs and after going to the movies.

            1. re: sparkarc

              I hate to break it to all of you but Jeff is NOT the only person to posess Sally's recipe! Sally's niece's and nephew have it and since Harry Kurzawa,who was Sally's brother and the kitchen ramrod not to mention my stepfather had it (he passed in August of 1993) I have it. I am finishing up a degree program at present and plan to hopefully open a burger and rib joint and use it when I finish.

              1. re: madcat

                Bravo Madcat! Good luck with your rib joint!

                1. re: jeff.grant

                  My dad (Jerry Davis) was the head cook for Sally's up until it closed. He made the best ribs.

                  1. re: cooksdaughter

                    I worked at Sally's from when I was 15 (1962) for $1.25/hr. at the location North of Devon next to Nortown Olds used car lot. My uncle got me the job and was good friends with Benny and Sally Riteman (I believe Wrightman is wrong.) I worked as a Soda Jerk then moved to the Kitchen working under the head cook at that time Seymour. I helped move the place to the location just South of Devon across from the Nortown Theater. Was fun to have a brand spanking new place and the place was always a mob scene especially on shopping nights and after the movie let out. I remember Benny, Sally, Irene, Marilyn (hostess) and Seymour well. I remenmber when Benny had his stroke and when he passed away. He was a nice man. Sally and Irene were also something else. And the waitresses! What a trip for a young shy teenage boy to be thrust into that insanity.

                    I worked on and off all the way through College filling in for no shows. Was always fun to be behind that Soda Fountain. Oh yes, I worked with Larry Riteman, the nephew of Benny. He was a trip. We always had a blast with the waitresses. I remember the sisters Margie and ???; Lizzy and Eva. Many more that escape me now.

                    And the sauce was great, but I also remember the Slaw. I used make barrels of that stuff!


                    P.S. - The best ribs I have ever had is here in Scottsdale at Bandera. Better than Don and Charlie's and Sally's.

                    1. re: howiekaplan131

                      I lived behind Sally’s on Claremont and we would eat there a lot. When I was older and we moved up towards Touhy I’d drive there to pick up food. And I clearly recall Marilyn as taking the takeout orders. She and my uncle were friends from the West Side so we’d get the “big slab” of ribs. A good friend of mine worked there as a bus boy probably in 1966 and would meet up with us at Rogers School park (playing that anomaly - 16” slow pitch softball with a “Clincher”) fresh from Sally’s. His hands would be stained red from that sauce. Man, I could use a large Green River and a “big slab” right now! Or better yet, a bowl of mushroom barley soup, corned beef on rye and a chocolate phosphate from the greatest deli ever, Friedman’s Delicatessen by the Nortown. Then to Georges for some candy for dessert.

                2. re: madcat

                  So did anyone ever cut lose with the sauce recipe? If so,....anyway to get it?
                  Actually lived right behind the Western / Arthur location as a real young kid,....and would go with friends to the newer one across from the Nortown quite often to simply order sauce and French bread.
                  Promise I won't share with ANYONE! PLEASE!

              2. re: jeff.grant

                I don't believe anyone had the sauce recipe.

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