BBQ in the burbs...
The weather has certainly turned something on in me...the craving for BBQ!!! Yes I can venture to the city to feast at Smoque or Smoke Daddy, but I was wondering if there are any good joints in the burbs. Not your corporate owned...but your stand alone...mom/pop joints...please help cure the BBQ illness!!!
Thomas BBQ in Aurora is pretty good, I have no reference for you to judge by. They are family owned and the family has a farm in Arkansas where they raise their own hogs. I also enjoy The Bar-B-Que Shack in St. Charles, the owner is from Texas where he learned his trade. They also have etoufee, po-boys and a great gumbo. In both of these places I always have the pulled pork, not a rib fan.
The Bar-B-Que Shack
1649 Montgomery Road
While I really do agree with swsidejim on this one in that there are no places I've tried that are as exciting as Honey 1, or even better, Uncle John's, or smoque, and the best I can get in the western burbs comes from my own smoker, here's another rec for you:
Coleman's Bbq (takeout)
1008 S 17th Ave, Maywood, IL 60153
Coleman's is an aquarium smoker type Chicago BBQ joint. No brisket. Hot links and spares and tips are the menu draws here. I think their sauce is too sweet, but they can do pork right.
Coleman's is my favorite in the western burbs for this type of q. Other opinions for the area:
Robinson's in Oak Park.
Hasn't been decent in ten years or so. Overpriced garbage now. Used to be really good.
Joes Bbq in Hillside:
I went once just to try it. The tips I had had no smoke flavor at all, although I watched them get pulled out of the smoker. I would hope that this is not the norm, but I'm not going to find out - not worth the frustration if it is.
Joes Barbeque & Fish
350 N Wolf Rd
Hillside, IL 60162
Hillary & Cook's BBQ in Maywood.
I went there once. I threw most of my Tip/link combo away. I found it vile. It takes a LOT for me to toss a plate full of tips. It may have been an off night. The food was not rotten, or anything like that, but the tips were leathery, overcooked little pieces of garbage. inedible. wrong. I would hope this is not the norm there, but I won't be finding out if it is.
Hillery & Cook Barbecue
1200 S 17th Ave, Maywood
The new kid on the block is in Forest Park called Smokin M's. I've got my fingers and toes crossed for this place to be good. I've only been once so far. I'm not a fan of their links, (dry, coarse sandy grind) but the tips had potential. They were overcooked a little, but they had darned good flavor, as in "no sauce needed" flavor. They use a sauce which highly resembles original open pit which I do no care for at all, but I only get sauce on the side anyway. I think they might do well once they figure out how to use their smoker correctly on a consistent basis (LIKE LOWERING THE HEAT A LITTLE!!!) I'll give them another try in a few weeks.
7507 W. Roosevelt Road
Forest Park, IL 60130
At any rate, I like trying out new q places, even if they suck. The experience is priceless. Plus, if frustration gets the best of me, I can trek down to E 69th street for some Uncle John's therapy. What sucks, as I bet swsidejim is probably well aware, is that it really isn't all that hard to produce good q. All it takes is a little bit of know how, a lot of patience, and a little attention to detail. Next fall, I'm gonna fill up my freezer w/ vacuum packed bags of cooked spares and tips for these winter months. I did several chickens last fall which are working out incredibly. When I open them up, it's like a blast of summer q in the kitchen.
it was a tough time smoking my ribs on Sunday, a hard fight to keep the temperature where I wanted it to be. Still produced some nice dry rubbed ribs with a beautiful smoke ring.
Colemans has been on my list of places to try as well, based on your review it will be sooner rather than later.
For reference I am a big fan of Honey 1, and also like Smoque. Nothing like either out in the suburbs. I either fire up my smoker at home, or trek into the city. Just alot of bad chains like Patio, and Famous Dave's out in the burbs imho.
One place that is ok is:
132 S. Cass Ave