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Please help me decide barbeque spot

  • r

My birthday is next month and I get to choose the restaurant.
I've narrowed it down to three: Smoque; Fat Willey's; Honey 1. I've never been to any of them and can't even swear I'd know good barbeque if I ate it. I don't like to go into the city but these places seem to be the ones that get mentioned a lot. Thanks

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  1. Do you want brisket?
    Do you want rib tips?
    Do you want hot links?
    Only Fat Willy's has all three.
    Smoque - no tips or links
    H1 - no brisket.

    1. That's part of my dilemma. I`m not sure. But let's assume I want ribs. That way I will have some sort of standard (I hope) in which to judge other rib places.

      4 Replies
      1. re: rlr

        I'd go with H1 for strictly ribs. I'd also try their tips, and links as well. If you like them, your next trial should be for take out at Uncle John's on E 69th street. Better than H1 if you ask me.

        My tip for q - ALWAYS get the sauce on the side. ALWAYS.

        You can also do Smoque for brisket AND ribs. Just not tips. You're pretty much ok either way. If you like q, then you should try all of the good places anyway. (Yes, even Carson's too. Give them a try. I am not a fan, but there are plenty who are)

        1. re: gordeaux

          I know I will get in trouble for saying this, but I went to H1 for the first time and was really underwhelmed with the ribs. The meat was not fall off the bone tender. It definitely had a smoky flavor, but otherwise, the flavor was not as subtantial and quality of meat as good as I expected.

          1. re: ljero

            I would not fault you for saying that at all. Q can be off, and is not easy to put out a consistent product for many, many people at a time. I would not give up on them (H-1) though. I would give them another chance. For my $, I would go to Uncle John's for Chicago style q, but rlr had narrowed the selection down to those three.

            Smoked bbq will rarely be "fall of the bone tender" nor is it expected to be. Some chew is to be expected, and really preferred by many smoked q enthusiasts. This is not to say that once in your mouth, the rib meat will not be extremely tender and juicy if done properly.

            It may be that you prefer the stewed type of "chicago ribs" that many places are known for like the Fireside, Carson's, and Portillos serve. I don't really have an issue with that, (whoever is reading - you know who you are) but it may be something to keep in mind. The smoked ribs are never going to have the same texture as the stewed ribs. Smoking is a drier form of cooking than stewing. With that being said, however, it does not mean that all smoked q is bad, or not tender. When it is done incorrectly, it is bad. When it is done correctly, it is juicy and tender. This is why I rarely go to places other than Uncle John's for ribs and especially tips. He puts out a fairly consistent product each time I go there.

            1. re: gordeaux

              Carson's ribs are not boiled or "stewed". They are slow-cooked in a smoker. Which is why they do not "fall off the bone".

              I have vague recollections from years ago of "fall off the bone" ribs at Gale Street Inn.

      2. Honey 1, and Smoque are solid choices.

        I would choose Honey 1 for a couple of reasons, I like thier ribs better than the others listed, they have hot links, and they are BYOB with a liquor store across the street.

        Cold beer & bbq.

        2 Replies
        1. re: swsidejim

          Thanks everyone, but now you've got me going. What exactly are hot links and, more important, where can I buy them so that I can try smoking them? I can't believe I've never tried, much less, seen them on a menu. That's what I get for staying out in the burbs. Do they go by any other names?

          1. re: rlr

            Spicy, hot, usually sage-y sausages. I'm not big on sausages, but I do like a good piece of a good link to go along w/ my tips when I'm devouring Chicago q. Again, links are darned good at Uncle John's.

            http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic....

        2. Hands down Honey 1, its the best by far!!!!! Robert will take very giid care of you, everything is good!

          1. Since no one has thrown their hat into the ring on Fay Willy's, allow me to be the first. It is my favorite of the three. The ribs are smoked, and not only taste delicious, but they actually look picture perfect too. They also arguably have the best fries of the lot (steak fries), and good Texas toast and slaw.

            As an added bonus, they are the only one of the three places with waitstaff, and have the broadest menu (including some good desserts.) Particularly if you are trecking here from outside the city, you might prefer the sit down service at Fat Willy's.

            1 Reply
            1. re: JJ.

              I agree with JJ. For me Fat Willy's is my favorite, for the same reasons. I would go there before the other places mentioned. Their burgers are also outstanding, although it is almost impossible to order a burger and not the ribs, pulled pork, or brisket.