Father’s Day treat

In the few days leading up to Father’s Day my wife asked if I had given any thought as to what I wanted to do. Honestly I hadn’t really thought much about it. With my schedule we just usually try to squeeze in memorable activities as we can. She then suggests that maybe we could go to a neighboring city and eat at a BBQ restaurant. What was she thinking? I mean seriously, you want me to drive 30 miles to eat BBQ? There is nothing special about that. If we are going to drive for BBQ let’s DRIVE for some BBQ. I throw out the thought of going to one of the restaurants that I follow on Facebook, They’re in the city that I really have no interest in visiting very often, Chicago. But what the hell, it’s for great BBQ, I can suffer.

The morning of Father’s Day started off great, I wasn’t up all night running emergency calls so I was well rested for the 3 hour drive ahead of us. I figure we’d head out by 9-9:30 and be up there at lunch, head home and have leftovers ( if we had any) if not then I’d cook out on the grill. ¬†As I got home I noticed the only person up was my wife, what the heck? Why isn’t everyone meeting me at the truck asking when are when are we going, when are we going, when are we going? I found it hard to believe that I was the one that had been looking over their menu for the last 2 days debating what to get. But that seems to have been the case.

Once the kids were up and dressed, and myself cleaned up we hit the road @ 10:00. Not that big of a delay we can still eat by 1:00 and home by 5:00. In case you didn’t know, I am horrible about timelines just ask my mom.

On our way up my wife asks me “Isn’t there going to be a lot of traffic”, I responded with sound confidence ” Nope, it’s a Sunday. If there is traffic it will be moving and not bumper-bumper”.

We hit the Dan Ryan at about 1:00 and suddenly the ease of forward progress came to a screeching halt. This had better be some great BBQ for this amount of hassle.


Yup that there is brake lights, Clark.

After about 1 1/2 hours of this and numerous “are we there yet” style of comments, we finally were able to do the speed limit.

At about 3:00 we made it to Rub’s Backcountry Smokehouse. First thing we noticed was the smell of smoke in the neighborhood. A nice sweet smell that started the mouth watering and the stomach juices pumping.

Parking is something that, like I’m sure everyone in Chicago, not real common/easy to come by. I guess I am a spoiled small town kind of guy. We had to park about 1 1/2 blocks away in a residential area. Which probably was a good thing, I am going to need a bit of exercise to burn off all of the calories that I am about to dominate.

As we walk up to the front door, nothing but smiles are on my face. This isn’t a fancy foo foo “BBQ restaurant” this is what a real “BBQ restaurant” is suppose to look like. Nice sturdy wooden tables, brick & wooden walls and the smell of BBQ throughout the air. All this in a small cozy environment.

As we entered we were greeted with smiles and told apologetically that there was a short wait of about 10 minutes. Really you think that is a problem? Heck you just impressed me, at 3:00 you still are busy.

We were seated not too long after we were told about the wait and were handed our menus, not that I needed one, in case you forgot I have been planning this meal for 2 days. Drinks were served in mason jars, that ‘s another plus.

Our waitress returned and took our order. Leslie got the brisket melt, Alexes got the salad (no surprise there, she is a bbq restaurant token vegetarian), Kobi got the BBQ nachos and I got the “Big Guys Meal” ( 1/4 Lb pork, 1/4 Lb brisket, 1/4 Lb chicken and 3 rib bones) this came with their cole slaw and home made potato chips.

big guy meal


I liked that the meat came un-sauced because I feel it shows confidence in your cooking ability. I being a person that understands the cooking process felt it appropriate and respectful to taste the meat without the 4 varieties of sauce on the table.

Let’s start with the pork- The pork tenderness was fantastic. A bit on the dry side though and not a lot in the way of flavor. Not bad but not great either.

Chicken- Reminded me of the white meat on thanksgiving day, a bit dry and powerful herb flavor. Not what I would describe as a “BBQ chicken” more of an oven baked herb chicken.

Brisket- the flavor of the brisket was very nice. Had a good beef flavor, but I didn’t taste any rub flavor. A little disappointed with that. It was a tad on the chewy side. Definitely something that I would order again.

Ribs- tenderness was perfect. The dry rub was a nice change, a little peppery. I was kinda hoping for a sweeter rub, but it was very good as it was.

Potato chips- excellent. They are everything you look for in a chip. Not overly salty, nice and crisp.

Cole slaw- Very good slaw. It was a vinegar based slaw with very good sweet accents. The chopped apple was a welcomed unexpected surprise.

I was hoping to get a tour of the pit room, but they were in the process of adding another monster pit to help with the customer demand. Can you believe that that they are already looking to expand after recently doing so.

If you are in the area and want some BBQ I would definitely recommend stopping by and getting a bite to eat.

Oh yeah, I never made it home in time to cook on the grill. Probably a good thing because I don’t think I could have ate any more.


The stress of The Que Life

Here I sit at one of my several jobs that doesn’t involve BBQ and I start thinking about an upcoming wedding that we have been hired to cater. I start making plans for what to purchase and when to start things. With this comes the stress of will I hit a homerun or strike out swinging. I say this because out of all the things that I do BBQ wise catering is the one that worries/stresses me the most.

I can spend $600+ to spend the weekend competing against some of the nation’s best teams and not have an ounce of worry in me. A time when I should be at my most high strung level I am usually pretty calm and laid back. I mean heck there is nearly $1500+ to be won and I am not worried.

Now on the side of catering, I am usually a worry wort. Have I got this ready? Did I do that? Will everyone get plenty to eat and then some? Will I rise to level that I know I can be and provide the meal that exceeds their expectations? Heck will they like my food? Usually a total stranger has put their faith and money into me to make their meal one to remember.

This is why I stress so much about these events. The only thing I have to lose at this point is my name and to me that means everything.