I have always enjoyed Chucks BBQ but dont often make it to Burbank. I went again recently and, as there are big changes coming soon, thought this would be a good time to write a bit about the place.
Chucks BBQ has been around something like 5 years and I never felt it gets the attention it deserves. Of the sit-down BBQ places its certainly one of the best. Some of the barbecue is very good indeed but its the extras that really set Chucks apart. Chuck, the very friendly owner, clearly enjoys what hes doing and takes pride in his restaurant. Chuck used to work at Frontera Grill and some of that influence is apparent, especially in the specials. Currently its a small, rather plain room with a counter and about 6 tables. Theres usually good blues playing at low volume. A very basic selection of beer and wine is now offered. Several of us split some gumbo, a sandwich, a mixed platter, and some sides.
Gumbo was very good, very dark and thick with proper spicing. I have always liked Chucks Special, a sandwich of smoked brisket, grilled poblanos, onions, chihuahua cheese, au jus. I think Chuck does an especially good job with brisket and also with pulled pork (if youre eating in, consider getting the pork dry and saucing it yourself at the table). Ribs were, frankly, quite disappointing with a very soft texture. The hot links are a different style than Barbara Anns (my current favorite) or Lems. Theyre much finer textured and less charred. These were controversial--some of us liked them, others didnt.
French fries were great, macaroni and cheese was very good, and cole slaw was adequate. The Brunswick stew is worth a try but its not overly exciting. I am very fond of Chucks BBQ sauce, especially the hot.
Just about everything is homemade, right down to the chicken fingers on the childrens menu. I have never had room for dessert but the chocolate pecan pie, peach cobbler, and banana bread pudding all sound good.
Every day there is a special dish, often Cajun or Mexican. I havent tried as many of these as Id like but Id say any would be worth a try. Here are this weeks specials. Tue pot roast in chipotle-tomatillo sauce with garlic-cheese mashed potatoes and roasted Mexican veggies (oops, very sorry, I didnt get around to posting this in time!). Wed Creole stuffed peppers with garlic mashed potatoes. Thu fettuccine with Cajun cream sauce with crab, shrimp, and crawfish. Fri blackened scallops with rice pilaf. Sat lamb barbacoa tacos with pickled red onions and habanero salsa. Most of these are under $8 (seafood is higher).
A vegetarian could be quite happy here. The Veggie Stack is a sandwich of roasted portabello mushroom, eggplant, onion, peppers, provolone cheese, topped with lettuce and red pepper mayo. This weeks special big salad is romaine with grilled red onion, tomato, tortilla strips, cilantro, avocado, and black beans, with a jalapeno dressing.
In the near future (possibly 4 weeks) Chuck will be expanding into a much larger space next door. It will be interesting to follow how the new place takes shape.
5557 W 79th St (at Central)
Burbank, IL 60459
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