Saturday, my friends and I decided on Barbecue for our weekly Bears Fans Local 102 meeting. [The name has since been changed to Bears Fans Anonymous Local 102, and the phone has been disconnected.]
Lem's didn't open until 2.30, so we went to Curt's and Barbara Ann's.
From Curt's we ordered a full slab and nine wings. Sauce on the side is not an option. Take it or leave it. We took it mild.
From Barbara Ann's we intended to order more ribs and wings, but they didn't have any ribs ready, so we ordered a hot link, a large order of tips, and 12 wings. We asked for mild sauce, on the side.
Curt's ribs were fine. Good colour, smoky flavour, but slightly tough. I didn't like the sauce, though. Flat and overly sweet. [FTR, I'm not a fan of dressed ribs.] Their fries were good. They seemed homemade. I really enjoyed the wings, as well. A hint of spice. Easy on the fry-coating. Meaty.
The hot link from Barbara Ann's was fantastic. Smoky, craggy, and nicely spiced. I thought that the rib tips were exceptional nude. I tried the sauce on its own, and thought it was much better than Curt's. It was complex, zippy, and not too sweet. The fries were frozen crinkle cuts. Forgettable. So too, the overly-breaded wings.
If you've never been to Curt's, its worth the drive just for the view. Every conceivable surface is plastered with self-aggrandizing blurbs. Curt's Ten Commandments of BBQ, Curt's head superimposed on Mt. Rushmore, a picture of Curt on the moon, etc. Hilarious. All of it patinated behind years of smoke.
The pit man at Barbara Ann's fastidiously maintains his pit. Eyeing, rotating, spraying, every few minutes. I think that this is partly why the product seemed superior to me. Those tips were tender. [Bonus points for serving Upper 10.]
Barbara Ann's is a little further north on Cottage. It's adjacent to Barbara Ann's Motel Two. LOL!
Curt's Hometown BBQ & Delicatessen
8210 S. Cottage Grove Ave.
Barbara Ann's BBQ
7617 S. Cottage Grove Ave.
Barbara Ann's Motel Two
7621 S. Cottage Grove Ave.