Ive been a little slow with the updates on recent barbecue forays. Heres the most recent but I still owe an earlier one.
Stopped at the Cottage Grove outpost of Leons. Tried the ribs, tips, and links. Ribs and tips had decent flavor, but light on the smoke. Links were on the bland side. One of the real classic Chicago barbecue houses but not at the very top.
Got to sample another apple fritter from Dat Donut. Not bad but not in the same league as Old Fashioned Donut.
On the way to Leons we noticed that Barbara Anns had reopened after being closed for about 6 weeks while remodeling. I was really worried that things would be changed but that wasnt the case; it looks much the same and the barbecue is still first-rate. Barbara Anns remains one of the elite barbecue houses in Chicago. Great rib tips and some of the best hot links around. Very good sauce (one of the few places I prefer the mild over hot, despite what I posted earlier). We should all let out a sigh of relief that Barbara Anns is back and as good as ever.
Then a quick stop at Tropic Island, my favorite place for jerk chicken. No room for chicken that day, just a cup of their extraordinary house-made ginger beer. I dont think its listed on the menu and the wall signs are no longer up. Its worth asking for (but only if you truly like ginger).
Another non-barbecue detour for steak sandwiches at Home of the Hoagie. There was quite a line as always and several customers spoke of the sandwich in reverent tones. Be aware this is definitely a cult item that not everyone will appreciate (as I saw with my own eyes). Let me re-emphasize what I said in an earlier post: this thing is really, really sweet!
On the way back north, a bathroom stop led us to Top Notch Beefburger Shop. Even though wed probably exceeded our monthly allowance of fries in the previous few hours, how can you pass up "Pre-WWII Style Fries"? I believe this translates to "Fried in Animal Fat." Anyway they were great, as always, one might even say top notch.
There used to be a Fitzees at 6059 S Ashland but that seems to be long gone. The Fitzees on Indiana, right next to Velvet Lounge, is still open. Only tried rib tips which werent so great. Not a whole lot of flavor and a rather rubbery texture. Their much-praised (at least by the owners) sauce left me cold. Another of those rare places (on the south side at least) with a table in back to eat at.
One quick word on openings/closings. JRs Caribbean Hut, introduced to us by RST about a year ago, has closed their store at 7960 S Ashland. A pity because they served excellent jerk chicken. But good news! On the west side of Indiana Av around 37th St (?) is a yet-to-open shop with a JRs Caribbean sign in the window. I assume its the same people.
Other reports of earlier barbecue expeditions from last month can be found at:
[BROKEN LINK REMOVED]
(I-57, Best, 87th Street, Rib Joint, DD&S, Georges, Lems, Exsenators)
[BROKEN LINK REMOVED]
(Alices, Leons #4, Fredines, Phillips, Honey 1, Colemans #2, Rib Palace)
8251 S Cottage Grove Av
8249 S Cottage Grove Av
Barbara Anns BBQ
7617 S Cottage Grove Av
Tropic Island Jerk Chicken
1922 E 79th St
Home of the Hoagie
1312 W 111th St
Top Notch Beefburger Shop
2116 W 95th St
Fitzees Serious Ribs and Chicken
2130 S Indiana Av