Went back to Merle's on Benson in Evanston for the first time since a visit to Lockhart Texas, where I had the most wonderful brisket ever at three different places. I have been kind of scared off getting brisket anywhere else since then.
Well, Merle's aint Smitty's, Black's or Kreutz but it will do. On one hand, it didnt have that much of a smoke ring, or strong woodsy smoke flavor. On the other hand, it was very tender and came in both lean and fatty slices. I wonder if they cook it wrapped in foil?
My family's ribs were very good, chewy, smoke-colored, smokier tasting than the brisket. The garlic mashed potatoes with cream gravy were fantastic. The fried chicken (waiter warned a 20 min wait...good sign) was very nice, if a tad blandly spiced, but came out hot from the fryer and the pieces were huge.