Fuckin’ BBQ

Summer is a time for BBQ, and while our apartment balcony and budget do not afford me the opportunity to do any proper barbecuing, I have finally found a place near home (that isn’t Famous Dave’s) where I can purchase some real-deal BBQ for the purposes of eating.

Now, barbecue is a term that has been generically applied to get-togethers where meats are grilled over open flame, but true BBQ is food cooked in a low temperature, high smoke environment for a long period of time, and most BBQ aficionados (with the exception of those from Texas), will also agree that true BBQ means pork.

If there is anything that may challenge bacon as the titleholder of My Favorite Porcine Food Application, it would be pulled pork, which is made from the shoulder or boston butt. Typically, I like my pulled pork on a bun, lightly dressed with BBQ sauce and some cole slaw…but the brilliant, wonderful souls at Brothers’ Ribs in Palatine have decided that good pulled pork does not need to be relegated simply to buns.

Let me introduce you to the best french fried potato dish of all time: Smothered Fries.

That would be a layer of french fries, covered in cheddar cheese, covered in pulled pork and covered in their delicious…DELICIOUS sauce. It is on the appetizer portion of the menu, but it is filling enough to be consumed as an entree and sinfully comforting enough to be consumed as a desert. I am still having trouble fully grasping the awesome power and beauty of this dish.

Another appetizer we have partaken of are the onion rings, which are also quite good. Crunchy, peppery batter and big, thick onions. They also are not too greasy, which is nice when you are trying to eat while holding your daughter. They offer a regular size, which is 8 rings, and a large size which contains 12. We got the regular size and it was more than enough to accompany our lunch with some left over to have with the frozen pizza we made for dinner.

I had the catfish lunch special. $7 for two battered, fried catfish filets with slaw and fries. Good stuff, although some house tartar sauce would be a welcome change to the packaged condiment crap that came with it.

I have also had the pulled pork sandwich, which is fantastically splendiferous. As I mentioned, it is lightly dressed in their own award winning sauce, an intelligent design feature given the strength of the sauce, which is ample. Nice big kaiser roll, too. Not some frilly bun. Their slaw is slightly bitter because it is not very creamy, so the red cabbage bites through and plays well with the spicy sweetness of the sauce and juicy tenderness of the pork.

Wife had the beef brisket sandwich. I had a bite. It was good, but I am not huge fan of brisket. It is good but, as I said earlier, when I think BBQ, I think pork. The tough brisket cut does take well to a good long smoking, but I do not think it takes on the flavor as well. I like my tough beef cuts marinated, seared and braised, personally.

I, unfortunately, have yet to try the ribs here, but based on the numerous awards and based on the praise I have read and heard from others, I am looking forward to them.

Like any eatery worth it’s salt, it is completely devoid of kitschy, nonsensical decor. There are some things hanging on the walls, but nothing that demands attention or discussion, and none of it is prefabricated to look older than it actually is. No fancy place settings or small tables for two. Just benches and chairs with picnic table cloths and community condiments and napkins. Furthermore, the 3 times I have been there (ate in once, brought it home twice), the soundtrack has been wonderful. Either very well constructed mix cds or a satellite station. Yes. Journey. Styx. Allman Brothers. Dire Straits. Heart. Heard all of them while waiting around for my delicious, reasonably priced food.

I expect to be spending more of my time and money at Brothers’ Ribs. Properly sized menu at proper prices, good food and good atmosphere, daily lunch and dinner specials…if this place starts up a microbrew, I think we may have to move within walking distance.

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About Anthony

Husband of one, father of one. Two cats, one dog, a bike, and some fishing poles. I do nothing well.
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