{Q-BBQ} Not Your Average Smokehouse

Downtown Naperville has always been an attractive place to dine – bustling with independent boutiques and often pricey restaurants -however the town is now complete with it’s very own fast-casual smokehouse,  Q-BBQ.  Q-BBQ earned it’s following at their flagship location in LaGrange several years ago and has now found a comfy spot on Main St. in downtown Naperville.  Their location is a huge stomach tease on the nearby population as you can smell the delicious smoked meat from MILES away!

Now correct me if I’m wrong, but Naperville seems to only have two smoke houses:  Gemato’s and now, Q-BBQ.  I went to Gemato’s over the summer and found it extremely mediocre. But of course, I’m comparing it to the lip smacking quality of Smoque BBQ or Honky Tonk’s in the city.  I ordered the smoked chicken and the ribs and remember clearly that the chicken was so dry enough that my toddler refused to eat any. The high chairs really needed a severe cleaning – who wants to put their kid in a sticky high chair??  I love that Q-BBQ is a modern restaurant – like the feeling you get when you walk into a Chipotle. It’s clean, bright and inviting.   The staff is good looking and friendly.

Now, I mentioned Honky Tonk – it’s hands down, my favorite BBQ in the city. We used to live about 5 mins from there and ordered as often as our waistlines could afford.  I can easily say that the calibre of Q-BBQ may EXCEED that of Honky Tonk. Let’s compare apples to apples.

1) Q-BBQ offers FOUR sauces where Honky Tonk only offers 3 – My favorite is definitely the South Carolina Mustard. They also have a Texas spicy, North Carolina Vinegar and Sweet Sauce.

2) Q-BBQ offers both SLICED and CHOPPED beef brisket (Honky Tonk only has chopped it seems)

3) Q-BBQ’s memphis style chicken wings might make you orgasm upon first bite. Not offered at Honky Tonk

4) Q-BBQ may just win this comparison with their BURNT ENDS. (More on that later)

What Q-BBQ doesn’t have are the fun additions that Honky Tonk has, like fried green tomatoes or bacon candy.

Not know what to order, we opted for the Q-COMBO where you can choose 4 meats and add sides.  As the platter of BBQ deliciousness was passed under my nose, I felt a mouth boner erect inside me.  My salivary glands began to express themselves and I found my throat beginner to swell. My heart palpitated just a litte as the tray slid in front of me.

::Pulled chicken, chicken wings, chopped beef brisket, pulled pork.  Hush puppies, mac n cheese (whisper “smoked…….. meat………”)

Without blinking an eye or letting another second pass without having BBQ in my mouth, we quickly divided up our share and each of us attacked the food in our own way.  Uniquely different right off the bat was the chicken wings.  They are so covered in brown sugar & spices then smoked – the flavor was finger licking good!   Everything else was very good but we weren’t able to stop at just tasting this 4 meat combo. (btw, Hush Puppies are are the BOMB – sweet kernerls of corn pop nestled in the soft potato sing glorious songs in your mouth).

One thing I was able to do on this visit was solidify the fact that I have to make my way to South Carolina very soon.  I’ve found the style of sauce that I keep going back to.  Not shown here (it’s around the backside) is this yellowy, mustard bbq sauce.  Who can recommend a place to go in South Carolina??

::Round Two

Not satisfied yet, at the recommendation of the manager, Abbey (who’s adorable by the way), we ordered the Burnt Ends.  I am not sure I have been burnt ends any where else, or maybe just never took notice.  At Q-BBQ, they smoke the brisket, then cut off the burnt ends, re-rub and smoke another two hours for a total of 24 hours.  Intense meaty smokiness unless any other meat I’ve had before.  I was afraid they might be uber dry but actually very tender!

::Round Three, Food Whores don’t quit easily

You just can’t leave a BBQ joint without trying out the ribs, right? I am a bit of a pork rib snob – Because we make ribs at home often enough – I have a preference in the cut of meat a buy.  We never buy ribs from the conventional grocery store anymore because all the big name brands have super fatty, super thick meat on the bones. Sounds like I would like it, but I don’t!  My idea of a perfect cut of ribs is uniform meatiness across the bone and at Q-BBQ, you get exactly that.  Look at the smoke ring around the meat? Yum. Perfect.

::Last round – salad for digestion.  I don’t know about you, but I prefer my salad post entree.


Hardly a healthy salad with REAL bacon, chunks of bleu but definitely fresh.  You can add meat onto the salad for just a few bucks more.

So there you have it, another invite to dine complete with pictures to show off the deliciousness.  Of all the items we ate, I highly recommend the burnt ends, the ribs and defintely the BBQ wings!  Since our visit, Q-BBQ added a few items to the menu including mashed potatoes, stuffing, chili, and a side salad to their ever-expansive menu.

~Vivian

Category:Restaurants Barbeque

103 S Main St Naperville, IL 60540
http://www.q-bbq.com/

 

Chicago Gourmet Dine Around Program & Menus Released!

TOP RESTAURANTS PARTICIPATE IN CHICAGO GOURMET AND DINE AROUND PROGRAM

Millennium Park will once again become a culinary hotbed as Chicago Gourmet 2012 takes place Friday, September 28 through Sunday, September 30. The city’s top restaurants, chefs, sommeliers and experts will take part in foodie-focused festivities, which will include cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, seminars and much more.

The Bon Appetit-sponsored Dine Around program, which runs through Sunday, September 30, offers diners a chance to earn a free ticket to Chicago Gourmet by purchasing five meals at participating restaurants. During this time, Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush, Quartino Ristorante, Quay Restaurant and Bar, RIVA Crab House on Navy Pier, Tavern on Rush and Tuscany on Taylor will offer special prix-fixe Dine Around Menus for $35 or $55. Complete menus and details available below. Photos available upon request.

CHICAGO GOURMET PARTICIPANTS

  • Frontier
  • Gibsons Restaurant Group (Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse, Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House, LUXBAR, Quartino Ristorante)
  • LM Restaurant Group (Brasserie by LM, LM, Troquet)
  • Phil Stefani Restaurant Group (437 Rush, RIVA Crab House, and Tuscany on Taylor)
  • Quay Restaurant and Bar
  • Rosebud Restaurants (Carmine’s, Rosebud Prime, Rosebud on Rush, Rosebud Steakhouse, Rosebud Theater District, Rosebud Trattoria and The Rosebud on Taylor)
  • Tavern on Rush

DINE AROUND PARTICIPANTS & MENUS

PHIL STEFANI’S 437 RUSH
437 N. Rush St. | Chicago, IL 60611 | 312.222.0101 | www.philstefanis437rush.com

Dine Around Dinner Menu by Chef Federico Comacchio
Now through Sunday, September 30
$55 per person plus tax and gratuity

ANTIPASTO
Carpaccio di Tonno Affumicato, Crescione, Olive Marinate, Balsamico e Bottarga
Marinated and lightly smoked Pacific Ahi Tuna Carpaccio, red watercress, marinated Liguria olives, Balsamico and Bottarga di Muggine

ENTRATA
Filetto di Fracosta All’amarone Pancetta e Midollo
Roasted rib eye filet, glazed asparagus, applewood Nueske’s bacon, veal marrow and Amarone reduction

DOLCE
Semifreddo al Balsamico, Biscotto e Amarene
Aged balsamic semifreddo, chocolate brittle, California figs biscotto and candied black cherries

HOURS: Lunch: Monday – Friday, 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM | Bar Bites: Monday – Friday, 4:30 PM – 7:00 PM | Dinner: Monday – Thursday, 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM and Friday – Saturday, 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM

QUARTINO RISTORANTE
626 N. State | 312.698.5000 | www.quartinochicago.com

Dine Around Dinner Menu by Executive Chef John Coletta
Now through Sunday, September 30
$35 per person plus tax and gratuity

FIRST COURSE
(Choice of one)
Wine Bar Plates
Soup / Salad
Fonduta

SECOND COURSE
One selection from Pasta or Risotto menus

THIRD COURSE
(Choice of one)
Specialties
Seafood
Vegetarian Section

FOURTH COURSE
One Selection from Dessert Menu

HOURS: Monday-Friday 11:30 AM – 2:00 AM | (Kitchen open until 1:00 AM) | Saturday 11:30 AM – 3:00 AM | (Kitchen open until 1:00 AM; pizza until 2:00 AM) | Sunday 11:30 – 1:00 AM | (Kitchen open until 12:00 MIDNIGHT)

QUAY RESTAURANT AND BAR
465 E. Illinois | Chicago, IL 60611 | 312.981.8400 | www.quaychicago.com

Dine Around Dinner Menu by Executive Chef Dan Marquis
Now through Sunday, September 30
$35 per person plus tax and gratuity
Optional wine pairings available for an additional $15

FIRST COURSE
Roasted Baby Beet Tartare
Coneflower Farms fresh goat cheese, balsamic caviar, bulls blood microgreens

SECOND COURSE
Pan Seared Diver Scallop
Foie gras, parsnip purée, ground cherry chutney, spiced chocolate sauce

THIRD COURSE
(Choice of one)
Roasted Rabbit
Black kale, red kuri squash purée, huckleberry, pinot reduction

Seared Duck Breast
Thigh confit, forbidden rice, komatsuna greens, pomegranate reduction

*All produce was grown at the farm of Quay’s Executive Chef, Dan Marquis at Mill Road Farms in Sheffield, Illinois.

HOURS: Monday – Wednesday: 3:00 PM – 2:00 AM | Thursday – Friday: 11:00 AM – 2:00 AM | Saturday: 10:00 AM – 3:00 AM | Sunday: 10:00 AM – 2:00 AM

RIVA CRAB HOUSE on Navy Pier
700 E. Grand Ave. | Chicago, IL 60611 | 312.644.7482 | www.rivanavypier.com

Dine Around Dinner Menu by Executive Chef Luigi Garcia
Now through Sunday, September 30
$55 per person plus tax and gratuity

APPETIZER
Jumbo Lump Crab Cake
Louis sauce, capers, radish slaw

SALAD
Roasted Organic Beets Salad
Assorted baby lettuces, fennel, radishes, Maytag blue cheese, pinot noir vinaigrette

ENTREE
Prime Sirloin Steak and White Shrimp Combo
Parsnip puree, glazed baby carrots, thyme demi glaze

DESSERT
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Raspberry coulis, chocolate gelato

HOURS: Riva Crab House Main Dining Lunch: Sunday- Saturday, 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM |  Dinner: Sunday – Saturday, 5:00 PM – 10:30 PM; (lunch menu available from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM in the bar only) Riva Cafe: Sunday- Saturday, 11:00 AM – 10:30 PM

TAVERN ON RUSH
1031 N. Rush St. | Chicago, IL 60611 | 312.644.9600 | www.tavernonrush.com

Dine Around Menus by Executive Chef John Gatsos
Now through Sunday, September 30
Lunch Prix Fixe Menu: $35 per person plus tax and gratuity
Dinner Prix Fixe Menu: $55 per person plus tax and gratuity

LUNCH MENU
FIRST COURSE
Organic Mixed Greens
Candied walnuts, blue cheese and balsamic vinaigrette

ENTREE
Petite Filet Mignon
Angel hair pasta with spinach, wild mushrooms and roasted shallot demi-glace

DESSERT
Cheesecake on Rush
Drizzle of raspberry sauce

DINNER MENU
FIRST COURSE
Heirloom Tomato Salad
Fresh buffalo mozzarella, basil, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic syrup  

ENTREE
Filet of Ribeye Steak and French Fried Skewer of Lobster and Shrimp
Smoked gouda-spinach-sweet corn mashed potato dollop and roasted tomato-caramelized sweet onion demi-glace

DESSERT
Salted Caramel Gelato

HOURS: Monday – Friday: 11:00 AM – 2:00 AM | Saturday: 9:00 AM – 3:00 AM | Sunday: 9:00 AM – 2:00 AM

TUSCANY RESTAURANT on Taylor Street
1014 W. Taylor St. | Chicago, IL 60607 | 312.829.1990 | www.tuscanychicago.com

Dine Around Menu by Executive Chef Victorio Padilla
Now through Sunday, September 30
Three Course Menu: $35 per person plus tax and gratuity
Three Course Menu paired with Wine: $55 per person plus tax and gratuity
Release Body

PRIMO
Agnolotti
Ricotta, gorgonzola, Swiss chard, pine nuts, brown butter, parmigiano, sage
Paired with Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio, Valdadige

SECONDO
Pollo Arrosto
2.5 pound whole chicken, roasted onion, pepper, roasted potatoes, natural jus
Paired with Tenuta Polvaro Nero, Vento

DOLCE
Tiramisu
Paired with Sant’Antimo Vin Santo IL Poggione, Montalcino

HOURS: Lunch: Monday – Friday, 11:00 AM – 3:30 PM | Dinner: Monday – Thursday, 3:30 PM – 10:00 PM; Friday, 3:30 PM – 11:00 PM; Saturday, 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM and Sunday, 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM

FREE FOOD! Dos Equis teams up with DucknRoll for the Most Interesting Academy

Hello, Food Whore fans.  When was the last time you ate something really INTERESTING?  Or something that maybe even freaked you out a little bit?  Food is one of my favorite ways to keep life interesting.  That’s why I am so pumped about this great promotion by Dos Equis, which just launched their Most Interesting Academy.  Dos Equis is making it easy for their fans to try new experiences and keep life interesting by partnering with some great food trucks all around the US, which will serve up some unique and exotic foods, to really shake up your usual lunch routine!

The best part – lunch is FREE!!!  What do you have to lose, food whores?

The Dos Equis Mobile Academy will be at various Chicago locations from 11am to 2pm in the locations listed below:

  • August 21: Dearborn and Monroe (11am-2pm)
  • August 22: AON Center (11am-2pm)
  • August 23: Wabash and Van Buren (11:30am-2:30 pm)
  • August 24: 600 W. Chicago (11am-1pm)
  • August 25: 1442 N. Milwaukee Ave (Silver Room) (12pm-3pm)
  • August 26: Wrigleyville (12-2pm; Cubs game @1:20pm)
  • August 27: OFF
  • August 28: Wabash and Van Buren (11am-12pm)
  • August 29: 57th and Ellis (11am-1pm); Jefferson and Madison (1:30-2:30 pm)
  • August 30: Wrigleyville (12-2pm; Cubs game @1:20pm)

If you are Chinese or Asian, some of these foods might be old news to you.  That doesn’t make them any less delicious!  Chef Amy Le of the DucknRoll food truck did an amazing job of bringing these delicacies to the masses.

The Menu:

Jellyfish Salad

This traditional Chinese wedding appetizer has been served for a thousand years – served chilled with pickled cucumbers.  Jellyfish has a nice chew to it, and I love the pickly goodness!

Braised Sea Cucumber with Oyster Sauce

Eastern Medicine has touted the healing powers of the Sea Cucumber for over 3,000 years. Our version of the wonder seafood comes braised in oyster sauce with winter bamboo shoot.  Listen.  Sea cucumbers are not pretty.  They look scary when they are raw, they look scary when they are cooked.  Just man up, mix your rice up with Amy’s tasty oyster sauce and take a bite.  Sea cucumber on it’s own doesn’t have much flavor, so it takes a skilled chef to make it taste good.  Sea cucumber more or less has the texture of a cooked mushroom.  JUST EAT IT.

Miso Marinated Beef Tongue served in Steam Buns

The quintessential Japanese spice meets the quintessential Chinese street food!  Amy has taken care of the scariest part for you – she had to cut up a giant tongue.  Amy has brought great aggressive flavors to this dish and the meat is tender and delicious!  Love the bright pineapple salad, great contrast!

Stay hungry, my friends…

Got a dream adventure you’d like to embark upon?  Dos Equis wants to help you bring your dreams to life! To help fans experience their most ambitious adventures, the Stay Thirsty Grant is an invitation to bring their most interesting dreams to life with a reward of up to $25,000.  Whether it’s starting your own food truck, or serving Jellyfish Salad to royalty, the Stay Thirsty Grant is an invitation for fans to bring their ambitions to life.  To enter, visit http://www.mostinterestingacademy.com/staythirstygrant.