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Chuck's Southern Cooking Cafe

Chuck's Southern Cooking Cafe
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  • Post #91 - February 24th, 2011, 5:19 pm
    Post #91 - February 24th, 2011, 5:19 pm Post #91 - February 24th, 2011, 5:19 pm
    dicksond wrote:So I went looking for Chuck and asked what had changed. He admitted that a visit to Smoque had caused him to reconsider their barbecue offerings and change their processes. Rather than cooking all the Q early that day or the night before and then reheating it as the day went on, they were now smoking 3-4 times a day, and only when the supply runs low. And he now accepts that it is okay, even preferable, to run out at times in order to guarantee fresh Q. I could see this pains him, but he is working through that.

    So I am posting this as an upgrade alert - Chuck's barbecue is looking up. All is not perfect, however. On a breakfast visit, a friend who fancies his Q asked for an order of the brisket, normally shredded up into the Machacado, on the side. Out came a nice little plate of slices that had been cooked at least the previous night, and while they still had some flavor were doing their best imitation of smoky rubber. To be honest, this was not ordered off the menu, and only served to us after we did a little convincing so this criticism is unfair - just consider it a heads up, only get the brisket in the Machacado in the morning.

    HI,

    This is interesting. I have been in the kitchen with Chuck describing how he made his BBQ. It was once one of his weaker offerings, so Smoque has influenced them quite favorably.

    Last summer when Barry from Smoque spoke to Culinary Historians, he offered an interesting story. On a trip to Memphis for BBQ, Barry introduced himself to the owners of a BBQ pit that was several generations old. Barry had not even finished introducing himself when the owner recognized him from a television show. This Memphis BBQ shack owner was so impressed by the BBQ Barry produced from a Southern Pride. He bought a Southern PRide and stopped using his pit. Obviously he still had good technique, because Barry was introducing himself to begin complimenting his BBQ.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #92 - February 24th, 2011, 7:34 pm
    Post #92 - February 24th, 2011, 7:34 pm Post #92 - February 24th, 2011, 7:34 pm
    i hear that DDD is going to be at chucks soon
    philw bbq cbj for kcbs &M.I.M. carolina pit masters
  • Post #93 - February 24th, 2011, 8:17 pm
    Post #93 - February 24th, 2011, 8:17 pm Post #93 - February 24th, 2011, 8:17 pm
    GreenFish wrote:Curious for those who have been to both outlets -- what do you all think of the new expanded space? I personally preferred the lunch-time counter service of the old space and felt that this new, huge space doesn't have the same feel. To make up for this, when my hubby and I go for lunch, we usually sit in the VooDoo lounge, which is somewhat reminscent of the old location. .


    I have been rather disappointed with the new location.

    The service is far more inconsistent than in the past. When I can sit down and read a couple sections of the WSJ and not be greeted by the wait staff, that is pretty bad. And when you DO get served, you seem to wait forever - and that was on slow nights.

    In the last two visits, I have been served cold food twice. And I am NOT talking about cold from sitting out too long. I am talking about fried
    tacos being served that are hot on the outside but freezing cold on the inside.

    Personally, I wish the staff would get back to basics and get the operation running smoothly. If his staff cannot pull off the menu, maybe it needs to be simplified.
  • Post #94 - February 25th, 2011, 10:52 am
    Post #94 - February 25th, 2011, 10:52 am Post #94 - February 25th, 2011, 10:52 am
    Ran across a post on Craigslist....Chucks is looking for some help.
    Had some good ribs there recent ...http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=5524&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=burbank&start=30

    Craigslist Post: Experienced Servers (Burbank)
    Date: 2011-02-15, 2:44PM CST
    Reply to: job-kveva-2216251797@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

    Popular, fast-paced, southside restaurant looking for experienced servers with 3-5 years experience in a similar restaurant. Server should look presentable, have a great personality and have a team-player drive for the restaurant industry. You will be required to commit to and train for a minimum of 40 hours prior to shift assignment. Our restaurant is a combination of barbecue, Mexican, and Cajun and has been featured on Check Please, Chicago’s Best TV and soon to be Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.



    Applications will be taken in person at the restaurant only.
    Chuck’s Southern Comforts Café
    6501 W. 79th Street
    Burbank, IL 60459
    http://www.chuckscafe.com


    * Location: Burbank
    * This is a part-time job.
    * Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
    * Please, no phone calls about this job!
    * Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.



    PostingID: 2216251797
  • Post #95 - June 4th, 2011, 3:00 am
    Post #95 - June 4th, 2011, 3:00 am Post #95 - June 4th, 2011, 3:00 am
    I'm planning to have dinner at Chuck's tonight, with four out-of-towners. Could some of you regulars recommend a few of the "must try" items?
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #96 - June 4th, 2011, 8:59 am
    Post #96 - June 4th, 2011, 8:59 am Post #96 - June 4th, 2011, 8:59 am
    Definitely try a cup of Chuck's chili. It's delicious.

    My daughter always opts for the rib tips. She always gets it with mac and cheese and the green beans on the side. I love the beans, but I have to admit sometimes they are really salty due to the pork used to cook them. Sometimes they are a little less salty.

    The only thing I have had at Chuck's that I wasn't crazy about was his Chicago wings. We like the ribs, the tips, the pulled pork. The other daughter used to consistently order the chicken enchiladas before she became a vegetarian. Desserts are also very, very good - so good that it's hard for me to walk out of there, no matter how full I am from my dinner, without ordering something.

    Suzy
    " There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
    - Frank Zappa
  • Post #97 - June 4th, 2011, 10:27 am
    Post #97 - June 4th, 2011, 10:27 am Post #97 - June 4th, 2011, 10:27 am
    Here's a link to Chuck's Daily Specials. They change every day (duh), but this link is always current. The mexican specials are always worth getting.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #98 - June 4th, 2011, 2:32 pm
    Post #98 - June 4th, 2011, 2:32 pm Post #98 - June 4th, 2011, 2:32 pm
    Good timing, they have the cochinita today. Get it. And I agree that you should get a bowl of red.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #99 - June 4th, 2011, 2:50 pm
    Post #99 - June 4th, 2011, 2:50 pm Post #99 - June 4th, 2011, 2:50 pm
    gleam wrote:Good timing, they have the cochinita today. Get it. And I agree that you should get a bowl of red.


    cochinita pibil is one of my fav. s at chcucks :mrgreen:
    philw bbq cbj for kcbs &M.I.M. carolina pit masters
  • Post #100 - June 5th, 2011, 3:34 pm
    Post #100 - June 5th, 2011, 3:34 pm Post #100 - June 5th, 2011, 3:34 pm
    Well, I had dinner with my son and his family last night at Chuck's. We arrived just before 6pm and our table was waiting. I'm glad I made a reservation since there were already people waiting for seating. We ordered a sampling of items and did a little swapping, for taste-sampling purposes. Bottom line: One of the best meals I've had in years. Chuck hit a home run on every pitch. The cochinita was superb; tender, moist, great smoke flavor. Wow, am I glad I took everyone's advice on that one. The chili was marvelous, some of the tastiest chili I've ever had. The seafood gumbo, likewise. BBQ ribs and chicken were excellent. The baked beans were some of the best I've ever had in a restaurant, as were the refried beans. Everyone present concurred, they were all happier than pigs in slop. The service was a little slow, but not worthy of complaint. The mojito was good, and the only complaint I could make was that I was too full to try some dessert. Chuck's is the bomb! I've got to thank LTH for 3 of the finest meals I've had in the past year, at Cajun Connection, Honey 1, and now Chuck's.
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #101 - June 5th, 2011, 4:15 pm
    Post #101 - June 5th, 2011, 4:15 pm Post #101 - June 5th, 2011, 4:15 pm
    So glad you had a good dinner there. I'm glad you thought to make a reservation, as we usually go spur of the moment and the last few times we dined there, we had to wait, no matter if it was a weeknight or a weekend.

    Suzy
    " There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
    - Frank Zappa
  • Post #102 - November 27th, 2012, 12:47 pm
    Post #102 - November 27th, 2012, 12:47 pm Post #102 - November 27th, 2012, 12:47 pm
    Is it true that nobody has posted about Chuck's for over a year?

    I still go there every six or seven weeks, although I always eat at the bar. While the soups are still strong, the rest of the food isn't quite as consistent as in the past. There was discussion this summer of opening a branch in Darien on Cass just north of 55, but that appears to have fizzled.
    "Fried chicken should unify us, as opposed to tearing us apart. " - Bomani Jones
  • Post #103 - November 30th, 2012, 2:45 pm
    Post #103 - November 30th, 2012, 2:45 pm Post #103 - November 30th, 2012, 2:45 pm
    Sitting at the Voodoo Lounge bar today and overheard that they are just starting the build out of the Darien location. On Cass around 75th or 77th and they were just pouring the new parking lot yesterday.
  • Post #104 - November 30th, 2012, 2:54 pm
    Post #104 - November 30th, 2012, 2:54 pm Post #104 - November 30th, 2012, 2:54 pm
    metro man wrote:Sitting at the Voodoo Lounge bar today and overheard that they are just starting the build out of the Darien location. On Cass around 75th or 77th and they were just pouring the new parking lot yesterday.



    old Cornerstone Restaurant that has been empty for about a year.

    8025 S. Cass
    Darien, IL.

    i work a few minutes away and was wondering what was going to go into that spot.
  • Post #105 - November 30th, 2012, 8:27 pm
    Post #105 - November 30th, 2012, 8:27 pm Post #105 - November 30th, 2012, 8:27 pm
    metro man wrote:Sitting at the Voodoo Lounge bar today and overheard that they are just starting the build out of the Darien location. On Cass around 75th or 77th and they were just pouring the new parking lot yesterday.

    This makes me very happy, it's only a few blocks out of my drive home compared to the Burbank store. I hope the bar setup is as nice.
    "Fried chicken should unify us, as opposed to tearing us apart. " - Bomani Jones
  • Post #106 - February 17th, 2013, 7:36 pm
    Post #106 - February 17th, 2013, 7:36 pm Post #106 - February 17th, 2013, 7:36 pm
    Fresh off of their Facebook Page...

    Chuck's Southern Comforts Cafe

    FREQUENTLY ASKED POSTS ABOUT OUR NEW LOCATION: We've been getting alot of phone calls and posts here on Facebook about our new location and this post will hopefully answer the more popular ones:

    1. The new location is in Darien, located at 8025 S. Cass Ave.
    2. We are anticipating our opening to be sometime in May.
    3. We DO NOT have pricing, a menu or a calendar to book any events or take reservations for tables. As soon as we do, our Facebook fans will be the first to know.
    4. We WILL be doing banquets, but again we do not have a calendar to book anything yet.
    5. Our job fair will be held sometime in March, with the details again being posted here on Facebook. We will need servers, bussers, line cooks, salad line, pastry chef, expos, bartenders, hosts, cashiers, delivery drivers, cleaning crew, banquet servers, coat checkers and valet. Our Burbank location will NOT be accepting applications ever for Darien. Residents of Darien will have the a two-day opportunity to apply for qualified positions first.
    6. Again, our Facebook fans will be the first to get any inside information about all Darien related activities!

    Thanks again for all of your support as we move forward with our 2nd location.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #107 - February 17th, 2013, 11:34 pm
    Post #107 - February 17th, 2013, 11:34 pm Post #107 - February 17th, 2013, 11:34 pm
    jlawrence01 wrote:I have been rather disappointed with the new location.

    The service is far more inconsistent than in the past. When I can sit down and read a couple sections of the WSJ and not be greeted by the wait staff, that is pretty bad. And when you DO get served, you seem to wait forever - and that was on slow nights.



    I am so bored that I have to respond to my own posts.

    Actually, I have to say that my last two visits in 2012 have been very good. Any problems that they had in teh new place seem to be rectified.
  • Post #108 - March 5th, 2013, 5:58 pm
    Post #108 - March 5th, 2013, 5:58 pm Post #108 - March 5th, 2013, 5:58 pm
    I had a stretch over the summer where I thought the food was slipping a little. My last couple of visits have been more even. I'm a little concerned about what appears to be an attempt to "upscale" the Darien menu with the introduction of steaks. It makes me feel like they've realized that the average revenue/patron needs to be higher than Burbank, either due to operating costs or because they may not get as much bar business.
    "Fried chicken should unify us, as opposed to tearing us apart. " - Bomani Jones
  • Post #109 - June 13th, 2013, 9:06 pm
    Post #109 - June 13th, 2013, 9:06 pm Post #109 - June 13th, 2013, 9:06 pm
    I'm happy to report that my concerns about the Darien location's menu seem to have been unfounded. There's a banquet room in the new place (branded Chateau Orleans) and perhaps the additional variety was for in there.

    The restaurant/bar part of the new Darien location is smaller than Burbank. The bar area is significantly smaller but there are a number of hi-tops around it.

    The menu looks pretty similar to Burbank, with what might be a small change in that specials for each day of the week are printed in the regular menu. It's not clear if they're going to run the same variety of daily specials once they start to ramp up. It's only their third day open, and so there were some expected service failures due to not really knowing the menu. But a lot of people, most of whom I think had never been to the Burbank location. I'm doing a comparison test as I'm going to be having dinner with a co-worker at the Burbank location on Monday night.

    The restaurant is open 7a-9p Sun-Thu, 7a-10p Fri-Sat, with bar service and an eventual "late night menu" going until 1a/2a.

    Do I like the interior of the Darien location as much? No, simply because the larger and more attractive Burbank Voodoo Lounge bar is very comfortable to me and I like having it in a different room. But given the difference of 2 miles vs. 15 miles, I'll get over it quickly. This area needed a solid restaurant, and I think they'll do very well.

    Chuck's Southern Comforts Cafe
    8025 S. Cass Ave
    Darien, IL 60561
    331-431-4000
    "Fried chicken should unify us, as opposed to tearing us apart. " - Bomani Jones
  • Post #110 - June 15th, 2013, 4:15 pm
    Post #110 - June 15th, 2013, 4:15 pm Post #110 - June 15th, 2013, 4:15 pm
    Thinking of heading down to Burbank in a couple hours to watch the Hawks game and get some dinner. Don't want to miss the Hawks game and my sister is coming in to Midway around 10:30. Not a whole lot else in the vicinity. Hopefully getting one seat in the bar won't be too difficult tonight.

    Thanks to LTH for finding out about this place... will report back!
  • Post #111 - June 15th, 2013, 8:38 pm
    Post #111 - June 15th, 2013, 8:38 pm Post #111 - June 15th, 2013, 8:38 pm
    Aaron, wish I would have seen your post earlier, I would have met you up there. Seating is tough to get during Hawks games, and they have some nice food and drink specials.
  • Post #112 - June 16th, 2013, 12:30 am
    Post #112 - June 16th, 2013, 12:30 am Post #112 - June 16th, 2013, 12:30 am
    glennpan wrote:Aaron, wish I would have seen your post earlier, I would have met you up there. Seating is tough to get during Hawks games, and they have some nice food and drink specials.

    A guy at the bar let me sit down when I ate (I got there about 10 minutes into the 1st period), which was a yummy plate of cochinita pibil. Stood for most of the game, but after driving down from Evanston I didn't even mind. They have a good beer selection, too.
  • Post #113 - June 16th, 2013, 1:41 pm
    Post #113 - June 16th, 2013, 1:41 pm Post #113 - June 16th, 2013, 1:41 pm
    threadkiller wrote: I'm doing a comparison test as I'm going to be having dinner with a co-worker at the Burbank location on Monday night.

    The restaurant is open 7a-9p Sun-Thu, 7a-10p Fri-Sat, with bar service and an eventual "late night menu" going until 1a/2a.


    It's great that they've finally opened up in Darien. I'm excited to give the new spot a try. Can't wait to hear your report. I'm also curious as to how well their breakfast dishes translate in the new kitchen.
  • Post #114 - June 17th, 2013, 8:47 am
    Post #114 - June 17th, 2013, 8:47 am Post #114 - June 17th, 2013, 8:47 am
    Im even actually wanting to giving Chucks new spot a visit, had a couple bad meals at the Burbank spot. But the area where the new location is going is in such need of a decent bar or restaurant Ill give the new Chucks location at least a couple visits for at least a drink.
  • Post #115 - June 20th, 2013, 4:58 pm
    Post #115 - June 20th, 2013, 4:58 pm Post #115 - June 20th, 2013, 4:58 pm
    Well, I ended up not doing a strict comparison between Darien and Burbank, but only because my co-worker ordered the pulled pork at Burbank that I had in Darien the week before. :)

    Because of the Blackhawks' game, we ended up sitting in the main dining room at Burbank. I made a reservation on OpenTable because i wasn't sure how busy it would be (plus why not get the $1 worth of credit), but while the bar was jammed the dining room was maybe a third full. As I mentioned, my co-worker had the same Memphis style pulled pork sandwich I had ordered at Darien (but they forgot to put the cole slaw on), with green beans and baked beans. He thought it was outstanding, and it looked even better than my Darien sandwich - and that was a darned good sandwich.

    So since he had that, I went with the jambalaya with shrimp. I wasn't as impressed with this dish, for two reasons. One, the shrimp are just set on top, which I realized had to be done because of all the versions they sell. Two, it was a little on the dry side, needed some more liquid. The taste was good, it just felt like it had sat in the steam table a little too long without properly being tended.

    But what I realized was that if you're not going to sit in the Burbank bar, the Darien location is superior in physical plant if smaller in seating. It was nearly impossible to park at Burbank, went around for five minutes. Darien has a huge parking lot. And the dining room at Darien is a lot less coffee-shop-ish than Burbank can feel. The Darien bar doesn't come close to comparing to Burbank, however.

    If you don't live closer to either location, I'd suggest:
    - Burbank if you want the daily specials for the month;
    - Burbank if you want to be more of a bar-like experience; and
    - Darien if you want a sit-down experience and don't mind not having the daily roster of specials.
    "Fried chicken should unify us, as opposed to tearing us apart. " - Bomani Jones
  • Post #116 - June 21st, 2013, 7:09 am
    Post #116 - June 21st, 2013, 7:09 am Post #116 - June 21st, 2013, 7:09 am
    looks like daily specials for the Darien location are being posted on their FB page:

    http://www.facebook.com/ChucksCafe8025
  • Post #117 - June 21st, 2013, 10:07 pm
    Post #117 - June 21st, 2013, 10:07 pm Post #117 - June 21st, 2013, 10:07 pm
    jimswside wrote:looks like daily specials for the Darien location are being posted on their FB page:

    http://www.facebook.com/ChucksCafe8025
    The dinner specials being featured are the same each week, and printed in the standard menu - they aren't doing 30 different dinner entree specials each month at this point. Breakfast seems to have some varying specials, however.
    "Fried chicken should unify us, as opposed to tearing us apart. " - Bomani Jones
  • Post #118 - May 17th, 2014, 9:32 pm
    Post #118 - May 17th, 2014, 9:32 pm Post #118 - May 17th, 2014, 9:32 pm
    My first visit to Chuck's was at the Darien location this morning. I thought the Creole Omelette was pretty good; the tomato-based sauce was rather pedestrian but the quality of the shrimp was high. Among the choices for a side were biscuits and gravy. That was one hell of an add-on; maybe not best in class but my favorite part of the meal. Hash browns were of the sliced-potato type, smashed on the grill and cooked until some parts are crispy: pretty solid. My son liked his chocolate-chip pancakes well enough but was disappointed that only maple syrup was available (raspberry syrup, for example, would be a nice offering). Service was enthusiastic if a bit clumsy. Bottom line is that this was a good value--a generous amount of well-executed food for 25 bucks, including tax and tip.
  • Post #119 - May 18th, 2014, 9:52 pm
    Post #119 - May 18th, 2014, 9:52 pm Post #119 - May 18th, 2014, 9:52 pm
    threadkiller wrote:
    jimswside wrote:looks like daily specials for the Darien location are being posted on their FB page:

    http://www.facebook.com/ChucksCafe8025
    The dinner specials being featured are the same each week, and printed in the standard menu - they aren't doing 30 different dinner entree specials each month at this point. Breakfast seems to have some varying specials, however.

    Since I posted that, things have changed, and now they have been doing the "regular" dinner specials in the same way as Burbank for a couple of months now.

    I was there for dinner at the bar last night around 6pm. The place was very busy with a wait for tables. That's good to see.

    My meal was pretty good, if not challenging. A pleasant spring mix salad, then some potato skins served with a really good mexican masa turnover filled with shredded duck. A beer for each course.

    I haven't been going as often lately because I'm trying to eat healthier and thus not eat out quite as much. But the place is starting to round into shape. It's still not Burbank, but it's a great option for the area.
    "Fried chicken should unify us, as opposed to tearing us apart. " - Bomani Jones
  • Post #120 - January 8th, 2018, 8:44 pm
    Post #120 - January 8th, 2018, 8:44 pm Post #120 - January 8th, 2018, 8:44 pm
    I can't believe I'm the last poster on this thread, from over three years ago.

    Chuck's has been chugging along. Darien is less consistent food-wise than Burbank, but my last visit to Burbank the week between Christmas and New Year had some comical language-challenged service. The Darien location is very convenient for me, but I don't particularly like the Darien bar, which is one of the things I love about Burbank,

    The reason I'm posting is that Chuck posted a video on his Facebook page today talking about a menu overhaul, and posted images of draft lunch and dinner menus. From what I could gather, and I could be wrong on some of the details:

    - Now closed for breakfast Monday-Thursday. Still open Friday-Saturday-Sunday.
    - Changing the menu 3x/year. Menu seems smaller overall.
    - Bengnets the first Saturday of the month at both locations
    - Some kind of Jazz Sunday brunch thing monthly. Doesn't seem to jive with the bar scene at Burbank, but whatever.
    - Seems like at least a de-emphasis of the Mexican themes. I didn't see anything on the new main menu (no chicken enchiladas), there might be some stuff on the specials.
    - A few new Southern dishes, Chuck says he is going for more Carolinas/Charleston stuff like shrimp and grits.
    - No more hot links and I didn't see any etouffee
    - No more tapas nights

    I'm not surprised by most of the changes, except if the etouffee is being dropped. Darien could never seem to get the business breakfast crowd on weekdays, which I don't get given the location right off of 55. I am probably at one location or the other 11-12 times a year. I like getting a soup and a Mexican appetizer for lunch, and I like their cafe de olla on a cool Saturday morning.
    "Fried chicken should unify us, as opposed to tearing us apart. " - Bomani Jones

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