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Lillie's Q Urban Barbecue [Pictures]

Lillie's Q Urban Barbecue [Pictures]
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  • Lillie's Q Urban Barbecue [Pictures]

    Post #1 - July 29th, 2010, 9:52 am
    Post #1 - July 29th, 2010, 9:52 am Post #1 - July 29th, 2010, 9:52 am
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    Call me old fashioned, but I'm a sucker for enthusiasm and when a father and son talk BBQ with a sparkle in their eye my low & slow smoked heart starts to beat just a little faster.

    Quito and Charlie Mckenna

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    Opening today I attended a media dinner last evening and was genuinely impressed, not so much that everything served was perfect, or to my personal taste, but the level of passion, enthusiasm and knowledge leads me to believe Lillie's Q will fine-tune in short order.

    D. W. Kountry Cooker, lump charcoal as heat source w/peach wood

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    Comfortable modern interior, outdoor dining, large open windows offering unobstructed view of the North Ave street scene and attractive wait and bar staff almost insure traffic from the hip youthful residents of Wicker Park/Bucktown. Couple that with the culinary little black dress of the moment, BBQ, and the cache of fine dining chef offering everyman food and I anticipate lines out the door.

    Lillie's Q Bar Staff

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    Having spent a lot of time with Southern gal Colleen Rush, an acknowledged pimento cheese addict, I thought Lillie's Q dead-on. I suspected Duke's mayonnaise was key to the authentic flavor, later confirmed by Chef/owner Charlie McKenna. His dad brings it up by the case load as Duke's is not available north of the mason dim-sum line. Liked the boiled peanuts, but its my suspicion they may be the type of thing one has to grow up with to appreciate.

    Smoked tri-tip a highlight, solid beefy flavor, medium smoke, just enough chew to let you know you are eating animal flesh and not a piece of fruit. Though the richness of the brioche bun slightly distracted from the meat. Enjoyed the brined smoked airline breast of chicken, quality chicken, moist, lightly sweet glaze. Pulled pork flavorful with bits of Mr. Brown, pulled chicken somewhat bland, but a hit with the svelte young women we had the pleasure of dining with.

    Crisp green beans with bacon and bacon fat vinaigrette, sounds tasty just typing it out, and it was. Ribs a work in progress, fall off the bone with glaze/dry rub that had turned gummy/pasty. Good flavor, off texture/bite/mouth feel.

    Green Beans with bacon and bacon vinaigrette, Baby Back Ribs, Quarter Chicken

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    Four sauces available, Ivory, a true to form rendition of Big Bob Gibson's Alabama White Sauce. Carolina, western North Carolina actually as it contains some tomato. Carolina Gold, a mustard BBQ sauce and Smoky. Smoky contains l*quid sm*ke, though more nuanced than most as the liquid smoke is made in-house. Nuanced in-house made or not, sauce with l*quid sm*ke is not for me, though one at our table, with as finely tuned palate as anyone I've met, said it was her favorite of the four.

    Lille's Q Sauce line-up

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    Looking forward to trying Shrimp and Grits, which was not available for the media dinner, and Banana Pudding, which they ran out of.

    Lillie's Q marks the third new BBQ joint I've been to in the last few weeks and the only one of the three I am enthused about returning.

    Quito, Charlie, Teresa Mckenna

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    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Lillie's Q Urban Barbecue
    1856 W North Ave
    Chicago, IL
    773-772-5500
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #2 - July 29th, 2010, 10:39 am
    Post #2 - July 29th, 2010, 10:39 am Post #2 - July 29th, 2010, 10:39 am
    I had the good fortune of also attending the dinner at Lillie's Q yesterday. The restaurant is within walking distance of my apartment. Knowing vaguely its location, I didn't stop to look up the address until I got to the six corners. It turned out that I didn't need the address; I looked eastward on North Avenue and saw very clearly my calling (last night, the barbecue, not the bicycle).

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    We sampled a lot of food, but one of my favorites was the aforementioned green beans with bacon. The beans had a snappy crisp, and the dressing was luxurious without being too fatty.

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    I also really enjoyed the tri-tip, a cut I didn't really know until about a year ago. This was my first experience with it as barbecue. As G Wiv said, It was decadently tender with a respectable chew. No bread, no sauce. I was most content.

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    I grew up eating boiled peanuts, so I'm excited that they're a snack option here. After reading recently Jonathan Franzen's New Yorker article about bird hunting in Europe, I decided to take a break from eating animals with wings. My bird fast lasted all of a week thanks to Lillie's excellent smoked chicken. I, too, look forward to trying the shrimp and grits as well as the Brunswick Stew.
  • Post #3 - July 29th, 2010, 10:47 am
    Post #3 - July 29th, 2010, 10:47 am Post #3 - July 29th, 2010, 10:47 am
    nice report & pics Gary,

    gotta say I am really looking forward to going here Saturday, and I am not one who gets excited about commercial bbq.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #4 - July 29th, 2010, 11:28 am
    Post #4 - July 29th, 2010, 11:28 am Post #4 - July 29th, 2010, 11:28 am
    Best of luck to them...the address is certainly a contender for Locations of the Damned, having previously been Aberdeen, Celebrity & Nola's.
  • Post #5 - July 29th, 2010, 11:54 am
    Post #5 - July 29th, 2010, 11:54 am Post #5 - July 29th, 2010, 11:54 am
    Man, I don't even remember any of those places. I think Lillie's Q is going to prove more memorable.

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    I'm trying not to say that places are promising any more (too often it means "it's not good, but I can see how it could be, but probably won't ever") but the opening night of a barbecue place seems one where it can be true, especially when you have the chef himself at your table critiquing it and saying what you'd say: the ribs had decent taste (though I'd like more smokiness... but that's pretty much always true) but they'd gotten too soft. That said, at least they were a soft version of the real deal, so there really is hope they'll get steadily better.

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    I could care less about the two chicken things we tried, not much smoke flavor there. I thought the pulled pork was pretty decent. Actually we had one batch that was kind of dry, then we had another one that was much better. This too has potential to be very good.

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    One item doesn't need to be talked about in terms of potential at all. The smoked tri-tip was beautiful, supple meat with a rich, yet not overpowering smoke flavor. Normally this cut seems to be grilled, so you get a barbecue crust and rare beef like a steak inside. This was much more like barbecue, yet didn't lose any of the tenderness or beefiness of the cut. This is a great dinner to go have right now.

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    The sauces were interesting. The two Carolina ones are easily the best to me, depending on whether you like the mustardiness of Carolina Gold or more of a traditional barbecue flavor in the Carolina. But they had nice complexity and not too much sweetness, like so many commercial sauces.

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    The very authentic, indeed homey Southern-ness of the appetizers seemed to slightly put some people off but I loved seeing things like pimiento cheese spread and boiled peanuts on the menu. The boiled peanuts were really good, too, I never managed to ask the chef what all went into them but there's some subtle and ingenious spicing in the boiling liquid that goes beyond the usual brine. I almost wondered if there was some stock in the brine; they had a very robust, almost meaty taste.

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    There are clearly things to work on here (service is still learning its job and was a little confused at times, though nice and earnest) so I'd say, don't flood them with LTHers this weekend and then get angry that a full house wasn't working as well as Smoque after two years. But there are some very good things on the menu already, and an easygoing bar-with-food feel that is very inviting. I will watch its development with interest.
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  • Post #6 - July 29th, 2010, 12:41 pm
    Post #6 - July 29th, 2010, 12:41 pm Post #6 - July 29th, 2010, 12:41 pm
    Mike G wrote:Man, I don't even remember any of those places.


    Nothing really memorable about any of them, except for Nola's 'boils' and they've been gone for probably over 6 years at this point. Still, I'll always remember it as the place where I realized I needed to move out of Wicker Park...listening to a young man tell his date that Atlanta was in peril of falling into the ocean due to global warming, to which she exclaimed, "Oh no! Are they going to evacuate the city?!" I'll still bring out that old chestnut when the wife and I get stuck next to an annoying couple at dinner.
    Last edited by kl1191 on July 29th, 2010, 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #7 - July 29th, 2010, 2:32 pm
    Post #7 - July 29th, 2010, 2:32 pm Post #7 - July 29th, 2010, 2:32 pm
    kl1191 wrote:Best of luck to them...the address is certainly a contender for Locations of the Damned, having previously been Aberdeen, Celebrity & Nola's.


    And don't forget the forgettable Starfish. At least this place shows lots of promise.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #8 - July 29th, 2010, 9:19 pm
    Post #8 - July 29th, 2010, 9:19 pm Post #8 - July 29th, 2010, 9:19 pm
    I've seen mention Lillie's Q is making moonshine in a copper still, not true.

    From Chicago Magazine's Dish
    "And a copper still behind the bar will hold but not distill corn whiskey, a.k.a. moonshine, for specialty cocktails."
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #9 - July 29th, 2010, 10:53 pm
    Post #9 - July 29th, 2010, 10:53 pm Post #9 - July 29th, 2010, 10:53 pm
    G Wiv wrote:And a copper still behind the bar will hold but not distill corn whiskey, a.k.a. moonshine, for specialty cocktails."


    Any idea where they're getting it from? Koval?
    It is VERY important to be smart when you're doing something stupid

    - Chris

    http://stavewoodworking.com
  • Post #10 - July 30th, 2010, 6:08 am
    Post #10 - July 30th, 2010, 6:08 am Post #10 - July 30th, 2010, 6:08 am
    Thank you for the pictures, can't wait to try it out. I live literally across the street on Wolcott and would like to offer a small piece of advice about our block and this area in general. The parking on weekend nights borders on horrendous and the city is very efficient at handing out tickets to those without zone permits. Just be careful, park on North ave. if you can.
  • Post #11 - August 1st, 2010, 9:57 am
    Post #11 - August 1st, 2010, 9:57 am Post #11 - August 1st, 2010, 9:57 am
    I had a really nice visit yesterday to Lillie's Q for lunch right as they opened. Nice space, friendly owner, and good food.

    I raeally liked the space, but they are going to outgrow this place based on the food I had yesterday. I thought the copper still behind the bar was really neat, but it was still empty I was told.

    I started out with a PBR in the can, and the pimento cheese appetizer. I like the cheese, nice hints of jalapeno, and bits of pimento.

    Mains I went with were the 4 bone portion of the ribs, and a 1/2 lb. of pulled pork. No sides were ordered(I like meat).

    The ribs, pretty nice version, tender, and not fall off the bone. Nice flavor, and the sauce was nice(I usually dont like bbq sauce). These ribs are foiled for an hour of their time in the smoke, which makes them really tender. I did get a firmer portion of rib on one of the thicker unsauced ends I had. Nice smoke ring overall, and I liked them.

    The pulled pork..., simply great. As good(maybe better), than any I have made, and much better than I have had anywhere in Chicago. Nice color, tender, great texture, toothsome, and really porky. Quality pork, and smoked perfectly. They are using bone in butts, with pork sourced from farms in the midwest.

    Charlie one of the partners was great, he sat down and we talked bbq and his technique for a couple minutes, and he showed me the smokers. Custom made, gravity fed smokers using lump charcoal and peach wood. He also incorporates a BBQ guru on the units to keep temps as steady as possible. After eating I joked with him that he was going to need a bigger space, he said he already needs a bigger kitchen.

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    still:

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    pimento cheese:

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    pbr & mason jar:

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    smokers:

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    ribs:

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    pulled pork:

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    I rarely go out for bbq, or get excited about any of the new bbq places that seem to be popping up weekely here in Chicago. Lillie's Q got my attention because of who was behind it. A bbq family with true bbq credibility.

    With the above said I now feel I have a second bbq restaurant in Chicago I will go to on days I havent fired up my own smoker, and would actually spend some of my hard earned $$. Honey 1 and Lillie's Q are the only spots I will do this(i do stil need to try Honky Tonk).
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #12 - August 1st, 2010, 12:19 pm
    Post #12 - August 1st, 2010, 12:19 pm Post #12 - August 1st, 2010, 12:19 pm
    I was pretty enthused about Lillie's as well since a friend of a friend is the actual chef/owner/Memphis in May winner. Service was good considering the crowd, but sadly the food misfired on all cylinders. Tritip was uniformly dark brown (zero smoke ring), extremely chewy without even a hint of rub flavor. The three of us doused our meat in sauce to render it edible. My guess is that they ran out of meat and quickly threw some in the broiler to "catch up." Baby backs were marginally better, but underdone. We had been initially told that they were out of ribs, but shortly thereafter our server returned and said ribs were available so I'm guessing the broiler helped out there as well.

    All in all a very disappointing experience, but I'm encouraged by the other reviews and pictures. The tritip in those pics looks NOTHING like ours did. It's understandable that they're a little overwhelmed this early in the game, but they really shouldn't cheat the barbecue diehards who are seeking this place out in their first week. Admit that you're out of something before serving subpar food, that's all I ask and what you know in your heart you should do.

    I'll check back in 3-6 months!
    Native Chicagolander Since 2003
  • Post #13 - August 2nd, 2010, 9:07 am
    Post #13 - August 2nd, 2010, 9:07 am Post #13 - August 2nd, 2010, 9:07 am
    chitownhowie -- Lillie's Q doesn't have a broiler in its kitchen.
  • Post #14 - August 2nd, 2010, 9:10 pm
    Post #14 - August 2nd, 2010, 9:10 pm Post #14 - August 2nd, 2010, 9:10 pm
    daveandrews3 wrote:chitownhowie -- Lillie's Q doesn't have a broiler in its kitchen.


    Understood. And I really hope I was sorely mistaken. I would LOVE for this place to succeed and I truly believe it will since the chef/pitmaster has the trophies and street cred to do it right. I promise to try them again in several weeks and would like nothing better than to eat my words!
    Native Chicagolander Since 2003
  • Post #15 - August 3rd, 2010, 1:18 pm
    Post #15 - August 3rd, 2010, 1:18 pm Post #15 - August 3rd, 2010, 1:18 pm
    Attrill wrote:
    G Wiv wrote:And a copper still behind the bar will hold but not distill corn whiskey, a.k.a. moonshine, for specialty cocktails."


    Any idea where they're getting it from? Koval?


    Lillie's Q is using 100 proof Virginia Lightning Corn Whiskey as its moonshine aka white whiskey. Virginia Lightning is made by Belmont Farms of Virginia. More info here: http://www.virginiamoonshine.com/

    Moonshine shots are $6 each. Speaking of moonshine, we just finalized the Lillie's Q specialty moonshine cocktails. They're listed below:
    Morning Lillie (moonshine, housemade Bloody Mary mix, housemade “Slim Jim”, shaved Parmesan) $10
    M&M&M (moonshine, Maker's Mark, mint infused simple syrup, mint sprig) $10
    Moon Eraser (moonshine, Kahlua, club soda) $10
    Lillie's Sweet Tea (moonshine, housemade sweet tea) $8
    Lillie's Lemonade (moonshine, lemonade) $8
    Lillie Palmer (moonshine, housemade sweet tea, lemonade) $8
    Moonrise (moonshine, orange juice, grenadine) $8

    (Again, I am the publicist for Lillie's Q)
  • Post #16 - August 4th, 2010, 8:26 am
    Post #16 - August 4th, 2010, 8:26 am Post #16 - August 4th, 2010, 8:26 am
    daveandrews3 wrote:Lillie Palmer (moonshine, housemade sweet tea, lemonade) $8


    (Again, I am the publicist for Lillie's Q)


    Don't ya think that drink should maybe be called a "Lillie Daly"------A Palmer is ice tea/lemonade and when alcohol is added its becomes a John Daly--hehe. :lol: Any name and the taste is the same==looking forward to a trip to the city to give the grub a try
    Buzz
  • Post #17 - August 4th, 2010, 9:23 am
    Post #17 - August 4th, 2010, 9:23 am Post #17 - August 4th, 2010, 9:23 am
    Ate here last night. Had the ribs, pulled chicken, pulled pork, tri tip, green beans and sweet potato fries. Flavor on all was good. My wife thought the ribs needed to be more tender. That's not to say fall apart. But they were pretty difficult to pull each rib apart. Maybe they should be served pre-sliced. Really loved the interior. Nice to see subway tile in Chicago. For the area, it's the opposite end of the spectrum from Smokedaddy, so when we go back will depend on our mood that day. But we'll definitely be back.
  • Post #18 - August 14th, 2010, 9:06 pm
    Post #18 - August 14th, 2010, 9:06 pm Post #18 - August 14th, 2010, 9:06 pm
    Just got back from Lillie's with my lovely dining companion. We arrived just after 7 and there were still open tables inside. It would have been nice to have AC in this heat, but it wasn't too bad.

    We split the the 3-meat platter of baby backs, tri-tip and pulled pork along with baked beans and mac & cheese. Ascending order of goodness:

    Tri-Tip: Very tough with little to no smoke ring to speak of with only a hint of a rub. Really, it was quite chewy and had none of the fatty goodness of brisket. It was like my mom's dessicated roast beef thrown in a smoker for 30 minutes. And as someone upthread mentioned, it looked nothing like happy_stomach's photo. I asked the maitré d why they use this cut instead of brisket and he said "to be different" and that it's somehow easier to manage with the volumes they are expecting. I dunno, Smoque does/will do way more business than Lillie's and I think they manage their brisket quite well, thank you.

    Pulled pork: better, but a bit mushy with zero bits of Mr. Brown, noticeable char or smoke ring. It may as well have been braised.

    Ribs: best of the bunch, I thought, though the GF Did Not Like the flavor of the glaze. I thought they had a nice smoke ring and a good pull off the bone.

    Sides were 'meh'. The mac & cheese was decent but all you could taste in the beans was smoke, which totally overpowered any spices, heat or molasses flavor. It was like eating beans out of an ashtray, really.

    Re: the interior, the bench seats were nice but I'm not sure why they have that bar across the top that whacks you in the head if you lean back. Weird design choice.

    Comparing it to the other north/west side BBQ joints, it's ahead of Fat Willy's, which I hate but not even close to Smoque or Honey One. Judging from GWiv's praises, I hope they were just inconsistent tonight so I'll give it another tryl as it's right down the street, but overalI was definitely not impressed on the maiden voyage.
  • Post #19 - August 18th, 2010, 2:41 pm
    Post #19 - August 18th, 2010, 2:41 pm Post #19 - August 18th, 2010, 2:41 pm
    I went opening day as it is literally a block from my residence. Got the sampler of Tri-Tip, Ribs and Pulled Chicken. To me, The Tri-Tip was at the top of the list. Smokey, juicy, tender and delicious. The ribs were good, didn't blow me away, lacking some smoke. Same for the chicken. We had the fried pickles to start, huge fan of fried pickles and wasn't too impressed with them. Didn't really care too much for the batter which was kind of sweet and doughnut-ty. Not being a sweetness in my savories, didn't care for them too much. But that's a personal preference. My favorite of the sauces was the Gold. Loved the tanginess of it. All in all great first visit, especially on opening day. Look forward to returning.
    "I Like Food, Food Tastes Good" - The Descendants
  • Post #20 - August 23rd, 2010, 9:35 am
    Post #20 - August 23rd, 2010, 9:35 am Post #20 - August 23rd, 2010, 9:35 am
    I had my second trip to Lillie Q's this weekend. When mentioning my enjoyment, after all, I've now made a return visit, a friend commented that the remarks on the Forum have been mixed. I did not remember such mixed comments, and now when I look, I still do not see much. Still, I'll add my vital opinion.

    Which, of course, somewhat agrees with the post right above me. Really love the tri-tip, can eat the ribs but do not crave them afterwards. I also think the pulled pork pretty good. I do especially like Lillie Q's as a restaurant. That white sauce goes really well with that tri-tip and all the sauces are generally well made. I like them all with the exemplary version of the sweet potato fries. The mac n' cheese is even better. I'm also happy with the beer selection and prices thereof. I know I'll be in Austin soon, and it's satisfy demands for Q that just cannot be met here, but I also know that I'm more than happy eating at Lillie Q.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #21 - August 24th, 2010, 1:20 pm
    Post #21 - August 24th, 2010, 1:20 pm Post #21 - August 24th, 2010, 1:20 pm
    tem wrote:Tri-Tip: Very tough with little to no smoke ring to speak of with only a hint of a rub. Really, it was quite chewy and had none of the fatty goodness of brisket. It was like my mom's dessicated roast beef thrown in a smoker for 30 minutes. And as someone upthread mentioned, it looked nothing like happy_stomach's photo. I asked the maitré d why they use this cut instead of brisket and he said "to be different" and that it's somehow easier to manage with the volumes they are expecting.

    Pulled pork: better...It may as well have been braised.

    Ribs: best of the bunch,...I thought they had a nice smoke ring and a good pull off the bone.

    Sides were 'meh'. The mac & cheese was decent...

    [N]ot even close to Smoque or Honey One. Judging from GWiv's praises, I hope they were just inconsistent tonight so I'll give it another tryl as it's right down the street, but overalI was definitely not impressed on the maiden voyage.


    This was my experience as well. The tri-tip seemed to be nothing more than chewy roast beef. If I was served this dish without any information, you could have "knocked me over with a feather" if later told that it had been smoked...there was nothing in appearance or taste to identify the tri-tip as a barbecue product.

    The pork shoulder was OK, but not outstanding - it was a bit too "solid", i.e. there were some chunks and not enough tender shreads of meat.

    The ribs were good - better than the "meat jello" served at old-line Chicago mainstays such as the Twin Anchors, Carson's and the Piggery, but nothing as good as Smoque, Honey One or Fat Willie's. I would put it at the same level as Smoke Daddy's.

    The macaroni and cheese was fine - frankly, there's not a lot you can really do with such a dish so my expectations were low.

    I will add that the sauces were quite good. The "ivory" was a spot-on imitation of Alabama white barbecue sauce (or, should I say, the rendition that I personally prepared using a recipie in Cook's Illustrated :wink: ), and the Carolina and Carolina gold were both quite tasty.
  • Post #22 - August 24th, 2010, 2:48 pm
    Post #22 - August 24th, 2010, 2:48 pm Post #22 - August 24th, 2010, 2:48 pm
    ld111134 wrote:The ribs were good - better than the "meat jello" served at old-line Chicago mainstays such as the Twin Anchors, Carson's and the Piggery, but nothing as good as Smoque, Honey One or Fat Willie's.


    I wonder if the numerous folks putting Carson's in the "meat jello" camp have ever eaten there. Their ribs are, if anything, underdone, quite the opposite of "meat jello".
  • Post #23 - August 24th, 2010, 3:28 pm
    Post #23 - August 24th, 2010, 3:28 pm Post #23 - August 24th, 2010, 3:28 pm
    scottsol wrote:
    ld111134 wrote:The ribs were good - better than the "meat jello" served at old-line Chicago mainstays such as the Twin Anchors, Carson's and the Piggery, but nothing as good as Smoque, Honey One or Fat Willie's.


    I wonder if the numerous folks putting Carson's in the "meat jello" camp have ever eaten there. Their ribs are, if anything, underdone, quite the opposite of "meat jello".


    Last time I had them at the River North location, albeit a few years ago, it was pretty gelatinous...but I've also had underdone ribs at Carson's FYIW.
  • Post #24 - August 24th, 2010, 9:15 pm
    Post #24 - August 24th, 2010, 9:15 pm Post #24 - August 24th, 2010, 9:15 pm
    I went just after they opened for lunch yesterday. The first thing out of the server's mouth was that the tri-tip was in the smoker and wouldn't be ready for a few hours still. Bummer. Instead we had the twelve bone ribs, Fried Pickle, Grits with Bacon and Carolina Dirt Fries. I thought the ribs were okay, but no more than that. Nothing to get excited about and definitely not worth the price. The Fried Pickle was interesting enough and I actually liked the Grits a lot. My co-workers and I were trying to determine what the weird seasoning was on the fries. One of them thought Cinnamon, which I didn't detect. They tasted like the flavoring from Jays BBQ Potato Chips to me. I asked our server what was in the seasoning, and he said, in all seriousness, "Different spices. Its a trade secret." Asshat. Since when is crap a trade secret? Maybe he was suspicious of me because earlier I had asked him about the Ivory Sauce. It tasted like Mayonnaise with a hint of Vinegar. He verified that it was "Mayo-Based". It seemed strange to me that something made of eggs like Mayo would be left out on the table, particularly on such a warm day. He said that it was perfectly fine and walked away. Excuse me for being curious about what I'm putting in my body.

    tem wrote:
    Comparing it to the other north/west side BBQ joints, it's ahead of Fat Willy's, which I hate but not even close to Smoque or Honey One. ....overall I was definitely not impressed on the maiden voyage.


    Yea, I'm with you tem. In my book, they're only slightly ahead of Fat Willy's, which I find to be consistently mediocre. I'd like to go back after they get a little more settled and a little less defensive. I would love to try the tri-tip, no pun intended.
  • Post #25 - August 24th, 2010, 10:17 pm
    Post #25 - August 24th, 2010, 10:17 pm Post #25 - August 24th, 2010, 10:17 pm
    I hit up Lillie's Q last week. The first thing that struck me is how close it is to the Southern and the fact that there are similarities in the type of food being offered. I hope they can both make it here.

    As for quality, I saw plenty of potential here and it's only been open a few weeks. It's been a couple of years since I last enjoyed boiled peanuts and these were really good . . . very nicely seasoned. The strong seasoning mixes perfectly with their sweet tea.

    Before our bbq even arrived at the table, I was tasting the sauces. I'm less familiar with the Alabama white sauce, so although I found it tasty, I have little to compare it to. I liked all of the other sauces, but most preferred the NC-style. I know there are purists here who don't care much for sauce, but I like to mix it up . . . a little smoked meat with just a rub, some smoked meat with a little sauce.

    As for the meats, I thought the pork was very tender and tasty, although I would have preferred just a little more smoke. Same with the chicken, although it was nicely tender and moist. My biggest complaint is really with the brioche bun, and I agree with Gary that it distracted from the meat - just too light and way too buttery (and it looked like they added even more butter after toasting). I probably wouldn't mind a brioche bun so much if it were less buttery. My dining companion liked it more than me so like most things I guess it's a matter of taste.

    We also had the baked beans and we thought they were pretty good - a little sweet, a little smoky, and thick. They must have had less smoke than when Tem had them because the smoke flavor was noticeable yet subtle. Sweet tea was . . . sweet, in a good way.

    Overall, not a bad start and I'm looking forward to them finding their footing. I can't wait for them to perfect the tri tip (I suspect it's just a matter of more practice needed) because that's one of my very favorite smoked meat items.
  • Post #26 - September 10th, 2010, 8:52 am
    Post #26 - September 10th, 2010, 8:52 am Post #26 - September 10th, 2010, 8:52 am
    Pat Bruno liked it; http://www.suntimes.com/restaurants/rev ... antreviews
  • Post #27 - October 3rd, 2010, 3:09 pm
    Post #27 - October 3rd, 2010, 3:09 pm Post #27 - October 3rd, 2010, 3:09 pm
    G Wiv wrote:but the level of passion, enthusiasm and knowledge leads me to believe Lillie's Q will fine-tune in short order.
    Revisited with a few BBQ buddies at the invitation of Chef McKenna for a round of ribs and Lillie's Q has used the intervening 2-months well. Tender yet retaining texture and chew dry rub ribs were textbook definition of what KCBS judges look for in a rib. Light smoke, pork flavor not masked by sauce or rub and clean bite-though without the surrounding meat coming off, a half-moon effect. As compare and contrast McKenna plated competition ribs, which are not offered in the restaurant, with the dry rub BBQ backs. Marinated 24-hours, smoked then given a light glaze of sauce the competition ribs had a distinct apple flavor.

    Competition Ribs (L), Dry Rub Ribs (R)

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    While there was some range rack to rack variation was minor and I quite liked the ribs. However, best thing on the table was Banana Pudding. As a BBQ guy I am exposed to a lot, and I do mean a lot, of banana pudding, mostly sticky sweet roof of the mouth coating sugar-coma inducing swine-slop. Lillie's Q version of banana pudding was simply the best I've had, toasty meringue, compact tender pieces of banana, lightly sweet balanced flavor.

    Banana Pudding

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    Given location, ambiance, attention to detail and commitment to improving/fine-tuning their BBQ I see Lillie's Q as front runner of the new crop of BBQ joints.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #28 - October 3rd, 2010, 5:49 pm
    Post #28 - October 3rd, 2010, 5:49 pm Post #28 - October 3rd, 2010, 5:49 pm
    a great snack @ Lillie's Q yesterday, ribs right on(as long as ribs are not meat jello I enjoy tasting other bbq folks vision for ribs, if we all did bbq the same it would get boring fast), pulled pork as good as last time, and still what I consider the best in the city. The pulled pork each time has benn popping with flavor, you taste the bone almost like you would with whole hog, and juicy as heck. Nice color, just a great version.

    Charlie friendly as ever(even remembered me from opening weekend, and how far I drive to try his stuff), moonshine excellent, etc.

    I love this place, my favorite bbq spot in the city for what they do(ribs, pulled pork, and drink). Affordable imho, comfortable, and these folks are serious about bbq, and have the pedigree to prove it.

    ribs:

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    pulled pork:

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    how I rolled:

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    I dont do sides, they are filler imho, but the folks @ my table enjoyed the side of grits, and the fried pickles. The grits were the favorite for sure:

    side of grits:

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    fried pickles:

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    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #29 - October 7th, 2010, 8:13 am
    Post #29 - October 7th, 2010, 8:13 am Post #29 - October 7th, 2010, 8:13 am
    checked this place out last night with Philw, Gwiv, and a couple of friends of Phil (owners of Smokin Joe sauces). I really thought the ribs were outstanding. Really a lot of flavor.had them dry and I was impressed that the chef came out and asked if I wanted them dry or glazed since I forget to specify when I ordered. also had Tri-tip that was nice and tender.
    The side of grits w/bacon was really good too. I didnt have much room for dessert but did sample some of the banana pudding.. Ill be sure to leave room for a whole one next time.
    It seems to be doing good business as the place was pretty jammed shortly after 7:00.
    I was also pleasantly surprised to see that the cooking was being done on a couple of Stumps clones in the kitchen.
    First Place BBQ Sauce - 2010 NBBQA ( Natl BBQ Assoc) Awards of Excellence
  • Post #30 - October 7th, 2010, 11:07 am
    Post #30 - October 7th, 2010, 11:07 am Post #30 - October 7th, 2010, 11:07 am
    i had the low country boil
    crab,shrimp,sausage,potato,
    was outstanding served in a cast iron skillet
    philw bbq cbj for kcbs &M.I.M. carolina pit masters

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