A few days ago, I met up with RAB and stevez for lunch at PQM. I intentionally arrived early -- cooler in tow -- so I could do a little shopping before we ate.PQM
Just like a mullet...business up front and a party (of sorts) in the back. Dry GoodsMeatporiumMeatporium
House-baked breads below.MeatporiumMeatporiumMeat & Cheeseporium
I ended up buying some Red Waddle Pork Porterhouses (the provenance of which I do not remember), blood mortadella, toulouse sausage, chicken-curry-ground gizzard sausage and one other type of raw sausage. I cooked them all (except for the mortadella) the next night over lump charcoal on my Weber kettle, and my family really enjoyed them. The pork was juicy and had a beautiful layer of tasty fat on the exterior. Across the board, the sausages were well-made. The definition was perfect on all of them. Flavors were very nice, too. Sausage-making is top-notch here. I've now had 10 different ones and there hasn't been a bad one in the bunch.
The worst thing about PQM is that there's just too much great-looking stuff and it's hard to decide what to buy and order. Here are a few items that didn't make the cut this time around . . .Tuna Muffaletta
Next time for sure.Duck ConfitBeef heart, Captain?
The main purpose of this trek, though, was lunch . . .MenuMenu
The 3 of us split 4 items . . .Lunch:Ribolitta
This was astonishingly good. Really, one of the best things I've eaten in a long time. I loved the pungent aroma of the cheese, the mix of satisfying textures and the depth and richness of the varying flavors in this bowl. Sensational.Nduja Sandwich
I liked this but wished the nduja had a bit more punch. For my palate, I also thought the salad mixture on top of the sandwich was dressed a bit too acidicly.Better Than a Gyros
I thought this sandwich was great. As advertised, the flavors were like a gyros, only better
and the pork was tender and unctuous.Veggie Accompaniment for Cocido
Roasted carrots and cabbage, fresh herbs and pickled peppers.Cocido
This delicious and hearty dish had quite a presence attack. I loved the short rib and the blood sausage, which both absorbed and then delivered quite a bit of the flavorful broth. The chorizo, I thought, was a tad less successful because it lost a bit of its textural splendor soaking in the broth. Its tighter definition kind of prevented it from picking up the broth the way the other meats did.Cocido
This was a great lunch. PQM is a phenomenal concept, being executed -- even at this early stage -- at a very high level. There's nothing else like it in Chicago and I believe we are more than ready for it. In fact, I feel lucky to have it here. In a sense, the proprietors are taking a chance on Chicago by laying this down and I hope their risk and faith pay off for them in a major way. Forward-thinking businesses like this are such a pleasure to patronize. I tend to overuse this term but I consider PQM to be an important shop.
I managed to make it there in just over 20 minutes from my office in Niles, so who knows? Maybe it is going to be a regular spot for lunch. There'll be a lot of days when I'm either eating at PQM or wishing I were.
I just wanna live until I gotta die. I know I ain't perfect but God knows I try --Todd Snider
Do you know the muffin man? --Max BeckmannTwitter: ronniesuburban