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Blackwood BBQ

Blackwood BBQ
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  • Blackwood BBQ

    Post #1 - July 15th, 2013, 8:42 am
    Post #1 - July 15th, 2013, 8:42 am Post #1 - July 15th, 2013, 8:42 am
    Mentioned in the comings 'n going, openings thread but thought I'd report that there has been some serious "test smoking" in the last two weeks. Based on the aroma alone I'd say the prospects for some good 'cue in the Loop is good!

    305 West Lake Street
    Chicago, Illinois 60606
    (312) 621-9663
  • Post #2 - July 15th, 2013, 4:51 pm
    Post #2 - July 15th, 2013, 4:51 pm Post #2 - July 15th, 2013, 4:51 pm
    I have been smelling it too, I work right across the street and some good smoked meat would really change the game.
  • Post #3 - July 15th, 2013, 6:54 pm
    Post #3 - July 15th, 2013, 6:54 pm Post #3 - July 15th, 2013, 6:54 pm
    I work directly across the street (333 w Wacker) and talked to the guys today. They mentioned they are going to have a soft opening tomorrow or wed so stay tuned. If you work close by say hi to them. The guys are super cool and looking forward to them opening soon!
  • Post #4 - July 16th, 2013, 8:01 am
    Post #4 - July 16th, 2013, 8:01 am Post #4 - July 16th, 2013, 8:01 am
    Update on pricing a friend of mine just gave me:

    3 Options - Pulled Pork, Beef Brisket, Pulled Chicken all available as a Sandwich $6.49, Salad $6.49 or Platter $7.49 (includes one side)
  • Post #5 - July 16th, 2013, 10:48 am
    Post #5 - July 16th, 2013, 10:48 am Post #5 - July 16th, 2013, 10:48 am
    Soft open today and tomorrow. Free (yes FREE) sampler platter both days 11:30 - 1:30 or until supplies last. They are running a bit late today, so haven't gotten to try any yet...
  • Post #6 - July 16th, 2013, 11:47 am
    Post #6 - July 16th, 2013, 11:47 am Post #6 - July 16th, 2013, 11:47 am
    Just got back from the soft opening. Great value (it was free)! Ha. They are actually doing the same thing tomorrow. It didn't get kicked off until 12, but everyone was in good spirits. The owner (or one of them) seemed very proud of their product and everyone was quite friendly, though you could tell they were running on fumes a bit. That said, particularly for a BBQ place, I though the first day product was very good. Three meat sampler, corn muffin, and mac and cheese. Brisket was the highlight, with good bark, nice smoke flavor and the right amount of chew (I suspect some will complain about it being fatty, but I thought it was great), pulled pork a close second, and smoked chicken was fine, though I'm just not a huge smoked chicken fan. Mac and cheese was very gooey and tasty and corn muffin was moist and flavorful.

    In terms of setup, there are about 20 seats and you order at the counter and then follow your order down the line to choose sides. I can see it getting a little packed inside b/c the line sort of winds around the tables, but that's also a product of it being super hot out, so no one wanted to wait outside. While it was free today, prices seem pretty reasonable, especially for the loop. Curious to see what bread they will use for sandwiches, because I can see having a brisket sandwich added to my lunch rotation.
  • Post #7 - July 16th, 2013, 11:53 am
    Post #7 - July 16th, 2013, 11:53 am Post #7 - July 16th, 2013, 11:53 am
    My reactions pretty much mirror those of Abraus. Brisket could have used a little more chew for my taste but had nice smoke, a proper amount of fat, and good flavor. I enjoyed the chicken quite a bit and thought they managed to get some good smoke into the meat without drying it out. Value seems like it will be right in line if not above average for a non-chain, quality loop lunch. Southern Pride smoker for those who care about that kind of thing.
  • Post #8 - July 16th, 2013, 12:09 pm
    Post #8 - July 16th, 2013, 12:09 pm Post #8 - July 16th, 2013, 12:09 pm
    I'll concur with AlekH and Abraus. All three meats very good, I had the mac-n-cheese side which was pretty much the ideal mac-n-cheese IMO, with a nice crispy cheesy crust over creamy mac-n-cheese; the cornbread was very good as well. I probably preferred the chicken over the brisket (which to me was a little fatty) with the pulled pork coming in 3rd - although if the pulled pork was all they had I would still probably put this in my regular rotation.
    Last edited by Kid Charlemagne on July 16th, 2013, 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #9 - July 16th, 2013, 2:14 pm
    Post #9 - July 16th, 2013, 2:14 pm Post #9 - July 16th, 2013, 2:14 pm
    I'll echo the senitments posted thus far. Big fan of the brisket and chicken. Awesome addition to the loop lunch scene.
  • Post #10 - July 17th, 2013, 10:36 am
    Post #10 - July 17th, 2013, 10:36 am Post #10 - July 17th, 2013, 10:36 am
    Yep, good quality stuff - I liked all 3 and the slaw was a really delicious side as well, chopped/crunchy/not wet. Will be excellent on the sammie. Got in there early yesterday and talked to them for a bit . They had racks of big fresh Turano buns ready to go. That works in my book!
  • Post #11 - July 18th, 2013, 1:31 pm
    Post #11 - July 18th, 2013, 1:31 pm Post #11 - July 18th, 2013, 1:31 pm
    I had the brisket sandwich with slaw and baked beans. All three were great items. The only slight addition would be some more smoke flavor to the meat. I'll be a regular...
  • Post #12 - July 30th, 2013, 11:55 am
    Post #12 - July 30th, 2013, 11:55 am Post #12 - July 30th, 2013, 11:55 am
    First trip for me today. Wanted to like it, as good bbq has been long overdue in the Loop. Although not really a menu option, the owner was nice enough to allow a split brisket/pulled pork platter so I could try two meats during this visit. I thought texture and meat taste was fine, but both were lacking a distinct smoke flavor. Perhaps their batches today were lighter on smoke than normal. They did seem to be doing good business with the line out the door, and were well organized to keep that line moving smoothly.
  • Post #13 - May 12th, 2014, 11:31 am
    Post #13 - May 12th, 2014, 11:31 am Post #13 - May 12th, 2014, 11:31 am
    I also wanted to like this place, and in some respects I did (was in and out in 2 minutes and the mac and cheese was pretty awesome), but the meat just failed for me. Very little smoke and EXTREMELY dry. See evidence below. With all that said, I'd probably return to give them another shot, but I think there are many other places suggested by this forum near me (Honky Tonk is next) that they may have lost me forever.
    photo.JPG
  • Post #14 - May 12th, 2014, 11:37 am
    Post #14 - May 12th, 2014, 11:37 am Post #14 - May 12th, 2014, 11:37 am
    We get office food from here every now and then and there are massive swings in product quality, from smokey/crusty end pieces to dry pot roast and everything in between. Breakfast hash made with what's most likely left over brisket ends is probably the best offering and I suspect it's because that's where all the fatty/charred pieces end up.
  • Post #15 - May 12th, 2014, 11:42 am
    Post #15 - May 12th, 2014, 11:42 am Post #15 - May 12th, 2014, 11:42 am
    I've had Blackwood BBQ 3 or 4 times and I thought it was very good. Last time was probably about a month ago. I've gotten a brisket platter each time and never found it to be dry. I also really appreciate that they ask how fatty you want your brisket. Fast, tasty, and affordable--unusual to begin with, but when talking about lunch in the loop, it's an even greater feat. Hoping to try their breakfast one of these days.
    "People sometimes attribute quotes to the wrong person"--Mark Twain
  • Post #16 - May 12th, 2014, 12:10 pm
    Post #16 - May 12th, 2014, 12:10 pm Post #16 - May 12th, 2014, 12:10 pm
    Man, I thought I said something about this spot. It's the go-to place for my office going back to the day it opened, even more so than the excellent UB Dogs. It's next door to my office and the whole corner is filled with smoke from Blackwood. I've never had any dried out meat here, and the brisket in particular is, in my experience, consistent and moist. Now, I'm not a huge enthusiast of stuff that comes out of a SP, but for fast food in the Loop this is pretty much as good as one could hope for, usually, away from the French Market . I always ask for the fatty end. Not sure who eats lean brisket, but someone must. The prep and product reminds me a lot of Smoque, actually.

    I've never seen anything even close to as bad as what's up in that photo. What time of day was that? Turnover is high and they smoke overnight every day. That's a very bad draw for Blackwood.

    PS, to the point above about light smoke - in my experience, and consistent with many Southern Pride places that seem to think "it can only get better the longer it sits in there," Blackwood tends to oversmoke, if not overcook.
  • Post #17 - May 12th, 2014, 12:17 pm
    Post #17 - May 12th, 2014, 12:17 pm Post #17 - May 12th, 2014, 12:17 pm
    I picked that up at 11:05. I watched him slice it (which I loved, by the way). I didn't hate it, either, it just wasn't very moist. I enjoyed the corn bread and the mac and cheese, and breakfast with this brisket would be outstanding, I had just hoped for some more moisture. If I put this on some bread and make a sandwich with some sauce, it will make a fine sandwich.
  • Post #18 - May 12th, 2014, 12:23 pm
    Post #18 - May 12th, 2014, 12:23 pm Post #18 - May 12th, 2014, 12:23 pm
    I'm guessing at that early hour you got the last of yesterday's brisket that did not get spent in the breakfast hash (which I agree is good). Inexcusable. Crazy bad looking for that spot. I would have asked for another cut, but only because I am in there enough to have a sense of what the product is usually like. Of course, you have no history w/ the place or point of reference, and the guy cutting the meat should not have given you that. The owner is a good guy and I have a feeling he wouldn't be happy. It happens even at the best of BBQ places, and I mean the best, not just in Chicago, but it shouldn't. Look: the real sure bets for smoked meat in that corner of the Loop are Fumare and Green Street. But Blackwood is usually better than that.
  • Post #19 - May 14th, 2014, 4:37 pm
    Post #19 - May 14th, 2014, 4:37 pm Post #19 - May 14th, 2014, 4:37 pm
    Our office will make the trek across the Loop to Blackwood a few times a month for lunch.

    Is it the best BBQ I've had? No.

    But it's a great non-sandwich/salad/burrito lunch option for those within walking distance of the NW corner of the Loop. I go for the pulled pork over the brisket (but that's a personal preference) with either the Chicago or Kansas City sauces. The sides are nothing to get excited about, but if you go to a BBQ joint for the sides, you're doing it wrong.
    "This is the violet hour, the hour of hush and wonder, when the affections glow and valor is reborn, when the shadows deepen along the edge of the forest and we believe that, if we watch carefully, at any moment we may see the unicorn." Bernard DeVoto, The Hour.
  • Post #20 - June 9th, 2014, 11:00 am
    Post #20 - June 9th, 2014, 11:00 am Post #20 - June 9th, 2014, 11:00 am
    They just announced their second location is opening up in mid July over in the Clinton.Madison hood (where Sataza was).

    This is still a go to spot for our office - consistency is good and it adds nicely to the variety around here.

    Their lunch salad with brisket (ends work nicely) and a Chicago sauce/ranch combination dressing is the best.
  • Post #21 - June 9th, 2014, 11:03 am
    Post #21 - June 9th, 2014, 11:03 am Post #21 - June 9th, 2014, 11:03 am
    stoutisgoodfood wrote:They just announced their second location is opening up in mid July over in the Clinton.Madison hood (where Sataza was).

    This is still a go to spot for our office - consistency is good and it adds nicely to the variety around here.

    Their lunch salad with brisket (ends work nicely) and a Chicago sauce/ranch combination dressing is the best.


    Sweet! Their current location is on the outer fringe of my lunch radius, but the new one will be just around the corner from my office.
  • Post #22 - July 28th, 2014, 10:30 am
    Post #22 - July 28th, 2014, 10:30 am Post #22 - July 28th, 2014, 10:30 am
    Opening next week (hopefully Monday or Tuesday according to the owner). They will again offer the FREE SAMPLE day as an opening splash, so if you are in the mood for some good (and free) BBQ, keep your eyes on their Facebook page for details.
  • Post #23 - July 28th, 2014, 8:25 pm
    Post #23 - July 28th, 2014, 8:25 pm Post #23 - July 28th, 2014, 8:25 pm
    They must be working fast. The place was all concrete when I walked by last Thursday and Friday. They also had jack hammered a huge trench through the floor. Not sure how they can turn around that quickly, but I'm looking forward to giving it a try.
  • Post #24 - August 5th, 2014, 1:38 pm
    Post #24 - August 5th, 2014, 1:38 pm Post #24 - August 5th, 2014, 1:38 pm
    Just to correct myself I was wrong about this and the restaurant a couple down is the one under major construction.
  • Post #25 - August 5th, 2014, 4:46 pm
    Post #25 - August 5th, 2014, 4:46 pm Post #25 - August 5th, 2014, 4:46 pm
    AlekH wrote:We get office food from here every now and then and there are massive swings in product quality, from smokey/crusty end pieces to dry pot roast and everything in between. Breakfast hash made with what's most likely left over brisket ends is probably the best offering and I suspect it's because that's where all the fatty/charred pieces end up.


    Working across the street, i've eaten from here quite a few times since this post. The breakfast bowls still slay and for $3 and change with tax, it's a top deal for a loop breakfast. Re: lunch, requesting my meat fatty has pretty much eliminated the dry brisket issues.

    Now if there was only a badass by the slice joint nearby :lol:
  • Post #26 - August 6th, 2014, 8:52 am
    Post #26 - August 6th, 2014, 8:52 am Post #26 - August 6th, 2014, 8:52 am
    They had their soft opening yesterday with free (yes, FREE) lunch. In case you missed it....THEY ARE DOING IT AGAIN TODAY!!! Check their Facebook page for details.
  • Post #27 - August 20th, 2014, 12:04 pm
    Post #27 - August 20th, 2014, 12:04 pm Post #27 - August 20th, 2014, 12:04 pm
    Took over a year, but I finally got back to Blackwood today for lunch, only because the line was out the door at UB Dogs. Went with the fatty brisket, and it was much better this time than the first. Sliced to order, I got the last piece from a point, which had plenty of giggly fat cap and bark on it. While the carver could have used some pointers on not cutting 1" slices, the taste and texture were very good. I took some KC style sauce on the side for some light dipping.

    I'll make sure that my next visit will be less than a year from now.
  • Post #28 - August 29th, 2014, 3:56 pm
    Post #28 - August 29th, 2014, 3:56 pm Post #28 - August 29th, 2014, 3:56 pm
    Went here yesterday for the first time. Got the brisket breakfast bowl. Definitely the best $4 bargain for breakfast in the Loop. The brisket was nicely smoked and the serving was quite generous. Certainly beats McDonalds. I'll be back.
  • Post #29 - September 4th, 2014, 12:38 pm
    Post #29 - September 4th, 2014, 12:38 pm Post #29 - September 4th, 2014, 12:38 pm
    I hit the Clinton Street location for lunch today. I liked that I could get a platter with all three meats. KC sauce on the side. The brisket was the clear winner -- moist, fatty, some bark. The pulled pork was a little dry, but had good flavor. The pulled chicken was a clear third -- too dry. Echoing the praise above, the mac & cheese hit my ideal -- crispy top, cheesy inside.

    My friend arrived a few minutes before me and there was one table and three stools at the window. Like so many of these Loop places, the surge really came at noon. Fortunately, we were seated and well into our food.

    I'm glad to have Blackwood in my work neighborhood.
    -Mary
  • Post #30 - October 24th, 2014, 11:53 am
    Post #30 - October 24th, 2014, 11:53 am Post #30 - October 24th, 2014, 11:53 am
    A couple of more trip back to Blackwood, including today, and I'm sorry it took me so long to get back there in August. I got a good luck of the draw today with a brand new brisket awaiting my turn in line. The carver did a much better job this time cutting off the point and slicing some damn tasty slices. I had gotten the KC style sauce on the side, but only for a little addition to the mac-n-cheese.

    I would like to try Blackwood and Smoque briskets side by side just to compare, as I think Blackwood would rate much closer now than I previously would have thought.

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