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Chicago Culinary Kitchen - Texas BBQ at its finest

Chicago Culinary Kitchen - Texas BBQ at its finest
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  • Chicago Culinary Kitchen - Texas BBQ at its finest

    Post #1 - June 25th, 2017, 7:56 pm
    Post #1 - June 25th, 2017, 7:56 pm Post #1 - June 25th, 2017, 7:56 pm
    So, I'll start by telling you I am a friend of Greg Gaardbo (pitmaster/owner) and his wife Kristina (who I oddly grew up with, but hadn't seen for 20 some years).. They came into one of my BBQ classes 3 years ago, and we became friends. Greg has a passion for food, he's an ambitious entrepreneur, and has one of the best screen printing shops in the country (Shockwaves Apparel). Screen printing, embroidery, custom woodwork, laser cutting, etc... They are a top notch shop ... the food thing is his side hobby and now biz. He started by buying a few churrascos from Brazil, and running Rockin' Rodizio... He started leaning towards more traditional American BBQ last year, and man has he perfected it...
    I hadn't been until today, they are only open on the weekends... I had a chance to stop by today and have some brisket - and I've gotta tell you: some of the best Texas style brisket I've ever had... Now, you know I own BBQ Supply Co.. I cook great brisket... It's a unique style - very smokey, cooked with post oak and a simple dry rub. Greg's brisket absolutely blew my mind. I've eaten at Franklin's, Smitty's, Cooper's, Black's, Kruez, every place in Chicago, LA BBQ (John Mueller & John Lewis), Louie Muellers, just about everywhere that has good brisket. Greg's stuff is legit. I can't say I've had a better brisket. They are doing this smart... It's not their main business, they don't have to be open 6 days a week. They cook 10-20 briskets PERFECTLY, and sell out. They cook 20-30 slabs of ribs PERFECTLY, and sell out. They always have something unique/special on the menu (today was Wagyu beef cheeks), a few sides, and a HUGE craft beer list (Kristina is a certified Cicerone) . It's a really great way to do BBQ, and man have they mastered it.. I was really impressed, and I'm never impressed with other people's BBQ... It's not incredibly smokey, but the bark is just AMAZING.. he uses some coffee (which I use in my beef rib rub) in the rub, and it gives it a really nice mildly bitter/smokey flavor... It's just terrific brisket. Other food was what I expected, but the brisket blew my mind..

    Here are some pics (I added the sauce, all meat is served sans sauce, one on the tables)...
    Image
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    Chicago Culinary Kitchen
    773 N. Quentin Road
    Palatine, IL 60067

    open Saturday & Sunday 11am-SOLD OUT (usually by 2pm last couple weekends)
    GET. THE. BRISKET!
    I love comfortable food, and comfortable restaurants.
    http://www.bbqsupply.com
    http://thebudlong.com
    http://denveraf.com
  • Post #2 - June 26th, 2017, 6:59 am
    Post #2 - June 26th, 2017, 6:59 am Post #2 - June 26th, 2017, 6:59 am
    I went to Chicago Culinary Kitchen this past Saturday. The line was out the door at around 12 noon.

    What I liked:
    -The Free samples of burned ends and candy bacon
    -Smell of wood smoke wafting in the air
    -Modern Rock N Roll metal and wood decor with cool metal trays food is served on
    -Smoked meat is very high quality (fresh/high turnover)
    -The brisket, burned ends, and chicken are very good
    -No Sauce on the meat by default
    -Very professionally run and very nice people who own and work here.
    -Place was buzzing, had a popup restaurant feel were there was high anticipation and large crouds.

    What I didn’t like:
    -Pit Beans were too sweet and didn’t have any meat in them (at least didn’t notice any meat)
    -Sauce (which I noticed 1 variety) was way too sweet for my taste without any other alternative sauces to try.
    -Pulled pork was ok, but could have used more time on smoker

    Image
  • Post #3 - June 26th, 2017, 11:37 am
    Post #3 - June 26th, 2017, 11:37 am Post #3 - June 26th, 2017, 11:37 am
    Looks like a Palatine trip is coming soon. Thanks for the review and photos Jared, and thanks for the pro/con list polster.
  • Post #4 - June 26th, 2017, 1:39 pm
    Post #4 - June 26th, 2017, 1:39 pm Post #4 - June 26th, 2017, 1:39 pm
    I did a double-take when I saw the photo above, because of its strong resemblance to one of the best barbecue restaurants in the country, pictured below. (If you're ever in St. Louis, check it out.)

    Image
  • Post #5 - June 26th, 2017, 3:02 pm
    Post #5 - June 26th, 2017, 3:02 pm Post #5 - June 26th, 2017, 3:02 pm
    rubbbqco wrote:Here are some pics (I added the sauce, all meat is served sans sauce, one on the tables)...


    I don't see any sauce. Did you find any need for it?

    I admire your support for a "competitor", but I think having better photography than on your site is going to far :)
  • Post #6 - June 26th, 2017, 3:05 pm
    Post #6 - June 26th, 2017, 3:05 pm Post #6 - June 26th, 2017, 3:05 pm
    nsxtasy wrote:I did a double-take when I saw the photo above, because of its strong resemblance to one of the best barbecue restaurants in the country, pictured below. (If you're ever in St. Louis, check it out.)

    Image


    You're crazy. One has paper napkins and the other has paper towels :)
  • Post #7 - June 26th, 2017, 6:52 pm
    Post #7 - June 26th, 2017, 6:52 pm Post #7 - June 26th, 2017, 6:52 pm
    Image

    Interesting given the big Ole Hickory Pits sign.
  • Post #8 - June 26th, 2017, 8:14 pm
    Post #8 - June 26th, 2017, 8:14 pm Post #8 - June 26th, 2017, 8:14 pm
    scottsol wrote:Image

    Interesting given the big Ole Hickory Pits sign.


    He has an ole hickory CTO on a trailer (see shiny stainless in background of this photo), and this offset...

    PS - I just got a new camera :)
    I love comfortable food, and comfortable restaurants.
    http://www.bbqsupply.com
    http://thebudlong.com
    http://denveraf.com
  • Post #9 - June 27th, 2017, 6:49 pm
    Post #9 - June 27th, 2017, 6:49 pm Post #9 - June 27th, 2017, 6:49 pm
    PSA: They will not be open this weekend (July 1-2) but will instead be serving at the Palatine Jaycees Hometown Fest June 30 - July 4. Trying to either save someone a trip or help them redirect should they be out that way.
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #10 - July 14th, 2017, 8:35 pm
    Post #10 - July 14th, 2017, 8:35 pm Post #10 - July 14th, 2017, 8:35 pm
    I think I'll be hitting this place up for lunch tomorrow around when they open...
  • Post #11 - July 15th, 2017, 11:10 am
    Post #11 - July 15th, 2017, 11:10 am Post #11 - July 15th, 2017, 11:10 am
    OK. You've now had 1:09 since opening, where's the review?
  • Post #12 - September 18th, 2017, 6:10 pm
    Post #12 - September 18th, 2017, 6:10 pm Post #12 - September 18th, 2017, 6:10 pm
    I'd told a coworker who lives in the area about this place when this thread first popped up. He's mentioned how he had been meaning to get over there a few times this summer but something or other always got in the way. The place is apparently difficult to find. He finally made it there this weekend and brought me a sample of brisket.

    After I tried the brisket, I said to him how hard it is to reheat this kind of thing, especially in an office breakroom's microwave and mostly paper 'cookware.' He agreed and mentioned that he'd arrived at Chicago Culinary Kitchen early on Saturday, then brought the food to a relative's home to be eaten later. They reheated the brisket in an oven. All of this is to say that the sample I had was two days old and had been chilled and reheated twice. Not ideal.

    Chicago Culinary Kitchen is putting out some very fine BBQ. Even with the significant disadvantages detailed above, the care and expertise was able to shine through. There's an undeniable expert working the pit and the smoke is 100% on point. The rub is fantastic. The fat, oh the fat! It wasn't much to look at (it is ever?) but if this was toothpaste, we'd wipe out tooth decay in a month. I had a piece of brisket about two and a half inches long and I'm completely inspired.

    CCK is not in a location convenient for me but I foresee putting in the effort to get over there for some fresh product as we approach these colder months. One bite and I'm declaring it a winner. This is right up there with Jared's beef ribs and I didn't think I'd be saying that for a long time.
  • Post #13 - October 9th, 2017, 9:35 am
    Post #13 - October 9th, 2017, 9:35 am Post #13 - October 9th, 2017, 9:35 am
    For any who have been unable to try this during their 'normal' business hours, the IL BBQ Alliance is hosting a "Meet The Pit Master" event there this Thursday at which Fight2Feed will be the charitable beneficiary. From what I understand, there are still a few tickets left for $50 each.

    Meet The Pit Master

    Thursday Night (10/12/17) 6-8p

    Get your tickets today! Meet The Pitmasters at Chicago Culinary Kitchen as Greg and Kristina Gaardbo open up especially for us, with meats donated by Witchita Packing. This special event is being offered to the Illinois BBQ Alliance and the general public to benefit CCK's favorite charity, Fight 2 Feed. Come and see why CCK has lines out the door every Saturday and Sunday and sells out due to excess demand and limited supply.

    This is an exclusive limited edition event, with less than 20 tickets left with access to meet with Greg And Kristina Gaardbo and hear about their concept and passion for BBQ and Beer! BUY TICKETS HERE.

    Fight 2 Feed fights hunger with rescued food and mobilizing it to hungry friends in need. By rescuing food from restaurants, Chefs, donations from food distributors and mobilizing meals made by Fight 2 Feed Volunteers and Chefs, they work to reduce food waste and share food with hungry friends in need.

    This exclusive event costs $50 for dinner and dessert and a donation to this great cause. Cash bar with large selection of local beers will be available. All donations and ticket proceeds will support the goal of raising money to be donated directly to Fight 2 Feed. Space is limited and this will sell out. BUY TICKETS HERE.

    Main Course:
    Chicken
    Pork Ribs
    Beef Back Ribs
    Sides: Corn, Pit Beans
    Dessert: Bread Pudding

    Big thank you to our sponsors, Witchita Packing and Smokin Deal BBQ!

    Meet The Pit Master event page

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #14 - October 11th, 2017, 7:05 am
    Post #14 - October 11th, 2017, 7:05 am Post #14 - October 11th, 2017, 7:05 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:For any who have been unable to try this during their 'normal' business hours, the IL BBQ Alliance is hosting a "Meet The Pit Master" event there this Thursday at which Fight2Feed will be the charitable beneficiary.
    Thanks for posting, I bought a ticket for this Thursday's event.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #15 - October 14th, 2017, 8:17 pm
    Post #15 - October 14th, 2017, 8:17 pm Post #15 - October 14th, 2017, 8:17 pm
    Finally got to try this place. I got a full slab and a side of beans. I agree the beans were a little sweet, but I I thought it was ok. My beans had some meat in them and I liked them.

    The ribs were outstanding. For me I'd say they were the best I've ever had. I didn't use any sauce. While they were the best, they were probably the most expensive. They are served with white bread only.

    A caution for first timers, not a lot of places to sit.

    D.
  • Post #16 - June 17th, 2018, 5:19 pm
    Post #16 - June 17th, 2018, 5:19 pm Post #16 - June 17th, 2018, 5:19 pm
    Went here this past Saturday. I got there at 10:40 AM, #20 in line. By the time they opened the door the line had doubled. This was only my fifth visit. The guy behind me seemed to know other people by name, I’m guessing a regular. He told me he only comes back for the specials, which CCK puts out on Facebook.

    So I tried the specials this time: pork belly burnt ends and St. Louis ribs al pastor with pineapple. The pork was fantastic. But I thought the ribs were tough. The pineapple was tasty.

    I also got the pit beans again, which I like. Of my 5 trips here this was my first disappointment. I just did not enjoy the al pastor ribs. I’m not on Facebook, but I’m told CCK puts information there on preparation.

    An hour later when I left, the line was still out the door.

    D.
  • Post #17 - June 18th, 2018, 7:44 am
    Post #17 - June 18th, 2018, 7:44 am Post #17 - June 18th, 2018, 7:44 am
    Sunday 6.17.18.

    Greg and Kristina of Chicago Culinary Kitchen brisket is fantastic, light smoke, melt in your mouth tender juicy perfect fat to flesh ratio, as good if not better than I've had, including my own or Hill Country in Texas. Open 7-hours a week split between Saturday and Sunday to long lines of happy smiling expectant people I'm honored to count them as friends.

    They have a loyal devoted following, my niece Renee among them, and on seeing the long lines waiting for the doors to open I could not help be helped be reminded of a true Chicago icon, Hot Doug's. The analogy follows as they are unique individuals living life on their own terms, which is reflected in CCK. Greg's mom, who I had the pleasure of sitting next to with her husband, have the same bursting with pride look Doug's father has.

    Yes, the rest of the food was very good, in particular the pastrami and wood grilled tomahawk steak, but oh that brisket, and Greg was kind enough to let our group of 6 in a little early for a tour and to get settled.

    I could go further down the hyperbole rabbit hole, but I think my thoughts are clear, Greg, Kristina & team are killing it in the wilds of Palatine. If you are within 1000-miles and love BBQ, in particular low slow brisket, do yourself a favor and visit CCK.

    Chicago Culinary Kitchen, Count me a Fan!

    CCK6.jpg Line just before open, Chicago Culinary Kitchen. 6.17.18

    CCK14.jpg BBQ platter, CCK

    CCK4.jpg Wood grilled Tomahawk steak.

    CCK20.jpg Wood grilled Tomahawk Steak, perfect mid-rare.

    CCK24.jpg One of three wood piles and truck mounted smoker

    CCK9.jpg Mammoth Bloody Mary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #18 - June 18th, 2018, 8:51 am
    Post #18 - June 18th, 2018, 8:51 am Post #18 - June 18th, 2018, 8:51 am
    Looks great! What's in the tubes in that Bloody?
  • Post #19 - June 18th, 2018, 9:04 am
    Post #19 - June 18th, 2018, 9:04 am Post #19 - June 18th, 2018, 9:04 am
    Bspar wrote:Looks great! What's in the tubes in that Bloody?
    Vodka
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #20 - June 18th, 2018, 10:42 am
    Post #20 - June 18th, 2018, 10:42 am Post #20 - June 18th, 2018, 10:42 am
    G. Wiv I agree with you on the brisket, the regular ribs, and the pit beans. These were some of the best I’ve ever had.

    I’ve been disappointed in the sticky ribs and this past Saturday with the ribs al pastor.

    Oh I also love their bread pudding. Be prepared to share or take half home.

    D.
  • Post #21 - July 12th, 2018, 10:46 pm
    Post #21 - July 12th, 2018, 10:46 pm Post #21 - July 12th, 2018, 10:46 pm
    Some coaching from the experienced, please.

    It's going to be quite hot this weekend, and I'm planning on going Sunday. I assume that showing up around 10:30 with a big hat and some ice water will yield us a good lunch experience? Any guesses how long it could take to get inside and to the food?

    Giovanna
    =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon
  • Post #22 - July 13th, 2018, 9:02 am
    Post #22 - July 13th, 2018, 9:02 am Post #22 - July 13th, 2018, 9:02 am
    Love the "mint" 1959 Ford pickup truck.
  • Post #23 - July 13th, 2018, 5:11 pm
    Post #23 - July 13th, 2018, 5:11 pm Post #23 - July 13th, 2018, 5:11 pm
    Giovanna, it won’t open until 11. I would guess you’ll be inside by 11:25 and you will be ordering by 11:40.

    D.
  • Post #24 - July 14th, 2018, 11:58 am
    Post #24 - July 14th, 2018, 11:58 am Post #24 - July 14th, 2018, 11:58 am
    20180714_115435.jpg Pit Smoked Beef
    Giovanna wrote:Some coaching from the experienced, please.

    It's going to be quite hot this weekend, and I'm planning on going Sunday. I assume that showing up around 10:30 with a big hat and some ice water will yield us a good lunch experience? Any guesses how long it could take to get inside and to the food?

    Giovanna


    Just got back from Chicago Culinary Kitchen. Got in line at 10:45. Ordered at 11:15. Left with food at 11:35. Best tip is if you are eating in, as soon as the door is open at 11:00 have someone sit at a table to reserve your eating place. Seating is very limited.


    Pit beef sandwich was a special today. Highly recommended. It is smoked to rare and finished on the grill. It was one of the best sandwiches ever. It had at least a pound of beef on that sandwich.
  • Post #25 - July 14th, 2018, 12:09 pm
    Post #25 - July 14th, 2018, 12:09 pm Post #25 - July 14th, 2018, 12:09 pm
    Thanks for the info, guys.

    That pit beef sandwich is incredible looking. I suspect I'm going to have to make more than one visit in the upcoming weeks....

    Giovanna
    =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon
  • Post #26 - July 16th, 2018, 10:59 am
    Post #26 - July 16th, 2018, 10:59 am Post #26 - July 16th, 2018, 10:59 am
    My wife (Texas native) and I went Sunday and you can count us as fans. Great brisket, very good pulled pork (I grew up on NC bbq, so I missed the vinegar sauce!). Sadly, they were out of sausage. Borracho beans as a special were good, but a bit thicker and more tomato driven - like a chili - than what I think of as Texas style (beans, bacon and beer). Great beers as well. We go there at 12:30, post World Cup final, and they was not much of a line and, sausage excepted, good availability. The line ranged from none to 10 or so people during our visit and you could almost always get a seat about the time your food came out.

    I'll also note the people were super nice. We spoke with the staff and some of the regulars and they were very interested in how we found the place (LTH, of course), what we thought, etc.
  • Post #27 - July 16th, 2018, 12:42 pm
    Post #27 - July 16th, 2018, 12:42 pm Post #27 - July 16th, 2018, 12:42 pm
    Reporting back...

    I missed by tazerowe by about 1/2 hour. I arrived there about 10:45 and there was a line of about 12-14 people already there. Place opened right on time and the food ordering/delivery to the table was fast and smooth. So, line was a non-issue for me. [I guess I have bad memories of when I stopped going to the Belmont Ave. Kuma's. Chicago area has so much good food that there is very little I'm willing to wait in a 90 minute line for.] We were gone by noon.

    My friend and I ordered way too much food. The El Jefe sandwich is basically a sampler platter on a bun. We only managed to eat half of that, and maybe a third of the mixed pit pork/beef sandwich. And took all of our brisket order home.

    The meats were incredibly good [we didn't do sides this trip]. The brisket is undoubtedly the best I've ever eaten. The pit meats were good [altho they layered them together on the sandwich and I think I would have preferred better separation]. They only have one sauce available [hey! sometimes I like a dab of sauce, ok?!] and I don't like it at all; too molasses forward and not enough other flavor.

    I look forward to working more errands into the Schaumburg/Palatine area on the weekends.

    Giovanna
    =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon
  • Post #28 - November 17th, 2018, 10:41 pm
    Post #28 - November 17th, 2018, 10:41 pm Post #28 - November 17th, 2018, 10:41 pm
    CCK was on Check Please last night so expect those lines to get a little longer in the coming weeks.
  • Post #29 - December 3rd, 2018, 12:01 pm
    Post #29 - December 3rd, 2018, 12:01 pm Post #29 - December 3rd, 2018, 12:01 pm
    Made my first visit on Sunday. Was all trepidatious about the potential line because of their appearance on Check Please, but I worried over nothing. Got in line about 10:50 (10 minutes before opening) and was about 10-15 spots from the front. My party of three were able to get seats. When we left at noon, there was a very small line. By the time we reached the cashier, the pastrami beef ribs special was gone, but all the other specials were available.

    Experience was awesome. Everybody's in a great mood. I approached Kristina to request a beer pairing for the coconut curry lamb quesadillas, and she enthusiastically selected the Brooklyn Sorachi Ace Saison, which was perfect.

    Other specials were the "Big Hoss" 40oz tomahawk ribeye, the Baltimore pit sandwich, BBQ tamales, ricotta cake, and peanut butter pie. As others have noted, what a gem for the neighborhood.

    Image
    Back Alley Sticky Ribs

    Image
    coconut curry lamb quesadillas

    Absolutely kicking myself for not getting here sooner

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