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Pork Shoppe Chicago - New Chicago BBQ Spot opening in April

Pork Shoppe Chicago - New Chicago BBQ Spot opening in April
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  • Post #91 - July 14th, 2010, 8:03 pm
    Post #91 - July 14th, 2010, 8:03 pm Post #91 - July 14th, 2010, 8:03 pm
    bluesman wrote:Are the meats smoked in house? I live by here, and never smell barbecue when I go by?


    I don't know if they are smoked in house. But they just opened, so I wouldn't be surprised if you haven't smelled smoke much prior to last week.
  • Post #92 - July 14th, 2010, 8:26 pm
    Post #92 - July 14th, 2010, 8:26 pm Post #92 - July 14th, 2010, 8:26 pm
    they've got an aquarium smoker on premises that they are, presumably, using to cook everything. How they're getting so little smoke flavor out of an aquarium smoker, I don't know.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #93 - July 14th, 2010, 11:08 pm
    Post #93 - July 14th, 2010, 11:08 pm Post #93 - July 14th, 2010, 11:08 pm
    gleam wrote:they've got an aquarium smoker on premises that they are, presumably, using to cook everything. How they're getting so little smoke flavor out of an aquarium smoker, I don't know.

    Lunch at the Pork Shoppe today and there is no Aquarium smoker, they are using a two door Toastmaster electric smoker with dual wood smoke boxes and humidity control.

    Understated comfortable interior, surprisingly smooth service for just opening, engaged interactive owners and, right out of the box, better urban Q than most joints around town. This is not to say I loved the BBQ, smoke flavor is light, pulled chicken tasting for all the world like moist oven roast, I see it as a work in progress with a lot of potential.

    Pulled pork my favorite of the BBQ meats, hits of Mr. Brown, moist, full pork flavor, though just a hint of smoke. Brisket tender yet retained structural integrity, light, almost non existent smoke, but good overall flavor. I did not like the 1/4-inch outline of greasy white flavorless fat rimming the brisket slices, if I want to see white bland jiggly fat I'll look in the mirror when I get out of the shower.

    No sauce dry rub ribs could have used another hour on the smoker, though I'd guess this is simply a matter of the Pork Shoppe fine tuning. Fries were terrific, cut in house, crisp, needed a bit more salt, but an overall winner. Burnt end baked beans had an off bitter note I hope was simply an anomaly.

    Three sauces sweet, tart and spicy, clean flavored, not a hint of l*quid sm*ke, spicy hit the right note for my taste. It always puzzles me when a BBQ joint has 14 sauces, if the meat is good all your really need is a dash of Texas Pete or a couple of sauces, all the sauce in the world is not going to cover up mismanaged BBQ.

    We had a pleasant post lunch conversation with the two owners, both of which appeared to have put in a string of long hard days, and they said one of the interesting unexpected things about owning a BBQ joint is everyone has an opinion which they are more than willing to offer and most consider themselves expert. Best story to date is the fellow who insisted they start injecting their meat. When they didn't head to the door immediately in search of a pork-pump the fellow announced he was "probably the most knowledgeable BBQ guy in the city of Chicago." Sounds like a competition BBQ guy to me. ;)

    Just in case one thinks I fumbled the order, they were out of pork belly pastrami. Seems they've already run though the first 30-lb batch and the next is not ready yet.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Pork Shoppe
    2755 West Belmont Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60618
    773-961-7654
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #94 - July 14th, 2010, 11:20 pm
    Post #94 - July 14th, 2010, 11:20 pm Post #94 - July 14th, 2010, 11:20 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    gleam wrote:they've got an aquarium smoker on premises that they are, presumably, using to cook everything. How they're getting so little smoke flavor out of an aquarium smoker, I don't know.

    Lunch at the Pork Shoppe today and there is no Aquarium smoker, they are using a two door Toastmaster electric smoker with dual wood smoke boxes and humidity control.


    oh, that explains a ton. some of the early promo material mentioned an aquarium smoker I think.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #95 - July 15th, 2010, 5:58 am
    Post #95 - July 15th, 2010, 5:58 am Post #95 - July 15th, 2010, 5:58 am
    gleam,

    You might have picked up on this from page 2 of the thread:

    Hombre de Acero wrote:Just chatted with "Elizabeth" at The Pork Shoppe- and ...she did confirm they have an "Aquarium Smoker"- ...
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #96 - July 18th, 2010, 4:36 pm
    Post #96 - July 18th, 2010, 4:36 pm Post #96 - July 18th, 2010, 4:36 pm
    Darren72 wrote:The brisket taco was very good. At $2 it would be a nice way to add some brisket to your meal if you want to sample a lot of other things.


    I was passing by yesterday when running an errand. I had 20 minutes to kill and the thought of a cold beer was perfect on such a hot day so I walked in for a brisket taco and a can of PBR. The brisket taco ain't bad at all: a fresh tortilla, onion, cilantro, lettuce, and bits and chunks of brisket. For $4, a can of beer and a brisket taco is a pretty nice snack.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #97 - July 20th, 2010, 4:22 pm
    Post #97 - July 20th, 2010, 4:22 pm Post #97 - July 20th, 2010, 4:22 pm
    Hey Everyone,

    I am very sorry for the confusion for anyone who thought we had an aquarium smoker and for the miscommunication over the phone. I don't recall confirming that to anyone because we have had a Toastmaster smoker for as long as we've been open, but I obviously must have if someone said so. Terribly sorry about that. (Perhaps I just heard smoker...??) I looked up what an aquarium smoker was though. DAAAAAAAAAAMN!

    Elizabeth
    Don't forget guys...please call or email me with any questions whatsoever. I'm always here to help.
    773.961.7654
    porkshoppechicago@yahoo.com
  • Post #98 - July 20th, 2010, 7:28 pm
    Post #98 - July 20th, 2010, 7:28 pm Post #98 - July 20th, 2010, 7:28 pm
    The Pork Shoppe got some nice words today from The Tasting Table-
    http://tastingtable.com/entry_detail/chicago/1841/Pork_Shoppe_goes_beyond_classic_barbecue.htm

    As to the Aquarium Smoker versus Toastmaster debate-
    I will only say that I was relaying what I was told from the person who answered the phone before the
    doors were officially opened.

    Now- if anyone thinks that a Weber Grill or a Custom Made 55 Gallon Drum "Rube Goldberg" bi-directional Smoke ByPass device
    can produce any less than superb Smoked Meat product, than,say an Aquarium smoker- then I reccd. that you discuss
    that with the resident Lo/Slo author.

    Until that time, let's just allow the MEAT (flavor and "bark") speak for itself-
    fuggadabout how it's been cooked until you TASTE IT!
    :)
  • Post #99 - July 20th, 2010, 7:44 pm
    Post #99 - July 20th, 2010, 7:44 pm Post #99 - July 20th, 2010, 7:44 pm
    I've tasted it twice now, most recently on Friday, and it's been insanely variable. My report about last time is above.

    This time:

    Brisket: sliced too thinly and insanely dried out. Sandpaper dry. If the brisket on opening day was the best commercial brisket I've had in Chicago, this was easily the worst. Owner came by to check in and I actually mentioned it (something I don't do often) and he tasted it and immediately 86'd it for the night and brought out 1/2lb of pulled pork to replace it.
    Pulled pork: pretty good texture/bark bits, very little smoke flavor as is too common here. But solid.
    Ribs: cinnamon and clove in the rub? I can't quite place it. I liked the rub, I liked the texture of the meat, I just wish the ribs tasted like smoke.
    Baked beans: not nearly as good as on night 1, perhaps because of the inferiority of the brisket, perhaps a recipe change. Dunno. Needed some oomph that they had on the first day and don't now.
    Fries + cornbread: both tasty, no real complaints or adulation for either.

    We were also comped a mini key lime pie ($4), which was quite lovely. Not too sweet, good lime flavor.

    Sooooo.... things are off to a rocky start at the Pork Shoppe. I'm sure they'll find their footing in due time, but I'll probably be waiting for more positive reports to start flowing before making a third visit.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #100 - July 20th, 2010, 7:57 pm
    Post #100 - July 20th, 2010, 7:57 pm Post #100 - July 20th, 2010, 7:57 pm
    I tried Pork Shoppe Saturday with a friend and I was pretty impressed with both the food and service given how new this place is.

    Pulled pork might not have been as tender as I liked it, but the flavor was nice -- there was decent smoke flavor but it could use a bit more, but there was a nice mix of bark in the meat. Bun was solid, sauces didn't excite me a ton, but that's ok with me. Overall, a pretty good sandwich.

    Pulled chicken was moist but really no smoke flavor. The owner acknowledged some issues in this regard and indicated they are considering the possibility of switching to a Southern Pride.

    Baked beans were decent but I would have liked them better if smoked (or if there was smoky meat in the beans), but the star of the sides was the cornbread. Sweet, just a bit of heat from jalapeno, moist and plain delicious. I could eat pans of that cornbread at a single seating.

    Really nice people running this place and I'm sure I'll be returning to see how they progress.
  • Post #101 - August 6th, 2010, 7:25 pm
    Post #101 - August 6th, 2010, 7:25 pm Post #101 - August 6th, 2010, 7:25 pm
    I dropped in this late afternoon with the better half, finding Pork Shoppe as we were walking around to our car parked behind A Lamp and Fixture. I had a craving for BBQ, and as we rounded the corner, I got a whiff of fruit-wood smoke. I was hooked. We had to try this.

    A truly personable and articulate host, perhaps one of the two owners, informed me that the hardwoods used were mostly hickory and oak; then the chef chimed in from the back and said that, indeed, he was using apple chips in the smoker as well. We also leaned that this was a locovore restaurant. Virtually all ingredients were sourced from Illinois, except for the chicken, which was from Amish country in Indiana.

    The spouse and I settled on a slab of St. Louis ribs, a quarter pound of pork belly pastrami, and assorted side dishes; mac and cheese, cole slaw, and potato salad. We found prices very reasonable, as they have managed to keep the full slab prices below the dreaded $20.00 price point.

    We found the ribs very good, indeed. We really appreciated the quality of the dry rub, spices were complex, and we found the smoking subtle, less forward than Smoque or Smoke Daddy, but still imparting a light smoky flavor to the ribs. Most importantly, the basic pork flavors were full, deep, and satisfying; there was an intensity to the pork flavor that suggested heritage pork, or wild boar. The ribs themselves were the real stength here, and I considered eating them without any additional sauce.

    Three sauces were offered, we tried and liked the sweet sauce and the tart and tangy ( vinegar based) sauce. Neither of us tried the hot; we weren't in the mood.

    The sides were all pretty good, mac and cheese was creamy and satisfying, a little less intense than Smoque Daddy's, but a good complement to the ribs. Cole slaw was good, and very well priced at a dollar a serving.

    The real star here was the pork belly pastrami. It was just awesome. The whole pork belly is spiced and cold aged for at least a week, then is subjected to 15 hours of smoking. It is then sliced and served cool, either alone, or on a sandwich. The fat was unctuous, it melted on the tongue like the fat from good Iberico ham, and was delicious, while the muscle was scented with fruitwood smoke, and tasted like reduced, intensified, pork roast. Just sublime... and quite filling!

    Get it while you can - they can run out. Beef pastrami is also coming back on the menu, as they have another batch nearing completion. I cannot wait to see if it competes with the hot pastrami at Manny's Deli.

    I don't live in the neighborhood, I don't know how often I'll get back, but I know where I'm stopping when I pick up our lamp!
  • Post #102 - August 6th, 2010, 9:34 pm
    Post #102 - August 6th, 2010, 9:34 pm Post #102 - August 6th, 2010, 9:34 pm
    G Wiv wrote: I did not like the 1/4-inch outline of greasy white flavorless fat rimming the brisket slices, if I want to see white bland jiggly fat I'll look in the mirror when I get out of the shower.

    :lol: :lol: :lol:
  • Post #103 - December 18th, 2010, 5:49 pm
    Post #103 - December 18th, 2010, 5:49 pm Post #103 - December 18th, 2010, 5:49 pm
    The Pork Shoppe sources meat from local farms, and they offer inexpensive, quick delivery to my house. Next to how the food tastes, those are two of the of the biggest factors for me in choosing what to eat. Boy do I wish I liked the taste of the food at the Pork Shoppe just a little more.

    Upthread, G Wiv mentioned ribs that could have used a little more time on the smoker. I think mine had too much time, as they were mushy and offered zero resistance when being chewed away from the bone. Add in no smoke penetration and a need for salt, and you have some unexciting ribs. "Tangy" sauce tasted like a can of tomato paste thinned with a bit of vinegar.

    Sides and salad were universally disliked. Cole slaw with pineapple, raisins and sweetened orange segments reminded me of eating one of those jello molds I ate at a housewife potluck in Wisconsin sometime in the 90's. Baked beans didn't taste baked at all - just beans with sauce poured over them, and some meat thrown in for the heck of it. "Green bean salad" was a huge mound of iceberg with a few scattered green beans on top, and nicely caramelized onions. Mac and cheese had curdled bechamel and indiscernible noodles. I liked that dish best, as it was so bland and mushy that I was able to serve it to my 7 month old without bothering to puree it.

    I might give the Pork Shoppe another try as I realize BBQ can be inconsistent, but chances are that when I need my fix I'll have continue feeling guilty about where the animals come from.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #104 - December 19th, 2010, 1:47 pm
    Post #104 - December 19th, 2010, 1:47 pm Post #104 - December 19th, 2010, 1:47 pm
    My experience at Pork Shoppe has been limited to their pork belly and beef pastramis. I quite enjoyed both and think they make a trip to Pork Shoppe worthwhile. I was fairly underwhelmed by everything else I had. I too found the cole slaw very strange. There were a lot of sweet elements that I didn't really enjoy. I was not a big fan of their fries. They just didn't do a lot for me. The sauces were rather blah. They had Spicy, Tangy, and Sweet. I couldn't decide which I liked the best. Probably because I didn't really "like" any of them all that much.

    I would probably try Pork Shoppe again to work my way through some of their other meat preparations, but it's not necessarily a place I am dying to rush back to.
  • Post #105 - December 22nd, 2010, 1:27 am
    Post #105 - December 22nd, 2010, 1:27 am Post #105 - December 22nd, 2010, 1:27 am
    I think the pork belly pastrami sandwich is a day brightening lunch option. Plus you throw in that you can get it on grub hub with a few clicks and it's the best option in bbq delivery on the north side. Now if smoque started carting around their meats . ..
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    I burp so I can taste my meal one last time.
    ChicagoGluttons.com
  • Post #106 - October 17th, 2011, 10:31 am
    Post #106 - October 17th, 2011, 10:31 am Post #106 - October 17th, 2011, 10:31 am
    Went this past weekend by suggestion of my brother. I actually have never heard of this place, living in my own food bubble and was pleasantly surprised. We were not sure if there would be a long wait or what, we got there about 12:30 on a Saturday and it was pretty empty, which was good news to us.

    We ordered the St. Louis style ribs, fries, beans and the lovely pork belly pastrami which was so good. I can imagine on some good sweet bread, this stuff would blow my mind. Nice and fatty and had a great pastrami flavor. It was so good, my brother got a second order to take home and I was jealous I did not do the same as I was craving it all afternoon.
  • Post #107 - October 17th, 2011, 11:32 pm
    Post #107 - October 17th, 2011, 11:32 pm Post #107 - October 17th, 2011, 11:32 pm
    Hi,

    I like their pork pastrami. I was only there once. Every time I pass this place, I think I need to stop in once more.

    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 #108 - May 13th, 2015, 9:27 pm
    Post #108 - May 13th, 2015, 9:27 pm Post #108 - May 13th, 2015, 9:27 pm
    Looks as though they have opened a second location in the northern fringes of Andersonville; either that or they will be very soon.

    Pork Shoppe
    5721 N Clark
    773-654-1800
  • Post #109 - May 14th, 2015, 9:20 am
    Post #109 - May 14th, 2015, 9:20 am Post #109 - May 14th, 2015, 9:20 am
    Had some carry out from the Andersonville location the other day. I thought it was pretty good. Not among the top tier of bbq places though. Had the brisket, pulled pork, beans and coleslaw. The meats were tender and smoky, not bad at all. The brisket was "pulled" not sliced, which all in my party found strange. Kind of a waste of brisket if you ask me, why not use shoulder or something else if you arent going to do slices. Low point was the beans. Based on the menu description, I was hoping for something along the lines of Rub's Backcountry Smokehouse's "meaty beans" but it was more like refried beans, all mashed together, no discernable added meat, pretty yucky. Coleslaw was institutional and an afterthought. I'd give them another shot, maybe eat-in next time. The restaurant itself looked nice, kind of sports bar-ish.
  • Post #110 - May 14th, 2015, 6:52 pm
    Post #110 - May 14th, 2015, 6:52 pm Post #110 - May 14th, 2015, 6:52 pm
    I think it would be more accurate to describe their brisket as chopped, which is not uncommon. What is uncommon though is not even having the option to get it sliced.

    Anyway, I have the blessing of living close to both Smoque and Pork Shoppe (Avondale). Smoque is on a whole different plane... but sometimes I just want chunks of unsauced, smoked meat ala carte, and Pork Shoppe delivers.
  • Post #111 - July 28th, 2016, 7:55 am
    Post #111 - July 28th, 2016, 7:55 am Post #111 - July 28th, 2016, 7:55 am
    Avondale Barbecue Spot Pork Shoppe Shutters Original Location

    http://chicago.eater.com/2016/7/27/1230 ... e-barbecue
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #112 - July 29th, 2016, 2:25 pm
    Post #112 - July 29th, 2016, 2:25 pm Post #112 - July 29th, 2016, 2:25 pm
    Think the site on Belmont has closed
  • Post #113 - July 29th, 2016, 2:29 pm
    Post #113 - July 29th, 2016, 2:29 pm Post #113 - July 29th, 2016, 2:29 pm
    jane franklin wrote:Think the site on Belmont has closed


    Yes, this was reported in the previous post.

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