Having never been to Barbara Ann's I decided to make the long, long trek past strange and wondrous sights bespeaking bizarre and unspeakable dining practices:
To Barbara Ann's. Signage alone worth the trip:
One of these days I have to create a slideshow of all the representations of pigs on Chicago restaurant and grocery signage.
Anyway, ordered ribs and hot links, followed Your Pal Will's wise suggestion of a mix of mild and hot sauce, didn't see where, if anywhere, it said to get sauce on the side since the food was absolutely swimming
in sauce in the styrofoam package, the fries were basically patatas bravas.
There's nothing menacing about 76th & Cottage Grove in the middle of the day, but nothing especially charming about it either, the concept of a BBQ shack with an attached motel is more interesting than the reality, so I decided to zip back north about a mile and a half to one of my favorite
sights/places/things in all Chicago, Lorado Taft's epic sculpture The Fountain of Time, on the Midway Plaisance.
Here I was actually menaced-- by geese-- but still had a pleasant, Thomas Gray
-like lunch contemplating Taft's subject, eternity, while eating the sort of meal likely to bring one closer to it: rib tips, hot links and French fries.
So how was the 'Q? the mute, struggling, despondent figures of Taft's masterwork ask. They shall never taste it, but still they wish for some report from the living. I liked the "Uncle John's" links better than my one other taste of them (when Honey 1 cooked some up), the quarter-inch chunks of fat are still alarming, but these hot links have their own unique style, a porky sausage pop mixed with a hint of breakfast sausage from the visible bits of sage in the mix, different and more interesting than the usual polish sausage-like link. The rib tips seemed very much like Honey 1's, smoky and a little leathery-chewy, which I'm all for. Sauce is too much for me-- too much sugar, too much paprika, I'd get it on the side next time and dip sparingly. Honey 1 dials a similar style down to a point I prefer. But all in all, a worthy meal, an exemplar of the Chicago style (like it or not, versus Memphis or KC or whatever, this is exactly what it is), a friendly spot, and well worth a renewal of its Great Neighborhood Restaurants award.
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