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Has anyone been there since they started selling ribs in the old Leon's location on 83rd and Cottage Grove ??
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I haven't tried their barbecue yet but I understand it's elbow lickin' good.

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Dat Donut / Dat Bar-B-Q
8251 S Cottage Grove Av
Chicago
773-723-1002

See post below for updated contact information.
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The renovated Dat Donut and Barbecue complex at 83rd & Cottage has been finished for some months now. This was the site of one of the Leon's Bar-B-Qs until it closed several years ago after a long decline. As I understand it, some of the old Leon's employees planned to open a new barbecue house under the Dat name.

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But there's been an exciting development in the last month or so.

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Uncle John's has taken over the barbecue part of the operation. Inside, the bright white tile and digital menu boards might be a little jarring to barbecue traditionalists.

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This seems like a barbecue machine, its gleaming spacious kitchen and triple turntables capable of efficiently dispensing ribs, tips and links to large hungry crowds. I bet it will be something to see, with turntables whirring, on Super Bowl Sunday. No seating but you can eat at the counter in the donut shop (Would you like a Big Dat with that?).

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The menu is similar to Uncle John's but with a few changes. Jerk rib tips are an interesting addition but thankfully the tip-link combos are still there, from lunch size ($6.25) to jumbo ($14.55). Here's the lunch combo.

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Based on a single sample I'd say it's pretty close to the barbecue on 69th (somewhat variable itself). Links were crisp-skinned and juicy, with Mack's signature heavy spicing; tips were smoky and meaty, with a pleasant crust.

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It's heartening to see some of Chicago's best barbecue get wider distribution.

Uncle John's Barbecue at Dat Donut
8249 S Cottage Grove Av
Chicago
773-952-6236
Mon-Thu 11am-midnight, Fri-Sat 11am-1am, Sun noon-10pm
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Ooooh, nice, UJ's BBQ on a Sunday now!
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I note the Morgan Park location of Dat Donut (111th) is now Jive Turkey; the banner for the new place is still sort of draped over the old donut sign.
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Mack talks about his health problems and the difference between an aquarium pit smoker and a pellet smoker which is being used at the Dat location.
The new Uncle John’s...A popular pit master passes the torch.
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I picked up a tray of UJ tips and links from the open-on-Sundays Dat/UJ's for the Super Bowl and forgot to mention it here. I thought the Dats were great and the same as the original. I did not think the BBQ was up to par. It was fresh enough and the tips were close. The links not at all. Different smoker, different man manning it. But the link recipe also seemed off, somehow. Still good and worth the trip, just not up to the very high standards I've come to expect from UJ.
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So it looks like UJ will be closing the original in the near future? I need to get there ASAP. I'm coming to Chicago next week with my girlfriend to show off the city a bit. I think a trip down to the South Side is in order. Can't get BBQ like that in NYC no matter how hard the hipster smokehouses here try.
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Habibi wrote:So it looks like UJ will be closing the original in the near future? I need to get there ASAP. I'm coming to Chicago next week with my girlfriend to show off the city a bit. I think a trip down to the South Side is in order. Can't get BBQ like that in NYC no matter how hard the hipster smokehouses here try.

From the article above there is no rush, because it is one or two years away from closing.

Since there is already another satellite location in the southern suburbs, maybe his original location will remain with someone else operating daily.

Regards,
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"You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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JeffB wrote:I picked up a tray of UJ tips and links from the open-on-Sundays Dat/UJ's for the Super Bowl and forgot to mention it here. I thought the Dats were great and the same as the original. I did not think the BBQ was up to par. It was fresh enough and the tips were close. The links not at all. Different smoker, different man manning it. But the link recipe also seemed off, somehow. Still good and worth the trip, just not up to the very high standards I've come to expect from UJ.


The last time I was down at UJ's a week or so ago, the indication I got about the Dat location from someone was that it "was sort of independent".. ie it wasnt really *them* per se. Mack wasnt around at the UJ's location the day I was - they said he had just come out of a hospital trip due to pneumonia and so had gone home early after stopping by etc.

The tips and links were just fine at UJ on the day, BTW - still by a mile the best in the city, bar none. I think Iam most likely to just keep stopping by the original, if youre driving down from the north-side, theyre both really very close to each other. Iam sure I will sample the Dat location often enough over summer though - it has sucked being on the south-side on Sundays with no UJ option, the new place changes that, which is great. (Thus Dat will steal no business from Uncle John's BBQ, for me - it will just steal some of the business from Uncle Joe's Jerk on 47th, my usual Sunday-evening stop when on the south-side.. not a bad substitute, since it *does* serve the best jerk-chicken in the city).

c8w
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c8w wrote: Mack wasnt around at the UJ's location the day I was - they said he had just come out of a hospital trip due to pneumonia and so had gone home early after stopping by


Maybe this is why UJ's lost the side-by-side tips tasteoff earlier in the week, described in the Lem's thread.
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