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"Just Que" - Was: Fulton's Chicken - A Bird in the Hand

"Just Que" - Was: Fulton's Chicken - A Bird in the Hand
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  • "Just Que" - Was: Fulton's Chicken - A Bird in the Hand

    Post #1 - August 12th, 2008, 3:35 pm
    Post #1 - August 12th, 2008, 3:35 pm Post #1 - August 12th, 2008, 3:35 pm
    LTHForum,

    Fulton's Chicken is a song that's sung in diners and hot dog stands all across Chicagoland. Spin the bird on a rotisserie, hold until ordered, paint with sauce, lemon/oregano/oil for Greek, BBQ sauce for BBQ, finish on a grill. Nothing special, though that doesn't mean the bird is bad, just not a destination.

    Fulton's Chicken

    Image

    Two leg/thigh with overcooked lemon butter potato wedges, high tensile strength bread and rice that could not possibly absorb one additional molecule of lemon saturated butter. I'd like the lemon butter concession at Fulton's.

    Leg/Thigh Special ($4.45)

    Image

    Of the two new to me rotisserie chickens I have tasted in the last week Fulton's come an easily discernible second to the full flavored marinated goodness of El Pollo Regio. In fact, Fulton's is not even the best chicken on the block, that honor going to the rotisserie chicken at Supermercado/Taqueria Chapala

    Clean, bright, comfortable seating with a full menu of hot dog stand/diner standards, burgers, gyros, Greek Salad, ribs and rib tips. Prices seem reasonable and there is parking lot, always a plus on busy Clark Street.

    Thanks MHayes and Germuska for the initial heads up on the Openings and Closings, Comings and Goings thread.

    Romanian Kosher Sausage Company, which is directly across the street, is well worth a visit. Kosher salami, corned beef, kosher meats and mini kosher hot dogs, perfect for cow in a blanket party snacks.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Fulton's Chicken
    7140 N Clark,
    Chicago, IL
    773-465-5544

    El Pollo Regio
    1918 W Lake St
    Melrose Park IL
    708-345-5011

    Supermercado/Taqueria Chapala
    7117 N Clark St
    Chicago, IL

    Romanian Kosher Sausage Company
    7200 N Clark St
    Chicago, IL 60626
    773-761-4141
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #2 - August 12th, 2008, 8:58 pm
    Post #2 - August 12th, 2008, 8:58 pm Post #2 - August 12th, 2008, 8:58 pm
    After waiting for months for Fulton's to open, I was hoping it would be someplace special, but I was sorely disappointed. As Gary pointed out above, Fulton's is like hundreds (thousands?) of other independent fast-food restaurants around Chicago. In fact, the menu is very similar to Parkside Gyros just up the street. The difference is that Parkside produces a better product at a lower price. Fulton's will no doubt cut into Parkside's business, but it won't provide any new options to the neighborhood cuisine-wise, although the outdoor patio seems nice (even if it is at the corner of two main streets). When I discovered that Fulton's was owned by the same outfit as East of Edens, it made sense. The menu offerings exactly mirror those of EoE, right down to the gummy overcooked chicken and the even gummier undercooked fries. I did, however, think the burgers were OK (but what good is a decent burger with lousy fries?). Anyhow, I think I will be sticking to Parkside Gyros and Jarvis Grill for fast-food carry-out, and (again, as Gary pointed out) Supermercado Chapala for its tasty roast chicken.

    Chicken from Supermercado Chapala
    Image


    Parkside Gyros
    7355 N Clark St
    Chicago, IL 60626
    (773) 338-0321
  • Post #3 - August 12th, 2008, 9:18 pm
    Post #3 - August 12th, 2008, 9:18 pm Post #3 - August 12th, 2008, 9:18 pm
    Gwiv, D4v3,

    Your posts about the promise of mediocrity being completely realized here remind me of my own recent, easily forgotten experience at such a place, which raises the question-- why are all these Greek burger/chicken places in business if they’re all C-pluses at best?

    Stanley’s Market on Elston, famous for the great signs of Stanley on a flying watermelon (one of the signs recently blew down and was replaced, but the other survives), and well worth a stop for value-priced fruit (some good quality, not so good, but smart shoppers can do all right there), some years ago spawned a burger/chicken place across the street.

    It’s reasonably attractive, in a generic kind of way, nice bathrooms if you need such in that part of the world, but it’s exactly like every other Greek burger/chicken place. Maybe the chicken’s better, but the burger is the epitome of the kind of carelessly made food that these places specialize in. A frozen burger patty that tastes of barnyard more than beef. 8 times as much starchy white bun as beef, and three times as much iceberg lettuce and styrofoam tomato, between them extinguishing both the flavor and the temperature of the meat. Frozen fries, more starchy styrofoam.

    But it’s all served on china, so you know it’s a class joint. Restaurant china, the kind you could play basketball with and not so much as chip it.

    Places like this exist all over the city. To my mind they’ve crowded out the possibility of better burger joints run by displaced Okies (like in California) or old Germans (like in Milwaukee). Some of these joints at least have character (White Palace Grill), a very few rise above the pack foodwise (Dengeo’s in Skokie), but mostly they define an entire subset of diner dining which is mediocre enough to seriously make you appreciate fast food chains for the few things they do right by.

    To me they’re the white noise on our dining scene, everywhere, mildly annoying but not rising to the level of offensiveness-- because how can you get interested enough to be angry about something that has never once stirred the passions of the people who make it?

    Stanley’s Grill
    1543 N Elston Ave
    Chicago, IL 60622
    773-772-0004
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  • Post #4 - August 12th, 2008, 9:24 pm
    Post #4 - August 12th, 2008, 9:24 pm Post #4 - August 12th, 2008, 9:24 pm
    d4v3 wrote: I think I will be sticking to Parkside Gyros and Jarvis Grill for fast-food carry-out


    you can also go just 1.9 miles north a little ways and hang a left (west) on Dempster. Just a suggestion.
  • Post #5 - August 12th, 2008, 9:41 pm
    Post #5 - August 12th, 2008, 9:41 pm Post #5 - August 12th, 2008, 9:41 pm
    Oh yeah, that one's good too!

    So it happens. But for every one, there's a zillion cookie cutter ones that are a big nothin'.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #6 - March 13th, 2010, 2:56 pm
    Post #6 - March 13th, 2010, 2:56 pm Post #6 - March 13th, 2010, 2:56 pm
    Fulton's has actually gotten quite a bit better since it first opened. It is still not that remrkable, but has become a solid choice for the occasional hotdog or gyro (if you are in the area). What is remarkable, is that last week Fulton's took delivery on a brand spanking new aquarium style smoker. It is sitting in their dining room, still in its protective coating and sans glass sides. Of course, the simple ownership of a smoker does not automatically mean good barbecue (in fact, they maybe planning to use it more as a grill), but it is a good chance to examine the workmanship close up. The smoker did have doors on the pit and was lined in fire brick, so I assume it will burn wood. The joint was pretty busy, so I did not get a chance to speak to the owner much about his plans for the device, but he indicated it would be up and running next month.
  • Post #7 - April 22nd, 2010, 6:21 pm
    Post #7 - April 22nd, 2010, 6:21 pm Post #7 - April 22nd, 2010, 6:21 pm
    I stopped into Fulton's today and was pleased to find the new Aquarium smoker up and burning split hickory logs. It seems the place has also changed its name to "Just Que", which is an odd name since they sell all kinds of stuff besides barbecue (hot dogs, burgers, gyros, chicken, catfish etc.). I ordered a large tips, and was fairly impressed. It was definitely not Uncle John's, but it wasn't Hecky's either.

    The tips were all nice and meaty, however it seemed that some pieces were more smoky than others. I think we got a few underdone tips from a different slab. Most of the tips had a gorgeous rosy smoke ring, while a few had hardly any. Hopefully that was simply due to a timing issue, which they will work out (I will not easily give up on a pit BBQ so close to my house).

    I did think the meat could use a more assertive rub (again, something that can be improved with practice). Luckily, the sauce made up for the lack of rub. I am not a big sauce fanatic, but I thought this joint had some excellent sauce (especially the "hot"). It was a sort of sweet and sour fruity sauce with a nice bite and a sharp vinegar tanginess. I asked what it was made with, but they wouldn't say. I'll guess tamarind or apricot (or maybe mango). Whatever it was, it was pretty dang good.

    All in All, I would currently give "Just Cue" about 2.75 out of 5. For a BBQ place that is just starting out, they aren't too bad, and I am sure they will get better with practice. They do get extra credit (and a little leeway) for using an Aquarium smoker and burning real logs. Being right up the street, having delivery and being open til 4am on weekends doesn't hurt the score either.

    Just Que
    7140 N Clark
    773 465-5544

    I did snap a cell phone picture of the tips, which I will attempt to upload (if it came out any good).
    ps. I'll bet the name leaves some of the Spanish speaking neighbors scratching their heads.
  • Post #8 - April 24th, 2010, 2:23 pm
    Post #8 - April 24th, 2010, 2:23 pm Post #8 - April 24th, 2010, 2:23 pm
    Thanks for the report. I pass by this place every now and then. Know I have a reason to stop in.
  • Post #9 - April 26th, 2010, 12:38 pm
    Post #9 - April 26th, 2010, 12:38 pm Post #9 - April 26th, 2010, 12:38 pm
    Ok, so here is the story I got second hand. The East of Edens folks sold Fulton's to an African American family whose intention was to turn the place into a pit Barbecue joint called "Just Que". During the transition period, the new owners decided to keep the Fulton's menu and the Mexican cooks on the grill along with the stuff from the smoker. So they sell both Tips and Links as well as Gyros and Beef Kebabs. (BTW what are "Turkey Tips"?)

    In addition to the tips, I had a Bacon Cheese Burger which was a noticable improvement over Fulton's previous version. It had more of a flattened griddled style rather than that of a premade patty.

    Anyhow, here is that out of focus cell-phone picture of the tips, I promised. You can see how some of the tips seem less smoked than the others, but on the whole, not a bad looking pile o' tips.

    Large Tips from Just Que (missing a couple from the ride home)
    Image

    I will probably return in a couple of days to Fulton's Chicken AKA Fulton's Barbecue House AKA Just Que to see how things are progressing on the smoke front.
  • Post #10 - April 26th, 2010, 8:00 pm
    Post #10 - April 26th, 2010, 8:00 pm Post #10 - April 26th, 2010, 8:00 pm
    I got half a chicken and a salad tonight to bring home for dinner. Not impressed with the chicken at all, lacking in flavor and the white meat was a bit dry. Perhaps my mistake was not getting the sauce. The salad was extremely fresh. The folks who run the place seem friendly. But they won't win any prizes for efficiency. The ribs smelled good, but I was trying very hard to eat healthy, and also avoided the fries and rice and bread.
  • Post #11 - April 27th, 2010, 2:35 pm
    Post #11 - April 27th, 2010, 2:35 pm Post #11 - April 27th, 2010, 2:35 pm
    Judy H wrote:I got half a chicken and a salad tonight to bring home for dinner. Not impressed with the chicken at all, lacking in flavor and the white meat was a bit dry. Perhaps my mistake was not getting the sauce. The salad was extremely fresh. The folks who run the place seem friendly. But they won't win any prizes for efficiency. The ribs smelled good, but I was trying very hard to eat healthy, and also avoided the fries and rice and bread.
    I never eat white meat, because it id always too dry for me. Regardless, as noted above, despite its former name (which is still on the awning), the chicken at Fulton's was never that great (was the chicken smoked or just reheated rotisserie chicken?).

    It is the fact that the new owners bought and are using an aquarium smoker with real wood, that intrigues me. It is a mystery why they just didn't close down for a few days, then re-open as a totally new BBQ-centric restaurant. Instead they chose to keep the menu, sinage and grill cooks from the old place. The result is definitely an identity crisis, as if there were two different restaurants operating in the same space. The family did seem a little disorganized, but that is to be expected. Besides, they made up for it with friendliness. The pit-mistress noticed me looking at the smoker and invited us back into the smoking room to sample bits of BBQ meat. Like I said, it is not the best BBQ in the world (or in the city for that matter), but it shows a lot of potential, and the "family secret" BBQ sauce is amazing.

    I am sorry if I seem like I am hyping these guys, but I am just excited about having a real wood aquarium smoker in operation just down the street. I think given the right support and encouragement this place could be special. At any rate it beats having just another Greek rotisserie chicken place, as described above. For chicken, I still go to Chapala across the street, or to Supermercado Morelia for the ginormous and juicy marinated chickens with freshmade tortillas and salsas.
  • Post #12 - May 9th, 2010, 6:26 am
    Post #12 - May 9th, 2010, 6:26 am Post #12 - May 9th, 2010, 6:26 am
    I had a quick lunch at Just Que last week. I found it a little ironic that the place is located directly across the street form Romanian Kosher Meats. I'll bet they don't get too much business from there. :roll: I ordered a small combination for $9.99, which included a good amount of tips, two fried chicken wings and a couple of links. On a separate plate, they served a load of food service fries and a piece of that grilled garlic flavored Italian bread typically served with chicken at a Greek joint. The links were completely inedible. They were much too finely ground and not seasoned very well, but the chicken wings and tips were more than acceptable. Wings were fried to order and came out slightly greasy, but otherwise hot and good. The tips had been held for some time and were on the dry side, but had decent smoke flavor. At 1:00 in the afternoon, the aquarium smoker was not in use, but it was obvious that the tips had been cooked over wood.

    Just Que Combination Platter
    Image

    Closeup of Tips
    Image

    d4v3 wrote:All in All, I would currently give "Just Cue" about 2.75 out of 5.

    As d4v3 said, it's not the best BBQ around, but if I lived in the neighborhood, I'd be glad it's there for an emergency Q fix.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #13 - May 10th, 2010, 1:37 pm
    Post #13 - May 10th, 2010, 1:37 pm Post #13 - May 10th, 2010, 1:37 pm
    stevez wrote:As d4v3 said, it's not the best BBQ around, but if I lived in the neighborhood, I'd be glad it's there for an emergency Q fix.
    Yeah, I was hoping Just Que would be great, but I guess that I will have to settle for OK for now. It seems they are still getting the timing issues ironed out. For instance, I went there on a saturday night (when they were very busy), and the tips were cooked perfectly, but the ribs were not quite ready. The other time I went there, the tips were a little undercooked, and when stevez went there, they were dry. I am also surprised with Steve's observation about the links being ground too finely. The one time I tried the links, they seemed pretty coarse, but were not very smokey (I did notice that the whole links were a lot longer than the usual ones I see). Maybe they are experimenting with different brands. Anyhow, it appears that "Just Que" is suffering from the inititial timing issues that most real wood BBQ places go through. I think aquarium smokers are a lot more difficult to master than people first think. Hopefully, they will work out those kinks and become a reliable source for good barbecue. I think I will give them another couple of weeks to work things out. At least I can say with confidence that they are the currently the best BBQ in the neighborhood, but they have a long way to go to give Honey1 a run for the Northside title. Still, they do use real hickory logs, they are close, and the sauce IS pretty good (for those who care about sauce).
  • Post #14 - May 10th, 2010, 4:29 pm
    Post #14 - May 10th, 2010, 4:29 pm Post #14 - May 10th, 2010, 4:29 pm
    d4v3 wrote:I am also surprised with Steve's observation about the links being ground too finely. The one time I tried the links, they seemed pretty coarse, but were not very smokey (I did notice that the whole links were a lot longer than the usual ones I see). Maybe they are experimenting with different brands.


    As a point of comparison, here's what the links they served me looked like. This is exactly as they were served, including the slit running the long way. These were not good links. I took only one bite and came close to spitting it out. (That's why I didn't bother to getg a good picture of them.)

    Image
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #15 - May 10th, 2010, 5:40 pm
    Post #15 - May 10th, 2010, 5:40 pm Post #15 - May 10th, 2010, 5:40 pm
    stevez wrote: These were not good links. I took only one bite and came close to spitting it out. (That's why I didn't bother to getg a good picture of them.)
    Those certainly do not look like good links. The links I got the other day were totally unremarkable, but not inedible. They were, however, cut lengthwise and completely drenched in sauce (eventhough we ordered it on the side). In fact, I get the impression that "just Que" puts a lot more emphasis on its sauce (which is admittedly pretty good) than on the underlying meat. Maybe they should have just opened a sauce biz. A friend pointed out to me that on the one occassion we got really good tips, the woman running the smoker seemed to be instructing some of the staff on the device's use.

    Like I said, I haven't given up hope yet. "just Que" seems to have their hearts and intentions in the right place, even if the execution is a little rough.
  • Post #16 - May 10th, 2010, 5:43 pm
    Post #16 - May 10th, 2010, 5:43 pm Post #16 - May 10th, 2010, 5:43 pm
    d4v3 wrote:I get the impression that "just Que" puts a lot more emphasis on its sauce (which is admittedly pretty good) than on the underlying meat.


    Agree on the sauce, both the emphasis and the quality. I really liked their spicy variety as a condiment on the tips.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #17 - May 25th, 2010, 7:35 am
    Post #17 - May 25th, 2010, 7:35 am Post #17 - May 25th, 2010, 7:35 am
    stevez wrote:The links were completely inedible. They were much too finely ground and not seasoned very well, but the chicken wings and tips were more than acceptable. Wings were fried to order and came out slightly greasy, but otherwise hot and good. The tips had been held for some time and were on the dry side, but had decent smoke flavor. At 1:00 in the afternoon, the aquarium smoker was not in use, but it was obvious that the tips had been cooked over wood.


    I tried Just Que a couple weeks ago and had a similar experience to stevez's when it comes to the links. These offerings were truly awful--dessicated, ground beyond recognition, and nondescript in flavor. As soon as I bit into one, I wanted to spit it out, although morbid curiosity motivated me to nibble on a few others.

    I wish I could report a similar experience with the tips. To my taste buds, they were equally bad. There's no doubt they were equally dry. Sadly, mine also lacked any smoke flavor and were also bereft of smoke rings.

    I suppose the sauce was OK.

    I'll try this place again because it's so convenient for me, but I'm not looking forward to it.
  • Post #18 - May 25th, 2010, 8:10 am
    Post #18 - May 25th, 2010, 8:10 am Post #18 - May 25th, 2010, 8:10 am
    I'll try this place again because it's so convenient for me, but I'm not looking forward to it.


    Kenny, there are a lot of good places to eat in RP = Candlelite, Taste of Peru, myriad Mexican places up and down Clark, both restos and supermercados, jerk joints galore - there is NO REASON to eat bad food because it's 'convenient.' Better that you buy chicken & GOOD links, & grill-smoke the little rascals yourself!
  • Post #19 - May 25th, 2010, 8:19 am
    Post #19 - May 25th, 2010, 8:19 am Post #19 - May 25th, 2010, 8:19 am
    sundevilpeg wrote:
    I'll try this place again because it's so convenient for me, but I'm not looking forward to it.


    Kenny, there are a lot of good places to eat in RP = Candlelite, Taste of Peru, myriad Mexican places up and down Clark, both restos and supermercados, jerk joints galore - there is NO REASON to eat bad food because it's 'convenient.' Better that you buy chicken & GOOD links, & grill-smoke the little rascals yourself!


    Hi Peg,

    Yes, I frequently patronize Candlelite, Masouleh, Chappala, Morelia, etc., but I can't control my frequent BBQ cravings. Sadly, I am simply not able to make it out to Honey 1 most week nights. So I will be trying Just Que again in the future to see if the place improves.
  • Post #20 - May 25th, 2010, 2:21 pm
    Post #20 - May 25th, 2010, 2:21 pm Post #20 - May 25th, 2010, 2:21 pm
    Kenny from Rogers Park wrote:Yes, I frequently patronize Candlelite, Masouleh, Chappala, Morelia, etc., but I can't control my frequent BBQ cravings. Sadly, I am simply not able to make it out to Honey 1 most week nights. So I will be trying Just Que again in the future to see if the place improves.

    I am in the same boat as you. I really wanted there to be a decent real wood BBQ joint within walking distance, but so far "Just Que" ain't it. I have been there 3 times, and have not seen much of an improvement. One time I did actually get decent tips from the place, but the ribs sucked on that visit. Another time I got some tips that were done and some that were underdone. Both Kenny and Steve report tips that were overcooked and dry (I have not experienced that). Obviously, they are having trouble getting their timing correct. I still have my fingers crossed, but hope is fading.
  • Post #21 - May 25th, 2010, 4:59 pm
    Post #21 - May 25th, 2010, 4:59 pm Post #21 - May 25th, 2010, 4:59 pm
    I've been there three times and have found the tips the only 'Cue worth trying- they CAN be excellent, but are inconsistent. The ribs were never good and the links were so bad on my first visit that I never tried them again. Strangely, one of the owners said that they were so dry he had to ad fat to them-obviously not enough.

    The owners have run a number of joints on the South Side-but not together.

    If you go there early enough, Bar-B-Que Bob's at Howard and Hoyne is worth trying.
  • Post #22 - May 25th, 2010, 6:12 pm
    Post #22 - May 25th, 2010, 6:12 pm Post #22 - May 25th, 2010, 6:12 pm
    Hmmmmm

    Horrible, dry links, no idea how to cook tips....
    Wonder if they have any ties with Smokin M's?
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.

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