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The Return of the King? (maybe?)

The Return of the King? (maybe?)
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  • The Return of the King? (maybe?)

    Post #1 - May 21st, 2014, 9:08 pm
    Post #1 - May 21st, 2014, 9:08 pm Post #1 - May 21st, 2014, 9:08 pm
    So. Life hasnt been quite the same, since I drove down to the SouthSide many months ago, took State to Ewing and hung my usual right on 69th for the best tips and links in the city...only to find a forlorn sign on the door that said "Closed, thanks for all the patronage", and broke my heart into a million pieces. Iam talking, of course, of the sudden shocking end of Uncle John's.

    Despite trying very very hard, Iam yet to find a replacement. Ive driven 2-3 times all the way down to Richton Park, for the "other Uncle John's" that LTH (in its collective desperation to replace the Great Place) has designated a GNR. Nice place, friendly - the tips are pretty good, too (not great, but good). But they changed the recipe of the links - which are now a pale imitation of the Original Link's greatness, IMHO. Its ok, but nothing like the Original - and given the distance only rarely worth the trip I think...

    Ive been 3 times now to Uncle J's too - owned by the daughter (I hear), with at least 1 "known old face" pitman, and even the identical old Uncle John menu (with the last 3 letters blacked out :-) The BBQ has been decent...but also not on a level with the Original. (The links recipe is closer to the original, but not prepared anywhere near as well on any of the 3 trips as Uncle John's *always* were, every single time), the tips decent but not great yet...just not on the same level.

    This weekend, I was driven to make the trek to Uncle John's - the one on 82nd, joined with Dat Donuts, the one that was "sold" by Mack. And frankly, the BBQ might have been the closest to the original of the 3 places Ive tried (it was on a Saturday, and busy, so unfair comparison, but still). Still nowhere near the Original, but pretty decent - and one I will go back to soon, more often than the other 2 places at the moment, probably.

    But. The Actual News. In the parking lot, this guy says "hi" - and I realize, its one of the old-69th-street-regular-pitmen, who is now working at the 82nd street place (by itself a very good sign). So I say hi back...and realize that he is standing outside this big black SUV and chatting with the guy in the seat - who just happens to be Mack himself! Mack was genial, shook hands, talked for a few, said he wasnt really doing anything (but still came back to the 82nd street spot to check on things every so often) etc..It was great. Gods do answer Letters.

    And, he said, he would be "Cooking, doing BBQ, at the Church"!!! Hello!! I asked for details - he said he wasnt sure if there would always be links etc, but it would be BBQ, ribs (and sometime links too). Starting soon - maybe even this week? Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, he said. From about 12-noon, to "when it gets dusk-dark". I noted the address immediately - 9712 Vincennes, "in the church parking lot, you cant miss it"...

    A google search reveals "Greater Tabernacle Holiness MB Church" at 9712 Vincennes. I plan on heading there soon, hoping to worship at the High Altar of Great Barbecue.

    Potential Ribs and BBQ by Mack,
    Greater Tabernacle Church, Parking Lot,
    9712 Vincennes Avenue,
    Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 12 noon to dusk-dark

  • Post #2 - May 21st, 2014, 10:36 pm
    Post #2 - May 21st, 2014, 10:36 pm Post #2 - May 21st, 2014, 10:36 pm

    You really make people read through quite a lot until you get to the great news! :D

    Thanks for sharing the excitement, I look forward to your reaction.


    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #3 - June 5th, 2014, 12:34 pm
    Post #3 - June 5th, 2014, 12:34 pm Post #3 - June 5th, 2014, 12:34 pm
    By coincidence, I was mourning the loss of Ribs & Bibs a couple of weeks ago, when I found myself facing the Dat-affiliated Uncle John's for the first time, and quickly struck up an intense, rebound relationship.
    Maybe it's too soon and I'm too emotionally volatile and suggestible from recent grief, but this place seems excellent to me.
    Over 3 visits I've sampled ribs, chicken, and hot links, with the sauce "mixed" (mild/spicy) each time. While the meat on the ribs is not quite as generously proportioned and voluptuously textured as at Ribs & Biibs, it is satisfyingly barky and chewy, wth the "mixed" sauce hitting, for me, a near ideal heat point, a notch or so higher than R & B's smoky-but-sweeter sauce. But the revelation was the hot link. I rarely order these, sticking mainly to ribs, tips, and chicken. I thought this was a great sausage. A coarse grind with really meaty flavor and texture and minimal deposits of rubbery fat and gristle. The heat was perfect, making a noticeable statement without drowning out the rest.
    Sadly, the freelance gig that brought me to the neighborhood was brief, so I'll have to go out of my way to get back, but I thought this was really good stuff. (And the value-add of an attached Dat can hardly e calculated.)
    I did not see a crash cart or defibrillating equipment on hand in either store, which is something they really ought to attend to before the inevitable myocardial incident casts a cloud over the operation.
    "Strange how potent cheap music is."