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Lem's BBQ: Smoking on all 8-Cylinders

Lem's BBQ: Smoking on all 8-Cylinders
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  • Post #31 - July 1st, 2013, 11:10 am
    Post #31 - July 1st, 2013, 11:10 am Post #31 - July 1st, 2013, 11:10 am
    Dom,

    I'm no expert, but in my experience, the greatness of Chicago aquarium tips comes from the relatively hot, relatively direct heat (coals, not flame, maybe 300, not 225). These are not "low and slow" and not moist, but definitely BBQ, not grilling. All the fat and connective tissue can make this work well where perhaps with other meats, not so much.

    Interestingly, to me at least, the truly great BBQ of this country tends toward this more direct, slightly warmer technique. The mechanics of Texas pits and Carolina pits, when operated traditionally, approximate the Chicago glass pit more than what I think of as "competition" BBQ technique.

    Jeff
  • Post #32 - September 2nd, 2013, 9:50 pm
    Post #32 - September 2nd, 2013, 9:50 pm Post #32 - September 2nd, 2013, 9:50 pm
    A couple of years ago, I had a couple bad experiences in a row with Lem's - dried out swine. I was worried the place was past it's prime. Those fears are long gone. As far as I'm concerned, other than Uncle John's, there is no better place for smoked pork in Chicago than Lem's. And the sauce (I ask for a blend of barbecue and hot) is my favorite of any bbq restaurant around. Almost every time I go to Uncle John's, Lem's is good enough that I stop by almost every time. What I really need to do is get meat at Uncle John's without sauce, go to Lem's and order extra sauce, put them together and achieve barbecue nirvana.
    Barbetour 2013 035.JPG
    Barbetour 2013 034.JPG
  • Post #33 - October 1st, 2014, 10:55 pm
    Post #33 - October 1st, 2014, 10:55 pm Post #33 - October 1st, 2014, 10:55 pm
    Where's the love for Lem's on this board? It's been over a year since anyone posted and that someone was me. Very peculiar. Surely LTHers are still going, right?

    This past weekend Lem's was celebrating it's 60th anniversary and the place was packed. With Uncle John's out in the suburbs, Lem's is my undisputed king of barbecue in Chicago. Juicy, smoky, meaty ribs served with the best sauce in town makes for a deadly combination.

    Lems outside.jpg

    lems ribs.jpg

    wings.jpg Chicken wings are made to order; a little small but damn good

    fries sandwich lem's.jpg With sauce this good, a french fry sandwich is a mandatory part of the meal
    Last edited by MarlaCollins'Husband on November 27th, 2018, 1:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #34 - January 15th, 2015, 9:20 pm
    Post #34 - January 15th, 2015, 9:20 pm Post #34 - January 15th, 2015, 9:20 pm
    All this Aqua Q talk got me in the mood for some. With wife in Nashville or some such, I made my maiden trek down to 75th street to try the lauded Lem's. For most of my aqua q fixes, Barbara Ann's and Uncle John's were my mainstays. I live a stone's throw from Smokin M's but their inconsistencies are just, well... it seems that the gamble is just not worth it, even tho in recent times, I've had some decent stuff. Lem's though, never been, heard good things, and the sauce kinda upped the urge to try it out. Went with the obligatory combo, and a half slab, hot and mild on the side. Results were a mixed bag.

    Small T/L Combo - $14 and change:
    Well, the good first...The tips were exemplary. Just fantastic. chewy, smokey, outer bark giving way to unctuous, porky, goodness underneath. Bees knees. I'd eat them all day long. The link was a joke. Overcooked. Jerky. Flavorless. Waste of time. At 14 + bux for a small, I wanted a way better link.

    Center Cut half slab - $14 and change as well:
    I'd say half of this half slab was pretty flippin good, the other half was either jerky, or had a wee bit too much unrendered fat. I'm no fat prude, either. The good bones were really good tho.

    I couldn't tell you which sauce was supposed to be the hot one, although I did get two differently flavored sauces. One was thinner, so I'm guessing that one was supposed to be "hot." They both had pretty much the same heat level. Interesting flavor, that sauce. It grew on me. Still don't know if I'd consider it fantastic, but it was definitely good and different than most I've tried.

    All in all, I thought it pretty good, if the link wasn't garbage, I would probably be loving on Lem's a bit more. The price point left me wanting a waaaay better link, and a whole bunch more fries (both orders got a pretty skimpy amount of fries.) I'm guessing that I'd have different results on any given day tho.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #35 - January 16th, 2015, 8:42 am
    Post #35 - January 16th, 2015, 8:42 am Post #35 - January 16th, 2015, 8:42 am
    There isn't seating at Lem's is there?
  • Post #36 - January 16th, 2015, 12:53 pm
    Post #36 - January 16th, 2015, 12:53 pm Post #36 - January 16th, 2015, 12:53 pm
    No seating at Lem's. Standard Aquarium q joint:
    counter, bulletproof glass, and a door.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #37 - December 31st, 2015, 12:37 pm
    Post #37 - December 31st, 2015, 12:37 pm Post #37 - December 31st, 2015, 12:37 pm
    http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/7/71/1183280/chicago-bbq-king-james-b-lemons-founder-lems-dies-87

    Surprised nothing has posted on here about his passing.

    RIP
    #SOUTHSIDESLITHER
  • Post #38 - December 31st, 2015, 12:43 pm
    Post #38 - December 31st, 2015, 12:43 pm Post #38 - December 31st, 2015, 12:43 pm
    AlexAC wrote:http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/7/71/1183280/chicago-bbq-king-james-b-lemons-founder-lems-dies-87

    Surprised nothing has posted on here about his passing.

    RIP

    Was posted here on the Obituary thread.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #39 - December 31st, 2015, 1:33 pm
    Post #39 - December 31st, 2015, 1:33 pm Post #39 - December 31st, 2015, 1:33 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    AlexAC wrote:http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/7/71/1183280/chicago-bbq-king-james-b-lemons-founder-lems-dies-87

    Surprised nothing has posted on here about his passing.

    RIP

    Was posted here on the Obituary thread.

    =R=


    Ahhhh my mistake
    #SOUTHSIDESLITHER
  • Post #40 - December 31st, 2015, 2:24 pm
    Post #40 - December 31st, 2015, 2:24 pm Post #40 - December 31st, 2015, 2:24 pm
    AlexAC wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    AlexAC wrote:http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/7/71/1183280/chicago-bbq-king-james-b-lemons-founder-lems-dies-87

    Surprised nothing has posted on here about his passing.

    RIP

    Was posted here on the Obituary thread.

    =R=


    Ahhhh my mistake

    No mistake. Not everyone reads that thread. It was good that you posted it here.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #41 - January 29th, 2016, 6:26 pm
    Post #41 - January 29th, 2016, 6:26 pm Post #41 - January 29th, 2016, 6:26 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    AlexAC wrote:Surprised nothing has posted on here about his passing.

    RIP

    Was posted here on the Obituary thread.

    James B Lemons, 1928-2015
    Image

    Photo taken in 2006
  • Post #42 - January 29th, 2016, 11:33 pm
    Post #42 - January 29th, 2016, 11:33 pm Post #42 - January 29th, 2016, 11:33 pm
    .
    I believe this picture was taken the same day in 2006 as ReneG's. James Lemons was a very nice man, I remember him getting choked up when speaking about his family, BBQ and what it meant to him.

    James B Lemons, 1928-2015
    Image
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #43 - October 1st, 2017, 10:30 am
    Post #43 - October 1st, 2017, 10:30 am Post #43 - October 1st, 2017, 10:30 am
    Bumping this thread to remind anyone who cares that a mixture of Lem's hot and mild sauce would turn a handful of dirt into a solid snack.

    Ribs yesterday afternoon were smoky and flavorful, but a smidge on the rubbery side. I love Lem's and go there more than any other BBQ place in Chicago, but the ribs weren't weren't quite up to snuff yesterday. That said, the bar is incredibly high and the defect did not affect the consumption.
  • Post #44 - October 12th, 2020, 10:53 am
    Post #44 - October 12th, 2020, 10:53 am Post #44 - October 12th, 2020, 10:53 am
    Still the reigning champion for smoked pork in Chicago since Uncle John's moved to the burbs. The bark yesterday was ridiculous.

    Image
  • Post #45 - October 12th, 2020, 8:31 pm
    Post #45 - October 12th, 2020, 8:31 pm Post #45 - October 12th, 2020, 8:31 pm
    MarlaCollins'Husband wrote:Still the reigning champion for smoked pork in Chicago since Uncle John's moved to the burbs. The bark yesterday was ridiculous.


    Had it about a week ago myself. Links and tips. Both good, but the tips were divine (and I got to introduce my son to the greatness of rib tips).

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