Parker has slept soundly most of the day after he and I walked up to Ribfest yesterday. The round-trip took us about 2 hours (not including stops) and 12.8 km.
We sampled five restaurants. Parker didn't give me any notes, so these are all mine, in descending order of enjoyment:
- Lincoln Restaurant, 4008 N. Lincoln. Tasty. Tug-off-the-bone, not too much sauce, tangy KC-style, good lean ribs.
- Irish Bistro, 3905 N. Lincoln. An Irish pub with ribs? Yes. And not too bad. Fall-off-the-bone style, with a "whiskey marmalade" sauce that had a good bite.
- Chicago BBQ (no address) certainly had the most entertaining sign (see below). Parker kept trying to bolt out of line because of the smoke their cookers put out. Tehir meat tasted good, and I liked both their "sweet and sassy" and chipotle sauces. Good smoke flavor. Apparently, though, I'll just have to wait for the next rib festival (Naperville this summer?) to try them again.
- Fireplace Inn, 1448 N. Wells. This was my favorite last year. This year, though, they phoned it in. I still liked their sauce the best, but this time the dazed-looking kid at the booth just gave me some random meat and bones with way too much sauce.
- Hickory's BBQ, 1234 N. Halsted. Not bad, but nothing special: tender but just OK meat, grilled dry with sauce added after. The sauce was tangy but not interesting. I couldn't tell what it needed, but somehow it just fell a little short.
Unfortunately, both Parker and I experienced some discomfort in fairly short order after leaving the festival. He had a tiny bit of every sample I had, so I'm pretty confident either one of the ribs wasn't all right or possibly a sauce was off. We are both undeterred, however, and we'll be back next year.