The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Ribfest 2011

I love the first weekend of June in Chicago, because I love ribs. Once again, Parker and I walked up to Lincoln and Irving Park. And once again, we got some ribs.

I only got four samplers this year. It's too bad I don't have time to go back today, because I'd love to try a few others. Of the ones I did try:

  • Mrs. Murphy's Irish Bistro, at 3925 N. Lincoln Ave., once again topped my list. The sauce has some tang, some heat, and something else (I think it's Guinness). The ribs were fall-off-the-bone but not mushy, grilled to perfection. They won "best of show" last year. For four years now I've said I need to go there for a full slab. So, once again, I need to go there for a full slab.
  • The Piggery, 1625 W. Irving Park Rd., had tender fall-off-the-bone lean ribs with a sweet-tangy sauce. They weren't my favorites, but they were worth having. I'll check them out at some point, too.
  • Pitchfork, which apparently won "best of show" in 2009, had the least meat and sauce of any I tried. They had a good smoked flavor, with a little tug off the bone, and a thin vinegar-based sauce over a spicy dry rub. At the time I didn't think they were that good, but I think the lack of meat made the difference. The bones are wider at one end of the rib cage than the other, you see.
  • The itinerant Chicago BBQ Co. had pretty good smoked ribs, with a spicy sauce over a decent dry rub. Their ribs were also kind of bony, but tasty. These guys go from ribfest to ribfest all over the midwest, so I expect I'll have another opportunity to try them in July.

Parker didn't have the best time, though. I didn't give him much meat because I'm already stressing his digestive system by introducing a new dog food. (It turns out, Whole Foods turkey and rice formula is about half the cost of the Canine ID he's been eating, and apparently his cranky stomach can deal with it just fine.) This, after working more than 5 km there (plus almost 6 km to get back—but he wasn't thinking about that). To add insult, much of Parker's experience of Ribfest looked like this:

At least only one person stepped on him, but in my defense the woman, who wasn't watching where she was going, bumped into me first.

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