Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lem's BBQ

CHICAGO: Lem's Bar-B-Q
311 E 75th St
Chicago, IL 60619
Open Sun-M 2pm-2am, W-Thur 2pm-2am, F-Sat 2pm-4am

After our stop at Honey 1, we headed down the Dan Ryan to the South Side. Lem's has made it on many 'best of' lists, so we had to try it. We drove by it twice before locating the sign and this tiny green building. After finding a spot on the street, we walked to the side door, and squeezed past some waiting patrons to place our order through the bulletproof glass. An aquarium pit was on display at the back of the store. The smallest order of ribs and hot links was around $20, and we headed straight back to the car since eating inside is not an option. Before we exited, a tailor gave each of us his card. Oddly, he wore a very ill-fitting shirt.

Back at the car, we ripped open the now soggy paper bags on the roof of the car. Before we could take a bite, Patricia limped up next to us and asked for a few bucks so she could get some chicken wings. We offered ribs and hot links instead, because we knew we'd have plenty of leftovers given the heft of each sack. She insisted several times that she "really had a taste for some wings", but waited patiently for us to finish anyway.

The hot links were just as hot as those found at Honey 1, but they'd been overcooked a bit as evidenced by their broken skin and slightly dried meat inside. The grind was coarse with large chunks of spices evident in the mixture. As expected, they tasted of breakfast sausage with a kick, but were enjoyable. Short end ribs were covered in a spicy and sweet sauce which covered nearly any of the meat's flavor. The smoke so evident at Honey 1 was missing here, and the texture was downright chewy. The overall flavor was decent, but we weren't lamenting when Patricia finally strolled away with most of them still in the bag.

Rating **
Lem's Bar-B-Q House on Urbanspoon

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Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.