Restaurants

Hidden gems on menu at LaGrange barbecue

Friday, June 29, 2012

Over the past few weeks, the Hungry Hound has been going on a barbecue tour of sorts. The one thing every stop has in common: slow smoking over live fires.

And this story is no different. But the subject of what is actually being smoked is somewhat unique.

We've had hot links, ribs, turkey and tri-tip over the past four Fridays.

But this week, we're checking out some Memphis-style chicken wings, along with some "burnt ends," the pride of Kansas City. Where can you find both of these delicious smoked items?

In LaGrange, of course.

Regulars know that Q BBQ in downtown La Grange has all of the usual suspects, like dry-rubbed, slow-smoked ribs. But the first-time customer probably doesn't realize there are two hidden gems on this menu, one of which is the Memphis-style chicken wings.

"They do the dry rub wings in Memphis, and so we kicked it up a notch and we take them and we soak them in buttermilk, we then rub them, put them in the smoker for a few hours, but then, what we do is we put them into peanut oil so they fry up crispy and then we re-rub them again so they're moist they're sweet, they're crunchy, all in one bite," said owner Michael LaPidus.

The other surprise comes in the form of "burnt ends," a Kansas City specialty.

"Burnt ends are the crispy parts of the brisket and what we do differently, is we take those, plus the inner parts of the brisket after we have smoked it for 22 hours and we chop them up and then we put them back into the smoker after we rub them, put our Carolina sauce on them, for another 3 hours, and they come out caramelized and melt in your mouth," LaPidus said.

Sides like baked beans, hush puppies and macaroni and cheese lend credibility to Q's prowess.

But it's these two hidden stars, especially the burnt ends, that have made the restaurant so popular, they're expanding.

"They're flying off this chalkboard because you can't find burnt ends in this area, and so when people have them in Kansas City and some other towns, it's a treat, so now they can come to LaGrange and Naperville and they can have them," he said.

You can also find burnt ends real Urban Barbeque in Highland Park.

Q BBQ
70. S. LaGrange Rd., La Grange
708-482-8700
www.q-bbq.com

Also:
103 S. Main St., Naperville
630-637-6400

Another place to get "burnt ends":

Real Urban Barbeque
610 Central Ave., Highland Park
847-224-770-4227
http://realurbanbbq.com

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