Billy Boy’s Restaurant – Chicago Ridge, IL
Back in Chicago. Let the feeding frenzy begin. J and I are always so bad when we go home. There’s just so many good restaurants and so much food we can’t get in Southwest Michigan that we kind of go overboard. I’m so much more worse than she is. If it were up to me, I’d eat Italian beef for every meal with a big bag of greasy, salty fries. My stomach would hate me, but I’d be sooooo happy.
One of the foods we really can’t get anywhere in Michigan it seems is BBQ. We’ve only found a couple restaurants in the entire state that do good BBQ. Heck, we were in Michigan City this afternoon and I’m pretty sure I saw more BBQ places in that town alone than I’ve ever seen in Michigan.
Seeing all those restaurants made me hungry for BBQ and J knew it. We really wanted to go a place out in Lockport, but that’s a pretty good drive from her parents house. Instead, we went to a place that doesn’t really specialize in BBQ, but does have award-winning ribs.
Billy Boy’s Restaurant is on the corner of 95th Street and Ridgeland Avenue just across the street from the Westfield-Chicago Ridge Mall. J said she had only been to the place once in her life. For a long time, she thought the place was just a liquor store, but it’s actually a restaurant with a liquor store attached.
The building looks a lot like a liquor store or a car dealership from the outside. It’s got bright red painted awnings and those little flags strung together than hang over the parking lot.
It was dinner time when we walked into the small restaurant, so there was a little bit of a line in front of us. Billy Boy’s is set up like a lot of Chicago joints. You order your food, take a number and wait for it to be called. The menu is ginormous. There are lighted signs above the counter that separates the kitchen from the dining room and you have to walk the whole length to see the entire menu. There are two full slabs of burgers alone.
The ribs were the reason we chose Billy Boy’s tonight and both J’s mom and I ordered them. J’s mom went with a full slab with the intention of having leftovers. I went with the have. The ribs came with a side of fries, garlic bread and cole slaw.
J ordered the BBQ chicken breast. She added on lettuce and got it on a bun. There was also an option to get the sandwich on pita bread. For a side, she got Macaroni & Cheese bites.
We added on three medium Coke’s for a total of forty bucks. We paid, took our number then found a table.
The dining room consists of booths along the walls and tables in the middle. Most of the booths were being used when we walked in, but by the time we got our food, many were open. We opted for a table instead in the back corner.
When our number was called, J’s mom jumped up to get the food. I followed because I knew there’d be at least two trays. Turns out, there were three. I grabbed the full slab of ribs and headed to the table then went back to grab another tray so J’s mom wasn’t trying to balance two full trays of food.
The ribs were fantastic. They are served Kansas City style with a thick, red sauce already on the meat. The baby back ribs were so tender they literally fell off the bone. It was actually easier to kife-and-fork it because the meat wasn’t attached at all. The sauce was really thick and a little bit of a kick to it. J’s mom (and later her stepdad) noticed it more than I did, but after it was brought to my attention, I could taste it. I don’t order ribs in restaurants often, but I’m glad I did this. The ribs had some pretty good burnt ends which were my favorite part, but there was nothing about this rib I didn’t like.
As for the sides, they weren’t much. The fries were shoestring restaurant fries and the garlic bread was cold. I didn’t touch the cole slaw, but I don’t like slaw anyway.
J’s sandwich was a char-grilled chicken breast with a sweet BBQ sauce. I don’t believe it was the same as the ribs because she dipped a few of my fries in my sauce and commented about how she liked it better. She said the chicken was also really tender and appeared to be butterflied which made it easier to eat.
The macaroni & cheese bites were a big hit as well. J’s mom had never heard of them before and was anxious to try one. The mac cheese was still gooey and the coating was a batter instead of a breading. J seemed to like them and was willing to share so we all got to try one.
From the road, Billy Boy’s doesn’t look like a restaurant. I drove by it many times before actually reading the sign. I’m not sure who suggested I try the ribs, but whomever it was, I’m glad they did. I think we all enjoyed our meals and were just a little surprised about how good it actually was.