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Q-BBQ (Naperville)

May 23, 2018

  • 103 S. Main Street
  • Naperville, IL 60540
  • (630) 637-6400
  • Website
  • Menu

If you’re still reading this blog and wondering if we’ve moved permanently to Illinois, my answer is, it feels like it.  Six days without my grill is a lot and it’s also a lot of eating out.  Just a few more and we’ll try to get back to some Michigan blog posts next.  Deal?

Monday was kind of a gap day.  We only stayed in town because it didn’t make sense to drive back to Kalamazoo for one day.  We would have had to turn around and come back on Tuesday.  Both of our works were understanding but we did hate keeping L out of school for three days.

We needed to do something stimulating.  Our initial plan was Brookfield Zoo, but it was raining so that was out.  We then decided on the DuPage Children’s Museum.

We spent a couple hours at the museum and the kids had a blast.  At one point, B looks at us and says, “I’m hungry.”  That almost never happens.  We asked L and she said she was hungry too. That was fine with J and I because we were also hungry.

I typically do a ton of research when we travel to a new town and find the perfect spot to eat.  This time, I looked on Google maps at what was around us and saw the word “BBQ.”

Even if I had done my research, there is a very, very good chance I still would have picked Q-BBQ.  This counter service BBQ joint in downtown Naperville sits on the corner of Main Street and Van Buren Streets.  There is street parking all around and a surface lot across the street, but on a Monday afternoon at 2:00, all of it was full.  We got lucky and found a car leaving a spot on Main Street just a few cars down from the entrance.

Q-BBQ is a four store chain of restaurants in the Chicago area with the original opening in LaGrange in 2009.  The restaurant has been featured on pretty much any Chicago media outlet that does any kind of dining segment including one of my favorites, The Hungry Hound.

The restaurant is counter service and you’re met by a huge wooden counter with the menu written on chalkboards behind it when you walk through the front door.  There was no line so as soon as we figured out in what combination we were going to order our BBQ, we were able to do so.

We did a lot of what we also do.  I got brisket.  J got pork.  The kids got mac & cheese.  The meal set us back just under $40.  We were handed a number and told take a seat anywhere and our food would be brought to us.

We picked a table kind of out of the way in the dining room closest to the front counter.  The wood panel theme continues up the walls throughout the restaurant.  Where the wood stops, a deep red paint takes over which makes the light colored wood pop.  The tables are all solid wood along with the chairs.  We picked the table that had a church pew on one side because it’s a little easier for the little ones to sit on a bench than in chairs.  The sauces or on the table in a caddy along with rolls of paper towels.  Ketchup, to-go boxes, and the rest of the condiments and silverware you could need is in a station over by the fountain drink machine.

One other cool feature of the space is a sink.  That sounds odd, doesn’t it?  A sink.  In the middle of the restaurant.  It’s just there to wash your hands.  It’s such a simple, stupid idea that it’s amazing all BBQ joints don’t have this.  I mean, sure, you could go to the restroom, but this is so much easier.  I just kind of stared in awe when I saw this and if I ever open a BBQ restaurant, I’m stealing this idea.

It wasn’t even five minutes after we ordered that our food was being brought out.  I ordered the Chopped Brisket Sandwich.  This plate consisted of a brioche bun with chopped brisket that is covered in their Carolina sauce, hush puppies, and french fries.  I’ve been in a lot of interesting discussions recently about chopped brisket versus sliced brisket.  I see a lot of chopped brisket sandwiches at either high volume or very low volume BBQ joints.  The reasoning is simple, high volume places can stretch expensive, long cooking meats by using every last piece of the packer while the low volume places can use meat that has probably been overcooked from sitting in the warmer for too long.  I prefer the sliced brisket but I understand why places choose to shop it.  This meat was very tender and it had quite a tang from the sauce.  The flavor was spot on so I didn’t see the need to add any more sauce.

I chose the Fresh Cut Fries for my side.  The fries are skin on and cooked up with that crispy outside and soft, steamy middle.  I used the fries to try out the different sauces.  The sweet one was amazing and the hot one lived up to it’s name.

The plate comes with two hush puppies.  These corn nuggets are fried up to a nice, dark golden brown while the inside stays super tender and steamy.  Hush puppies aren’t really my thing so I let J take them.

J picked the Pulled Pork Sandwich and had it done up Q-Style.  The sandwich is served on the same brioche bun as I had with mine.  In addition to the slow smoked pork, the Q-Style includes smoked Gouda cheese and a creamy slaw.  The meat was super tender although pulled in to big chunks that she typically likes.  It was also covered in the Carolina sauce.  J prefers the sweeter sauce so she put some of that on her sandwich as well.

J did BBQ Baked Beans for her side.  The large portion of beans come with brisket mixed in it.  J ate about half but the kids had so much of their meals left over, she ended up picking off their plates as well and didn’t leave room to finish the beans.

We got each of the kids the Mac-Q-Roni kids meals.  This is Q-BBQ’s version of Mac and Cheese.  It’s a pretty large portion of macaroni noodles in a very thick, cheesy sauce.  L polished off most of hers but B gave up after grabbing the fork as soon as it was set down and burning his mouth.  We packed it up and brought it home where L ate it for lunch the next day.  I was tempted to eat it in the restaurant because it the kind of super cheesy mac and cheese that I really like.  Both kids also got fries and the kids meals comes with a drink so they both got lemonade as well.

Q-BBQ is our kind of BBQ place.  It’s kind of a cross between the BBQ roadhouses of the south with the more sophisticated BBQ you tend to find in the city.  They’ve got a great menu of BBQ favorites and some interesting takes that we didn’t get a chance to try.  I found Q-BBQ totally out of luck, but if I had sat down and started looking for restaurants in the area, I’m positive this is the one I would have chosen to take my family to anyway.

Q-BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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