Sunday, June 10, 2012

Ribfest Chicago 2012

Go now before it's too late!! Only on day left (today) from noon to 10pm in Northcenter starting at the corner of Damen and lincoln ave (and Irving Park). Ribfest is one of my favorite (of the many) Chicago summertime neighborhood festivals. I love bbq, I love ribs and being outside in the summer is gravy. There is also live music on two stages throughout the day. Suggested donation to enter the festival is $5 per person, but don't be intimated if you want to give to less - they can't make you give anything. Like most food festivals everything is purchased with tickets and not cash at an exchange rate of $1 per ticket. Most vendors have samplers of ribs for 6 tickets (includes 3 bones), and half slabs for 11 tickets or full slabs for 20. Other times vary by establishment like brisket, pulled pork, beans, mac n cheese, etc.

We were quite aggressive this year about eating and I loved it. We made it to five different places and really got a good sample of variety, enjoying them all but at different levels. I'll cut to the chase and rank the five we went to so you can enjoy today -

#1 - Robinson's No. 1 Ribs - all around best cooked ribs, lots of meat, great bbq sauce. Hard to believe one of the larger more well known places was my favorite but they know what they're doing.

(no pictures because I forgot and it was the first we tried)

#2 - PitchFork - really love the tangy bbq sauce and meat was super tender but wanted more per bone. Always a fan favorite of ribfest.

#3 - Real Urban Barbecue - nice rub on the meat, less tender than I prefer  and sauce is sweeter than I like but still very good.

#4 Rub BBQ Company - super duper tender to the point the bones are like jello (not my fav) but meat was tasty and the rub was well done. Needed more sauce.

#5 - Texas Thunder - last place we went to at end of night so maybe a little full/tired. HUGE platters at great value so go here if you're hungry but the ribs are just ordinary and lots of meat. Need good bbq sauce.

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