Old Crow Smokehouse | Wrigleyville | Barbecue/Ribs, Asian, Sports Bar, Music Bar | Restaurant
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Mike Sula

Barbecue, both American and Asian, in the former Chen's.

Our Review

This new barbecue spot is 10,500 square feet of kountry-roadhouse kitsch featuring 20 TVs, a soundtrack of the worst commercial country music Nashville is capable of producing, and a posse of indolent waitresses in short skirts and cowboy boots serving drinks in plastic glasses—because, presumably, the patrons can't be trusted not to smash them over each other's heads on game day. Presiding over operations, however, is the likable Tony Scruggs, a barbecue-competition-circuit vet who made a respectable run on MasterChef season two. Here he's churning out the usual suspects from a large Southern Pride offset smoker that, as at most places, turns out meat varying in consistency depending on your order—pulled pork, for example, is winningly fatty and juicy, brisket dry as a bone. Baby back ribs seem to stand up to this treatment the best. There are other options altogether, though, as Old Crow is also pushing "Asian BBQ" from a robata grill. The charred Chinese-style lamb skewers I tried were bland and chewy, but the Korean short ribs were easier on the Chiclets, tenderized in an appropriately sweet marinade. I suspect the biggest problem here isn't one of scale but lack of focus: in addition to both kinds of barbecue, you have salads, sandwiches, and sides, silly desserts like toasted s'mores pie, and trashy appetizers like pork rinds, poutine, and jalapeño poppers. And then—good God—raw oysters. As if that weren't enough, Old Crow—which occupies what used to be Chen's Chinese & Sushi—is still offering takeout from the old menu, everything from pad thai to crispy duck to mu shu to caterpillar maki. Wrigleyville gets what it deserves.

Mike Sula

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Price: $$
Payment Type: MasterCard, Visa, AmEx, Discover

Bar Details

Barbecue, beer, and bros.


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