P & P BBQ Soul Food | Humboldt Park | Southern/Soul Food, Barbecue/Ribs | Restaurant

Our Review

Barbecue and soul food seem like they should go together as harmoniously as Peaches & Herb, but in fact, there’s a bit of a culture clash there: serious pit masters couldn’t care less about side dishes, and soul food places often look at true wood-smoked barbecue as a time-consuming backwoods prima donna. So it’s uplifting to walk into this Humboldt Park spot and see a squat glass aquarium smoker, full of ribs, links, and jerk chicken, kitty-corner to a steam table laden with smothered pork chops, meat loaf, pot-likkery greens, and sweet mashed yams. Pit man Keith Archibald learned his trade at Joe’s Barbeque & Fish in Austin before spending 12 years at Wallace’s Catfish Corner, and here he's producing tender rib tips and juicy meat over a combination of oak logs and charcoal, with a forward but not overpowering smoke taste discernible even under P & P’s typical tangy candy-red barbecue sauce. (The usual advice to order sauce on the side applies.) This friendly family-run place just might be heaven for those who love south-side Chicago-style barbecue but yearn for a side vegetable that doesn’t start with "Idaho."

Michael Gebert

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