Rub's Backcountry Smokehouse | Rogers Park/West Rogers Park | Barbecue/Ribs | Restaurant
BYO barbecue joint, now expanded.

Our Review

Former day trader Jared Leonard started out with a gas-powered offset cooker at his original West Rogers Park venture, Rub BBQ Company. Now he's moved his operation around the corner to the remote backcountry of Western Avenue, where he's using hardwood-fueled smokers to somewhat better effect. His Saint Louis spare ribs carry the most intense smoke flavor in the repertoire, and while they can be a bit dry, they're not so bad as to require the application of any of the quartet of house-made sauces. Brisket, pulled pork, and chicken are a different story, but if that sounds rather grim, take comfort: a bunch of other things on the menu are clever twists on standard barbecue tropes, and pretty good to boot. Apart from the option of building sandwiches (Reuben, panini, burger), tacos, or nachos on any number of the meats, there's a smoked, baked, and stuffed potato that can be upholstered with pork, chicken, and brisket. Baked beans are not too sweet and nicely smoky, brimming with burnt ends, and there's vinegary slaw spiked with giardiniera, and a delicately fungal truffled mac 'n' cheese with al dente rotini, plus house-made root beer, custard-filled corn bread, and smoked apple crisp.

Mike Sula

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Price: $$
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