Brisket for Weekday Lunch

Q BBQ – 70 S La Grange Rd., La Grange, IL

Thursday I was wiped – strolled into bed at 3:30am, woke up at 5:30 to head back into work.  After working all morning, I found myself en route from one hospital to another with a bit of respite….as I drove up La Grange Rd – I just couldn’t resist…At 11:30am , I figured I could breeze in and out of there pretty quickly.  In my job, it’s extraordinarily rare that I get a chance to eat out for lunch during the week, so an opportunity like this has to be snatched up.

In short, Q is a growing local chain of BBQ joints – the original I believe is this one in La Grange, one is in Naperville, and according to the website, one is coming to Lakeview, and I’ll be curious to see how it does in the growing competitive BBQ market on the northside (Milt’s, Rub’s, Wrigleyville BBQ, Sweet Baby Rays, and a few other new places have all opened in the past 1-2 years to add to Smoque, of course) .   This is the third time I’ve been here, and it’s been solid every time.  Not the best BBQ in the city, it’s borderline worth taking a trek out to the burbs for, but definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area.

The menu is a bit all over the place, taking it’s inspiration from BBQ all across the south – this is seen best in its four sauces – the Texas Spicy, the Memphis Sweet, a Northern Carolina Vinegar, and a Southern Carolina Mustard sauce.  The cuts of BBQ feature a pretty wide variety too – from the standard brisket, ribs (I believe they’re St. Louis), pulled pork, pulled chicken, but also include some Memphis-style chicken wings and burnt ends (KC style), which are pretty tough to find in these parts.

Sliced Brisket, Hot chili brussel sprouts, and green beans

Sliced Brisket, Hot chili brussel sprouts, and green beans

Since I was indecisive and on a time crunch, I went with my go to BBQ item these days – the sliced brisket – a decent sized portion for lunch, served with a small baste of the Memphis Sweet sauce.   Service was solid, and the food came out in good time, so I didn’t feel too guilty about taking the detour.  The brisket itself was fantastically tender, but really lacked that deep smokey flavor that I love.   The ends themselves had a decent crisp to them, and meat itself had a bit of fat, but not an extreme amount by any means.   On each table are containers of all four sauces I mentioned above, all of which were reasonably good – I’m always a sucker for Spicy BBQ sauces, but this one lacked a bit of kick, as did the mustard.  The Carolina vinegar had a nice thin consistency but it’s not for everyone, especially if you’re not expecting it or used to it.

The sides were green beans – pretty standard, and the spicy brussel sprouts, which were sauteed in some pretty spicy chili oil with sliced jalapenos.  Now these had kick, almost overwhelming, but if you come and you’re looking for some heat, these should be on your plate.  The pair of hush puppies were solidly cooked to a golden brown, and had an awesome sweetness that thankfully balanced the heat from the sprouts.

Not the best meal I’ve had at Q, but it perked me up for the rest of what was a long post-call day. Consistency is always key with BBQ – I’ve had much smokier brisket from them in the past, but I’ll definitely keep coming back, especially since I often times find myself in the La Grange area.


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