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Chuck's Southern Cooking Cafe

Chuck's Southern Cooking Cafe
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  • Post #31 - April 25th, 2006, 3:58 pm
    Post #31 - April 25th, 2006, 3:58 pm Post #31 - April 25th, 2006, 3:58 pm
    http://www.chuckscafe.com
  • Post #32 - April 25th, 2006, 5:02 pm
    Post #32 - April 25th, 2006, 5:02 pm Post #32 - April 25th, 2006, 5:02 pm
    I drove by the other day and saw the sign they had hanging outside had a reopen date of March. They still had a dumpster pulled out front and people doing work on the building. Hopefully the website is right and they'll be reopening in May. I'm dying to get back in there for a good meal! :D
  • Post #33 - April 25th, 2006, 9:20 pm
    Post #33 - April 25th, 2006, 9:20 pm Post #33 - April 25th, 2006, 9:20 pm
    Looks like May 1 is the new date per the website. I'm sure the city of Chicago is still getting its pound of flesh out of Chuck.
  • Post #34 - April 25th, 2006, 9:21 pm
    Post #34 - April 25th, 2006, 9:21 pm Post #34 - April 25th, 2006, 9:21 pm
    I'm sure the city of Chicago is still getting its pound of flesh out of Chuck.


    Well, the Village of Burbank would probably have something to say about that....
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  • Post #35 - May 9th, 2006, 1:39 pm
    Post #35 - May 9th, 2006, 1:39 pm Post #35 - May 9th, 2006, 1:39 pm
    Chucks' is OPEN.

    :D

    Suzy
    " There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
    - Frank Zappa
  • Post #36 - May 9th, 2006, 1:41 pm
    Post #36 - May 9th, 2006, 1:41 pm Post #36 - May 9th, 2006, 1:41 pm
    sweet, I can start booking my jobs in Burbank now, confident I can find a decent lunch.
  • Post #37 - May 9th, 2006, 3:55 pm
    Post #37 - May 9th, 2006, 3:55 pm Post #37 - May 9th, 2006, 3:55 pm
    I drive past today and the "OPEN" neon light was on.

    I wanted to stop but couldn't.
    I'm not Angry, I'm hungry.
  • Post #38 - May 9th, 2006, 6:47 pm
    Post #38 - May 9th, 2006, 6:47 pm Post #38 - May 9th, 2006, 6:47 pm
    I just drove there from Oak Brook and it was open and good as usual.
  • Post #39 - May 9th, 2006, 8:01 pm
    Post #39 - May 9th, 2006, 8:01 pm Post #39 - May 9th, 2006, 8:01 pm
    We just polished off some Mexican Pot Roast and Honey Chipolte Chicken.

    I think my better half said it best when she said, "Its like I never really knew what good food was until I tried Chuck's."
  • Post #40 - May 9th, 2006, 8:04 pm
    Post #40 - May 9th, 2006, 8:04 pm Post #40 - May 9th, 2006, 8:04 pm
    How was the Mexican Pot Roast? I saw it and it looked interesting!
  • Post #41 - May 10th, 2006, 3:28 pm
    Post #41 - May 10th, 2006, 3:28 pm Post #41 - May 10th, 2006, 3:28 pm
    My husband adores Chuck's Mexican pot roast. It's tender, delicious and has just the right amount of seasonings. It's a frequent special, so it shouldn't be hard to hit a day when he has it on the menu.

    Suzy
    " There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
    - Frank Zappa
  • Post #42 - May 21st, 2006, 9:25 pm
    Post #42 - May 21st, 2006, 9:25 pm Post #42 - May 21st, 2006, 9:25 pm
    Since my husband was feeling sick last Sunday and I did not feel like entertaining my mother-in-law without him on Mother's Day (it's MY holiday, too, after all!), we told her we would celebrate today and take her out to lunch. Our pick? Chuck's of course!

    My daughters have been begging to go to Chuck's since they reopened the restaurant. For anyone expecting big changes in the dining room, it's exactly the same as it was before the smoke damage. Apparently, the real damage was in the roof and the back of the restaurant, especially the office.

    It was nice to see our LTH Forum award taped to the door when we entered. We were offered our choice of food from the breakfast menu or the regular menu. My older daughter opted for breakfast, but the rest of us got lunch.

    The breakfast menu is new, and is only served on the weekends. My daughter got the country omelette, which came beautifully served with huge chunks of ham, sausage, apples and cheese in it. She also had hash browns and a side order of biscuits and gravy. There was a ton of food and she was willing to let us taste. I can say for certain we will be back for breakfast VERY SOON. There was too much on the menu to choose from, but I had my heart set on something barbequed and a cup of Chuck's red before I walked in the door.

    My husband had the special of the day, which was a roasted pork loin with potatoes and green beans. The younger daughter had a hot link sandwich, half of which she brought home for tomorrow's lunch. My mother-in-law had a catfish plate, something new on the menu. I had a quarter barbequed chicken, which is the first meal I ever had at Chuck's and remains a favorite.

    The food was wonderful. My husband insisted his mother try the green beans, which she immediately said tasted like Grandma Plummer's beans, my husband's grandmother, who lived her entire life in southern Illinois. While she said her catfish was not up to the homemade standard she is used to (we usually live on catfish when we take her back to Grafton for visits), it was very good. I was not offered a taste, so I will have to go back and try it for myself. I must admit, though, that I have never had catfish as fresh and as tasty as what we usually eat at the Kampsville Inn in Kampsville, Illinois, so she may have been correct. Still, I'm sure Chuck's version will come close. It looked wonderful, and was a huge serving of fish. My mother-in-law took more than half of it home with her.

    We were surprised that the restaurant was not filled to capacity. Chuck's sister, who waited on us, said that the first few days were insane, but it has dropped back to normal for now. Most of Chuck's kitchen staff came back, but a lot of the counter help is new. While we were there we watched the staff load a huge catering order into the delivery truck. I can't wait to order lunch in for my office in the next month or so.

    When I asked the girls what they wanted for dinner tonight, they asked if we could just go back to Chuck's. I said no, but I actually considered it for a few seconds. Give us a week or so, and we'll be back!

    Suzy
    " There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
    - Frank Zappa
  • Post #43 - July 24th, 2008, 1:52 pm
    Post #43 - July 24th, 2008, 1:52 pm Post #43 - July 24th, 2008, 1:52 pm
    I have followed the threads on this place, and tonight I have a free night with the family in tow to go out to eat. I am wondering if we should take a chance on Chuck's. I know they are a GNR, and I have red the rec's, and reviews, it sounds promising. My one concern is the wide scope of their menu, bbq, cajun, mexican, etc. Can they pull it all off? Keep in mind I am a regular at the best cajun spots in the area(Cajun Connection), and also can easily go to Amanacer Tapatio for Mexican, or Honey 1, or Smoque for bbq.

    Is this place worth the trip, and going about 15 minutes out of my way tonight for dinner?

    Thanks for any replys
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #44 - July 24th, 2008, 1:57 pm
    Post #44 - July 24th, 2008, 1:57 pm Post #44 - July 24th, 2008, 1:57 pm
    HI,

    Chuck's strengths are his Cajun and Mexican. You will likely be less impressed with his BBQ, though it is not the worst out there. I brought 8-10 people for lunch last Saturday, everyone ordered from Chuck's full range and loved it all.

    I will be surprised if you are disappointed. I am perfectly aware of how far you are willing to go for good food. I don't think you will find this 15 minutes of effort to get there a real issue. :)

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #45 - July 24th, 2008, 2:00 pm
    Post #45 - July 24th, 2008, 2:00 pm Post #45 - July 24th, 2008, 2:00 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:HI,

    Chuck's strengths are his Cajun and Mexican. You will likely be less impressed with his BBQ, though it is not the worst out there. I brought 8-10 people for lunch last Saturday, everyone ordered from Chuck's full range and loved it all.

    I will be surprised if you are disappointed. I am perfectly aware of how far you are willing to go for good food. I don't think you will find this 15 minutes of effort to get there a real issue. :)

    Regards,


    thanks Cathy,

    Chucks is pretty close to my work in Burr Ridge, and we just might make a run there tonight. With traffic, I just resist going any further east with how far we have to back out west.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #46 - July 24th, 2008, 3:08 pm
    Post #46 - July 24th, 2008, 3:08 pm Post #46 - July 24th, 2008, 3:08 pm
    We go to chucks about once every 3-4 weeks, usually if a special catches our eye, or my wife is craving the smoked chicken. I agree that the barbecue is mostly forgettable.

    We were there most recently on Saturday, where Beth had the chicken and I grabbed that day's special: Smoked Duck and Andouille Sausage Etouffee--smoked duck and andouille sausage in a rich Cajun sauce served over a bed of rice pilaf. Truly an excellent dish, especially the smoky, moist duck and the perfectly cooked rice.

    I also almost always start out with a bowl of chili, which is fairly midwestern-style, but with some chile heat.

    Chuck's chicken-fried-chicken is also quite good -- his cooks know how to perfectly fry boneless white-meat chicken -- and all of the Mexican specials I've had have been great, especially the cochinita pibil.

    My advice is to check the webpage regularly for that day's specials (the monthly menu only lists one special for each day, nowadays he often has 2-3) and go on a day that they appeal to you.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #47 - July 24th, 2008, 5:34 pm
    Post #47 - July 24th, 2008, 5:34 pm Post #47 - July 24th, 2008, 5:34 pm
    I'm with Gleam, check out the specials because Chuck puts real creativity into those, Mexican is always worth a look, if nothing else the chicken fried chicken is your fallback and one of my favorite old reliable dishes in town.
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  • Post #48 - July 31st, 2008, 1:56 pm
    Post #48 - July 31st, 2008, 1:56 pm Post #48 - July 31st, 2008, 1:56 pm
    Ok, snuck to Chicks for lunch today, and after studying the menu and the daily specials, I went against the board rec's and got some bbq(I cant just resist ribs, and hot links). The hot link was very good, equal to Honey 1's in my opinion(that is high praise). The ribs, hmm... reminded me more of Carsons take on "ribs" vs Honey 1 or Smoque's real ribs.. Just ok, no pronounced smoke ring, no layers of flavor.

    I also had a cup of Brunswick stew, and it was pretty good, smokey flavor with chunks, and shreds of pork, and plenty of carrots, and corn, nice flavorfull broth. The mac and cheese was creamy and good as well.

    I also sampled some catfish, and chicken tenders, the coating on each was very good, both were tender, and fried perfectly.

    I was tempted by some of the Mexican offerings, and some of the other soups, but I am going out for Mexican tonight, and didnt want to double up.

    All in all a pretty decent place, I will have to make a trip back to try some additional items before proclaiming it a cant miss, sure fire GNR like I could with Coalfire, Smoque, Honey 1, Amanacer Taptio, Semiramis, SUn Wah BBQ, Kuma's, & Fabulous Noodles after just one visit.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #49 - July 31st, 2008, 2:38 pm
    Post #49 - July 31st, 2008, 2:38 pm Post #49 - July 31st, 2008, 2:38 pm
    Dude, the board's here for a reason. You may have avoided all the best items at Chuck's. I agree his smoked menu is not his strongest suit but certainly is as good as Honey 1.

    Order anything with a roux (it has to be the first thing Chuck teaches his cooks). If it says pibil, order it. If it's a special, order it.

    While I question the can't missedness of some of your GNRs (how does Coalfire even make that list?), Chuck's is without question.
  • Post #50 - July 31st, 2008, 3:00 pm
    Post #50 - July 31st, 2008, 3:00 pm Post #50 - July 31st, 2008, 3:00 pm
    MLS wrote:Dude, the board's here for a reason. You may have avoided all the best items at Chuck's. I agree his smoked menu is not his strongest suit but certainly is as good as Honey 1.

    Order anything with a roux (it has to be the first thing Chuck teaches his cooks). If it says pibil, order it. If it's a special, order it.

    While I question the can't missedness of some of your GNRs (how does Coalfire even make that list?), Chuck's is without question.


    "dude" ... ? ok.. :lol:

    Like I said I will give this place another try, not writing it off yet., luckily it is only about 10 mins from my work. I will avoid their attempt @ bbq in the future, and stick with my smoker on my deck, Honey 1, or Smoque.

    I didn't want Mexican since I am going to Amanacer Taptatio for dinner tonight, and I had great cajun food on Sunday for lunch.

    as for Coalfire, I would bet that you are in the minority of folks wo do not like it.

    different strokes makes the world go around
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #51 - July 31st, 2008, 3:15 pm
    Post #51 - July 31st, 2008, 3:15 pm Post #51 - July 31st, 2008, 3:15 pm
    jimswside wrote:Like I said I will give this place another try, not writing it off yet.


    If you haven't had the bowl o' red, you haven't really been to Chuck's. ;)
  • Post #52 - July 31st, 2008, 3:38 pm
    Post #52 - July 31st, 2008, 3:38 pm Post #52 - July 31st, 2008, 3:38 pm
    Good catch on the bowl of red, eatchicago.

    I never said that I didn't like Coalfire's pizza (pretty touchy, aren't we?), but I don't consider Coalfire a particularly strong GNR-just because a lot of people like it doesn't mean I have to.

    The coal fire was an excellent idea, but the real key is the bulk of the brick oven allowing for crispy, sometimes burnt (that's not bad) crust. Coalfire does a nice job on the crust, although I think the coal part is overblown, wood fired brick ovens can give just as nice a crust.

    It is the toppings that a not up to GNR standards. It would seem that no one at Coalfire knows what a NY or Hew Haven or east coast or an Italian pizza is supposed to taste like. Has there ever been an Italian that even worked there? Do they know any Italians? For one the cheese is never right for my taste, missing a slight oiliness. The sausage never has the right bite, the sauce always lacks a certain tartness.

    Inspite of that, it is not bad pizza (is there such a thing?);it's just not GNR in my opinion.

    Chuck's clearly is.
    Last edited by MLS on July 31st, 2008, 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #53 - July 31st, 2008, 3:49 pm
    Post #53 - July 31st, 2008, 3:49 pm Post #53 - July 31st, 2008, 3:49 pm
    not touchy, actually amused. :lol:

    I mentioned I will have to make a return visit, and try some more items before I make a judgement call on this place, which I have not had to do with any other GNR I have been to btw, and I have been to 18 GNR's in the last year. Many more than once.

    either way I will keep an open mind, and head back when I have another open lunch date.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #54 - July 31st, 2008, 3:49 pm
    Post #54 - July 31st, 2008, 3:49 pm Post #54 - July 31st, 2008, 3:49 pm
    MLS wrote: I agree his smoked menu is not his strongest suit but certainly is as good as Honey 1.


    I love Chuck's, but there's no way his barbecue is anywhere in the same stratosphere as Honey 1. The only time I've had orgasmic barbecue at Chuck's was when he occasionally hosts his barbecue specials, where he smokes the meat on an offset smoker he puts out back near the alley. The regular day-to-day stuff is mediocre to my tastes, and I personally would never order it because there's so much better food on the menu.

    And, for my tastes, Coalfire is my favorite pizza in Chicago. I like it more than Spacca's. The only other pizza that does it for me as much is Vito & Nick's thin crust, but that's when I'm in the mood for a different style of pizza.
  • Post #55 - July 31st, 2008, 4:55 pm
    Post #55 - July 31st, 2008, 4:55 pm Post #55 - July 31st, 2008, 4:55 pm
    Hi,

    FYI - I was talking to Chuck yesterday. Minutes after our conversation, a crew from 'Check Please' was expected. It won't be aired until sometime this fall.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #56 - July 31st, 2008, 5:02 pm
    Post #56 - July 31st, 2008, 5:02 pm Post #56 - July 31st, 2008, 5:02 pm
    Can a mod change the title of this one? Every time it pops up, I have to remember that Chuck's was closed for a while a couple of years ago.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #57 - August 5th, 2008, 10:51 am
    Post #57 - August 5th, 2008, 10:51 am Post #57 - August 5th, 2008, 10:51 am
    My lunch schedule has freed me up for a return visit to Chucks for lunch today, even though I seemingly chose all the "wrong" items to order last time(even though his own website touts the "best ribs" in Chicagoland). :wink:

    I really want to like this place, so another visit is in order to give them another chance to wow me.

    The items I am considering today:

    -cajun meatloaf(today's lunch special)
    -cajun ribeye w/ etoufee
    -Churrasco

    I am leaning towards the seafood gumbo as well as one of the above entrees. I do not really care for chili, other than on as a condiment on a hotdog. I could change my mind though, and give the cup of Chucks' Red a shot.

    Chuck's devotees which entree would you choose of the 3 listed?
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #58 - August 5th, 2008, 11:37 am
    Post #58 - August 5th, 2008, 11:37 am Post #58 - August 5th, 2008, 11:37 am
    I'd probably order the meatloaf, only because it sounds intriguing and I've never had it, but the rib eye with etoufee would be a solid choice as well, and maybe the better pick for someone who is looking for a sure fire dish.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #59 - August 5th, 2008, 11:55 am
    Post #59 - August 5th, 2008, 11:55 am Post #59 - August 5th, 2008, 11:55 am
    My husband has had the ribeye and the churrasco on two separate occasions -- both are delicious (he shared). I'm not a fan of meatloaf, so I can't say anything about that.

    I would try the cup o' red, just because it's so good, and not your ordinary bowl of chili.

    Suzy
    " There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
    - Frank Zappa
  • Post #60 - August 5th, 2008, 12:36 pm
    Post #60 - August 5th, 2008, 12:36 pm Post #60 - August 5th, 2008, 12:36 pm
    I have had the Churrasco, and it was fine, not outstanding. What I have really been addicted to over there lately is their smoked corned beef sandwich! Give that a try.

    Glenn

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