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Real Urban BBQ - New BBQ joint in Highland Park

Real Urban BBQ - New BBQ joint in Highland Park
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  • Post #91 - October 7th, 2011, 11:10 am
    Post #91 - October 7th, 2011, 11:10 am Post #91 - October 7th, 2011, 11:10 am
    Went to Real Urban the other day after along time. (Actually went to Real Urban BBQ by default. Was planning on going to The BBQ Pit a block down but was fustrated cause I arrived at the Pit at 1:15 and the doors were locked with no sign explaining why)

    Anyway, I picked up the Pulled Pork dinner from RUBBQ with two sides, the corn bake and the mac and cheese. Plus a mason jar of sweet tea to go. Spicy BBQ on the side

    I have to admit that they are definately better then when I first went there, which was a week after the opened. Pork with a nice bark, very light smoke but very good. Corn bake and Mac and cheese also very good.

    They only down side was the older gentleman taking my order seemed a little flustered and upset. Especially when I joked about the spicy BBQ sauce. But I didnt hold it against the restaurant.

    Definately going back...probably today. LOL
    Dirty Duck Inn - feeding the villagers of the Bristol Ren Faire since 1574
    If making Chilaquiles with fried chicken skins is wrong, then I dont want to be right!!
  • Post #92 - October 7th, 2011, 11:43 am
    Post #92 - October 7th, 2011, 11:43 am Post #92 - October 7th, 2011, 11:43 am
    Highland Park’s Real Urban Barbecue makes a 7-pound sandwich, and dares you to eat it in 40 minutes. http://pioneerlocal.suntimes.com/796609 ... -meat.html
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #93 - October 7th, 2011, 10:07 pm
    Post #93 - October 7th, 2011, 10:07 pm Post #93 - October 7th, 2011, 10:07 pm
    My wife and I had our first meal at Real Urban BBQ for lunch today. We split a full slab of baby ribs and were very impressed. I'm just a regular guy from the northern suburbs, who enjoys food that satisfies my pallet, bringing a tingling exhilaration to my taste buds from the first bite to the last. To me, Jeff Shapiro is the "master ribber of the north shore." He's knows what his customers expect and delivers the goods. We'll be back!
    Mark A Reitman, PhD
    Professor of Hot Dogs
    Hot Dog University/Vienna Beef
  • Post #94 - November 10th, 2011, 5:19 pm
    Post #94 - November 10th, 2011, 5:19 pm Post #94 - November 10th, 2011, 5:19 pm
    From an e-mail touting their first anniversary:
    We're Number One! Real Urban Barbecue is celebrating its first birthday on Saturday, November 12.

    We're commemorating year one with a birthday party featuring a larger-than-life, three-dimensional Big Pig Cake created by The Bleeding Heart Bakery. The pig cake will be butchered, sliced and served complimentary to guests while supplies last.

    To top it off, pigs will fly when Real Urban Barbecue inflates a 25-foot tall pig balloon in Port Clinton Square.

    How did we get here?
    It was all thanks to YOU, our loyal customers and fans of barbecue!

    • 77,504.8 lbs of brisket sold in the last year
    • That's 212.34 lbs or over 484 brisket sandwiches PER DAY!

    SPECIAL OFFER!
    Guests who order a brisket entrée or brisket sandwich may show their years in age (with valid i.d.) to receive that same percentage off- for example, a 50-year-old would receive 50 percent off of their brisket entrée.

    ...

    • The introduction of the "Hungry Homewrecker Challenge" - many have tried, no one has yet to defeat this 7+ lb monster of a sandwich!
    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 #95 - November 11th, 2011, 6:10 pm
    Post #95 - November 11th, 2011, 6:10 pm Post #95 - November 11th, 2011, 6:10 pm
    I'm very glad to see RUB doing so well. Every time I go in they are packed and Jeff always finds time to say hello and ask about the family. Food is consistently good, especially as far as the meats are concerned. My favs are the beer-can chicken when it's available which isn't often enough, the St. Louis sans sauce, the brisket, and the links. Btw, their salads are enormous and an easy share if looking for a nice lunch with a friend.
  • Post #96 - November 12th, 2011, 9:05 pm
    Post #96 - November 12th, 2011, 9:05 pm Post #96 - November 12th, 2011, 9:05 pm
    As promised, a really big pig:

    Image
    11-12--11-007web by cal222, on Flickr


    A detail of the pig head cake made by Bleeding Heart Bakery:

    Image
    11-12--11-006web by cal222, on Flickr

    If it were my cake, I'd specify red velvet cake instead of chocolate:

    Image
    11-12--11-003web by cal222, on Flickr
    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 #97 - November 14th, 2011, 10:46 am
    Post #97 - November 14th, 2011, 10:46 am Post #97 - November 14th, 2011, 10:46 am
    My friend and I like to hit RUB just about every week. We're not BBQ purists by any stretch, but we are big fans of this place. It's something the Highland Park and the surrounding area has not really had before (BBQ was always babyback ribs and chicken with one kind of sauce) so that may be a big reason why we love it. He was at Smoque for the first time yesterday and didn't think it was any better than RUB. Happy Birthday RUB! I was hoping to come in on Saturday for some pig cake, but I had plans all day. I think I'll be there tonight.
  • Post #98 - May 21st, 2012, 4:57 pm
    Post #98 - May 21st, 2012, 4:57 pm Post #98 - May 21st, 2012, 4:57 pm
    Jeff Shapiro will be appearing at the Chicago Botanic Garden on June 3. Me, too! :) Come see us, and see the ginormous lakeshore restoration project on the way to the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden, where our fab demo kitchen is located. Whoa!
  • Post #99 - May 23rd, 2012, 11:39 am
    Post #99 - May 23rd, 2012, 11:39 am Post #99 - May 23rd, 2012, 11:39 am
    My uncle went over to RUB the other day and ordered a brisket sandwich. He couldn't believe how bland it was with no smokey flavor whatsoever. He thought that they must have two kinds of brisket because he couldn't believe that this was being raved about. He asked the guy at the counter if they had two kinds of brisket, which of course, they don't. Then my uncle said, "I don't understand this. You claim to smoke your brisket for 11 hours, yet there wasn't even a hint of smokiness and it was completely bland. How is that possible?!"

    Being a BBQ novice myself, I'm slowing starting to try more authentic places (going to Memphis this July too) and I have started to notice how vital the smoke is to the whole thing. The other day a co-worker brought in what smelled like really smokey bacon. It smelled amazing. It turned out to be brisket. I had never come across brisket that smokey (to show how green I am to this world of BBQ). He said a friend in Texas smoked 20 briskets and sent him one that was frozen. I didn't get to try it, but it got me really thinking about trying some of the real smokey stuff. I remember being outside of Jack's BBQ in Nashville once and the smoke smell was so strong out on the street. The brisket my co-worker brought was like that. But I still like Real Urban compared to what I've had so far...
  • Post #100 - June 1st, 2012, 2:11 pm
    Post #100 - June 1st, 2012, 2:11 pm Post #100 - June 1st, 2012, 2:11 pm
    Going to RUB to tonight for the first time, based on the reviews should I stick with ordering ribs, pulled pork or the brisket? It sounds like most of the chicken reviews have been positive too. Apparently from the reviews here and on Yelp there is no consensus best choice at RUB, but I'm no BBQ purist and just want something tasty. Would like to avoid anything dry, bland or flavorless if possible! Also, which of the sides are must-try?

    Thanks for any suggestions.
  • Post #101 - June 1st, 2012, 2:14 pm
    Post #101 - June 1st, 2012, 2:14 pm Post #101 - June 1st, 2012, 2:14 pm
    Lerdawg wrote:Going to RUB to tonight for the first time, based on the reviews should I stick with ordering ribs, pulled pork or the brisket? It sounds like most of the chicken reviews have been positive too. Apparently from the reviews here and on Yelp there is no consensus best choice at RUB, but I'm no BBQ purist and just want something tasty. Would like to avoid anything dry, bland or flavorless if possible! Also, which of the sides are must-try?

    Thanks for any suggestions.


    I personally really liked their burnt ends. Not positive if it's on the menu and they don't always have them; just ask for them.
  • Post #102 - June 1st, 2012, 4:22 pm
    Post #102 - June 1st, 2012, 4:22 pm Post #102 - June 1st, 2012, 4:22 pm
    The corn bake is a great side at RUB!
  • Post #103 - June 1st, 2012, 9:23 pm
    Post #103 - June 1st, 2012, 9:23 pm Post #103 - June 1st, 2012, 9:23 pm
    Lerdawg wrote:Going to RUB to tonight for the first time, based on the reviews should I stick with ordering ribs, pulled pork or the brisket? It sounds like most of the chicken reviews have been positive too. Apparently from the reviews here and on Yelp there is no consensus best choice at RUB, but I'm no BBQ purist and just want something tasty. Would like to avoid anything dry, bland or flavorless if possible! Also, which of the sides are must-try?

    Thanks for any suggestions.


    Bland pretty much describes my experience at RUB. I would advise you to make the trek to one of Chicago's better BBQ joynts. I may be in the minority in my view, but I find RUB to be very disappointing when it comes to delivering a quality smoked experience
    "Living well is the best revenge"
  • Post #104 - August 6th, 2012, 12:16 pm
    Post #104 - August 6th, 2012, 12:16 pm Post #104 - August 6th, 2012, 12:16 pm
    I finally tried the Pork Loin Sandwich special this weekend (it's available most of the time). It's thinly sliced pork loin mixed with BBQ sauce in a saute pan, then topped with fried onion strings. I asked for mine with the the Texas Roadhouse sauce. Unfortunately the cook put a ton of sauce with it, which totally overpowered everything. Still, I liked it overall and wanted to try it again with a lot less sauce.

    Yesterday, I walked downtown HP with my brother and got it again, this time with 1/3 of the sauce (they put 3 ladel fulls normally, I asked for 1). Much better, and I enjoyed it as well as my mashed potatoes and gravy. I wanted to get it before, but it was always when I was taking an order to go and didn't want the onions to get soggy.

    As I get further into having BBQ where the meat actually has smoke in it, I see how Real Urban gets a bad rap. I've had their meat without sauce and it was totally bland.
  • Post #105 - August 6th, 2012, 1:37 pm
    Post #105 - August 6th, 2012, 1:37 pm Post #105 - August 6th, 2012, 1:37 pm
    As I get further into having BBQ where the meat actually has smoke in it, I see how Real Urban gets a bad rap. I've had their meat without sauce and it was totally bland.


    ya gotta ask the guys which items were prepared on the egg. since it's a much smaller cooking space even a little bit of smoke is more noticeable than a whole bunch of smoke in those gigantic commercial cookers. i have had the turkey both ways and it's a helluva lot different. the first time i asked the guy on meat service which stuff came off the egg he looked at me like i had nine heads. he just wanted to cut meat and be done with me. i dont mean that in a bad way. it's what he does, the meat cutter.
  • Post #106 - October 29th, 2012, 1:12 pm
    Post #106 - October 29th, 2012, 1:12 pm Post #106 - October 29th, 2012, 1:12 pm
    Not to beat a dead horse about the 'smokiness', but RUB is officially off my list of Highland Park places to eat.

    My wife and I went there last summer. I got ribs, she got pulled pork. No smoke flavor in either. The baked beans and 'cornbread' (or whatever it was) were just mediocre as well.

    We went back a couple weeks ago. She got brisket, I got pulled pork. Again, little to no smoke flavor and the pork and basically no flavor at all. And I also had to take my sandwich back as it was lukewarm at best by the time we got to our seat.

    So, sorry, RUB. You blew it.
  • Post #107 - April 18th, 2013, 6:57 am
    Post #107 - April 18th, 2013, 6:57 am Post #107 - April 18th, 2013, 6:57 am
    My wife and I had a great lunch at Real Urban BBQ a few weeks ago. They had a special smoked beef ribs that were outstanding. They had a really beefy flavor, perfect amount of chew, and were nicely spiced. We also had spare ribs that were very good.
  • Post #108 - February 15th, 2014, 10:54 am
    Post #108 - February 15th, 2014, 10:54 am Post #108 - February 15th, 2014, 10:54 am
    Have gotten take out twice in the past few weeks. Baby backs both times. I really enjoyed them. The smoke was subtle, but I would prefer this to overpowering smoke that overwhelms the meat and seasonings.

    Corn bake and beans were good, but Smoque has better sides.
  • Post #109 - April 24th, 2014, 7:43 pm
    Post #109 - April 24th, 2014, 7:43 pm Post #109 - April 24th, 2014, 7:43 pm
    Real Urban Barbecue coming to Oak Brook in July

    http://highlandpark.suntimes.com/news/b ... 14:article
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #110 - February 15th, 2015, 10:11 am
    Post #110 - February 15th, 2015, 10:11 am Post #110 - February 15th, 2015, 10:11 am
    Went to the new Oak Brook location last night. My husband had been there for lunch recently and had said that the smoke flavor was barely there. They claim to have "wood-smoked BBQ," but they actually use wood pellets in large stainless steel commercial smokers. He wanted to give it another shot and wanted my opinion.

    That being said, we got a 2 meat and a 3 meat plate. We had ribs, chicken, pulled pork, brisket and burnt ends, plus four sides - cole slaw, apples, corn pudding stuff, and sweet potatoes.

    The good: The burnt ends had the smokiest flavor, great caramelization and good flavor; my favorite thing on the plate. The brisket was cooked properly - tender, not stringy or mushy, with a slight smoke ring; we would have preferred more smoke though. The cole slaw and baked apples were tasty and I'd get them again.

    The OK: The chicken was very moist, but not cooked long enough. Again, not enough smoke flavor. We know the difference between the pink of smoked meat and the pink of being under-cooked. This was under-cooked and my husband pointed it out to the manager. He wasn't afraid to eat it as he had witnessed the cooks in the past checking temperatures of the chickens in the smoker, but his thigh was more done than my leg, so I refused to eat it. The manager offered us something else in exchange, but we were finished and my husband told him that we didn't care for anything else, just wanted to let him know.

    The ribs were tender, needed more smoke and bordering on dry.

    The "I won't order again": The pulled pork was ok, no discernable smoke flavor and dry without sauce. Good pulled pork doesn't need sauce. The corn pudding stuff was overly sweet, as were the sweet potatoes. The potatoes had marshmallows on top and I told them I wanted potatoes without the goo. I would have been better off not getting them at all.

    I noticed flyers for Lou Malnati's on the counter and it all made sense - This is corporate BBQ. My husband's take on the lack of smoke is that they are catering to mainstream suburban palates and are afraid of too much smoke flavor. We left thinking that it's time to go back to Q's in LaGrange and give them another shot.
    Ms. Ingie
    Life is too short, why skip dessert?
  • Post #111 - February 15th, 2015, 4:03 pm
    Post #111 - February 15th, 2015, 4:03 pm Post #111 - February 15th, 2015, 4:03 pm
    Mrs. Ingie -
    Please give a few tries to Mariano's on 31st and Wolf for brisket and smoked chicken. Their pulled pork and spares are hit or miss in my experience, but for brisket and smoked chicken, Mariano's has turned into a bright spot for real q in that area. They have a counter in the store with the name of Todd's Bbq, and... I'd just suggest you try it if you are not that thrilled with Q or Rub in that area.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #112 - February 15th, 2015, 7:13 pm
    Post #112 - February 15th, 2015, 7:13 pm Post #112 - February 15th, 2015, 7:13 pm
    Have to agree. This is to authentic or "real" bbq as Taylor Swift is to Janis Joplin. We all know pellet smokers (wood burning not allowed by Highland Park) do not make for real bbq either, and you can't hide it by cloying sugary sauces. The last chicken order I got there was awful- almost no smoky flavor, under cooked, really lame and bland. Marianos and Jewel do it better and cheaper- there's no reason to return.
  • Post #113 - February 16th, 2015, 10:07 am
    Post #113 - February 16th, 2015, 10:07 am Post #113 - February 16th, 2015, 10:07 am
    Once the snow clears off the back deck and patio we'll be able to fire up the smoker for ribs and chicken. Our pulled pork and briskit smokin' is still a work in process, so I'll be happy to seek out other spots. Q's had hits and misses when we were there so that's why we want to give it another shot.
    Ms. Ingie
    Life is too short, why skip dessert?
  • Post #114 - February 17th, 2015, 2:43 pm
    Post #114 - February 17th, 2015, 2:43 pm Post #114 - February 17th, 2015, 2:43 pm
    Yeah, where there's smoke, there's NOT Real Urban BBQ. I do like two of their sauces, and since I sometimes may eat there once in a blue moon because I'm with someone who wants it, I don't mind it knowing it's not going to be smoky meat. I do like some of the sides too, so it's not bad. They were one of the sponsors at a lung cancer event where they served smoked chicken for breakfast. I actually like it because they had their spicier Texas Roadhouse (same as Texas Pit at Famous Dave's) which is probably my favorite BBQ sauce style if I have to pick one.
  • Post #115 - February 17th, 2015, 2:59 pm
    Post #115 - February 17th, 2015, 2:59 pm Post #115 - February 17th, 2015, 2:59 pm
    Ram4 wrote:Yeah, where there's smoke, there's NOT Real Urban BBQ. I do like two of their sauces, and since I sometimes may eat there once in a blue moon because I'm with someone who wants it, I don't mind it knowing it's not going to be smoky meat. I do like some of the sides too, so it's not bad. They were one of the sponsors at a lung cancer event where they served smoked chicken for breakfast. I actually like it because they had their spicier Texas Roadhouse (same as Texas Pit at Famous Dave's) which is probably my favorite BBQ sauce style if I have to pick one.


    The Texas Roadhouse was my favorite as well, and I didn't think it was very spicy; unusual for me.
    Ms. Ingie
    Life is too short, why skip dessert?
  • Post #116 - February 17th, 2015, 3:29 pm
    Post #116 - February 17th, 2015, 3:29 pm Post #116 - February 17th, 2015, 3:29 pm
    Ram4 wrote: They were one of the sponsors at a lung cancer event where they served smoked chicken for breakfast.

    I nominate this for permanent banner quote.
  • Post #117 - February 19th, 2015, 5:48 pm
    Post #117 - February 19th, 2015, 5:48 pm Post #117 - February 19th, 2015, 5:48 pm
    I tried out their Oak Brook location at a tough time (4pm on President's Day) so I had reasonably low expectations. I'm not as hung up on smokiness as many here, as long as the texture is appropriate. I was also evaluating it as a place to take my parents, who are used to and prefer smoke-free Chicago ribs and haven't like offerings from Honey 1 or Chuck's.

    I got to the line just as a large tray of burnt ends were set down. I ordered a 2-meat combo of burnt ends and brisket, cole slaw, and a corn bake thingie.

    Impressions:
    - Burnt Ends - not completely authentic, but good flavor
    - Brisket - not the consistency/texture I'd find in a place like Lockhart, TX. My parents would have liked it, which means that most of you would not.
    - Cole slaw - Good portion, ok for its style. I tend to like longer/thinner chopping than square diced chopping.
    - Corn cake - Meh.
    - Sauces - the original was inedible, the Texas was good

    Verdict: It's Portillo's-ish for people who want something approximating BBQ in a quick-service setting where they can take their kids, and sufficiently corporate to exist in an office park setting where one person can get that, another can get Chipotle, and they can take it back to the office. I think my parents might like it, and when the weather gets warmer, I'll probably take them there some evening.

    For me, it met a bigger goal - it was a place where they had comfortable seating and where I wouldn't be rushed while I worked on my laptop and nibbled on the remainder of my brisket, and sipped a few refills of Coke products. I used to have that with Fuddruckers near my home at 75th/Lemont, where I could have lunch, then work for two hours without anybody saying a peep. Much more comfortable seating than a Panera or a Potbelly, and better food even if it's smoke-free smoked meats.
    "Fried chicken should unify us, as opposed to tearing us apart. " - Bomani Jones
  • Post #118 - January 10th, 2019, 2:18 pm
    Post #118 - January 10th, 2019, 2:18 pm Post #118 - January 10th, 2019, 2:18 pm
    Went to the Highland Park location yesterday. Not very busy at noon. A friend had mentioned their burnt ends were pretty good and I wanted to give it a try.

    Ordered a burnt ends sandwich + 2 sides. The sides were pretty good (slaw + potato salad) and the sauce was decent. But the sandwich was a disappointment because of the scarcity of burnt ends!

    They were generous with the meat, but it was mostly regular brisket with a few scattered pieces of BE. Tasted like grandma's roast brisket.

    Gee guys, if I wanted a brisket sandwich I would have ordered one and saved the $1.50 up-charge.
    Where there’s smoke, there may be salmon.

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