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Uncle John's BBQ [Mack is Back]

Uncle John's BBQ [Mack is Back]
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  • Post #181 - November 25th, 2009, 3:19 pm
    Post #181 - November 25th, 2009, 3:19 pm Post #181 - November 25th, 2009, 3:19 pm
    I made my maiden voyage to Uncle John's a few weeks ago. Mack was in attendance and was a very nice and cool character. We went on a Monday afternoon around 2 and got a full slab of spares and Large tip and link. The stuff traveled well and we barely made it back to the North side without ripping the container open! The smells were just awesome! Loved everything and he made sure and got us a nice slab and the tips he picked were just great! Perfect amount of smoke and tender but with a little tooth to the bite. Since Honey1 and Smoque are closed on Monday's this is my go to spot. Loved it! The menu I have says the hours are Noon til 10pm on Monday - Thursday , 12-12 on Friday and Saturday, Closed Sunday. The Large tip and link was $9.50 and the rack of spares $16. He has a $14 full rack special one day just can't remember. Mack is Back!
    Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?...........Louis Armstrong
  • Post #182 - November 28th, 2009, 11:04 am
    Post #182 - November 28th, 2009, 11:04 am Post #182 - November 28th, 2009, 11:04 am
    Anyone know if they are open this weekend? I just called and there was no answer, though according to jhawk1's menu, I guess they don't open till noon on Saturdays now...
  • Post #183 - December 2nd, 2009, 4:01 pm
    Post #183 - December 2nd, 2009, 4:01 pm Post #183 - December 2nd, 2009, 4:01 pm
    So I am finally going to be able to fulfill a promise I made way upthread and try Mack's prime rib for Christmas this year. I just called over there and he said that if you want to order the prime rib just come in the shop three or four days ahead of time and he'll have it ready for you. I will definitely report back with pictures. Haven't been this giddy about Christmas since I was a kid!
  • Post #184 - February 26th, 2010, 9:16 am
    Post #184 - February 26th, 2010, 9:16 am Post #184 - February 26th, 2010, 9:16 am
    When I stopped by UJ's last weekend, there was a sign on the door saying that they would be closed starting on March 2, for a few weeks (I think remodeling?). So get your tips and link fix this weekend, or prepare to be without it for a few weeks. I didn't write down the date of re-opening (sorry), but call before you head that way if you are thinking about heading that way in March.

    Glenn
  • Post #185 - February 26th, 2010, 9:48 am
    Post #185 - February 26th, 2010, 9:48 am Post #185 - February 26th, 2010, 9:48 am
    Sign states they are closed for "vacation and remodeling". They will be reopening on April 3. The place wasn't open at 12:30pm last Wednesday, perhaps they have taken their vacation early?
  • Post #186 - February 27th, 2010, 12:00 am
    Post #186 - February 27th, 2010, 12:00 am Post #186 - February 27th, 2010, 12:00 am
    geno55 wrote:Sign states they are closed for "vacation and remodeling". They will be reopening on April 3. The place wasn't open at 12:30pm last Wednesday, perhaps they have taken their vacation early?


    The actual opening time has gotten a little tardy and even annoying in the last 6 months or so. One day, in the week between Christmas and New Years, I waited outside with about 10 others till almost 1.30. Part of the problem that day included a late delivery and no links were ready even when the door finally swung open. I do find the first shift of tips to be consistently excellent.

    I did visit Lem's this week, which doesn't open till 2.00, for my first visit in a while. I'll be sticking with Honey One or Barbara Ann's in my rotation, until Mack is back.
  • Post #187 - April 7th, 2010, 1:15 pm
    Post #187 - April 7th, 2010, 1:15 pm Post #187 - April 7th, 2010, 1:15 pm
    UJ was open today, lights on and staff inside, however I was there too early. I could not wait around for the one o'clock opening so I will be back this week.
  • Post #188 - April 7th, 2010, 7:31 pm
    Post #188 - April 7th, 2010, 7:31 pm Post #188 - April 7th, 2010, 7:31 pm
    metro man wrote:UJ was open today, lights on and staff inside, however I was there too early. I could not wait around for the one o'clock opening so I will be back this week.


    Forgot to post about this - its been open for a while already. The scheduled date was April 3 I guess.. but it opened a couple days earlier (I was in the area April 1st, decided to drive by, and found it open - I think Mack himelf might have stepped out at the time, but his wife was there, said it was their first day back, the place was humming along; got the links, and they were very good).

    BTW, mentioned above.. the $14 full rack is IIRC on Mondays and Tuesdays. They also have a 25-buck half pan on those days (tips, links or tips-and-links)...Ive done that once, enough food to feed an army - honestly, 6-8 people would struggle to finish it.

    c8w
  • Post #189 - April 25th, 2010, 10:21 am
    Post #189 - April 25th, 2010, 10:21 am Post #189 - April 25th, 2010, 10:21 am
    LTH,

    Nice piece by Kevin Pang in the Tribune about Uncle John's sausage, with a shout out to yours truly.

    Join the Sausage Fest!

    Makes me want to head over to Uncle John's for a brace of hot links.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #190 - April 25th, 2010, 10:40 am
    Post #190 - April 25th, 2010, 10:40 am Post #190 - April 25th, 2010, 10:40 am
    I def need to restock for the upcoming months. I think a large tip/link combo (been a while) plus a 15lb box should do.
    Not to detract from my love of Mack's links, but I have found another good thing (for my tastes, anyway) - Moo&Oink turkey hot links. I don't like them because they are turkey, or because they have less fat or whatever. I like them because they are GOOD.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #191 - May 1st, 2010, 11:16 am
    Post #191 - May 1st, 2010, 11:16 am Post #191 - May 1st, 2010, 11:16 am
    Made my first trip of the season to UJ's yesterday. The corner was smelling lovely upon our arrival and I knew spring was here. As tempted as I am to get the slab I cant ever pass on the tips and links. So we went with a #39? large tip and link combo. As always service was very friendly. We took the combo over to Calumet park and ate it on the hood. We couldn't dig into to it any faster and the 100s of seagulls in the parking lot were yelping and hovering around dying to get them some.

    Image
    Tips and Links XL Combo

    There was one seagull in particular that was a little too brave and was really pissing me off and looked like he might try and snatch some with how close he was getting but he didn't stand a chance. I wasn't sharing anything. I'd have a hard time sharing a batch of UJ's smokey gold goldness with my hungry grandma.

    Image
    perfect bark

    Image
    a beautiful piece of art it is...so colorful

    Uncle Johns
    337 East 69th Street
    Chicago, IL 60637-4638
    (773) 892-1233
  • Post #192 - May 1st, 2010, 11:40 am
    Post #192 - May 1st, 2010, 11:40 am Post #192 - May 1st, 2010, 11:40 am
    Da Beef wrote:Image
    a beautiful piece of art it is...so colorful
    Moved by sheer perfection, I weep.
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #193 - May 1st, 2010, 12:05 pm
    Post #193 - May 1st, 2010, 12:05 pm Post #193 - May 1st, 2010, 12:05 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Moved by sheer perfection, I weep.

    Maybe you should post that sentiment here? :D

    =R=
    I just wanna live until I gotta die. I know I ain't perfect but God knows I try --Todd Snider

    Do you know the muffin man? --Max Beckmann

    Twitter: ronniesuburban
  • Post #194 - May 19th, 2010, 7:44 pm
    Post #194 - May 19th, 2010, 7:44 pm Post #194 - May 19th, 2010, 7:44 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    Da Beef wrote:Image
    a beautiful piece of art it is...so colorful
    Moved by sheer perfection, I weep.


    Anyone been to Uncle John's lately?

    I got there Saturday night, about 8:15pm. Ok, I know, its a Saturday night at 8:15... but even so. Most times Ive been to UJ's, its been in and out in a couple minutes. Maybe once or twice there have been 1 or 2 guys in line ahead of me. Not this time.

    This time, there was a line filling up the small indoor area, and spilling out the door. And not just spilling out the door, but a good 15-deep outside the door! It took me well over a half-hour to get my food!

    When I got to the front of the line, of course, I did my usual.. I dont even look at the menu there, I just say "#39 please" (which is the jumbo tips-and-links combo). This time, they refused.. they werent doing any jumbos, they said (basically, too many people, not enough food - nobody being served jumbos anymore!) I ended up going with a medium tip and a large link. Which were, of course, just as good as ever, if not better... still the best bbq in the city by far, IMHO.

    Spoke to a few of the people in line (it was mostly a southside-based line, except for one old and very funny guy in a KC Royals cap, and very convivial in general). More than a few were first-timers.. at least a couple mentioned they saw it "last week on TV"... I gathered it had apparently been mentioned favorably on "Chicago's Best" on WGN or something?

    The guy in front of me was apparently a regular - he said he had come by the previous night very late (Friday, near closing time).. and they had had only wings and a beef brisket remaining. He said he came back on Saturday night at 7pm, and they had no food whatsoever... they told him to come back at 8ish. He came back, he said, at 10-past-8... (and got to the front of the line just before me, at a little after 8:45!) He was just grateful to get some food at that point :-)

    Surely it cant *all* be just one "Chicago's Best" show on WGN? Has there been anything else lately to prompt this sudden rush? Has anyone else been there lately and noticed anything similar (maybe during the last couple of weeks)?

    Iam very happy for Mack, and all the business he's getting...but I do hope I can start getting my #39 again soon (and in a little less than a half hour too!) I mean, I know his hot-link is better than any sausage product in the city (including anything Hot Doug's puts out IMHO)... but, for selfish reasons, Id still rather not have Hot-Doug-style waits every time Iam at UJs :-)

    c8w
  • Post #195 - May 19th, 2010, 8:28 pm
    Post #195 - May 19th, 2010, 8:28 pm Post #195 - May 19th, 2010, 8:28 pm
    I'm no 'regular' but I call ahead no matter what.

    Last visit was two weeks ago. Got there around 6pm. Line was 5 or so deep. While waiting, I could not help but overhear the convos, three of the people had never been, two mentioned a tv spot. BTW, if you wanna press buttons, mention to the counter lady that she was not on tv. Everyone ELSE was on that tv show, even tho according to her, she "is the prettiest one out of all of them." In my exp, if you called ahead, and asked to speak to Mack, I'd assume there would be enough tips and links for your #39. Even if I want one simple tip/link combo, I call ahead and tell them what time I'll be there. Mack will usually give me a "I'll make sure there's enough for your order."
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #196 - May 19th, 2010, 11:03 pm
    Post #196 - May 19th, 2010, 11:03 pm Post #196 - May 19th, 2010, 11:03 pm
    c8w wrote:Anyone been to Uncle John's lately?

    I got there Saturday night, about 8:15pm. Ok, I know, its a Saturday night at 8:15... but even so. Most times Ive been to UJ's, its been in and out in a couple minutes. Maybe once or twice there have been 1 or 2 guys in line ahead of me. Not this time.

    This time, there was a line filling up the small indoor area, and spilling out the door. And not just spilling out the door, but a good 15-deep outside the door! It took me well over a half-hour to get my food!


    I was there with a group late-afternoon, around the off hour of 4PM or so. The same type of line was in effect. Maybe not 15 deep outside, but certainly 7-8. It took about 20-30 minutes to get any food.

    This was the first time for all of us. We dined al trunko (only ones in the area, I saw) on a regular tips & links combo (this was the 3rd stop in a food crawl, mind you). The tips were very good, but that hot link was something else. All the accumulated juices even made me want to eat the food service fries!
  • Post #197 - May 19th, 2010, 11:57 pm
    Post #197 - May 19th, 2010, 11:57 pm Post #197 - May 19th, 2010, 11:57 pm
    Found the WGN special info.

    Chicago's Best RIBS

    Video
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #198 - May 20th, 2010, 10:00 pm
    Post #198 - May 20th, 2010, 10:00 pm Post #198 - May 20th, 2010, 10:00 pm
    gastro gnome wrote:This was the first time for all of us. We dined al trunko (only ones in the area, I saw) on a regular tips & links combo (this was the 3rd stop in a food crawl, mind you). The tips were very good, but that hot link was something else. All the accumulated juices even made me want to eat the food service fries!
    I had the good fortune to accompany gastro gnome on said food crawl, and I thought the tips were the best I've had. Good smoke factor, nicely salted, perfect balance between tender meat and chewy bark. That said, I think I prefer the links I had at Barbara Ann's a few weeks ago. My ideal tip & link combo may well involve tips from Uncle John's and links from Barbara Ann's.

    Perhaps a back-to-back tasting/comparison is in order...

    -Dan
  • Post #199 - May 24th, 2010, 2:41 pm
    Post #199 - May 24th, 2010, 2:41 pm Post #199 - May 24th, 2010, 2:41 pm
    mtyf wrote:Anyone know if they are open this weekend? I just called and there was no answer, though according to jhawk1's menu, I guess they don't open till noon on Saturdays now...


    FYI...they open at 1 pm on Saturdays now.
  • Post #200 - June 14th, 2010, 6:31 pm
    Post #200 - June 14th, 2010, 6:31 pm Post #200 - June 14th, 2010, 6:31 pm
    Its gone mostly unremarked on LTH (well, a couple of posts above).. but Uncle John's seems to have changed completely, in terms of its popularity. WGN TV ovbiously has a *huge* reach on the SouthSide!

    Was there again this Saturday - once again about 8pm. This time (from stepping out of my car to stepping back in), it took 36 minutes to get the food! (Ive never waited more than about 3 minutes until a couple of weeks ago, until the WGN-TV "Chicago's Best" special). Once again it was a line 10-deep outside... and once again very convivial, lots of banter and chat about BBQ (at least 2 or 3 people claimed there was a very good BBQ spot at "76th and Halsted".. anyone know what theyre talking about? The other spots they mentioned I was familiar with.. and there was much talk in the line about the decline of Lem's, The Slab and so on)..

    Uncle John no longer takes phone orders, BTW - the volume is just too much, you have to come in and place your order, and wait to pick it up. I asked about possibly phone-ordering on a Tuesday (they still have their "Monday and Tuesday" special, a full-slab for $14, or a half-pan of ribtips or links for $25 - easily the best bbq deal in the city).. they said they dont do phone orders period, that even on Tuesdays they sometimes have lines out the door!

    BTW, the 'cue is just as good as ever - maybe even more so, due to the constant rotation and freshness, with the huge amount of traffic. Nobody deserves it more - the best sausage product in the city (that amazing hotlink) finally seems to be getting the adulation it deserves.

    c8w
  • Post #201 - June 14th, 2010, 9:06 pm
    Post #201 - June 14th, 2010, 9:06 pm Post #201 - June 14th, 2010, 9:06 pm
    c8w wrote:Its gone mostly unremarked on LTH (well, a couple of posts above).. but Uncle John's seems to have changed completely, in terms of its popularity. WGN TV ovbiously has a *huge* reach on the SouthSide!
    Waiting line at opening bell made my day.

    Look for Uncle John's to get even busier come October!

    Mack, Andrew Zimmern/Bizarre Foods

    Image
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #202 - June 15th, 2010, 5:03 pm
    Post #202 - June 15th, 2010, 5:03 pm Post #202 - June 15th, 2010, 5:03 pm
    had a tips & links combo yesterday . it was outstanding
    this is a great stop :mrgreen:
    philw bbq cbj for kcbs &M.I.M. carolina pit masters
  • Post #203 - June 22nd, 2010, 11:07 pm
    Post #203 - June 22nd, 2010, 11:07 pm Post #203 - June 22nd, 2010, 11:07 pm
    Stopped by UJs today around opening time to find them closed. Mack was outside so I asked what was going on. They had a fire there yesterday, and the aquarium smoker was completely burned out. There did not look to be much if any damage to the rest of the place, and Mack seems confident that they will be back open in a week or so. If you are planning a visit in the near future, make sure you call first.

    Glenn
  • Post #204 - June 23rd, 2010, 9:48 am
    Post #204 - June 23rd, 2010, 9:48 am Post #204 - June 23rd, 2010, 9:48 am
    glennpan wrote:They had a fire there yesterday, and the aquarium smoker was completely burned out.
    Bad news indeed.

    glennpan wrote:Mack seems confident that they will be back open in a week or so. If you are planning a visit in the near future, make sure you call first.
    Spoke to Mack this morning, new pit is going in on Friday and he hopes to be up and running by July 1st or before.
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #205 - August 10th, 2010, 4:44 pm
    Post #205 - August 10th, 2010, 4:44 pm Post #205 - August 10th, 2010, 4:44 pm
    I know even asking this is sacrilege for some, but ... I picked up a combo order of tips and links from UJ's today, then promptly stuck it in the fridge for dinner. What do y'all recommend I do to reheat it for dinner that will destroy the flavor/texture the least? Sauce, at least, is on the side.
  • Post #206 - August 10th, 2010, 5:10 pm
    Post #206 - August 10th, 2010, 5:10 pm Post #206 - August 10th, 2010, 5:10 pm
    Vitesse98 wrote:I know even asking this is sacrilege for some, but ... I picked up a combo order of tips and links from UJ's today, then promptly stuck it in the fridge for dinner. What do y'all recommend I do to reheat it for dinner that will destroy the flavor/texture the least? Sauce, at least, is on the side.


    This might be even greater sacrilege, but when digging in to a couple left-over UJ's tips straight from the fridge a few hours after dinner I found myself wondering if they might actually be better cold...the smoke seemed to be more pronounced.
  • Post #207 - August 10th, 2010, 5:27 pm
    Post #207 - August 10th, 2010, 5:27 pm Post #207 - August 10th, 2010, 5:27 pm
    BBQ is the greatest food ever because of how adaptable it is to whatever situation yours may be. Need it later? Stick in the fridge...it's better after a day anyway. Hot, cold - if it's good Q it'll be great no matter how or when you consume it.

    Re-heating bbq in an oven is something i do fairly often as I can't usually eat a whole large combo from Honey1. I stick it in a nice ceramic dish and pop em in at 350. Wait till you can smell them in the kitchen and then you're ready to go.
  • Post #208 - August 10th, 2010, 6:00 pm
    Post #208 - August 10th, 2010, 6:00 pm Post #208 - August 10th, 2010, 6:00 pm
    I've had them cold with great results. I'd try them cold or maybe a half hour after taking them out before I would bother reheating them. I definitely like the sauce better cold.
  • Post #209 - August 21st, 2010, 4:10 pm
    Post #209 - August 21st, 2010, 4:10 pm Post #209 - August 21st, 2010, 4:10 pm
    Made my first journey down to Uncle John's today after having heard about it for years... don't get BBQ as much anymore now that I no longer work close enough to Honey1 and Smoque for lunchtime visits, and really had a taste for some ribs. Got down there about 2pm, waited in a line about 6-7 deep before ordering, which gave me enough time to study the menu and enjoy the smokey aroma. Ordered a half slab dry, with sides of both the hot and mild sauces. Got my food, and went back to eat in my car since there's no seating. Have to say, unfortunately, that I was not that impressed. While the ribs looked nice, the meat was tough like it was undercooked and it lacked much smokey flavor. The mild sauce had a nice balance of sweet and spice, almost silly to call it mild because it did certainly have a kick. Was my favorite of the two. The hot was much more peppery and vinegary. I liked it, too, but think it'd work better on chicken/wings. Given the high marks Uncle John's has received here and elsewhere, I am a little surprised. Did I go too early in the day? Should I have gone with the tips/links combo instead?
  • Post #210 - August 21st, 2010, 4:22 pm
    Post #210 - August 21st, 2010, 4:22 pm Post #210 - August 21st, 2010, 4:22 pm
    blipsman wrote:Should I have gone with the tips/links combo instead?


    That's always been my order of choice. The same at Honey1, for that matter. I just don't think either of those artisan BBQ joints moves enough volume in ribs to guarantee a consistent product (plus I generally prefer my own ribs to those of most commercial establishments').
    Steve Z.

    “Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.”
    ― Mark Twain

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