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Ode To Ribs'nBibs

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    Ode To Ribs'nBibs

    Ribs 'n Bibs in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago closed about 18 months ago. It was a small, mainly takeout joint that had been in business under the same management since 1966. Although most would disagree I believe they served the best ribs in Chicago - better than Smoque, Honey 1, Uncle John's, Barbara Ann's, Lems, etc. I've tried them all and never found its equal. R&B cooked the ribs in an aquarium smoker and it was not "low and slow" - only 45 minutes or so - but they were the smokiest ribs to be had in Chicago. The meat itself was top quality. Many other places, generally upscale places, serve top quality meat but they don't get the same smoke flavor using their Southern Prides. Other places cook the ribs right, on an aquarium smoker, but use inferior gigantic fatty ribs. R&B is the only place I've found to excel in both. Now, the chicken, fries and other sides were nothing special but the ribs and tips were great. I loved their sauce also - not too sweet, not too mild, not too hot, just right.

    I started going there around 1972 and never stopped. When I started going there one of the co-owners was Linn Burton, a velvet-tongued radio and TV pitchman most famous in that era for his Burt Weinman Ford used car commercials ("and look at this beauty ....."). Linn was actually behind the counter collecting the money and passing out the orders. Linn was no spring chicken then and at some point sold out to his partner, Vince Schoenberg. R&B remained under Vince's or his family's ownership until it closed.

    I keep looking for a barbecue restaurant to replace R&B in my heart but I doubt I ever will. I intend to study this site so I can cook my own!


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