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Russell's BBQ

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    Russell's BBQ

    I can't believe there isn't an existing post about this, nor that I haven't checked before. Currently two locations, the original in Elmwood Park, and the new one in Countryside (on LaGrange Rd.)

    I have to start by saying this is my first experience with BBQ since I was wee lad. My grandparents lived in Bellwood and on certain Sundays we would go there and bring Russell's with us. As a young man I brought Russell's home to my family, and as a now middle-aged man I go there with my kids (who are now adults).

    This is not your traditional BBQ joint, although they have branched out over the past several years. They have an extensive menu and are known for their BBQ beef and pork sandwiches, half chickens ( with or without sauce), and their half slabs of ribs. Recently they have added smoked pulled pork, chix, and brisket sammies which are AMAZING!

    Most notable is their house brand sauce. It's just amazing, and to steal from Frank's, I put that sh*t on damn near everything. A very thin sauce, some black pepper, but just a distinctive flavor that is tough to beat. The fries dunked in the sauce should be illegal because it is just naughty. They sell it by the bottle so if you are feeling curious, look it up and get some shipped to you.

    The place in ancient and has been added on to over the years. Due to the COVID, they started a drive-thru with a poor employee stuffed into a Conex box, but that's not all bad. Inside are the most uncomfortable, dark stained, hardwood benches with a 90 degree back on them. There is an old jukebox, probably digital now, and unfortunately the obligatory Chicago-area ubiquitous gambling machines. I digress.

    Save for the ribs and maybe the half chicken (if you eat like a barbarian), this isn't the stick-the-napkin-to your-forehead place. That said, you won't be disappointed with the food. The have burgers, dogs (I think), all the afore-mentioned BBQ, ice cream, and beer on tap. You can park it outside during the summer and swat yellow jackets, or sit inside in the new section in decent chairs.

    The locations aren't in Chicago-proper so your chance of being randomly gunned down are drastically decreased. I recommend the Elmwood Park location as that is the O.G. and the best, and what I have been describing in this post. I'm curious to hear if any of you know about this gem of the western burbs of Chi-Town.
    Last edited by Meathead; June 30, 2022, 06:12 AM.

    Very cool to bring it to attention. Thanks!


      Driven past it many times but haven’t tried it. Will do. Been to Johnny’s beef, which is the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear elmwood park.
      Last edited by radiodome21; June 29, 2022, 11:55 PM.


      • Draznnl
        Draznnl commented
        Editing a comment
        Johnny’s has a branch in Arlington Heights I used to frequent. These days, I would kill for a Johnny’s beef.

      • cjv140
        cjv140 commented
        Editing a comment
        Johnny's is a fantastic beef sangwich, but the best ever was Carm's Beef in Hillside. Hottest giardiniera I've ever had, such a shame they are gone...

      You, or at least I, could drink that Russell’s sauce. Once upon a time, when I was in private practice, I had a client whose office was a half mile from the original Russell’s. I would schedule any meetings at their office for late morning so I could stop in for a barbecued beef sandwich afterwards. I’d drown the beef in sauce and the send my fries swimming in some more sauce. I don’t think I ever tried anything else from their menu.


        Hadn’t heard of Russell’s, but I’m always up for something new. Thanks, definitely going to check it out!


          If I get to Chicago, I will have to try this place.


          • HawkerXP
            HawkerXP commented
            Editing a comment

          The original location is a piece of history and I love ambience, but not as much as good barbecue, and I've eaten at both locations and neither serve barbecue that I would rank in the top 20 in Chicago area. Here are some of my faves https://amazingribs.com/barbecue-his...cago-barbecue/


          • IFindZeroBadCooks
            IFindZeroBadCooks commented
            Editing a comment
            Thank you for this MH! I never knew it existed!

          • Murdy
            Murdy commented
            Editing a comment
            I saw Ribs n Bibs on the list. Used to go there once in a while as a kid. I think its closed now.
            Great list. Thanks.

            Any opinion on Elgin Pit BBQ? Saw them on Check Please not too long ago.
            Last edited by Murdy; June 30, 2022, 08:33 AM.

          • Meathead
            Meathead commented
            Editing a comment
            IFindZeroBadCooks There are 2000 pages out there. I wish more members would explore it more.


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