I’m a sucker for good barbecue, so I was really excited about hosting a Chef’s Table Dinner at City Barbeque at their Berwyn location, the first to open in Illinois. City Barbeque is a chain that originated in Columbus, Ohio, in 1999 and is growing like crazy - especially in Chicagoland. Since opening last October in Berwyn they also added locations in Orland Park and in Deerfield. The next location opens this month in Downers Grove and there are two more to come in Vernon Hills and Park Ridge. 

They really spoiled the attendees at this Chef’s Table event, bringing out four courses that included six meats, six sides, a dessert and craft beer samples. They offered to-go boxes to take home the food we couldn’t finish and we parted ways with a goodie bag that included a bottle of one of their sauces and a jar of seasoning.

 

For our first course, we enjoyed their pulled pork and brisket. Their meats are all hand-rubbed and smoked on-site for 18 hours or more and all the sides are made from scratch, so this stuff is the real deal. According to the pit bosses at City Barbeque, they make barbecue in its truest form - thus the motto, “Stay True.”  

The meats were served without sauce and you can add your own - with eight different varieties to choose from. My favorites were the original and the bourbon. If you like heat, they had a peach habanero, which had great flavor, but definitely had me reaching for my cup of water! Both meats were tender and packed with flavor. That brisket…so tender that you cut it with a fork and it melted in your mouth. Definitely at the top of my list of best brisket I’ve ever had. 

With those two meats we were served collard greens and baked beans - both were amazing. The baked beans are one of my favorite sides that are served at City Barbeque. They have this thick and sweet sauce that will ruin you for baked beans anywhere else - and the best part is that there are chunks of the brisket in with the beans. 

Baked Beans from City Barbeque in Berwyn
Brisket from City Barbeque

As we moved on to course two we tried out their sausage and turkey breast. The sausage was cooked perfectly (I’ve had my share of overcooked sausage!) and with a flavor that I really enjoyed. I expected that it may be on the spicy side, but it wasn’t. It was right in the middle so that you can add heat with the addition of a sauce.

But, for me the star of the evening - aside from the brisket - was the smoked turkey. I could have eaten just a plate of that and gone home more than happy. It’s so tender and juicy, it really doesn’t need any sauce at all. I did try dipping it in a few, though, and the mustard that was recommended by staff really was a good match-up.

Accompanying the sausage and turkey breast were vinegar slaw and corn pudding. The slaw was mild and would be perfect on a spicy sandwich. The corn pudding, well, how can you go wrong with that? I make a similar dish on request from my family for holidays and it’s always a hit. I’m thinking that if my whole family tasted this I’d be off the hook from now on - hate to admit it, but I like it better than my own version. 

By now everyone was wishing they’d worn stretchy pants, but there was more to come. Course three included ribs and quartered chicken. The ribs really were falling off the bone and begging to be enjoyed with one of their tangy sauces - although the slow-smoked flavor made them perfect even without a drop of sauce. I tried out some chicken breast - good quality and almost falling off the bone, as well.

 

Sides for this course were the potato salad and green beans. The potato salad met my expectations, which are pretty high in the potato salad category. It’s a middle of the road mayonnaise-based that isn’t too rich and is a nice accompaniment to any of their meats.

The green beans were like a big hug from the 1980s. You see, they are just like the ones my mom always made as we were growing up - the flat beans with bacon mixed in. Each bite just took me back to Sunday supper around the table with my siblings - and don’t tell mom, but they were just as good as hers.

We tried out some beer samples as dinner began. This location serves some craft brews from Half Acre Brewery in Chicago - and we tried three of their beers. Loved the Daisy Cutter Pale Ale, a 5.2% ABV dry beer with hints of citrus. They also poured the popular Bells Oberon, a wheat beer brewed in Kalamazoo, MI.

City Barbeque

Our meal ended with a pint of banana pudding. Not just any pudding, but lick-the-dish-good banana pudding. They also have a cobbler and triple chocolate cake on their dessert menu.

 

City Barbeque in Berwyn

I love that everything is made from scratch daily and love even more that at the end of each day, any leftover food is donated to an area shelter {editor's emphasis} and goes to those in need of a meal. So much food goes to waste in our country and I love when restaurants and companies make the extra effort to get their excess food into the hands of those who really need it. Kudos to City Barbeque for going the extra mile!

 

To find out more about City Barbeque and see what else is on the menu, go to citybbq.com.

City Barbeque is a chain that originated in Columbus, Ohio, in 1999 and is growing like crazy - especially in Chicagoland. Their meats are all hand-rubbed and smoked on-site for 18 hours or more and all the sides are made from scratch, so this stuff is th