At Wrigley BBQ, the fresh meats are rubbed with a homemade spice blend then wood smoked for up to 20 hours over oak, apple, hickory & cherry woods. It is the real deal. Made with love.
This Wrigleyville staple has recently updated its menu under new leadership of pitmaster Mitch Liebovich. This is a true spot for some authentic, scratch-made, in-house prepared smoked meats, whether it’s brisket, pulled pork, smoked chicken, or St. Louis ribs. Plus, there’s even Bourbon Bread Pudding and S’Mores Pie for dessert…need I say more?
Pitmaster Mitch Liebovich grew up in Rockford and eventually made his way to Pittsburgh to follow his dream of owning a barbecue restaurant. Lucky for us in Chicago, he has come back home and has taken over the kitchen at Wrigley BBQ. If you are lucky enough to stop by when Mitch is there, be sure to introduce yourself. He is quite possibly the most passionate barbecue chef I have ever met and his true love for what he does shows in everything that leaves the kitchen.
Everything I sampled on a recent visit was noteworthy. Make sure you try some of the sides. My favorites were the Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans, Mac and Cheese (with a staggering number of cheeses blended in), and a delightful preparation of Corn with paprika and a few other tasty spices. Of course, you go to a barbecue restaurant for meat and those options are equally impressive.
One of the standouts was their version of St. Louis Ribs – a preparation that you don’t find in every Chicago barbecue spot. I would also suggest sampling some of the Jumbo Whole Wings – served either smoked or fried. My suggestion? Go for the smoked. Should you visit Wrigley BBQ with a vegetarian friend, don’t despair! There are plenty of options for the non-meat eaters including Smoked Tofu, Black Bean Burgers, and most of the sides.
One of my favorite menu options is the gigantic “Sam and Erna” sandwich. This one is named after Mitch’s parents. One of them loves brisket, the other loves pulled pork – so in honor of that competition, Mitch has created a sandwich piled high with both. This is a “must have” when you visit.
For me, one of the hallmarks of great barbecue is whether it is excellent alone without any sauce. At Wrigley BBQ you will most definitely not be disappointed. The rubs and smoke work their magic. Everything is amazing alone, but don’t forget to sample some of the tasty house-made sauces. I grew up in central South Carolina, the land of mustard-based barbecue sauce. Mitch has concocted a recipe that is the best Carolina-style that I have tasted outside of my hometown. Other sauces include Memphis Sweet, Texas Habanero, and Wrigley Fire. Warning – that last one can be described as an 8-second time bomb. It takes a moment, but the heat is intense once it hits. Tasty but definitely not for the faint-of-heart.
In addition to their regular menu, Wrigley BBQ has just launched Sunday brunch featuring items like Bourbon Bread Pudding French Toast (yes – you read that correctly), Chicken and Waffles, and their own unique version of Chilaquiles (crisp tortillas tossed in tomatillo salsa, topped with cheese, pork belly, beans, lettuce, and sour cream). Pork belly! Add an egg to those Chilaquiles and you have a perfect brunch.
Wrigley BBQ is a BYOB restaurant with online ordering options. They are open Tuesday-Sunday for lunch and dinner. Tuesday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Sunday, 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. The restaurant is located at 3555 N. Broadway. For more information, call 773-472-1BBQ (1227), visit their website, or follow their accounts on Facebook or Twitter.