La Grange, 07/15/11--Standing in front of his large chalkboard menu, Michael LaPidus holds a sampler plate featuring one of all his meat offerings. Michael LaPidus is the owner of Q-BBQ Restaurant. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
70 S. La Grange Rd.
La Grange; (708) 482-8700; q-bbq.com
Prices: Barbecue plates, $10; combo plates, $13-$19; sandwiches and salads, $6.95; desserts, $1.50-$2.95.
Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Try: Barbecue back ribs, pulled pork and pulled chicken, brisket, pecan pie.
Tips: Limited parking in adjoining lot. Eat-in or carryout. Catering. Kids’ menu. Seasonal patio.
In a bite: Q-BBQ brings together the best of a variety of regional barbecue cooking styles.
Updated: November 16, 2011 1:42AM
Fresh fish, a hot-off-the-grill burger, cheese-laden pizza or the occasional cobb salad can make a satisfying meal. But sometimes only a platter of barbecue — and nothing else other than a side of coleslaw or baked beans — will do.
For occasions calling for a platter of pulled pork, smoked chicken or a slab of ribs, area diners are fortunate to have plenty of reliable options. One venue we like is Q-BBQ in downtown La Grange. Run by chef Michael LaPidus, the compact, attractive storefront restaurant, which opened in 2009, does a brisk sit-down and carryout business.
Though the casual place specializes in Texas-style barbecue, its menu deftly incorporates the best of several regional cooking styles. It’s a go-to spot for Carolina pulled pork, Memphis chicken wings and Texas brisket and smoked sausage — all slowly smoked on the premises over hickory and apple wood.
Customers order and pay for meals at a walk-up counter, and the staff brings the food to the tables.
Dinner-sized plates piled with brisket, pulled pork or chicken (all of which we have tried and heartily recommend) come with a choice of two side dishes; they go for $9.95. Combo plates with two, three or four meats kick the price to $19.
Q’s baby back ribs ($14 to $20 for a half- or full-slab order) are fork tender and addictive. Preparation starts with a dry rub of 13 spices followed by seven hours in the smoker. Bottles of four different sauces — mustard, sweet, vinegar and spicy — are on each table and also available for sale. They’re also a bit messy, hence the rolls of paper towels at each table.
Two hush puppies (savory, log-shaped fried cornbread) accompany each order. Of the sides sampled, barbecue baked beans, creamy coleslaw and green beans with Parmesan were all tasty.
Red velvet cake, Rice Krispie treats and chocolate chip cookies are among the dessert offerings. Those with a sweet tooth will find the pecan pie the most interesting of the lot.
Thomas Witom is a local freelance writer.