Lillie’s Q (Restaurant, Wicker Park)
Location: 1856 W. North. Ave.
Cuisine: Southern BBQ
Reservations: Not accepted
Lillie’s Q is doing comfort food with a twist in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Of course, not too much of a twist… they like their barbecue about as down-homey as it comes.
The place doesn’t feel like the South, though. Large windows in front remind you you’re on a busy Chicago street. In fact, it feels surprisingly urban. Could it be a coincidence they’ve dubbed their fare “Urban Barbeque”…? The dining room is simple yet somehow modern, based largely on a decor made of wood and iron. Linens are no-frills, and drinks are served in mason jars. There’s almost a feeling of having stepped into your uncle’s dining room, making sure you bring all your focus back to the food.
The menu features all of the usual suspects: Pulled Pork, Pulled Chicken, a Quarter Chicken, Baby Back Ribs, Shrimp & Grits, and even a Low Country Boil. Make your sandwich “Southern Style” by adding coleslaw to it for a dollar more. On each table you’ll find five kinds of sauces in which to smother your food: Smoky (basic BBQ), Hot Smoky, Ivory, Carolina, and Carolina Gold. Be sure to try them all, if only for the fun of it. Another nice Southern tradition? Sharing. Ordering several sides to go with your meals makes for a great way to try a few different things. Our faves? The Caramelized Corn on the Cob, seasoned french fries, and some good ol’ Mac & Cheese. The dishes here are simply good. Forget all the molecular gastronomy crap that “trendy” restaurants are doing these days. Lillie Q’s is about real, hearty, delicious food. That’s it.
Well, and maybe a good beer, too. The draft and bottled beer lists are stacked with craft choices from both local and non-local brewers. There’s even a house brew, “Lillie’s Q Brew.”
So, grab some friends and come with an empty belly. Lillie’s Q is awaiting.