Chicago isn't known as a town for barbecue, not like Austin or Memphis or Kansas City or St. Louis, but there are more BBQ restaurants than you can shake a brunt end or rip tip at. In the western suburbs, one of the most popular is Steamboat BBQ at 322 East Geneva Road, east of North Main Street, in Wheaton. They serve authentic southern style BBQ with a wide selection of sauces. They specialize in smoked meats, cooked 12 to 14 hours daily using fresh-cut hickory wood and spice blends. And you can order any cuisine you desire--BBQ, American, Cajun, Creole or Southern. You can order BBQ dinners from the pit, seafood, ribs, burgers and sandwiches. They also offer an exceptional array of sides, including creamy cole slaw, cornbread, hand-cut French fries, Southwest sweet corn, smoky pit beans, smoky bacon potato salad, onion rings and mac and cheese bites. My wife and I, a couple of 76-year-old retirees, are just getting used to barbecue. But the more we indulge, the more we like it. At Steamboat BBQ, our favorites are the three-meat BBQ combo (brisket, pulled pork, rib tips), St. Louis style ribs, hickory smoked pulled pork, hickory smoked beef brisket sandwich, jumbo coconut breaded shrimp and the River Bender, a hand ground Angus beef brisket patty seasoned and char-grilled and topped with BBQ sauce, melted cheddar cheese and pulled pork. If you speak with a southern accent, you probably will favor the hand breaded southern fried catfish dinner or sandwich. Chances are you'll want to take home a pound of BBQ, either pulled pork or brisket. It's hard to say "no" to smoked barbecue.
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