Lone Star BBQ Bar: A Little Sauce, A Lot of Country in Chicago

I can smell something sweet and savory from the patio. It’s the post oak smokewood that Lone Star BBQ uses to marinade their meats. It’s the only oven in Chicago that doesn’t use electric or gas, just post oak smokewood (like the cowboys).

My senses are already heightened as I sit down to a table with a roll of brown paper towels ready for me to spin as I dig in.

I ordered a little bit of everything and I started with the drinks – the craft sodas.

Lone Star BBQ has three types of craft root beers and so opted for the Dead World Vanilla Root Beer over the Triple XXX or the WBC Chicago.

Most of their drinks come with a cowboy boot glass. It was fitting for the country music that reminded me of my days singing country music on the stage at my favorite restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee.

Appetizers:

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I started with the Corn Fritters. They came out looking like cinnamon donuts with a Remoulade glaze on the side. Inside they have actual corn.

Salads with Brisket:

From sweet, I moved to something a bit healthier. Lone Star BBQ has a variety of salads and one of May favorites is the Alamo Bowl with cactus fruit, Naples, spinach, bacon and you can add Brisket.

The brisket tastes amazing in the salad. It’s flavorful, but not overly juicy so that the spinach keeps well. It was light but flavorful and filling. It’s perfect for summertime Chicago nights.

Craft Cocktails: Moscow Mule:

I paired it with the Austin Mule – Titos handmade vodka, fresh squeezed lime, Barritt’s Ginger Beer over ice. My favorite Chicago summertime cocktail is the Moscow mule and this Texas BBQ inspired restaurant did not disappoint.

Another one of their signature cocktails is the Galvestan Hurricane. This is great for anyone who likes a Tequila Sunrise or Long Island. It has Tito’s Handmade vodka, Captain Morgan White Rum, Hendrick’s Gin, Triple Sec, Grenadine and fresh fruit juices over ice.

One of my favorite songs, “Straight Tequilla Night” starts playing and I feel like I found a place that brings the country out of a city girl.

As I savored my salad, the owner, Gus said, “You have to try some BBQ.”

Pulled Pork Mac N Cheese Burger:

Lone Star BBQ makes their own handmade BBQ sauce.

One of their signature dishes is the pulled pork topped with Mac n Cheese.

There is extra sauce on the side, but the sandwich comes out perfectly flavored. I like that Lone Star BBQ Bar prides itself on the meat and doesn’t saturate the BBQ meat in sauce.

Their Carolina Sauce is made with mustard, vinegar and sugar and some of the house sauce. In Texas the only thing they do is brisket – it’s the hardest meat to cook right and cut right (against the grain). You have to constantly modify the way you cut the brisket.

 

Lone Star BBQ Bar is in the Dunning neighborhood.

The restaurant is very relaxed. “People come because they want to be comfortable and relax rather than want to be seen,” the owner said to me in between bites of macaroni and cheese.

Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.

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The Roosevelt Collection has an answer for a casual place to take your thoughts after a movie.

And that answer is surprisingly a steakhouse. I recently had a media dinner at Chop on a quiet Monday night.

I love the Roosevelt Collection for its outdoor fire pits and expansive shopping , but unfortunately, without sustenance, we will shop till we drop.

Restaurants come to the Roosevelt Collection:

Chop is the first of a few restaurants including Nando’s Peri-Peri moving onto the block for those craving a nearby spot to linger after a movie or regain strength in between shopping trips.

In March, Chop completely revamped their menu from a burger joint to a space offering the highly desired meats like Filet Mignon and Porterhouse along with the fixings like grilled asparagus and Lobster Mac n Cheese.

Overall, Chop is not your typical steakhouse destination; it’s a convenient option for a quick appetizer or a sweet dessert to share.

It’s a place that reminds me of Nashville – with bare bones and country vibes instead of the usual white tablecloths. And it works. One of the best parts about Chicago is the way restaurants create distinct and memorable interior design.

Chocolate Cake:

I would highly recommend the chocolate flourless cake with a glass of Moscato. It was one of the best desserts I’ve ever tried – and Chicago has some amazing desserts.

And I think after a movie, coming in for some dessert and wine is perfect.

The Steakhouse Wine List:

While Chop offers cocktails that come fruity and with an umbrella like the vibes at Three Dots and a Dash, I would turn your attention to Chop’s extensive wine list.

For appetizers, I suggest a nice Cabernet to pair with the delicious crab cakes or the shrimp. There were unforgivable items on the menu like the lobster bisque which was salty. And the passable standards like the salads.

Recommendation:

Overall, stick with the cake, cake, cake – the crab cake and the chocolate cake.

 

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