During May, National BBQ month, we were invited to give Porkchop West Loop a try.
This is one of those restaurants we always drove by on Randolph and thought, yup, someday we need to try that. Of course, Chicago BBQ has tough competition compared to BBQ meccas like Memphis and Kansas City. We do have a smattering of saucy spots like Porkchop, however, to tickle your taste buds.
Look and Feel
Think Austin mixed with Chicago mixed with Deliverance. Rustic wood is the format for the space with saws dotting one wall (let’s do some DIY crafting), yet the bar space, snuggling cozily under a staircase, is hipster chic with mason jar hanging above.
Melanie, our bartender/server, popped out from behind the bar counter to immediately seat us. The vibe here won’t be killed as the atmosphere is warm and unfussy. Paper towel roll napkins are ready to wipe BBQ coated finger tips, with cutlery and BBQ sauce options flanking both sides to convenience you.
If there is one thing Chicagoans are constantly searching for, it’s patios and rooftops. The Holy Grail of the season, patio seating is in high demand. Porkchop offers open air seating inside when weather is nice and a small patio for prime people watching. Patio doggies are welcome as well. We spotted 2 cute baby boxers at patio play during our dinner.
Food for the Masses
Portion sizes are Texas style, large so leftovers are an expectation. We sampled the fried okra, mac and cheese and chicken tacos as starters. Stop judging ;). The mac and cheese was rich and creamy and, good lawd, the noodles were nonstop. The chicken taco meat was well seasoned and sprinkled with onions and cilantro and the fried okra breading was light, crispy and slightly addicting.
For dinner, we were close to full but wanted an excuse to drizzle more foods with BBQ sauce. We ordered the fried chicken sandwich and pulled pork sandwich. Both come with hand cut fries, the yum kind with skins still on. The pulled pork was juicy but I prefer mine super saucy so I used the Chicago Style BBQ sauce, infused with rosemary and olive oil, to douse it. The chicken sandwich was pounded thin and had a peppery breading. It didn’t disappoint either with it’s buttery bun and simple slice of red onion and crisp lettuce.
Veg options are available including a handmade veggie burger and a wealth of sides. May we suggest an all sides meal?!
We would love to go back and gorge on their brunch, which features southern specialties like fat Elvis Waffles, shrimp and grits and Johnny Cakes.
So what’s our final Q-cision? If you’re looking for a low key night, solid happy hour, portions for the whole fam, and a quaint patio, Porkchop can deliver with minimal Q mess and no stress.
*Porkchop offered a free meal for honest review. We were not paid for these opinions and they are our own.*