The Dish: City Barbeque

The Season 3 Premiere

Luke Davis and Wilson Irvin

It’s hard to find authentic southern barbecue up north. However, a 20-minute drive from the high school lies City Barbeque. Since being opened in the fall of 2018, City Barbeque has gone under the radar for the best authentic barbecue chain. Whether that be pulled pork, brisket, or turkey breast, City Barbeque has it all. 


Location: 8.5/10

Located 20 minutes from the High School, City Barbeque is located the northwest corner of Mellody Farms, the new complex of Vernon Hills. With the arrival of Mellody Farms came newer and more popular restaurants like Shake Shack and Lazy Dog. Although it is very easy to make your way to Mellody Farms, once you get there, it is tucked away and makes it tough to find. However, most people would still be willing to make a 20-minute drive for some great BBQ. Earning a solid 8.5/10, the location of City Barbeque isn’t a terribly far commute, it is just nestled corner of the complex.


Affordability: 9/10

Normally, eating out at barbecue restaurants, the prices can be quite expensive. However, City Barbeque is quite affordable. A pulled pork sandwich, two sides, and drink came out to $14, and a brisket sandwich with one side and a drink came out to $14.50, making the total cost of the meal roughly $30. For high schoolers, $14 for an entree, two sides, and a drink is a good price almost anywhere, but even more so at a barbecue restaurant as there aren’t many located in the midwest. Earning a very respectable 9/10, City Barbeque is one of the best deals you can get when it comes to barbecue in the Chicagoland area. 


Atmosphere: 8/10

The first thing that you can see when you walk in is the open kitchen in the back where they cook, prepare and serve everything. They are not shy about what is in their food and will gladly demonstrate. With faint country music in the background of your meal, it gives the place a southern and country vibe. Along with the southern vibe, drinks such as Cheerwine, RC Cola and Big Red stock the fridge. However, while it did have all of these components that made it “southern”, it was a little plain and relaxed. Despite the downsides, the atmosphere earns an 8/10 because of its southern vibe and collection of southern sodas.  


Service: 8.5/10

Upon entry of City Barbecue, we were greeted by the employee running the register. He was super friendly and immediately made us feel welcome. After ordering, it took the employees about five minutes to get our food out, even though there were only four people working. The workers had no issue with us filming in their restaurant and tried to give us their best service possible. Following our meal, we ordered a chocolate cake for dessert, but to their surprise, they were out. To try and accommodate us for the so-called “trouble,” they gave us a good-sized helping of banana pudding on the house. We greatly appreciate this gesture and that helped them earn a very solid rating in an 8.5/10 for service.  


Food Quality: 9.5/10

Being a southern barbecue restaurant comes with responsibilities. You have to compete with the authenticity of other places further south. However, City Barbeque can put up a fight to the most authentic barbecue in the south. The beef was cooked to perfection, buns were buttered and toasted, and the sweet tea hit the spot. Along with our entrees were our sides of green beans, baked beans, and mac and cheese. Each was flavorful had a consistent taste was pleasing. With a dessert of homemade banana pudding, we were more than satisfied with our order and earned an amazing 9.5/10. We would definitely recommend to anyone, that this is the best barbecue in the Chicagoland area. 

Final Rating: 4.4 out of 5 spears