Chicago >Food & Dining > Fat Willy's Rib Shack
2414 W Schubert Ave, Chicago, IL | Directions 6064741.930355 -87.688457
Neighborhoods: Bucktown, North Side
Great BBQ Sauce, Too Expsensive !!!!!!!!! – Me and 3 other friends stopped in, because the smell was intoxicating. I ordered a 1/2 slab of the St. Louis Ribs and my friends ordered the 1/2 ribs tips. The ribs were over cooked & for $10, you only got 5 small tips & fries. The staff was very courteous. The only nice thing I can say about this expierence was that, I did like their BBQ sauce, but that's It !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Overall, I wouldn't recommend this place to anyone.
Mediocre food for high prices... – I LOVE BBQ food and I'm not going to trash Fat Willy's for the food... their food it... ok, at best. But they charge HIGH prices for food that really isn't worth all that you are paying for it. If you live in the area and just want fast decent food then ok, but I wouldn't recommend driving halfway across the city for this place. Fat Willy's is DEFINITELY overrated.
Real BBQ finally found its way to Chicago – Fat Willy's. I finally found a bbq spot in Chicago that knows what their doing. I have eaten fare from the top spots in KC and Memphis (Central's, Jack Stack, Payne's, Neely's, Gates, etc), and Willy's uses the same cook steps as some of the best I've tasted. The bark on the ribs was the first tell tale sign, you know that this meat spent many hours in a smoker. Not like some of the other ribs I've had in the city where they are just "cooked" over wood smoke. The bright pink color of the meat when you pull apart the bones is pure bliss. The links were another nice suprise. They don't hang out in the smoker for hours, but they are very flavoful and have a crisp skin on the outside. The horseradish sauce that comes with them is very unique, and a perfect compliment of flavor. The 2 negatives here are the uninspired bbq sauce, and the very high prices. There are 2 types of sauce available, the standard sweet sauce and of course a spicy version. They both had a good tangy flavor, but lacked any depth compared to others I've had. I tend not to put a lot of sauce on my bbq so it didn't spoil the whole experience. When it comes to the prices, it is probably the most expensive meal I have ever had at a bbq joint. The quality here is very good, but does'nt justify the cost. It would be very difficult to get out of Willy's spending less than $15 per head, and actually be full. $25-$30 will get you a taste of everything you want and leave with your stomach happy. If you truly want bbq the way it was supposed to be smoked, try Willy's and you'll have a great experience. Don't forget to order an extra side of Texas toast!
Brisket -- ugh!!!! – I had lunch with friends who were treating me a couple of days ago. Because they had thought it great, I did not want to say anything negative so pretended to enjoy it. The brisket was the worst I ever had anywhere. It was like trying to swallow cardboard. I loaded it with the mediocre sauce so that I was able to get most of it down. The reviews saying the brisket is good must be written by the restaurant owners. I tasted another member of our party's ribs and they were just ok. The ones I get at Dominic's on sale are much better. This is an over-priced, highly over-rated place. I added the second star only because of an outstanding, lovely server.
Bad BBQ - Don't waste your time or money – My good friend and I have begun checking out different BBQ places in Chicago to find the best we can. Unfortunately, this has caused us to not only gain weight but also a good appreciation for BBQ. Today we went to Fat Willy's as it was one we haven't gone to yet. There were a few people left from the lunch rush but plenty of tables. It took a while to get seated but we weren't concerned because it was BBQ time.
We sat down and eventually were able to order when the waitress came around. We ordered hot links, a BBQ rib tip basket, pulled brisket and an order of Cole slaw. The Cole slaw was good. Why start a BBQ review with the Cole slaw was good? Because nothing else was. The sauces hot in the small one, mild in the big one were thick, unbalanced and very similar. The brisket tasted like it was flavored with liquid smoke, cooked in a crock-pot and then sat in a steamer for four hours. It was chewy, stringy and all-around horrible. The hot links were OK but most places don't make their own anyway so I'm not sure how much credit they can get. The rib tips were giant! That's OK, but there was no flavor. A couple were moist but others were dry and just not anything to write home about. The pulled chicken looked good but looks are deceiving and I won't go back to try it out.
Overall I would say to not waste your time here. It was expensive, the service was sub-par even though the restaurant was slow, and worst of all...I don't think the food could be considered real BBQ. Maybe if it was sitting under the grocery store warmer I might have picked it up late-night but as for a place to intentionally go I'll never return. Please, save your money and check out the other fine BBQ places in the city.
Very good Chicago BBQ – Had lunch here after hearing good things about it for a long time. The beef brisket sandwich is delicious and the ribs (at least when we went) were tender, meaty, and tasty. The mac-and-cheese appetizer isn't worth 9-10 bucks, but it satisfied our mac-and-cheese fix. And the baked beans -- top notch. Our server was a little spacey, but very nice. Fat Willie's is a touch expensive, but we didn't leave regretting the meal.
Good ribs, more expensive than I expected. – I thought it was going to be a fast food type of place, but was a little nicer than that. Ribs were good!
Great Chicago Barbeque – First saw Fat Willy's on WTTW's Check Please and had to check it out myself. My wife and I went for lunch on Saturday and it was great! We started with "Willy's Chili" loaded with meat, beans, cheese with salsa and sour cream on the side (we threw that in too). Fat Willy's is no longer BYOB, they serve beer and wine now. We then ordered a full slab of ribs and a half chicken so we could have a little of each; we had enough leftovers for another big lunch.
Seating was immediate and service was excellent. I was impressed that the waiter took the time to say "you're welcome" whenever we said "thank you." It's a small touch, but appreciated.
We especially liked the warm barbeque sauce, it didn't cool off the hot food. Two sauces were delivered to the table, mild and spicy. If you like things really spicy you'd be disappointed by the spicy sauce; it really wasn't spicy. I liked them both and used the mild sauce on my fries.
We did not save room for desert, but we saw a couple of them being delivered and they looked great; maybe next time.
We will be back for dinner, I have to try their brisket and it's only available after 5:00pm.
Barbeque with a twist of Asian Flair – Okay, now I love barbeque. And I heard so much about this place,. I actually was disappointed that the barbeque wasn't what I thought. I expected alot more I guess. Seating was fast, the place is small but I didn't get wow'd like I thought/ Although I must admit I would give this place
mixed thoughts – The place is actually a lot smaller than I thought, but cozy nonetheless. Our waitress for the evening was not very attentive, which is a little hard to understand considering there aren't that many tables to wait on, but she at least gave us what we asked for. I have to try the beef brisket anywhere I go that serves it, so I did, not really impressed. I've had better at Famous Daves. My second issue was the sauce. Good sauce makes for good BBQ. Theirs was like glorified ketchup. The corn had some seasoning on it that tasted like meat tenderizer and the fries were either old or overcooked. I don't like to write a place off after just one experience. It could have been an off day. I would try them again, but who knows when that will be because i live sooo far away.
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