I consider myself a pulled pork expert because I’ve been smoking my own pork overnight, pulling it, and saucing it for years. I always try a new barbecue joint to taste and compare their offerings. And I’ve always admired Naomi Wise’s literate and discerning food critiques.
After reading her scathing review of House of BBQ on June 11, and the emotional rebuttals on June 18, I just had to go and judge their food for myself. I got the pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw — it’s huge, with succulent pork bits well dressed in a mild sauce on a soft bun, and the most perfect coleslaw I’ve ever had. And a really good pickle wedge. On a scale of one to ten, it’s definitely a ten! And I came to it with an open mind.
I think a mea culpa from Naomi Wise would serve everyone in this case so the matter could be put to rest. I’ll allow she’s entitled to a mistake once in a while.
I disagree with the Naomi Wise review of Chicago House of BBQ (Restaurant Review, June 11). My wife and I have visited Pete and Carol’s place three times in the last two months, and here is our finding. Pulled pork sandwich is tender and rolled with just the right amount of house barbecue sauce. What I like about their sauce is the well-balanced blend; it’s not overpowered with vinegar like some sauces or drowned in tomato base. The sauce gives me the choice to add more or reach for the spicier house blend. The Greek salad was dynamite: cucumbers, tomato, onion, olives, and top-tier dressing. I tried the ribs and found them just as balanced, tender, and flavorful as the pulled pork. Last week I had the Greek chicken dinner, which left me speechless.
This week I had the char grilled hamburger, which I found to be the best in San Diego. I found the coleslaw truly fresh and very well balanced. Pete makes that coleslaw fresh every morning and balances it with just the right hint of vinegar. The hospitality was such a blessing. Pete and Carol talk with each and every customer, get to know them, and welcome them back with a friendly handshake and even a hug.
As an active-duty serviceman of 15 years, I have traveled the world. I have served on five continents and visited 27 countries. I have tasted many different foreign and American dishes all over the world and in the continental United States. The hardest part of my service is that it won’t be long until I move again; I usually find a restaurant with the flavor and hospitality I like just before I have to move again; therefore, I am grateful I found Pete and Carol’s Chicago House of BBQ, since I won’t be moving until summer 2010. Carol is a hands-on manager and very supportive of our servicemen and women, providing a discount or coupon to demonstrate support. I have found my seven-day-a-week restaurant.