Pork Shoppe: A Good Place for BBQ

Pork Shoppe Andersonville

Last week, on a beautiful and sunny Thursday evening, a friend of mine and I took a stroll from Edgewater to Andersonville because I had the biggest taste for some ribs. We visited Pork Shoppe at the 5721 N. Clark St. location, which apparently opened just recently. Inside was a full bar, open full-sized windows, and a large, rustic seating area. Since it was such a lovely day out, we requested a table outside. The outside was essentially a concrete backyard barbecue complete with string lights, picnic tables and umbrellas, and a picket fence.

Pork Shoppe Andersonville | The Facts (at my time of visit):

Type of place: Restaurant bar

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  • It was around 6pm when we came for dinner. We were sat right away and were able to request seating outside. When we left around 8pm, the place was much busier and our table was the only open spot outside.
  • Even though it is a bar and we ordered drinks, it’s definitely a family spot during the day/evening. There were plenty of kids crying and being cute and loud. If that thing isn’t your cup of tea, you’ve been warned.
  • I’m lumping music in here because it’s part of the atmosphere instead of an important yet separate thing. They were playing country music (again it was part of the atmosphere, so really wasn’t paying too much attention, therefore I didn’t mind).
  • They serve specials with lunch and drinks. I saw that they also have Wednesday Night Trivia!

Food: Barbecue/BBQ/Bar-b-que

  • The food at Pork Shoppe was quite delicious and came out pretty quickly. So quickly in fact that we got the main course (ribs and sides) before appetizers but more on that later. Here’s a rundown of what we ordered: 2 Moscow Mules; Nachos; A full slab of Baby Back ribs with Shoppe Slaw (their version of coleslaw) and House Fries. Grand total came to about $50 and change.
  • The Nachos were tasty; it’s “Chips, Cheese, Beans, Chilies & Tomatoes on a Flour Tortilla.” (Straight from the menu description.) The thing with the nachos was that the cheese seemed like the kind you put in the microwave to melt. Not a bad thing because I love doing that at home with Kraft singles but since it came out after the ribs, it got left by the wayside and the cheese hardened and became unappetizing.
  • The slab satisfied a craving. I had been craving ribs for about 2 weeks at that point and Pork Shoppe definitely hit the spot with the baby backs. It was tender but not fall-off-the-bone tender, which the waitress pointed out to us while we were figuring out our order. I thought that was great for her to mention since the menu said “Delicate & Tender”. It was a bit more charred than I would have preferred though.
  • I didn’t taste the Shoppe Slaw because I don’t personally like coleslaw in general but my friend was happy with it.
    The fries were thick cut and delicious; I don’t normally like thick cut fries because it gets too potato-y but these were a good balance between crisp and carb.

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Sauce: 3 Types

I’m not a huge fan of sauces in general but these were my thoughts on the sauces. IMG_3411

  • KC Style- Sweet & Sticky: Too sweet
  • Caroline Style- Tart & Tangy: Tasted most like Ketchup
  • Southwest Style- Wicked Spicy: Tasted like Chipotle, dull heat

These are my friend’s thoughts.

  • KC Style- Sweet & Sticky: Brown sugar-y and thick
  • Carolina Style- Tart & Tangy: Vinegar-y and not thick
  • Southwest Style- Wicked Spicy: Tasted like Cumin

Drink: Moscow Mule

  • It wasn’t served in a copper cup, which would’ve added to the rustic backyard feel but it was well enough priced ($8) for a drinking glass full.

Service

  • It was a thumbs up overall. They were attentive with making sure that our waters were always full (and good thing, because it was a HOT day); like I said, the food came out quickly; the waitress checked up on us enough that we didn’t feel forgotten. She also mentioned dessert but we were too full to accept the offer.

Overall Impression: 4 stars

I will definitely come back if I’m in the area and I’ve already told people about this restaurant. As the dinner progressed and they got busier, we did have to get the staff’s attention for boxes and the check. The ribs had more char and burns than I wanted but every batch can’t be perfect. The website has a link for reservations so I’d probably call ahead next time if dinner were an impromptu decision. It’s a great place to check out and I’d recommend it if you’re on the north, north side.

Location hours and information: 
5721 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60660
773.654.1800

Hours:
Monday – Thursday
11am – 10pm
Fridays
11am – 11pm
Saturdays
10am – 11pm
Sundays
10am – 10pm

Street parking only
Reservations recommended

For more info (like the menu and their photos), visit Pork Shoppe’s website.
Have you been there? What was your experience like? Let me know below!

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