WESTMONT – When the Mystery Diner thinks of summertime and food, the first thing that comes to mind is barbecue. Firing up the grill for barbecued chicken, ribs and other favorites for backyard parties is a staple of summer fun.
Those types of celebrations are few and far between this year, unfortunately, but there is still a perfect place to go in Westmont for some of the best barbecue around.
Uncle Bub's BBQ & Catering, a family-owned and operated institution at 132 S. Cass Ave. for more than two decades, serves up award-winning barbecue that's fared quite well at competitions like the Naperville Ribfest.
We tried it out on the first Saturday night of August. We got ours to go, with the takeout order piping hot and ready in 20 minutes, but couldn't help but notice the rustic feel of Uncle Bub's dining room with plank-backed booths and walls, the warm wood accented by red-and-white-checkered tablecloths.
Our party of four arrived with big appetites, so we started our meal with Uncle Bub's onion blossom appetizer. The crispy onion rings had a bite to them, and were appropriately accompanied with a side of ranch dressing.
It being a barbecue place, I felt it necessary to try Uncle Bub's ribs, so I opted for a half slab of baby back ribs with sides of baked beans, mashed potatoes and cornbread. The ribs were tender and tasty, and I couldn't help but continue to dip the meat into Uncle Bub's sweet barbecue sauce. The baked beans were tangy and smoky. I almost wished I had asked for a second order as they were quickly devoured.
My dinnertime companion, also enjoying the ribs, went with a different, unusual side option – the broccoli salad with raisins – that she noted you don't see all the time. An unexpected discovery!
Our third dinner mate chose the beef brisket, which came in a generous 10-ounce portion that I made sure to ask for a bite of. The tender cuts of meat were prepared perfectly, and I smothered them in the barbecue sauce. She picked the mac and cheese as a side order, which arrived thick and satisfying.
The fourth member of the party selected the burnt-end hoagie. Served on garlic bread, it paired well with a side of cole slaw, a traditional favorite.
Uncle Bub's also has a full menu of additional selections ranging from rib and chicken dinners to sampler platters with ribs, pulled pork, brisket, rib tips and barbecued chicken to family platters that serve four to six, and pecan-crusted catfish that I made a mental note to try on my next visit. Dinners are available by one, two or three meats, and Uncle Bub's has six selections on a kids menu.
We weren't quite done yet, though.
What could be a more perfect ending to a summertime dinner than peach cobbler? We ordered a slice, and also a slice of chocolate cake.
The warm cobbler was a delightful mix of butter and spices on top of sweet peaches. The chocolate cake was moist and delicious with a creamy chocolate frosting – a good old-fashioned treat.
The days of summer might be dwindling, but that doesn't mean you have to go without good barbecue. In Westmont and the western suburbs, Uncle Bub's BBQ & Catering is a can't miss.
• The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee at Suburban Life Media. The diner’s identity is not revealed to restaurant staff when ordering or picking up the food. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a review.
IF YOU GO
Uncle Bub's BBQ & Catering
WHERE: 132 S. Cass Ave., Westmont
HOURS: 3:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; noon to 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday
INFO: Call 630-493-9000 for pickup orders; menu can be found at www.unclebubs.com