I made a mistake. I had planned on going to grab a couple slices of pizza after I got off work from a pizza joint that gets rave reviews. Instead, I chose to go get BBQ. That in itself is not a bad choice. The restaurant I chose was the bad choice.
I noticed Blues BBQ last night when I went to Manolo’s (review HERE) to get pizza. I almost went there then because it *looked* like a neat place. When I left Memorial Stadium tonight about 8:00, I headed back to the area to get some Q.
Blues BBQ is located in a little shopping district on the campus of the University of Illinois. From the outside Blues looks like an upscale BBQ place. It’s not the roadhouse you think of when you usually think of BBQ. This should have been a huge warning sign. When you walk in, again, you’re met with an upscale, eclectic feel. There are a handful of tables in the dining room. Most of them share seats with long, red benches. There’s a bar that runs along the windows which is about the only thing in here that you would find in a typical BBQ place.
I went up to the counter to order and couldn’t find a menu. There was no menu taped to the counter and nothing behind the counter. I never did see it before I ordered, but while I was waiting, I noticed it off to the side hidden by the pop cooler. All I really wanted was a pulled pork sandwich, so that’s what I ordered. The girl working the counter took my credit card and swiped it and I figured we were good. She then came back and asked what the expiration date on my card was. It’s 2013 so there’s no way it’s bad. She told me they keep having that problem with cards that expire that year for some reason. She took the card back and re-swiped and did something to make it work. My pulled pork sandwich cost me $5.29. I figured for that price there were fries or something. Nope. Just a sandwich. When I saw her putting just the sandwich in the bag, I thought to myself, “This better be good.”
When I got home and unwrapped the foil, the disappointment continued. This wasn’t a pulled pork. This was a pureed pork sandwich that looks like it came out of one of those plastic tubs from the supermarket. The sandwich was 80% and it was a somewhat stale supermarket hamburger bun. Nothing about this meal was fresh and nothing about it was BBQ. I have a flier sitting in front of me right now and the very first thing on there says “The Best BBQ in town!” Bullshit!! Li’l Porgys (review HERE) and Hickory River Smokehouse are both better than this place. Hell, Famous Dave’s is better than this. There were no redeeming qualities about the sandwich.
Blues BBQ has two locations. One here in Urbana and one in Columbus, OH. If they’re looking to turn this into a chain, they are well on their way with unoriginal, prepackaged, overpriced BBQ. I wish I would have gotten that pizza.