How fitting is it that there’s a BBQ place in a town called Hickory Hills? J and I were discussing dinner when her step dad starting throwing out restaurant names that they like in the area. After ten minutes or so, he suggested The Pit Rib House and after a quick scan of the menu, I was sold.
The Pit is located on near the corner of Roberts Road and 95th St. The outside of the building is lit up with neon which is supposed to resemble a 1960’s road house on Route 66. There are parking lots on either side of the building and even on a Tuesday night, they were pretty full. We found a spot to park (not near a light pole) and headed inside. When you walk in, you’re again met with the feel of a stop along The Mother Road. There are antique vending machines (for display only) and the walls are covered with pictures, newspaper articles, and old signs. The first stop inside is the waiting room for carry out. Just past that, a waitress met us and showed us to a table inside the dining room. The theme continued with exposed wood walls and ceilings although the walls were covered with artifacts and pictures. We were seated next to a table overlooking a patio area that was filled with fire wood for the upcoming winter.
The menu was typical BBQ joint, but they also had a number of sandwiches, burgers, and my favorite, Italian Beef. I’ve been in Chicago for two meals now and still haven’t had an Italian Beef. The BBQ smelled too good though. I considered getting a pulled pork sandwich, but I changed things up and got The Pit Platter. That meal came with BBQ chicken, four ribs, and choice of brisket or pork plus two sides. I chose the pulled pork, french fries, and corn on the cob. I was a little shocked when I got my plate. There was so much food, I didn’t even notice the meal was served on paper plates. Each one of the meats could have been an entree on its own, but they piled all three on the plate plus fries and a small piece of corn. I started with the chicken because I figured that would be the meat that came in third. It was ok. It was a large leg and thigh. I’m more of a white meat guy, but I put a little more sauce on it and that made it pretty good. Next, I dug into the pulled pork. It was heaven. The pork was so tender yet had such a great smokey flavor. After testing out the meat, I loaded up on BBQ sauce just because. On each table was a bottle of their Carolina style tomato based BBQ sauce. After eating about half of the pork, I gave the ribs a shot. I went to pick up the ribs by the first bone but the bone came off. It didn’t just come off, it came off clean. Talk about “fallin off the bone.” These ribs didn’t give me any resistance when I gave the bone a little tug. The fries were fresh cut, but not cooked very well. They could have been a little more golden and crispy, but I still gobbled them up. All the extra BBQ sauce on the plate coated the fries and made them tasty. I didn’t even get to the corn. By the time I was full, I had about half of my pork and and the corn cob still sitting there.
J ordered the pulled pork platter. She also got two sides and she chose cole slaw and baked beans. She used the two points of Texas toast that came with the meal to make a little sandwich. She ate on her pork for ten minutes and there was still a pile big enough to feed a family left on her plate. She said the cole slaw was pretty good and she’s normally picky about cole slaw. The beans were also pretty good, but the real surprise was just how much pork was left when it was time to quit.
When we put in our order, we also told the waitress we were going to put in a to-go order for J’s parents. The waitress took the order right away and just as we were finishing our meal, she came out with two to-go boxes. Our meal came up really quick. I don’t think we sat there more than five minutes before the two plates piled with BBQ came out. The total for the four platters was just over $55 and total time spent in the restaurant was less than a half hour. I was a mess when we left. I had BBQ sauce everywhere including on my cell phone. I used two different forks because I kept getting so much sauce on the one I was using that it was literally sticking to my hand. I told J there is no way I would take her to a place like that on a first date. She told me she was used to me be a “messy boy” now so it was ok.
The Pit Rib House was awesome. I was a little timid on ordering the sampler platter because in the past, other places have skimped on the meats, but still jacked up the price. I would guess The Pit Platter is the best value on the menu at $15. My favorite part of coming to Chicago, other than seeing J’s parents, is eating out. We don’t even venture into the city, but the south suburbs have a plethora of incredible restaurants. The Pit Rib House is one of those that will be hard not to go back to.