We finished up our mini-vacation in Illinois on Saturday. The purpose of our trip was so J could judge an IHSA speech regional in Orland Park which is another one of Chicago’s south suburbs. I slept in, but met her at the school later in the day. When it was time to head back to Michigan, we left straight from there instead of going back to her parents. Before we could do that though, we had to make one more stop for food.
The Patio Restaurant of Orland Park is one of four in a local chain. It’s another place that J’s parents eat at often and have suggested to us in the past. The Patio sits on 195th Street. The building is huge. The parking lot…not so much. It took a while for us to find a spot on a busy Saturday night. I didn’t have much hope of actually getting a table, but J assured me we would be ok.
The inside of The Patio is a wide open space that is decorated to resemble a patio. The furniture is more patio furniture than lawn furniture and the ceilings are high, vaulted, and decorated to make you feel like it is open air. The restaurant is set up so you order in the front of the building then take a seat with a number. Your food is brought to you a few minutes later.
We put our order in, grabbed our drinks and found a table. Again, I couldn’t believe how many people their were. We actually found a table for eight, but only took half of it. J’s mom was with us, so the three of us sat down and waited. We didn’t get anything too complicated and five minutes later, a man showed up at our table with a tray of food.
Did I mention that The Patio is a BBQ place? So, in this trip home, I got pizza, Italian beef, and BBQ. It was like the perfect culinary experience. J and I both got pulled pork sandwiches and fries. J’s mom said they were known for their ribs, but I don’t like eating ribs in public. The pulled pork was pretty good. They had bottles of sauce on their table and I added a lot more of that. The sauce they put on was a Carolina style vinegar sauce which I’m not a huge fan of. I like it, but I like the sweeter Memphis sauce better which was they had on the table. The fries out of the bag fries that dipped well in the BBQ sauce. I ate all of mine and a little of J’s. Neither of us had really had much to eat so we were starving.
J’s mom ordered some kind of Greek pita wrap that was on the special board. It was served open face and I actually thought it was a salad. There was a lot of chicken and a lot of feta cheese.
The Patio was good. Not the best BBQ I’ve had in Chicago even though their website claims they’ve been voted by BBQ 10 years in a row by “Chicago newspapers.” It was quick, it was sort of laid back, and it was good. The bill for the three of us was just over $27. They have a bar so you can relax with a few cold ones just like you would on your own patio. I say “sort of laid back” because we had a manager almost hovering over us near the end of the meal. He was trying to seat a party of 12 in a crowded restaurant and for some reason, he chose to stand right next to me for like five minutes. I’m just not comfortable in places where the people are shoulder to shoulder and squeezing behind each other to get to an open table. The good thing was the place was big enough to handle the crowds. The bad thing is, The Patio is so good, that many people don’t mind fighting the crowds so you’re not going to enjoy a quiet, intimate evening….but you are going to get good “Q”