Friday, April 20, 2012

The Restaurant That Keeps Me Coming Back By: Aaron

Aaron is an elementary school teacher who loves going to see bands play, reading, and watching sports. He enjoys dining out because it is time spent with friends and family without worry, and a reason to celebrate or try new things. Aaron's favorite kind of food is Chicago-style pizza from Burt's Pizza.

My aspirations of one day becoming a champion pitmaster came to an abrupt end with the first bite of the pulled pork sandwich from South Moon BBQ (Hinckley, Il.). There aren’t enough adjectives to describe how titillating this sandwich is. Subtly smoked and sauced with a deft hand, this behemoth might be the most memorable BBQ experience I’ve encountered in my 34 years*. A perfect ratio of fresh baked bun to pork to sauce, complimented perfectly by any of four sides makes for one hearty meal.

I honestly think the reason why new "country" restaurants are so good is because they know they have to be, and that there's no margin for error in what they do. Traditional/cultural/ethnic small town restaurants have to properly articulate and refine their craft to gain and maintain business, to make the diner’s drive and experience completely worthwhile and so those diners share their emprise with others. Decent city (Chicago and suburban) restaurants are a dime a dozen, and any given person will choose “this Thai to that Thai” because of personal preference, but it’s all fairly similar. Country ones don’t have that luxury; South Moon BBQ is no exception and the fare delivered takes nothing for granted. I suppose being directly between my home and work doesn't hurt their chances of my appreciation, but the food they are putting out is exceptional. The staff is polite and helpful, treating each customer like lifelong friends. The menu at South Moon is concise and to the point as well as being fairly priced.

The drawback at South Moon is more or less a backhanded compliment: I wish there was a real seating area instead of a few small tables. I’d definitely enjoy spending more time with “Pork Chop” and his family eating a delicious meal and shooting the breeze while admiring the kitschy wall d├ęcor (originally packaged action figures including: KISS, Star Wars, and Indiana Jones).

South Moon has a charm unlike many restaurants and transcendent BBQ, and that is why South Moon BBQ is a restaurant that keeps me coming back.

(*Save for Carson’s Ribs, because going there always marked a special event or Russell’s which is a nostalgic, familial past time.)

South Moon BBQ
146 E Lincoln Hwy
Hinckley, IL 60520
(815) 286-9227

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