BBQ for Breakfast at Wrigley BBQ | Chicago BBQ Series
Updated: Oct 5, 2020
If you're not careful, Chicago has a way of shrinking. Especially as it gets colder outside.
In the summertime, you're happy to bounce around from Wicker Park to Logan Square to the West Loop. But when it's 30 degrees, 20 degrees, single digits, the big city becomes just your home neighborhood. The neighborhood becomes one street. One street becomes one couch and a Netflix account.
My wife and I have lived in Lakeview for six years but, for whatever reason, like a dog with an electric fence we've had this invisible barrier in place at Broadway and Belmont. Rarely had we stepped across it. I've eaten a few times at the Chicken Hut right there on the corner, the restaurant where you walk by their main window and they've got dozens of whole golden brown chickens sizzling on an open grill, but that's about it. Any time we've gone north to Wrigley, we've taken Clark Street.
Video by Mike Q on Yelp.
The Art of BBQ
Back in September, the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce held its annual Festival of the Arts. The event starts at Belmont and they block off Broadway all the way up to Hawthorne. If you're going to this Festival, it's time to venture north of the Belmont and Broadway barrier.
What you'll find with the shops located on this stretch of Broadway from Belmont up to Addison, is any of the regulars walking out of these stores will tell you, "This is the best place in the city." Like the guy walking out of the Coffee & Tea Exchange on the corner of Broadway and Aldine. "Best coffee grounds in the city. Hands down." Unabridged Bookstore: "Best bookstore in the city. I love this place." Ann Sather: Best cinnamon rolls. You gotta try 'em. Windy City Sweets: Best candy store.
And, perfect for this series, you'll also find Milt's BBQ for the Perplexed and Wrigley BBQ on this stretch of Broadway; two places that can hold their own as some of the best bbq spots in the entire city.
Oddly enough, my first introduction to Wrigley BBQ was a bbq sauce demonstration at the Lakeview East Festival of the Arts. Does BBQ count as art? Absolutely. It's a craft that Wrigley BBQ's Owner and Pitmaster, Mitch Liebovich, has been working on his entire life. He made his first brisket at age three.
Mitch was standing on a stage behind a table with a bunch of seasonings, bottles of sauces, and a couple of pans on top of a makeshift stovetop. He was showing the crowd how they make their annual fall classic, the "Angry Pumpkin" sauce. Mitch would cut up the habaneros and it seemed like the Chicago wind waited for these exact moments to send in a new gust. This was like an extreme version of a Food Network show. Can you stay on top of your game with habanero blowing into your eyes?
But he powered through, gave everyone in the crowd a free bottle of the Angry Pumpkin sauce. It lasted maybe a week in our house. We went back to buy two more bottles. It will become a fall staple in our house.
And then, on Sunday, October 20th, we went to the physical restaurant to tackle one epic Sunday BBQ brunch.
Start the Day with some BBQ
Ashley and I arrived five minutes before Wrigley BBQ was scheduled to open. We were like the BBQ equivalents of Black Friday shoppers or hardcore iPhone fans. We went over to the Jewel Osco just to kill some time. Try to look less like BBQ junkies itching for our pre-noon fix.