• Eddies BBQ
  • Lems BBQ
  • Sprags BBQ
  • Rib Palace BBQ


Famous Dave

Famous Dave AndersonFamous Dave grew up in Chicago eating at some of the classic BBQ joints in town.

The slideshow at the top shows some of the places he talks about in his story.

By "Famous" Dave Anderson

I am often asked where I grew up and how I got started in BBQ.

My dad was a Choctaw Indian from Idabel OK and my mom a Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Indian from Hayward Wi. Both were taken from their families as kids and stuck in the Bureau of Indian Affairs Boarding Schools. They met at Haskel Institute for Indians in Lawrence, Kansas. After marrying they moved to Chicago and my dad being an old southern boy used to take my mom down south every other weekend until she learned how to cook southern. My dad knew ever southern diner, soul food joint, and every black owned bbq joint from Chicago down to Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kentucky.

However it was Chicago that my dad really knew where the good barbeque joints were. And I knew my family was different because when other families were going out for pizza and burgers... my family was usually going to Eddie's Open Pit Bar-B-Q one of the real pit bbq joints in Chicago. It was located in Logan Square right across from the "L" station and a police station. I always remember the pit that was in the window and when you walked in you could hear the chop chop chop of the ribs being cut on a big wood butcher block. They had a big sign over the pit that said "We sell over 7 tons of ribs every month!" and I always have remembered that. The Eddie's Open Pit Bar-B-Q picture is from the early 60's... and I am still in contact with Ray McGillis who is the son of Eddie.

Next was the original Lem's that was first located on 59th & State St. and my dad knew the family and even today I am still friends.

The one place I miss is Sprag's that used to be on Kedzie & Lake St. ...they had some of the best "hot" whole spare ribs that would make your forehead sweat. And our families other favorite places was Farmer Browns that used to be on Clyborn and North Ave. and the Rib Palace on Central & Lake which is still there. My dad never liked Carson's, Twin Anchors, or Gale Street Inn because he thought they weren't the real deal!

So I though ya'll might enjoy this piece of Chicago's history of what I know about Chicago Barbeque going way back!!!

Rib-O-Liciously Yours,

"Famous Dave"



Copyright © 2013 Illinois Barbeque Alliance. All rights reserved.   249 E. Irving Park Rd, Woodale, IL 60191

Terms & Conditions | Privacy Statement