I’m joined by Real Urban Barbecue owner Jeff Shapiro at his new location at 5238 Touhy in Skokie (“Smokie”). I’ve been going to his Highland Park location for years, and was a fan long before he broke ground just west of the Edens.
Before we started the podcast interview, he took me on a tour of the restaurant. You can see that on the Car Con Carne YouTube page (https://youtu.be/zabYQ3hnO_4).
During the episode, we talk about:
- Scouting and vetting processes needed to open a successful restaurant
- Why Skokie?
- Burnt ends: What are they, and why are they so damn delicious? (Turbinado sugar helps.)
- St. Louis ribs can’t get arrested in Chicago
- Me: “I want to drink the barbecue sauce.” Jeff: “I’ve got a straw.”
- The 24 hour cooking cycle: How is that managed?
- My misbehavior as a teenager at the local Holiday Inn
- The sides at Real Urban Barbecue keep me coming back. Jeff doesn’t share my boundless love for his Brussels sprouts
- “This whole time, I should’ve been eating like an adult.”
- Smoking garlic: “It’s unbelievable”
- Why are rib tips only an Oakbrook thing?
- How do you know when you’re being too aggressive with growth in business?
- The need to have a “snack side” for the trip home
- My son interrupts the show to ask for pulled pork