Local Business Profile
By Ryan Fergus
Walking In Memphis
Tennessee Native Brings BBQ Expertise to Hillside
Barbeque lovers living in Chicagoland often have it rough. Not fortunate enough to live in the Barbeque “hot spots” of the country such as Kansas City, Austin, St. Louis or the Carolina’s, they’re often left with the watered-down, chain version of that sweet, tangy flavor that true barbeque fans savor. Luckily for those in the southwest suburbs, there is hope, and it’s located in a small strip mall in Hillside.
Memphis Jack’s, a true southern-style barbeque joint, opened its doors eleven months ago with the mission of bringing some of that mouth-watering flavor to Chicagoland. Owned and operated by Jack Adams III, the restaurant is a virtual recreation of the classic “joints” down South that are easy to miss, but almost always worth pulling off the interstate for.
The décor is spot on- Elvis posters plastered on the wall, B.B. King singin’ ‘bout his baby on the stereo and picnic-style benches for you and yours to sit while you tear apart a big rack of ribs, or a pulled pork sandwich (a Memphis Jack’s specialty). How about some free lemonade while you wait for your food? Done.
Sure, the furnishing is delicious in itself, but what about the food? According to Adams, a Memphis native who set-up a brief incarnation of Memphis Jack’s in Denver before coming to the Midwest, the truth is in the sauce.
“We make all our sauce in-house; it’s a secret recipe that I’ve been perfecting for over three years now.” The tantalizing topping adheres to the Memphis template of a half-tomato/half-vinegar-based blend (plus Adam’s secret spices of course). In addition, Memphis Jack’s applies an “everything fresh, everyday” policy to the whole menu, from the sauce, to the peach cobbler and even to the mac-n-cheese (the recipe of which coming from Adam’s own mother).
The result of all this hard work? BBQ heaven.