Small towns delight me, and especially in the Deep South or Upper Midwest. You can drive around almost any corner, and find a gem of a surprise, whether it’s a small town festival, a jewel of a piece of architecture, a funky shop, or a surprise of a restaurant.
Mrs. Burgerdogboy and I hit one last year by accident, we were driving down US 101 in California, feeling a bit hungry, and I said out loud “at the next exit we will pull off and there will be some cool small town thing happening, and we will eat there.” The town was Paso Robles, and it was the “Barbecue Fest in the Park”, which was a little short on fest, and a little short on BBQ, but we, and the newest member of our family, our beautiful dog “Liv”, had a great time.
Tooling around outstate Illinois today, I was looking for one place, and ended up at another. One of those places the car automatically slams on the brakes because of an aroma in the air.
Today it was the smoke from an outdoor barbecue, and the place is called “The Country Store and Catering” in Sycamore, IL. More of a butcher counter than anything, the retail portion is full of house-made sausages and smoked meats. But behind the register, there’s a sign with their grilled meats available as sandwiches, and I went with a ‘seasoned butterflied pork chop’.
Served on a hamburger bun with your choice of a whole host of condiments, including six different barbecue sauces, this is one fine sandwich, and one great piece of meat.
Clear blue summer skies, great barbecue, pastoral countryside, the kind of stop Mrs. Burgerdogboy and Liv would have really enjoyed. But they couldn’t make this trip. Maybe next time.