The Full Slab
34500 N Us Highway 45, 847-752- 2BBQ (2227)

Tony got back from Toronto last night and I held off on eating dinner so we could go out. We drove a little aimlessly and wound up going down 45 and decided to try The Full Slab. We’d seen it before when going to the grocery store right next to it (great place for Greek stuff; though you’d never guess that from the name…something like Sunrise or Sunset or something like that). The Full Slab looked packed the last time we’d driven by, so we figured it would be a fairly safe bet.

From their website you can see that they say that “BBQ” is their claim to fame and that’s definitely the focus of the menu. Tony tried a half-rack of their St. Louis-style ribs (sides: slaw made with broccoli and loaded potato salad) and I had 3 barbecue sliders (1 pork, 2 chicken) and a loaded baked potato.

Tony said the ribs had a pretty good flavor and were overall pretty good. The one big issue with them is that they don’t bother to remove the membrane, which makes the ribs stick to the bone and much harder to eat. It’s a fairly easy step that a lot of restaurants don’t take and it makes such a huge difference if you do (much less tough, meat falls from the bone, very tender). They also do a baby-back style rib, so maybe those are a little easier to eat. The potato salad was prety good though it (strangely enough) tasted a lot like the kind of macaroni salad you find at potlucks. His dinner also came with a side of cornbread that ought to have a warning on it — it was good, but it was covered in cinnamon butter. If you aren’t expecting that, it really takes you by surprise (and besides, it goes better as a “dessert” thing than as a side dish).

The sliders were pretty good, though they were a little bigger than I anticipated. I prefered the chicken over the pork. One nice touch is that the table had 5 or 6 bottles of different style barbecue sauces (Kansas City-style, Chicago-style, etc.) so you could try out different flavors. Though the sliders were already pretty soaked in sauce (not sure which one), so you wound up mixing flavors. The baked potato was a disappointment. It had a weird taste to it, though the topping stuff (sour cream, cheese, crumbled bacon) was good. I’m honestly not sure what they did to the baked potato to get it to taste that way.

Inside, the place has a definite bar feel and that seems to be their main focus. The restaurant is divided into smoking and non-smoking and the non section was off to the side and much smaller. They do blues on Friday nights, which is cool. We were alone in the non-smoking section with one other family (including a little boy who showed us his air guitar routine — really funny — he was like a little mini Beavis or Butthead…definitely a heavy metal air guitar).

The drink servings, in fact, were very “healthy” as far as size goes. I had a strawberry lemonade (*really* sweet) and it was served in a huge mug. Tony had a somewhat pricey mojito and it was served in a regular water-glass size.

The servers were friendly enough and very smiley. Overall, I’d say the place was okay, but not great. I’m picky about ribs, too, since Tony makes some really, really awesome ones. It’s a hard thing to beat, especially out. They do have an all-you-can-eat rib night on Mondays, so if we’ve ever got some huge barbecue fans staying with us, maybe we’ll stop on by.

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