Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



Zealous; Q-BBQ
DISH Weekly Dining Guide in Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 3872 times since Wed Oct 24, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

It's interesting that more restaurants don't employ this idea.

If a dining establishment is around long enough, it discontinues certain items—sometimes seasonally, sometimes permanently. However, if the dishes are popular enough, it'd be nice to have a "greatest hits" menu, if you will.

This is something Zealous (419 W. Superior St.; ) did recently with its "Best of the Best" menu offering.

The five-course meal started with scallops wrapped in proscuitto and basil in rice paper—a dish the restaurant first unveiled in 1993. (Zealous was in Elmhurst and moved to its current River North location approximately 15 years ago.) What followed was grilled Hudson Valley foie gras, spicy lobster toast and roasted pineapple vinaigrette (2000); for me, this was the highlight of the night.

Next was a delightful olio consisting of seared duck breast, sweet Illinois cornbread, caramelized onion barbecue sauce and black-bean corn salsa (1995). To cleanse the palate, we had rhubarb soup and peach sorbet with green apple and strawberry (a version of the chilled lychee and melon soup that patrons had in 1997). Last, but certainly not least, there was a dessert combo consisting of chocolate ginger pudding cake, sticky rice coconut panna cotta and opal basil ice cream (1999).

Sadly, the "Best of the Best" has been, well, discontinued. However, I'm confident the idea will return. However, Zealous' current five-course menu is bound to delight patrons as well, with dishes such as roasted duck breast, tortellini and sweet potato emulsion with pistachio vinaigrette; and a dessert duo of Armagnac-soaked prune chocolate cake with ice cream and a warm Ni-o doughnut with chocolate ginger ice cream. (There is also a seven-course meal with a quartet of desserts.)

Other offerings at Zealous range from Szechuan blue crab cakes to roasted halibut to Korean-style fried Miller Farm chicken to the "Z" burger, which comes with Havarti cheese and a tomato remoulade on a house-made dill roll.

Also, the service is impeccable, as one would naturally expect—and chef Michael Taus not only has culinary skills but social ones as well, as he is quite engaging. He can engagingly talk about music for hours, but probably knows a ton about other topics as well.

So, going from Zealous to the offerings at Q-BBQ (locations in Naperville and LaGrange;;), I was initially a bit concerned.

Being a hardcore city dweller, the suburbs are literally a whole new world for me (although, strangely enough, I love the suburban feel of the city's Andersonville neighborhood). As I saw Chicago disappear in the rear-view mirror, my heart slowly sank, thinking that somehow my quality of life would be sacrificed simply by driving out to Naperville.

Well, I plan on going back to Naperville. Q-BBQ is one of those places where you can't help but smile while you're there and when you leave.

When you walk in, the servers give you the biggest (genuine) smiles you've probably seen at a restaurant in some time. As soon as you sit, the word that springs to mind is "homey." It's a very comfortable space with a variety of music coming from the speakers, from country to rock to pop.

The charming Abby suggested the Papa-Q sampler platter, which sounded challenging. (Vegetarians are pretty much out of luck here, except for maybe the "Creamy Q-Slaw" and green beans.) It's pretty much a farm on a tray: pulled chicken, pulled beef, pulled pork, spicy sausage, ribs, chicken wings—you get the idea. However, you also get two sides, and I opted for the Mac-Q-cheese (which is topped with Cheez-Its) and the baked beans (which one of my dining companions loved even more than I did). By the way, there are several sauces there, ranging from tangy to make-you-sweat hot.

The meats were uniformly tasty—although things got even better when Abby suggested we try the brisket burnt ends (which are slow-roasted for 22 hours, given a rub and roasted for two more hours). They were heavenly.

Even when you leave, there's a sign that reads "Thank Q, Naperville." Yes, it's cheesy—but again, you sense that the sentiment is real.

My friends and I thoroughly enjoyed Q-BBQ's food, service and down-home atmosphere. I might even become suburban—well, let's just say that I'll visit the suburbs again.

This article shared 3872 times since Wed Oct 24, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

SAVOR Hamburger Mary's, Tom of Finland Vodka and more
—The Hamburger Mary's restaurant in Orlando—famous for its burgers and drag shows—is suing the state of Florida and DeSantis in federal court, claiming an anti-drag bill is a violation of ...

Gay News

Chef Art Smith talks upcoming dinner and activism
More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease, including more than 230,000 Illinoisans. Additionally, more than 11 million family members and friends serve as dementia caregivers, with more than 383,000 caregivers in Illinois. Unti ...

Gay News

SAVOR Cafe Robey: Laid-back vibes and enticing cuisine
The junction of North, Milwaukee and Damen avenues in Wicker Park is probably one of the best-known intersections in Chicago. (Some refer to this intersection as "Six Corners" but others say this is incorrect, as that ...

Gay News

SAVOR 'Round Table II' brings chefs, nonprofits together to discuss collective vision
On May 15, the Avondale restaurant eden, 2734 W. Roscoe St., was the site of a rather extraordinary gathering of Chicagoland chefs, nonprofit CEOs and other business leaders in a moving discussion that centered on building ...

Gay News

SAVOR Say 'oui' to Francois Frankie
The last time I went to the French-American spot Francois Frankie was before the pandemic (2019, to be precise) and its brunch was one of the most impressive I had the pleasure of experiencing that year. ...

Gay News

Howard Brown responds to FDA's relaxation of blood-donation guidelines
Howard Brown Health has responded to The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s elimination of restrictions that had previously barred many blood donations by gay and bisexual men. The FDA said it will recommend a series of ...

Gay News

SAVOR Mother's Day restaurant recommendations in Chicago
Mother's Day might be right around the corner (on Sunday, May 14) but there's still time to make reservations at some of the coolest spots in Chicago. Here are a few spots/ideas to consider for Mom's ...

Gay News

SAVOR Omi Hopper takes it to the 'Next Level' on reality-competition show
Omi Hopper knows all about changing one's life. During the COVID pandemic, she decided (out of necessity) to create a social-media presence involving her cooking Puerto Rican dishes. Since then, Hopper (best known as @CookingConOmi) ha ...

Gay News

SAVOR Chef aims to help youths in oppressed communities; Hotel Zachary space opens
The Evolved Network aims to help youths in systemically oppressed communities through gardening, culinary training and employment opportunities, among other ways. The organization is the brainchild of Sebastian White, a ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Scientist/activist dies, trans author passes, Alabama schools, Title IX
Philadelphia's Ada Bello—a pioneering LGBTQ+ activist and longtime laboratory chemist for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the University of Pennsylvania—died March 31 of pneumonia and COVID-19 at Chestnut Hill Hospital at age 89, p ...

Gay News

Lesbian-owned Taylor's Tacos opens shop on Chicago's Near West Side
In the world of brick-and-mortar businesses, Taylor's Tacos (1512 W. Taylor St.; is finally making its mark, as the place selling authentic street-style tacos with soulful twists is firmly ...

Gay News

SAVOR Levain Bakery; Barbie pop-up
Chicago, of course, has scores of bakeries—but there's certainly room for Levain Bakery (840 W. Randolph St.;, which has a tasty brand-new offering. Levain also has spots in D.C. ...

Gay News

SAVOR The Albert stuns with Calabrian-inspired cuisine; Dolci Amori
The Hotel EMC2, in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood, certainly stands out in a city that's started with places to stay. Elements of arts and science are present throughout the hotel, from the room to the lobby to ...

Gay News

Quigley, Torres, Sorensen lead letter to FDA on updated blood donation guidance
--From a press release - Washington, DC - Today, U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley (IL-05), Ritchie Torres (NY-15), and Eric Sorensen (IL-17) led 23 members in a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration ...

Gay News

SAVOR Mexican spot Tzuco maintains high standards
Chef Carlos Gaytan has never failed to impress. He initially opened Mexique—with French-inspired Mexican offerings in Chicago's West Town—in 2008, running that spot for a decade. Along the way, he became the first Mexican chef to ...


Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.