Barbecue chefs identify themselves by the signature flavors of their sauces, which they brush onto slabs of meat and hand to police officers during routine traffic stops. Sample handcrafted piquancy with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of barbecue fare at Crystal Lake Rib House.
At Crystal Lake Rib House, pit master David Faccone proudly dishes out an impressive menu of mouthwatering barbecue fare, including ribs voted the best in McHenry County by the Northwest Herald’s reader’s poll three years running. The signature baby back ribs ($14.95 for half slab; $19.95 for full) partake in a flavorful gauntlet of prep work, replete with smoking, grilling, and slathering of the house's special sauce before sailing onto salvers with a retinue of homemade honey butter, coleslaw, and a fresh baked roll. Hearty stews of rib house chili ($3.95 for cup; $6.95 for bowl) deck taste buds in savory flavors and molten bolo ties, and traditional barbecue fixings such as smoky baked beans ($2.25 for 8 oz.; $3.75 for 16 oz.) round out plates of slow-smoked rib tips ($9.95+). In addition to its succulent cuts of pork, chefs artfully prepare servings of barbecue free-range chicken ($10.95 for half; $12.95 for whole) sheathed in a handcrafted dry-rub and served with grilled pita bread.
Crystal Lake Rib House welcomes guests to its sheltered porch, where they can admire the folksy charm of its farmhouse, workaday exterior. Like grandma's breakfast table, the cozy interior seats 26, surrounding diners with down-home décor, hardwood floors, and lace-curtained windows.
Crystal Lake Rib House
Inside the kitchens of Crystal Lake Rib House, chef David Faccone takes a methodical, multistep approach to making his baby back ribs: he covers them with dry rub, smokes them, and finally chargrills them before brushing over the final product with housemade barbecue sauce. His work has paid off—his tender baby back slabs earned the restaurant for over seven years 2009 thru 2015 Best of the Fox Award for Barbrque from Planit Northwest, as well as praise from Pat Bruno of the Chicago Sun-Times, who called them "a gift from the Gods of barbecue." In addition to ribs, the cooks also chargrill half-pound burgers, topping them with lettuce and tomato or a meaty pile of pulled pork and melted cheddar. The kitchen’s old-fashioned attention to smoked flavor is reflected in the building itself, an old house whose wooden front porch is adorned with wagon wheels. Inside, rustic hardwood floors support tables topped with white-and-red-checkered cloths, where patrons dip their spoons into hearty chili and sip domestic and imported brews.
Crystal Lake Rib House also arranges catering services for office gatherings, family reunions, and pool parties near bubbling barbecue-sauce springs. They have even catered for celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Randy Travis, and Illinois governors, according to staff.
5111 E Terra Cotta Ave.
Crystal Lake, Illinois 60014