Father’s Day is just around the corner and Josh Darr, the BBQ mind behind Oak Park’s Darr-B-Q (DBQ) catering and pop-up dinners, has a menu designed to make the most of the manly holiday.
My husband recently celebrated a major birthday and I used his graceful aging as an excuse to check out many of DBQ’s Father’s Day offerings. Needless to say we had a considerable feast (and loads of leftovers), but the reality is DBQ is a memorable way to get some local fare with some down home flair!
DBQ’s holiday menu features an array of summer favorites including brisket, pulled pork and ribs as well as sides like mac n’ cheese, coleslaw, and mashed potatoes. Brisket empanadas, fried chicken with honey butter, and smoked chicken salad offer creative complements to the traditional menu.
“My dad is from Texas. He isn’t here anymore and that brings a level of sentimentality to my menu,” said Darr. “The food is reminiscent of my dad—he was always on the back porch grilling up ribs. My classic meats are a personal homage to him.”
DBQ is known for offering new and creative menus each week and offers customers the option to add on charitable donation to their dinner order.
“Initially my focus was on restaurant employee relief,” said Darr, “Now my focus is on the community.”
Parties ordering from DBQ for Father’s Day have the option of donating to My Block, My Hood, My City, a Chicago based non-profit whose mission is to provide “underprivileged youth with an awareness of the world and opportunities beyond their neighborhood.” In addition, the organization is providing relief for small businesses impacted by recent looting in the city.
Darr says Father’s Day orders placed to date have generated $500 for the organization.
Pre-orders for DBQ’s Father’s Day Menu are being accepted now on the DBQ website. Friday pick-up slots are sold out, but space is still available for curbside pick-up in Oak Park on Saturday and Sunday after 12:30 pm. Space is limited.
Building a DBQ Feast
I asked Darr what his perfect Father’s Day DBQ order would include. Naturally, he had a hard time deciding, but finally built his perfect celebratory meal.
“It’s Father’s Day and people are looking for an excuse to have a small celebration,” said Darr.
Josh’s Darr’s Father’s Day Feast:
Appetizers: Brisket Empanadas and Fried Green Tomatoes
Darr does not play when it comes to empanadas and give a solid nod to his mother’s Panamanian heritage. The pastry-wrapped empanadas feature a filling made of chopped smoked brisket mixed with tomato, annatto seeds, and olives.
Fried Green Tomatoes are one of DBQ’s most popular menu items. Thin sliced and fried the crunchy morsels are serve with a white BBQ sauce for dipping.
Entrée: Two Meat and Two Sides—Brisket, Chicken Salad, Smoked Beans and Elote Salad
According to Darr ordering his hickory smoked brisket is a no-brainer. Even after watching his grandfather smoking 3-4 briskets per day as a child, Darr spent eight years perfecting his 16-hour smoked brisket. The meat is smoked over a hickory wood base with the addition of apple and pecan wood in smaller amounts. The hickory gives Darr’s brisket a robust flavor, while the addition of apple and pecan wood bring sweetness and complexity to the finished product.
If you are looking for a lighter option to round out your two-meat meal, Darr favors his smoked chicken salad. Bound with white BBQ sauce and spiked with pecan, the salad also boasts a curious heat from giardiniera.
All sides at DBQ are vegetarian friendly, but that doesn’t mean they lack flavor. Darr is excited about his smoked beans and fresh elote style corn salad. Darr starts with dried beans so they keep their integrity nicely after a long cook. The elote salad takes inspiration from Mexican street food.
Dessert: Individual Cobbler Cakes with assorted fruits
A little bit cobbler, a little bit cake and just enough for one. Darr changes up the fruits in cobbler cakes regularly, but expects cherry, strawberry and peach to make appearances over Father’s Day Week-end.