New Illinois BBQ Joint Might Have The Best Brisket You’ll Ever Have
On the evening before writing this article I tried what was arguably the best barbecue I've ever had. If you know me, have read enough of my articles, or listened to my radio show, you know I'm a foodie to the max. I have tried some of "the best" burgers around the 815 (based on opinions) and have been underwhelmed by a few of them. I'll always give an honest review. For this experience, I went to a new spot on its opening night, which is not my norm.
Typically I avoid brand new restaurants for a least a month after opening to allow the kinks to get worked out. I'm not sure what made me break my own rule but I'm glad I did.
Byron, Illinois is a small Northern Illinois town with plenty of dining options. For years you would find your basic bar foods mixed in with some extensive menus covering all tastes and meals, except one thing, barbecue. It's not that barbecue items were missing from menus but there wasn't a dedicated barbecue joint until now. That has changed with the opening of The Deaf Pig.
Before I reveal the meal I slowly devoured as to enjoy every bite, how about a quick look at the inside?
The Deaf Pig BBQ+Booze, 120 N. Union St, Byron
This location was Aero Ale House and Fifth Alarm previous to the new restaurant. You may have seen the inside of those places prior to The Deaf Pig but the inside is noticeably different.
The atmosphere inside is dimly lit and dark with music playing at just the right volume creating a perfect environment for enjoying a bite and a drink. I was greeted by a friendly bartender welcoming me as if I were a regular, which I probably will turn into.
Though the setup is a little similar to past restaurants that once occupied this space, it's visually different. I most loved the lighting along the ceiling, it resembles Italian outdoor light. Not too dark, not too bright, but just right. Oh, and the smell you're welcomed with gets your tastebuds excited.
The sitting on the sound side of the restaurant is perfectly placed, allowing guests to enjoy their meals and conversation without being on top of other tables. The newest addition to the space is an area with a shuffleboard and a stage angled nearby.
In the middle of the room is a sauce station for guests to use while enjoying that mouth-watering barbecue. There's also extra cutlery and napkins for messy eaters like me.
The garage doors remain as well, which has been a staple for the restaurants of the past. Why are there doors? The building was Byron's original fire station, with the original concrete label on the exterior of the building.
There is a lot to love about this bbq joint and you'll be punishing yourself by not planning a visit with your special someone, your family, some friends, or even solo.
Here is another view opposite the main entrance along Union Street.
The Menu Won't Make You Anxious
Here's the thing, the menu is two-sided menu has enough options to provide plenty of choices without being overwhelming. You definitely need to get the fries with whatever you choose to order. I'm not sure what is in the BBQ seasoning specifically but it must have been made with bits of Heaven.
For my meal, I choose the 12-hour Smoked Brisket with America's BBQ sauce, Deaf Pig slaw, pickles, and Carolina Tangy sauce. I'm not kidding when I tell you this was the best brisket I've ever had. It was so unbelievably tender, so juicy, and is making me drool just thinking about it.
Another great option that I didn't try is the Pulled pork sandwich with Alabama white BBQ sauce. Yes, I'm the guy who asked the neighbor at the bar to take a picture of his food for me. He, too, loved his choice.
Even if you normally are a slaw person (I'm not either) I implore you to try it on the sandwich, you'll thank me later. Check out the menu here. The Deaf Pig is located at 120 N. Union Street in Byron.