If you've always dreamed of opening your own corner rib shack or Chicago style hot dog joint/greasy spoon, this is the place to start stocking up on supplies. This West Side warehouse-style grocery store is packed to the gills with barrel-size jars of BBQ sauce, spice rubs, salad dressings and the protein and veg to go with it.
The backbone of soul food cooking—leafy collards and bunches of kale—greet you as you enter. House-cured slabs of bacon rub up against short ribs cut three different ways including thin cross cut if you're looking to cook it up Korean style. If your shopping list includes specialty cuts or offal, you'll find plastic bags of various organs, bible tripe and pig's feet. Smoked ham hocks and pork neck bones are available for fresh stocks or a batch of pea soup.
The legendary house-cured hot links, in pork or beef, are a must try, and at $5.99 for a small box, a great deal when you consider you'd pay half that for one link at a local rib shack. The meat prices in general are incomparably cheap and justify the trip alone.
Centerstage Reviewer: Michael Nagrant