Whiskey River is a throwback to the old roadhouses, full of old beer can collections, rock and roll photos, and every inch crammed with signs, guitars and maybe a taxidermied animal or two. Add an endless number of flat-screen TVs, and the updated roadhouse is complete. Outdoor seating is available, with a view of the forest preserve across the street.
No booths at this restaurant, just plenty of tables, chairs, and bar stools (perhaps to allow for some late night dancing should it happen). A second bar upstairs allows for more space and room for private parties (as was happening the evening we were there). Rock and country music comprise the playlist, maintaining the honky-tonk vibe.
Plenty of variety on the food and drinks menus, though much of it leans towards bar and grill fare. Much of the typical fare has been tweaked, like the nachos, which include chili and coleslaw, along with a cheese sauce, very tasty update. Our other appetizer, Southwestern Egg Rolls, were tasty but a bit soft, could have used some crunch. We stayed away from what might be the world's saltiest popcorn, though I bet it would go down easily sitting at the bar with cold beers. On the drinks menu, mixed drinks lean towards the classic long island iced tea in a mason jar options, with draft beer, craft beer, craft sodas, and some wine rounding out the choices.
At a BBQ joint, you gotta try the barbecue, right? We decided to share the Combo Big Momma Sampler, 1/2 slab of ribs, 1/2 lb pulled pork, 1/4 lb brisket, with 3 sauces to try out: Carolina, Memphis, and Kansas City - we each had our favorite, though mixing them ended up being a fun part of the meal. The meat was all fall-off- the-bone tender, all tasty, with the brisket being my favorite that night. Sides included Cajun Green Beans (crisp but not particularly spicy), Alabama Slaw, Spicy Bacon Potato Salad (very good but again not very spicy), and Cornbread with whipped butter, which was flat out fantastic. I'm sure the rest of the menu is equally good, but I'd order this (or the larger Big Daddy Sampler, which also includes chicken) again in a heartbeat. We saved room for dessert, opting for the Brownie Sundae Bowl, very tasty, though I'd leave off the maraschino cherry and off nuts for those inclined. No espresso, but straight up coffee id available.
If you're in the mood for roadhouse ambiance, rock and country music, and tasty barbecue all wrapped up in one spot, then make Whiskey River BBQ your destination. Plenty of food and drink options and, if you're a sports fan, plenty of games on to keep you occupied.
This meal was comped for review purposes - all opinions are my own.
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