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updated: 9/2/2014 3:11 PM

Barbecue hogs the spotlight at Rock 'n Ribs in Lake Zurich

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  • Hungry? A full slab of ribs with sides of cornbread and macaroni and cheese at Rock 'n Ribs BBQ in Lake Zurich will fill you up. Not that hungry? Order a third of a rack.

       Hungry? A full slab of ribs with sides of cornbread and macaroni and cheese at Rock 'n Ribs BBQ in Lake Zurich will fill you up. Not that hungry? Order a third of a rack.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Sriracha sauce spices the chicken wings at Rock 'n Ribs BBQ in Lake Zurich.

       Sriracha sauce spices the chicken wings at Rock 'n Ribs BBQ in Lake Zurich.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Nachos come in two varieties at Rock 'n Ribs BBQ in Lake Zurich.

       Nachos come in two varieties at Rock 'n Ribs BBQ in Lake Zurich.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Rock 'n Ribs opened on South Rand Road in Lake Zurich earlier this year.

       Rock 'n Ribs opened on South Rand Road in Lake Zurich earlier this year.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • There are several items on the dessert menu at Rock 'n Ribs BBQ, but pecan pie deserves the spotlight.

       There are several items on the dessert menu at Rock 'n Ribs BBQ, but pecan pie deserves the spotlight.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Rock 'n Ribs opened on South Rand Road in Lake Zurich earlier this year.

       Rock 'n Ribs opened on South Rand Road in Lake Zurich earlier this year.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
By Thomas Witom
Daily Herald Correspondent

Rock 'n Ribs BBQ's recent arrival in Lake Zurich handily fills an underserved segment in the town's dining scene.

Run by Alice and Terry Banach of North Barrington, the venture is the couple's first as restaurateurs. They combined her love of food and background in design with his experience running a construction firm.

More importantly, the couple also brings to the table a proprietary recipe that earned them two trophies -- runner up and first place in 2012 and 2013, respectively -- from a heated local rib competition.

Tucked in a storefront space in the Village Square Shopping Center, the casual establishment has room for about 100 customers inside plus additional seating outdoors near its entrance. Diners choose and pay for their food at a counter, and everything is made to order.

Carryout orders are accommodated, and by fall, delivery service within a 5-mile radius is expected to be in place.

Vinyl albums from revered rock stars including Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Doors and Jimi Hendrix adorn the walls. And the trim menu picks up on the theme with categories like Opening Act, Main Stage, Headliner and The Back Up Singers.

Sriracha Sticky Wings, a signature dish that commands $12 for a dozen or $7 for a half-size order, make an excellent starter. Not your ordinary chicken wings, these flavorful crispy nibbles garner sweet and spicy notes from soy, ginger, honey and Sriracha hot sauce.

Among other appetizers are two kinds of nachos and Chunky Calico Steak Chili.

The baby pork ribs, dry-rubbed, slow-cooked, grilled and sauced with a house-made sauce, may not fall off the bone but are rave-worthy nonetheless. Ribs can be ordered in one-third, one-half and full-slab sizes to fit the diner's appetite. Homemade cornbread with a cakelike consistency accompanies the ribs and is studded with fresh corn kernels.

A dining partner found enjoyment in the lean, tender quarter-pound beef brisket sandwich. We shared sides of coleslaw in a sweet-and-tangy buttermilk dressing and a savory bean dish -- a mix of pinto, black and kidney beans -- simmered with ground beef, bacon, onion and brown sugar.

Pulled pork, alone or served on mac-and-cheese, pulled chicken and a handful of salads round out the menu.

Reflecting chef Alice Banach's Asian heritage, Rock 'n Ribs BBQ recently introduced Korean tacos (Korean barbecue accompanied by grilled onion and kimchee served on flour tortillas) as a Tuesday special.

Desserts include a number of sweets like cupcakes, brownies and dried cherry-and-chocolate-studded cookies. Pecan pie fans are likely to revel in the sweet, gooey version served here.

A cooler houses a small assortment of bottled beer and wine as well as bottled water and energy drinks, while a soda fountain dispenses soft drinks.

Given advance notice, Rock 'n Ribs BBQ will put together special catering orders for private parties.

Restaurant reviews are based on one anonymous visit. The Daily Herald does not publish reviews of restaurants it cannot recommend.

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