Last year the tribune ran a special on a BBQ roadtrip a couple of the food writers went on. They drove 1,467 miles over the course of one three day weekend ate at 10 different bbq places.
17th Street Bar & Grill - Murphysboro, IL
Dexter BBQ - Sikeston, MO
Rendezvous - Memphis, TN
Bar-B-Q Shop - Memphis, TN
Gus's Fried Chicken - Southhaven, MS
Big Bob Gibson - Decatur, AL
Dreamland - Huntsville, TN
Mary's BBQ Pit - Nashville, TN
Prince's Hot Fried Chicken - Nashville, TN
Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn - Owensboro, KY
Until Friday, the only one on this list I had been to was the Rendezvous in Memphis. With Sarah's recommendation, Darren and I ventured up to 17th Street Bar & Grill on our way up to St Louis. We stopped at the one in Marion, IL. Sarah told us to be sure to try the pulled BBQ pork and the fried pickle chips. Both were excellent! Darren got what they called the "Champion's Plate" and from the size you can see why! In his defense I got the appetizer sampler as my meal with the intention of eating my share of his plate but my plate was also as huge! We definitely did not join the clean plate club on this night!
Bottom line: If you find yourself in Southern Illinois, hit up this place. You won't be disappointed!