Like meat off the smoker? Look no further than Streator's north side
If you're a fan of slow-smoked meats and homestyle sides, the menu at Dig Doug's BBQ in Streator can be a bit overwhelming.
Not that it's overly large.
Everything just looks really, really good.
The good news is, that also means you pretty much can't go wrong no matter what you order.
Pulled pork? Beef brisket? Hot link sausages? Smoked chicken? Ribs?
They've all been pulled off the on-site smoker and put on a plate or carryout container for your tastebuds' pleasure.
On this visit — there have been a few — I ordered the pork, brisket and, because I couldn't resist them, a half-slab of ribs.
All were excellent, a deep and complex smoky flavor penetrating the meats. For me, however, Dig Doug's ribs are always the star attraction.
The spice rub and burning wood combine to make a delicious black bark on the outside of the ribs, but underneath that the meat inside is pink, moist, delicious and absolutely falling off the bone.
I always grab a knife when I order the ribs. I never use it.
Homemade sauce options include classic BBQ, hot, Carolina and my personal favorite, the root beer sauce.
The menu of side dishes to accompany the meats is probably exactly what you'd suspect at a barbecue place. Baked beans, cornbread, french fries and coleslaw all make an appearance, as does one of the creamier mac 'n' cheeses you're likely to ever taste. The homemade chips — often called bar chips — are a sneaky good choice.
There are also Angus burgers and gourmet all-beef hot dogs [both of which I hear are great, but I've never managed to get past the smoked portion of the menu], tenderloins and a solid appetizer menu that includes a few of my favorites, such as deep-fried pickles, cheese sticks and meaty loaded nachos, which can be a meal of their own.
Dig Doug's, which a few years back was located in Ottawa, is now located right on Route 23 on the north side of Streator, in the old Woody's building. There is ample outdoor seating under the old drive-in roof, an indoor dining room and a drive-thru window — not to mention a fun little miniature golf course out back if you want to take the kids for a few sandwiches and a few holes.
Dig Doug's is open for lunch and dinner five days a week — Wednesdays through Sundays.
• The Mystery Diner is an employee at Shaw Media Illinois. The diner’s identity is not revealed to restaurant staff when ordering or picking up the food. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a story.