RQ Barbecue is a newly opened restaurant located at 643 Brook Forest Ave in Shorewood, IL. RQ boasts fresh ingredients with a variety of homemade sauces to enhance their selection of smoked meats as well as gluten-free and low-calorie options. Bread selection includes classic, honey oat, and gluten-free buns. Their pork, chicken, and turkey are free range. RQ offers catering as well as delivery, pick-up and a drive-thru. Orders can be placed via mobile, online or over the phone.
Unfortunately RQ does not live up to their own hype providing nothing more than another fast-food establishment in regards to both food and service. For those who truly know what real barbecue is you will be disappointed by the lack of smoky flavor, or any flavor for that matter, in most of their meats.
Other than the homemade made chips that are great dipped in RQ's ivory sauce and sweet creamed corn, the sides leave much to be desired. The only saving grace here would be the large selection of sauces which are available for purchase. Although many of them taste very similar signaling that a good majority come from the same base. Of course well smoked barbecue should be able to stand on its own and shouldn't need to be drowned in sauce in order to be enjoyable.
The atmosphere is pleasant enough, not rustic but reminiscent of a cafeteria style establishment; modern and sterile. If you use the drive-thru service make sure to check that your order is correct since sides and especially sauces are sometimes forgotten.
Inside the ordering process is similar to that of Chipotle Mexican Grill and sadly the customer service is greatly inconsistent. Sometimes very few smiles are given while the employees often seem flustered and put-out about doing their jobs. Other days employees are rather pleasant and helpful. This can be chalked up to RQ being a rather new establishment.
Overall for barbecue enthusiast RQ Barbecue may not worth the time or money; unless you're in a hurry and want something other than a burger and fries. The food and environment offer nothing special and the prices are significantly high considering the quality and smaller portions. So save your money and taste buds and head over to one of the many other barbecue restaurants in the area that offer authentic quality and value. Better options include Wildwest BBQ in Plainfield, Sharko’s BBQ and Gemato’s Wood Pit BBQ both in Naperville.