There's a hidden, rogue BBQ joint just east of Downtown Urbana with no name, and that is no frills, and I ate the rib tips this past weekend, and well, they were super delish. My friend Jim told me about it, and I am awfully glad that he did.
I've debated about posting this over the past few days, because I don't want to spoil the party, but it's just too good to keep to myself. Dear readers: I can't, in good conscience, tell you exactly where it is, but if you head east from the Courthouse in Urbana towards the country on Saturdays in the summer, you can smell it, and it's not that hard to find.
I arrived a little early, so my guess is that if you show up in the afternoon, the meat will be even more tender than it already was. It had a just light smoke on it, from the charcoal and wood embers, so it resembled pit BBQ more than the traditional smokehouse style that we've become accustomed to here in Champaign-Urbana. I prefer it this way, to be honest.
I asked the fella (who has a name, but I will reserve his anonymity) manning the pit what sort of rub he puts on it, and he just smiled and said "Oh, you know — a little of this, and a little of that."
Whatever it was, it was excellent. Not too salty, but packed with flavor. All orders are to go. I got mine with the sauce on the side. It was good; a tangy KC-style tomato based slather, but frankly, I literally have never found anything even remotely as wonderful as Lil' Porgy's, and that's the only sort of sauce I put on any sort of BBQ I take to go in this town. I keep a pint of it in the fridge at home.
Point being, let these little clues and your nose be the guide. It's worth the adventure, so to speak.