What’s cookin’ in and around Chicago? Here’s a closer look at one of the area’s delicious dishes you don’t want to miss.
BaseHit BBQ & Catering co-owners Anthony Garland Sr. and his son Anthony Garland Jr. always took pride in manning the smoker and grill at their annual family picnic. They adored the smiles their barbecue would bring to their 60-plus loved ones.
“What happened was everyone was saying, ‘Hey, you guys need a restaurant, your barbecue is good,’” Garland Jr. said. “And yeah just kind of ran with it from there.”
Father and son started a catering business out of a small banquet hall kitchen in Berwyn in 2015 before opening their first brick-and-mortar spot in Galewood in April 2019.
What makes the Garlands’ barbecue unique is their signature wet rub and sauce that they periodically brush onto their meats throughout the cooking process to develop deep layers of flavor, called “Base.”
It’s an old family recipe that Garland Sr. got from his cousin at their annual family picnic, which he’s tweaked to what is, in his mind, perfection.
What’s in it?
“I can’t give away none of that, my father would kill me if I did that,” Garland Jr. said with a laugh. “I would just say, there’s a lot of love put behind everything that we do and what we put it that way.” Oh, and some brown sugar and a handful of seasonings, too; Garland Jr. said he could share that much.
The result is a perfect blend of sweetness and spice.
“The Base... that’s our niche, that’s our thing that really sets us apart from everyone else,” Garland Jr. said. “When you taste it, it always gives you a certain type of feeling like, ‘Oh wow, what is this taste?’”
While the father-son duo is known for their tips, their grilled chicken sandwich has become a crowd favorite over the last year, drawing people from the Galewood neighborhood and surrounding areas to their small restaurant on the far West Side.
The sandwich wasn’t always on the menu. It became a favorite meal within their households before they started to offer it at festivals. The feedback they received at those events from customers was overwhelming.
“People really liked it, so we put it in the restaurant,” Garland Jr. said.
The Base-smothered chicken breast that starts in the smoker but ends on the grill is served on a brioche bun. They top it off with their homemade spicy mayo and pickles. Customers can add cheese, too, if they would like. And the sandwich is served with a heaping pile of BaseHit’s shoestring fries.
“I honestly think our grilled chicken sandwich is the best chicken sandwich you can have just because of the Base,” Garland Jr. said. “The Base seasoning is really something — it’s an experience.”
BaseHit BBQ & Catering, 6606 W. North Ave. Grilled chicken sandwich costs $8.49. Visit https://www.basehitbbq.com/.
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