Every 4th of July weekend Dave and I go to the very best Ribfest in Naperville, Illinois with our best buddies. The day is always filled with plenty of sunshine, huge fields of green grass, piles of smokey ribs, lots of cold beer, funnel cakes, fried oreos, terrifying carnival rides, live music, and even buckets of cheese fries covered in bacon (YOLO)! It’s pretty much the most amazingly epic day of the year, especially eating-wise, so I thought I’d share my love of rib-fest-ing here since most of the day revolves around eating, then eating again, then eating some more, and then ending with eating.
Just to set the scene, we had an absolutely beautiful day weather-wise.
We started off the day with some Texas Outlaw ribs, which are always a favorite. Hands down the best sauce in the whole place. One vat of BBQ sauce to go please!
I mean look at these ribs! AH! So good.
We also got the most tender ribs from Porky N’ Beans who also made the BEST corn bread I’ve ever had – buttery, creamy and perfection in between swigs of beer and bites of ribs. This here is my friend Dave, about to dive in, who made the excellent call on ordering the corn bread.
Celebrating our first slab down. Mmmmmm. Sunshine and ribs, doesn’t get much better than this!
Next up we ventured into the carnival area. While I like to stay firmly planted on the ground sipping a beer, my crazy husband and pal Adrienne love to get on all the rides that twirl around and shoot you through the air. I hold the purses and take the photos.
Onto round two of eating. This mid-day break from ribs included the sweet and the cheesy – two must have food groups for any proper festival. Fried Oreos, fried Twinkies, cheese & bacon covered french fries, and funnel cake, no big deal. Juice cleanse next week, right?
After a little rest in the shade (it’s all about eat, rest, drink, repeat), it was time to hit up the petting zoo, which is Adrienne’s absolute favorite. I won’t be surprised if the next time I’m at her place she’s introducing me to her new goat Freddie.
After the petting zoo we decided to wind down the night by watching a a great Beatles cover band called Brit Beat. They put on a really fun show, I’d definitely see them again if they swing through Chicago. She loves you…yeah…yeah…yeah!
After doing a little shimmying to the band we decided we could hit up one final round of ribs (don’t forget this is a judgement-free zone). We decided on Mojo’s Ribshack which ended up being my favorite ribs of the night. They were extremely tender with a perfectly tangy sauce and a hint of smoke…drool. I also had my first blooming onion, and it certainly won’t be my last. Mmmmm…bloomy.
This was our sixth year in a row attending this awesome rib-tastic festival. It’s always the day I look forward to most and it never disappoints. The sun, the food, the drinks, the friends, the music, the lying in the grass and just giving yourself the day to indulge guilt-free make this my favorite day of the year! I’m already counting down the days until next year. Cheers!