Serious Eats: Chicago
TGI Fry-Day: Jalapeño Corn Fritters from Fat Willy's Rib Shack
If the recent barrage of 90 degree plus weather is any indication, summer in Chicago is officially here to stay. Culinarily speaking, this can only mean one thing: barbecue season. Sure, all things rubbed, smoked, and sauced taste good year round, but there's something about skyrocketing temperatures that pairs perfectly with earthy, soul satisfying barbecue.
But man cannot live on meat alone—which is where side dishes come in. Coleslaw, potato salad, and macaroni and cheese all have their rightful places at the table, but the deep fryer needs to represent, too. The Jalapeño Corn Fritters ($7.00) at Fat Willy's Rib Shack in Logan Square fit the bill nicely. More hush puppy than fritter, these golf ball-sized globes consist of a simple cornmeal based batter that is studded with just enough corn kernels and diced jalapeño to avoid a charge of false advertising. The smoky, tangy side of "creamy BBQ sauce" (read: barbecue sauce + mayo) provides the proper foil without obscuring the corny sweetness of the fritters. Enjoyed on the shaded patio alongside a hunk of barbecued meat and an ice cold beer, these fritters are the perfect way to usher in the sweltering summer heat.