Discover a restaurant born from a family’s desire to re-create an authentic Texas taste.
Glenn Raddatz, co-founder of The Texan BBQ, 101 N. Main St., Algonquin, always loved the taste of good barbecue.
“He used to travel a lot when he owned an air freight business,” says wife Rochelle, who goes by “Roxy.” “Whenever he came home, he’d say, ‘There’s no real barbecue restaurant around here like in Texas.’ Even though he had never owned a restaurant, he decided to open one.”
Thus, The Texan BBQ opened its doors in 1984. The sit-down/carry-out restaurant features mouth-watering barbecue delights, including ribs, pork, beef and chicken. The business also offers chuck wagon catering for rehearsal dinners, pig roasts, company picnics and other special events.
Sadly, Glenn died in 1999, at age 46, after a sudden illness. Roxy, a former hairdresser, knew what she needed to do. She kept her husband’s legacy alive by hanging onto the restaurant, thanks to help from daughters Jessica, Denise and Shelly, who also work there. The restaurant employs a staff of 15.
“It was an easy decision,” says Roxy, a hands-on owner who bags orders, cleans tables and even works in the kitchen. “This is something I enjoy doing, and I was here for so many years with Glenn. The only two jobs I’ve ever had have been hairdressing and running this restaurant.”
The Texan BBQ is a highly regarded staple in the Algonquin restaurant scene. It consistently has been voted one of the best barbecue joints in the Fox Valley, and has hosted fundraising events for a variety of causes, from fighting cancer to supporting police and fire departments.
The Texan BBQ menu is filled with entrees such as hickory-smoked ribs, spicy Cajun chicken and farm-raised catfish. The most popular dishes are beef brisket, sliced and pulled pork, and baby back ribs, which are fall-off-the-bone tender and smothered in a rich, smoky sauce. The garlic mashed potatoes are bold, and the coleslaw is creamy and tangy. The list of homemade desserts includes chocolate cake, cheesecake and Key lime pie.
“The food we have here you really can’t find anywhere else,” Roxy says. “I’ve been to other barbecue restaurants, and they don’t cook the meat the same way. Everything here is slow-cooked for 12 hours in smokehouses we bought from Texas. And everything – from beans to desserts – is homemade.”
The restaurant décor complements its Texan cuisine. The main dining room has wooden booths, tables and floors, and enough space to seat 100. Two back dining rooms can hold receptions, reunions and birthday parties. A small bar offers beer, wine and mixed drinks.
Hungry customers flock to The Texan BBQ from Lombard, St. Charles, Crystal Lake and even Lake Geneva. “We have regular customers, some who come in as many as three times a week,” Roxy says.
Gene Maczko, an Algonquin carpenter, has been a regular since 2005. He once met a friend here for lunch, and has been a frequent guest ever since, stopping in at least twice a week. He typically orders the prime rib sandwich, but barbecue ribs are his favorite.
“I’ve been to other barbecue restaurants, but I like it here better,” he says. “The atmosphere is Texas-style, and the food is comfortable. I’ve gotten to know the staff and other customers over the years. It’s always fun, which is why I come here.”
That’s music to Roxy’s ears. “I love being here and seeing all the customers,” she says. “I can’t imagine doing anything else. I know my husband would be proud.”
The Texan BBQ is open Sun.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., and Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.