I am embarrassed to admit that it has taken me this long to try Belly Q. The casual Asian barbecue restaurant in the West Loop is excellent. Charles and I joined friends there for dinner on Tuesday night and we were thoroughly impressed by the creative menu and it’s skillful execution.
The thing that made Belly Q stand out was the sauces which managed to simultaneously span the range of sweet, sour, and spicy. The menu at Belly Q is meant for sharing, and this worked very well for our group of four. The menu is divided into small bites, big bites, entrees, and side dishes. We ordered quite a bit of food, and almost finished it.
We started with the crab rangoon and the Thai style fried chicken. The fried chicken had a sweet heat to it and a nice amount of crunch. I am not a big fan of crab meat, but my friends happily gobbled up the crab rangoon.
Charles’s favorite was the Roasted Pork Butt with a curry BBQ sauce and Asian giardiniera. The pork was perfectly cooked until it feel apart, and the sauce balanced sweet BBQ and the heat of curry.
The Baby Back Pork Ribs were my favorite. The meat fell right off the bone, and again the homemade sauce, in this case a hoisin bbq, was fantastic. It’s easy to slow cook meat, but Belly Q excels at mixing up flavorful sauces to slather them with. If you dine at Belly Q, please order both the Pork Butt and that Baby Back Ribs.
The side of griddled broccoli came drowned in a mushroom gravy and topped with caramelized onions. It was totally different from the typical vegetable sides at restaurants – the mushroom gravy was a nice twist.
And the sticky rice was fried and crispy and really satisfying.
We ended our meal with a trio of desserts. The warm soft Vietnamese Cinnamon Donuts were topped with a blueberry jam, and were big enough for sharing. The Peanut Butter & Jelly consisted of vanilla soft serve topped with peanut butter crunch and jam, and the Pot De Creme had coconut custard, vanilla soft serve, chocolate, and pocky sticks.
I appreciate a restaurant that delivers top notch food with a casual and inviting atmosphere. It’s the perfect place to meet up with friends for a weekday meal, and we will certainly be returning soon.
Belly Q‘s address is 1400 West Randolph. They do accept reservations. I want to give a shout out to our server, Thelma, who provided us with spot on recommendations! She rocks.