Last Call: Some foods truly are worth waiting in line for

Illustration for article titled Last Call: Some foods truly are worth waiting in line for
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Last CallLast CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.

Word on the street is that people waited in line at the Popeyes in downtown Chicago for up to an hour this afternoon, yelling and shuffling from foot to foot as they struggled to contain their craving for that elusive chicken sandwich. You may rightly find this absurd. And yet, most of us have at some point waited in line for whatever our version of the Popeyes chicken sandwich is.


For some, that might be a sought-after, special-release beer. For others, the best barbecue in town. For others, previously unavailable fast food. I’ve waited in line at Joe’s in Kansas City (worth it), Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix (also worth it), my first-ever Shake Shack (not worth it), and many more restaurants I’m forgetting.

Other Takeout favorites we’ll admit to waiting in line for:

  • Baltimore’s Clavel
  • Beer releases at Chicago brewery Half Acre
  • Good ice cream (shout out to The Charmery in Baltimore and The Bent Spoon in Princeton, New Jersey)
  • Chicago’s Hot Doug’s (RIP)
  • Din Tai Fung 

The incomplete list above proves a universal truth: Waiting on line for food is totally absurd… unless it’s your favorite food.

Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.

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Spice Spice Gravy

There’s a barbecue joint in town wedged in the armpit of a strip mall between a rent-to-own furniture store and a post office. The line often is out the door at lunch. When you get inside, there are high walls with higher glass. The grumpy-faced guy fiercely chopping pork with two worn-handled cleavers like a John Bonham drum solo - the protein foreman as it were - yells, “NEXXXTTTTT!” It’s your job to know what you want and to speak in a way that bounces over the glass window to his chopping block. If you take too long, the grumpy stare gets more intense. It’s a lot of pressure.

We practiced ordering with our middle-schooler son, roll-playing the visit. We didn’t want him crying into his ribs because he couldn’t handle the order pressure. He nailed his brisket audition.

The shit you’ll do for great BBQ, I swear.