You Gotta Eat: Stringtown BBQ in Washburn has that hometown feel

Published: Aug. 17, 2023 at 8:18 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 18, 2023 at 11:39 AM CDT
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WOODFORD COUNTY (25News Now) - The grills are fired up for customers to enjoy the sweet, the smoky and the savory.

Stringtown BBQ is in Washburn in an area where an Illinois Department of Transportation study says 2,800 vehicles travel each day.

Stringtown BBQ has a hometown feel. The restaurant is about to celebrate its first anniversary. The owners, the husband-and-wife team of Lisa and Dave Scott, shared with us the challenges of starting up.

“We walked into this place, and I saw the stage and I said, okay, let’s do it,” said Lisa.

“Oh yeah, we can do this, it’ll be easy and then you realize you’re working 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Dave said.

“I never thought it was gonna be easy,” Lisa acknowledged.

Dave and Lisa were high school sweethearts who reconnected a few years ago. And their love for each other very clearly extends to the business they’re building together.

“Everything is house made,” said Dave.

“Our flavorings are made by myself and my son. The cowboy beans and the coleslaw are her grandmother’s recipes. So everything is made in house. it’s not like we’re dropping a bunch of stuff out of a freezer into deep fryers. Everything is cooked on a smoker out back and prepared fresh daily - our cornbread muffins, everything is made fresh daily,” Dave said.

25News photojournalist Andrew Best had the pulled pork tacos, simmered in a Korean chili sauce with freshly made pineapple salsa, aioli drizzle and jalapenos.

“There are so many flavors. They just blend so well together,” said Andrew.

Edgar Sandoval had the brisket quesadilla that comes with hot melted Wisconsin beer cheese.

“Wow, that brisket really just kinda melts in your mouth. That’s terrific,” he said.

Brisket quesadilla at Stringtown BBQ in Washburn.
Brisket quesadilla at Stringtown BBQ in Washburn.(25News Now)

At least one customer wanted to see the sampler platter that included ribs, brisket, mac and cheese, and brisket baked potato.

Deidre Guy and her daughter Tinsley are regulars. Deidre says it’s great food for a great price.

“My husband is a huge brisket fan, so he’ll get brisket. I’ll get pulled pork and then we’ll share it. You can’t beat a pulled pork and a brisket meal for under 20 bucks.”

Dave and Lisa say keeping a good sense of humor about things has been key to their success.

“The most important things are laughter and music. In the kitchen, we’ll do on Wednesday nights Kitchen Karaoke. or Kitchen Chaos the Musical. You can’t just talk to each other. You have to sing to each other,” Dave said.

Stringtown BBQ is located at 895 Francis Street in Washburn. The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. It closes at 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.