OREGON – If you put seasonings on 300 pounds of pulled pork and cook it in a 250-gallon smoker for 20 hours, you still don’t have the complete recipe used at Jackass BBQ.
That recipe includes consistency, owner Andy Riegel said.
“It’s all about the pit master,” he said.
Riegel is particular about the type of charcoal he puts in his smokers (only Kingsford is allowed to ignite under his prime rib) and the amount of wood he puts into his smoker, he said. But it’s not just precision that has led to the restaurant’s success, he said.
“I got lucky,” he said. “I hit upon a recipe, and it turns out everybody likes it.”
Riegel, who describes himself as “just a big guy who loves to eat,” said so many people, in fact, have liked his savory offerings that he is making two new smokers.
The restaurant opened Oct. 6 at 501 W. Washington St.
Customers order at a counter and their orders are called out when ready in the eatery, which Riegel said has a fast-food atmosphere.
Riegel’s specialty is “the jackass sandwich,” a shaved, smoked prime rib Philly cheesesteak with mushrooms, onions, green peppers, and provolone on a 6-inch hoagie.The sandwich costs $8.50, or $10 with fries and a soda.
Customers shouldn’t expect to leave the restaurant hungry. Many of the sandwiches are loaded with meats, such as the half-pound pulled pork sandwich. Most can be eaten as two meals, Riegel said.
“There’s a lot of to-gos,” Riegel said, and the sandwiches come with lots of fries, too, he said.
Riegel, 44, is a native of Kansas City, Kan. who has lived in Mount Morris for 9 years.
Before opening the restaurant Riegel served his food from a concession stand with the same name – an enterprise he started in the spring. About 2 years ago, the printing company he was working for shut down, and he lost his job. He then decided to start a business, he said.
“I told Jeannie I don’t want to work for The Man again,” he said, referring to his girlfriend, Jeannie Hennis.
Hennis, 53, makes the side dishes, desserts and the sauces for the restaurant. She also inspired Riegel to name Jackass BBQ – jackass is a frequent term of endearment for him.
Riegel would like to open a restaurant on South Galena Avenue in Dixon by next summer, and he’s trying to get a liquor license to serve beer, too, he said.
Jackass BBQ is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mon- day through Thursday; from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday at 501 W. Washington St.
Owner Andy Riegel is having a grand opening cel- ebration from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday. T-shirts and gift certificates will be given away.
Call 815-520-2137 or click here for their Facebook page for more information.