Take Roosevelt Rd (Rt 38) west FOREVER until you run into Rt 47. Make a left and head south for 2 miles and now you're in Elburn, the little known suburb which is also home to one of our state's hidden jewels: Ream's Elburn Meat Market.
Best known for their award-winning, house made sausages (Everything from cheddar stuffed beef hot dogs to knockwurst to amazing brats), the fabulous steaks, succulent pork and stuffed chicken breasts that await you there are at prices lower then Whole Foods and of superior quality.
A few weeks ago I loaded up a cooler with porterhouse steaks, rib eyes and filet's for S's birthday weekend up at the lakehouse. The general opinion was that these were the best steaks anyone had ever had...a pretty big complement when you think about the places we've each eaten steak at: Gibson's, the Chophouse, Joe's, and even Morton's. Of course the way they were seasoned and grilled had much to do with it, if only I could replicate my two uncle's grill secrets.
Here was our method:
An hour before grilling/searing, pull steaks out to sit until they are room temperature. Sprinkle liberally with kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Slice up a garlic clove width-wise into thin pieces. Take a small paring knife and cut small holes into the thicker cuts of meat, insert garlic pieces.
Grill over medium hot flame, flipping every five minutes until the steak reaches your desired doneness. A charcoal fire is far superior to gas as far as taste goes, and throw in some hickory chips if you have them.
Allow the steaks to rest, covered in tin foil, for about 10 minutes after removing them from the grill.
Fill up the gas tank and bring a cooler so you can stop at the Premium Outlets off Farnsworth and I-88 on your way home. :) Life is good.