summer foods

For Al Brinkman, barbecue is all about the smoke. The owner of Als BBQ Shack in DeKalb, Ill., insists meat should be cooked the old fashioned way: with wood smoke, slowly, for several hours. We dont use rubs or marinades, Brinkman says, and everybody seems to enjoy it that way. Brinkman uses mesquite wood first, then finishes the meat with hickory. While he puts a little sweet sauce on his baby-back ribs, the other menu items -- beef brisket, chopped pork and rib tips -- feature sauce as a...

The foods of summer: Ollie's frozen custard

Jul 20, 2012
Jenna Dooley

DeKalb Countys summer haven from the heat is none other than Ollies Frozen Custard in Sycamore . The hotspot features tasty treats and a recognizable logo: Ollie, a smiling man with a bowler hat and bushy mustache. Known most for its creamy custard, Ollies has been the post-baseball game favorite since 1985 with the opening of its first store in DeKalb. When space became limited, it moved to Oakland Drive in Sycamore in 1990. Valerie Cranden is now the owner of Ollies. She started working in...