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“It's a hole in the wall but it is charming with good Q” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Shemwell's Barbecue Downtown

Shemwell's Barbecue Downtown
1102 Washington Ave, Cairo, IL 62914-2048
(618) 734-0165
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Ranked #1 of 6 Restaurants in Cairo
Cuisines: Barbecue
Good for: Families with children, Local cuisine
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Local cuisine
West Chicago
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“It's a hole in the wall but it is charming with good Q”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

We had just finished driving from Dallas to Pensacola Beach sampling food along the way. While this is not Mother's in New Orleans this was just about the best Q we had the entire way. Remember you are well south of that great "Southern" city of Louisville Ky. One word of warning, if decor affects how your food tastes don't bother going because you are stepping back in time to the way all restaurants used to be before McD's. We would go again if we have a chance because it is good simple food at a reasonable price and the people are down south friendly.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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24 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    14
    3
    2
    2
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Iowa City
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Don't be a hater. Respect Shemwells.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

Localist, the fact she didn't use gloves to make your sandwich is the least of your problems. Have you ever eaten out before? If you have, I guarantee based on my considerable knowledge of kitchen help, you have been subjected to much worse and you didn't realize it at the time. The fact that Shemwell's is able to carry on in their own unique way is the only thing preventing Cario from total collapse. Have a little respect for their tradition and ability to turn out legendary, geographically distinct BBQ in the face of numerous obstacles, including short-sighted remarks of prissy hypochondriacs such as yourself.

  • Visited June 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“Okay”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012 via mobile

I went the BBQ was okay
The woman that made my sandwich
Didn't have on any gloves
She just got off the telephone and was
Reading a magizine
She made the sandwich
Then went to the back
And was stoking the fire and putting wood in it(still not wearing any gloves)
And then comes back and finishes making my sandwich
So unsanitary
The health departments needs to pay them a visit and while he's at it bring them some gloves also

    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville, North Carolina
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Get while it lasts!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2012

Shemwells has been serving barbeque over 80 years in Cairo. Their pork sandwiches and vinegar based sauce are legendary. Regrettably, Cairo, and Shemwells with it, seem to be slowly deteriorating. Visiting last month, it was still good, but seems to have lost something. The atmosphere is still "greasy spoon." It is still worth a go, but I recommend the take-out option.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hopkinsville, Kentucky
1 review
“best bbq in town?”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2012

This had to be the worst excuse for bbq I have ever had.I had heard people talking about how good this place was so we gave it a try and after tasting the bbq I had to laugh (very dry pork on toast).If you consider this good bbq you should get out more often

  • Visited November 2011
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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