THE best barbecue I’ve had in the city so far is at small counter serve restaurant tucked away on Green Street in Chicago’s West Loop.
To find it, you’ve got to wander past a basement ramen shop, past an open and elevated cafe called Sawada Coffee, past a bar with a skeleton dangling over the counter, until you find Green Street Smoked Meats, a smokehouse specializing in backyard BBQ.
Last time, Andrew and I split a half pound of sliced brisket, a side of simple potato salad, and a coupla slices of white sandwich bread. What sets Green Street apart from the other places I’ve been are the succulent meats and flavorful sauces that can only be achieved from being smoked in house until you get a marbled, fatty bite of tender deliciousness.
The menu also offers pulled pork, ribs, salmon and even chicken legs. For sides, they serve up elote style corn, both sweet and spicy pickles, baked beans and a ton more. The broccoli salad is actually delicious!
I’ve been eyeing the Frito pie for next time – it’s like Taco in a Bag in Lincoln Square, a bag of corn chips topped with chili, beans, cheese and jalapenos.
Enjoy all of this under a stringed light canopy at wooden picnic tables equipped with rolls of paper towels and relax like you’re at an evening BBQ at a friend’s to end the summer right. There’s also the aforementioned bar where you can enjoy cocktails like alcoholic sweet tea – you can really taste the bourbon – and a variety of cheap beers from $4.
Green Street Smoked Meats is better than Chicago Q in Near North Side, Blackwood BBQ in Belmont, Southern Cut Barbecue in Streeterville, and any other BBQ place in Chicago I’ve visited, beating everyone with the quality and amount of meat you get.