A Quick Word:
As I have mentioned in past posts, the BBQ scene in Chicago is pitiful. Most are just OK with my highest rating only being a 4-mile for Smoque BBQ. Leave it to the owners of Gilt Bar/Bavettes and many other restaurants to deliver the BEST BBQ JOINT in the city! Green Street Smoked Meats is the newest, but it has already reached perfection... perfect food and perfect atmosphere. Finally, there is a BBQ place that serves everything on butcher paper and by the 1/2 lb. portion. You wait in line to have your meat sliced to order, sides scooped, and beers plucked from a huge ice bucket. The experience is one-of-a-kind in Chicago (and similar to all BBQ places in the south). The food is slow smoked, giving it that beautiful smoke ring and flavor. Their rubs are flavorful meaning no sauces are needed. I can finally say Chicago has a BBQ scene. It may be at one restaurant, but at least we got one! I am giving them a 5-mile rating even though I would walk much farther for such great BBQ.
What We Ate:
Pork Ribs, Sliced Brisket
Cole Slaw & Elotes
My first time at Green Street Smoke Meats introduced me to some amazing BBQ. I knew we had discovered something special. My friend, Shireen, and I decided to share a couple meats and a couple sides. We had the the pork ribs and sliced brisket as well as elotes and their slaw. The meal came with sliced bread and of course their BBQ sauces. In terms of the meat, each order comes with a generous 1/2 lb. portion. The brisket came with both slices and a couple burnt ends. The pork ribs come with 2-3 per order depending on the size. Ours were huge, so two was plenty. The white bread is unlimited so just ask for more if you wish. I though the ribs were the best. They had a wonderful smoked flavor and a nice bite. No sauce is needed. The same can be said with the brisket. It was perfect. A great smoke ring, nice bark, and very tender. Some pieces are a lot fattier than others so hopefully you get a good chunk. Once again, no sauce is needed. The slaw was simple... vinegar-based with a slight sweetness. It adds a pleasant freshness to the heavily smoked meal. But the MUST TRY side dish is their elotes. Served in a cup, this is the classic Mexican corn--grilled, tossed with creme fresh and seasonings, and topped with queso fresco. It is unbelievably delicious. I will say, the BBQ sauces are just OK. The coffee one is not good and the spicy one is still pretty mild.
Pork Belly, Pork Ribs, Sliced Brisket, Hot Link
Broccoli Salad, Elotes, & Macaroni Salad
Despite wanting to come back the very next day, I wasn't able to make it back for a couple weeks. But this time, I came with both my little brother and my girlfriend. I knew the three of us would be able to eat more meat. With a downed power line and closed streets, we found an alternate route into the restaurant which included hopping a fence and climbing on picking tables. For our trouble, we were given beers and a free shot! Now for our meal, we split the pork belly, the pork ribs, the sliced brisket, and the hot link. For sides, we stuck with elotes, macaroni salad, and their broccoli salad. The pork belly was definitely the star of this platter. It was perfectly seasoned and fall apart tender. Add it to the white bread with a little broccoli slaw and WOW. That broccoli slaw has a great crunch and a nice sweetness from the added raisins. The other new meat we tried was the hot link. For $6, it is a great deal. It has a slight spice to it... almost like a cajun sausage. I was a little disappointed with the macaroni salad because it was too bland to keep up with the strong flavors of the BBQ. Still, the sides are worth trying, especially those elotes!
- How to order: Just walk up to the counter and let the person know which meats you like. They will slice the meat and place everything on butcher paper and a tray. Sides are a la carte and ordered at the register. Beers can be found at the bar or in huge ice buckets. Water is in a huge jug near the bar and all the BBQ sauces are across the water. Pick any seat. All the tables are communal so people understand to move a little to help accommodate.
- SHARE! All the meat comes in 1/2 lb. portions. You can order a bunch and share between your friends like real BBQ should be.
- Plenty of parking around the area.
- I suggest getting there when they open around 5PM. This way no line to wait and they have all of their meats available. Once they run out, they run out until the next day.
- Don't walk through the first door. That is High Five Ramen. The BBQ is the second door.
How far would I walk for this food?