Green Street Smoked Meats
There’s a new BBQ joint in town, and I ain’t complaining!
Opening a new BBQ restaurant has been all the rage in Chicago over the past few years. There have been some major winners (well done Chicago q) and some losers (sorry Pork Shoppe) but overall I’ve been pretty impressed. Impressing me with BBQ has become a difficult feat ever since I met Mike and he took me back to his hometown where I had my first taste of Oklahoma Joe’s. Pulling up to a gas station had me a little skeptical but now I’m a true believer that good things can indeed come in sketchy packages. Oklahoma Joe’s deserves a post all its own (I’ll definitely get on that next time we’re back in Kansas City), but it is easily the best BBQ I’ve ever laid my tastebuds on (the Z-man sandwich is my crack) and has upped the bar for all other BBQ that comes into my life.
Although the BBQ trend now seems to be fading out here in Chicago (and fried chicken begins rushing to the scene), a new spot opened earlier this year in the West Loop and I’m happy to say that Green Street Smoked Meats has been added to my list of Chicago’s BBQ winners! It’s the latest brainchild of Brendan Sodikoff, so are you really surprised?? In a prime foodie location right off Restaurant Row, Green Street Smoked Meats is definitely unique – from the entrance that’s hidden down a cobblestone pathway (don’t worry, there’s a giant mural pointing you in the right direction) to the counter-style service with no servers, it’s different in all the right ways. Once we start having an actual Spring or Summer around here their outdoor patio will undoubtedly be hoppin’!
Once you’ve made your way into this giant warehouse-turned-Texas-smokehouse, get your priorities straight and make your way to the bar – this way you’ll have a drink in hand while you wait. If you open a tab at the bar they can put your food on the same tab once you reach the front of the line, so no worries there! The bar is impressive with a large selection of whiskey and tons of local craft brews on tap. I went the cocktail route and tried a Chartreuse Mule and a Margarita and loved both.
Once you have your drink it’s time to wait in line and drool over all the food around you. The line wasn’t too bad early on a Saturday night and it gave us time to figure out what we wanted to order. We went all out and ordered way more food than 2 people could comfortably eat, but there was just too much we wanted to try! For meats we went with the Brisket, Beef Ribs, Pulled Pork, and Chopped Brisket. For sides we went with the Broccoli Salad, Potato Salad, Baked Beans, and the Sweet Pickles. One of the meats came with Spicy Pickles so we got to try those and they threw some of the giardiniera-type mixture in as well for us to try.
I’m a bit of a meat purist when it comes to BBQ and prefer my meat un-sauced. The pulled pork and chopped brisket both come pre-slathered in sauce and it was just too much for me. Don’t get me wrong, both were tasty and I ate my fair share, but I would have enjoyed them even more if the saucing had been left to me. The ribs and sliced brisket on the other hand were un-sauced and both very good. The sides were great and I would order each of them again, especially the broccoli salad and the potato salad. They were a cold, crisp break from all the heavy meat. The baked beans weren’t a big standout for me, but I still gobbled them up. All 3 types of the pickles were delish – you might want to buy an extra order and take them home! Overall the meat was not the best BBQ I’ve ever had, but I’ve had some really great BBQ. The drinks, the sides, and especially the ambiance all get an ‘A’ in my book and I’m looking forward to a return trip – anyone want to join??
Green Street Smoked Meats is located at 112 N. Green St. in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood.