Name: Green Street Smoked Meats
Address: 112 N Green St, Chicago, IL 60607
Order: Half pound pulled pork, half pound sliced brisket, hot link, potato salad, broccoli salad, two beers (link)
Monk: Chicago is often mentioned in the second-tier of barbecue styles in the US (along with Santa Maria-style tri-tip). Chicago style (at least along the south side, from what I gather) is more rib and rib tips. While I can’t say that I experienced authentic Chicago barbecue at Green Street Smoked Meats in the West Loop neighborhood, I did get a pretty damn good meal. The West Loop has become a destination for food-loving people, and GSSM was in good company less than a block away from both Au Cheval (with Bon Apetit’s best burger in the US) and The Girl and The Goat from former Top Chef Winner Stephanie Izard.
Located in a warehouse along with partner coffee shop Sawada Coffee, Green Street Smoked Meats is a hip counter-style place with biergarten tables and stringed lights that primarily serves meat by the half pound (except when its by the “each” in the case of a pork sandwich or hotlink or the such). It has a great atmosphere though unfortunately we weren’t able to sit outside in the alley on that day due to cold and rain (ah, Chicago in April).
Naturally, I always have to get pulled/chopped pork if its on the menu, but to tell you the truth I wasn’t pumped about it, especially when I saw a previous order tossed in a bowl with a sauce before being served. The tangy sauce hid any smoke that may have been imparted to the meat from the wood, and the pork was just average as a result.
GSSM is really a Texas-style joint, so it makes sense that the brisket was the star of the show. We even got a few unsauced burnt ends thrown in for good measure (party, bonus). This was a fine representation of Central Texas brisket with a nice peppery bark and both lean and fat slices presented. The Texas-style hotlink was another highlight. It had good snap and flavor while being just moist enough.
Mrs. Monk and I got two sides and the portions were more than enough for us. The potato salad was fine but left me wondering if I should have ordered something else. Mrs. Monk couldn’t get enough of the broccoli salad. I liked it too – what little I was able to sneak away from her clutches. Her mini review:“It was dank; I ate all of it.”
It was unfortunate that it was only the Mrs and I eating that day since I would have liked to try the more unconventional meats on the menu such as the smoked salmon or pastrami (on the recommendation of TMBBQ). We had more than enough food (to the point of taking a box of leftovers with us) and more meats also would have put tab at close to $100. Which brings up a good point – Green Street Smoked Meats may be just a little bit on the pricey side. In any case, I would definitely recommend it.