After a week of feasting on rib tips and hot links, one would think that the last thing I'd want to do is eat more barbecue. But I'm reasonably sure I will always make an exception for some tri-tip from Lillie's Q. Before Chef Charlie McKenna opened the Bucktown barbecue joint, I'd never experienced the glory of the slowly smoked the California specialty, but now I'm hooked.
It's perfectly fine when served on its own, tasting sort of like medium-rare flank steak with a background of smoke. But the tri-tip truly finds its calling when stuffed in a brioche roll for the tri-tip sandwich ($8). Getting the sandwich "Southern Style" only costs an extra dollar and is kind of required. The light coleslaw provides just the right crunch and vinegar to balance the meat, all without getting in the way. None of the excellent house barbecue sauces are necessarily required, but after some intense field research, I will admit that the Carolina Gold—a South Carolina influenced mustard based sauce—seems to work the best.