[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

As must certainly come to all childhood foods, the sloppy joe was unearthed a few years ago and slapped on menus across Chicago. Longman & Eagle's wild boar sloppy joe is probably the most famous example, but it's certainly not the only one. This explains why I didn't flinch when I saw a lamb neck sloppy joe ($12) on the menu at the recently opened Red Door in Bucktown. In fact, I was a little worried. Lamb neck is also a somewhat trendy ingredient at the moment, and I feared that the humble sloppy joe would suffer from being too dressed up.

Fortunately, this is still a gut-busting and messy meal. Of course, you could debate whether it's actually a sloppy joe, considering the meat is shredded not ground. But I loved the texture of the lamb, and the fact that it wasn't too greasy. The mushrooms on top look a little out of place, but they are pickled and help balance things out. The waitress claimed that this was the most popular item on the menu, and it's easy to see why.

Red Door

2118 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (map)


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