[Photograph: Josh Conley]

It always kills me when a barbecue joint will spend 15 hours guiding a pork shoulder from porcine purgatory right up to the gates of barbecue heaven, only to spend five seconds deciding to plop it on a dry sesame seed bun. Barbecue is still subject to the sandwich sum-of-its-parts law, and no place heeds this like the pulled pork sandwich ($11.50 w/1 side), Carolina and Daddy style, at The Smoke Daddy.

First, the bun conundrum solved: a golden, fresh brioche bun reinforced with a toasty barrier to hold up to the toppings. That goodness starts with a heap of pulled pork and the "Daddy" addition of a smattering of brisket. This newly-fused wondermeat is uber-tender, but with texture and chew. Next up is the "Carolina" portion of the show—a light, crunchy slaw fortified with fresh cilantro. Finally, the sauce. A great sauce enhances, a bad one smothers. All three of Smoke Daddy's sauces are excellent, but the tangy spice of the cumin-heavy, apple cider vinegar-based original is like the bow on this indulgent present. Happy Anyday to me!

The Smoke Daddy

1804 West Division Street, Chicago, IL 60622 (map)


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