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[Photograph: Josh Conley]

For what I consider to be Chicago-style barbecue (rib tips and hot links), you can do much better than Smokin' Woody's. Uncle John's, Honey 1, and Barbara Ann's all come directly to mind. So ordering the Hot Beef Sirloin ($9.95 with one side) was like drafting a quarterback in the first round—lots of potential upside tempered with serious bust potential. Luckily, this one's a winner.

There's no reason this sandwich shouldn't work, really; lightly smoked beef sirloin, cheddar cheese, grilled onions, and Buffalo sauce loaded onto a Kaiser roll. The sirloin is smoked to a chewy, but still tender, medium. Though not much smoke permeates the meat, it has plenty of good flavor on its own. The cheddar adds a little bite and plenty of creamy gooey-ness, though I wouldn't have said no to another slice. The onions add a great sweet complement to the sandwich, and offset the formidable Buffalo sauce, which finds the right balance of tang and heat. This sandwich has franchise tag written all over it.

Smokin' Woody's

4160 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618 (map)
773-880-1100
originalsmokinwoodys.com

Josh Conley thinks the color orange is far superior to its competition, and he shamelessly plugs it whenever he can. Like now. He also writes things HERE.

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