The second warm weather hits, I crave a smokey pulled pork sandwich, preferably eaten outside. The Jamaican pulled pork sandwich ($10) at The Motel Bar delivered this, ushering me into the next few glorious summer months. And they did it well.

Despite this craving, it wasn't easy to decide, because this is a bar with a serious menu. But pork topped with habanero jerk barbecue sauce and pepper jack cheese called my name. The kick is at the end after you swallow, just barely there in some bites and satisfying in others.

Smoky meat is pulled into a uniform filling—no random chunks here. The bun is super substantial, the kind that springs back when you press down on it and doesn't get soggy. They don't skimp on the meat, so it's going to get on your face, but it won't fall everywhere. Somehow, it all kind of holds together in the sandwich as one entity, letting you enjoy your outdoor surroundings rather than constantly making sure you're not spilling meat on your shirt. And since I'm a spiller, that helped in winning me over.

The Motel Bar

600 W Chicago Ave, Chicago IL 60654 (map)


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