photo: courtesy of Clifton Henri
You can smell the wood smoke from the Dan Ryan when Lem's BBQ is open for business. Lem (rest his soul) and his successors serve up superlative ribs, hotlinks and rib tips from their aluminum-clad BBQ smokestack. Lem's meaty pork ribs have that elusive crisp coating of smokey char that is the sine qua non of great barbecue, a perfect contrast to the rosy smoked pig just below the surface. Slathered in a mix of Lem's incendiary hot and sweet mild sauce, eaten off the hood of your hooptie, with a side of delectable rib tips: These ribs are the ideal Chicago BBQ meal.
Hotlinks are also excellent, highly spiced pork sausages in a natural casing, served, like all of Lem's entrees, atop a bed of vestigial soggy french fries in a bath of the sauce of your choice (also available on the side). The menu is limited, there's nowhere to sit, and you order through bullet-proof glass, but Lem's meat transcends all. Mysteriously, Lem's also serves fried chicken and fish, but stick with the pig and you can't go wrong.
Average cost: <$10