Budget Beat: Main Street Smokehouse

The menu showcases BBQ styles from primo pit stops around the country

Bones have been rattling on Libertyville’s main drag since Eddie Moore set up his smoker back in May. His casual spot has had customers queueing up from the day it opened. “Barbecue is my passion,” Moore says, “ever since we held rib contests at our family cookouts.” His menu showcases BBQ styles from primo pit stops around the country. This means slow-cooked, vinegar-spiked Carolina pulled pork ($12) and the tastiest brisket ($14) this side of Texas. First brined, then rubbed with brown sugar and chiles, it’s like biting into crackly-edged ambrosia. Memphis-style baby back ribs ($10 for a half slab; $18 for a full), perfumed with hickory and applewood, offer succulent flavor and a gentle pull, and the peppery half chicken is one feisty bird ($12). All grilling is done minus even a slap of sauce. But for those who don’t consider barbecue the real deal unless sauce is dripping down your shirt, not to worry: There are four help-yourself varieties, our favorite being the smooth, sweet-tart maple chipotle. Beer, moist corn bread, and two sides (go for the tangy slaw, baked beans, fries, or tomalito, a corn-studded tamale-like pudding) round off this smoky feast. 536 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville; 847-247-4330.

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