We can’t say Chicago offers much in the country western department, unless you’re counting cowboy boots struttin’ down North Avenue after dark.
What the city lacks in cowboy authenticity, it makes up for in bacon at a new Little Italy BBQ outpost that goes by the name of County.
Run by the guys behind DMK Burger Bar, the bright orange-checkered building showcases a hickory smoker slow cooking burnt ends and brisket all day — served in an authentic hunting lodge-chic ambiance of flannel booths and taxidermied deer heads.
And American flags. Everywhere. Why? Because America, that's why.
But before you dive into your all-American BBQ feast, feast your eyes on the bacon bar. Yes, the bacon bar, where a rotating selection of pork offerings might include smoked bacon with maple sauce, bacon deviled eggs, and bacon-BBQ parfaits. For the main course, avoid decisions and opt for the sampler with St. Louis spare ribs, Texas brisket, hot links, and chicken.
After all that bacon (and most likely a side of cheddar grits), it's time for beers by the pint or pitcher including Two Brothers Prairie Path Golden Ale and Revolution Bottom Up Wit. On the stronger side, get acquainted with a solid selection of two dozen whiskeys as well as classic cocktails.
Cowboy boots not required. But not frowned upon, either.
Price: 2 (out of 4)
Noise: 3 (out of 4)
Subway: Pink Line to Polk
Scene: Little Italy diners looking for BBQ sauce instead of marinara
Best bets: St. Louis spare ribs; smoked bacon with firecracker applesauce; Kansas City burnt ends
Nearby: Three Aces; Davanti Enoteca; Francesca's