Thank you for smoking
There’s no shortage of pork in Pilsen. Dip into any one of a dozen taquerías and you’ll find giant vats of crispy carnitas or hunks of roasted pork hiding in fresh tamales. But Willie Wagner wants to deliver pig to Pilsen all-American–style, via his Honky Tonk Barbecue. If the name sounds familiar, you may have seen the Honky Tonk portable smoker kicking out ’cue at a neighborhood fest last summer—Wagner was at the Hideout Block Party, Northalsted Market Days and Summer on Southport, among others. And after receiving countless compliments, typically mumbled through bites of smoky pulled pork, Wagner believes he has the chops to set up shop. His Southern Pride smoker eats up apple and hickory wood to flavor what he’s dubbed “Memphis-style,” dry-rubbed St. Louis and baby back ribs, pulled pork and beef brisket. The country-casual dining room is adjacent to a party space, where local band Fulton County Line will play on opening night Saturday 29, helping the joint to live up to its name. 1213 W 18th St between Racine Ave and Allport St (312-226-7427). BYOB.