Things you may know about Lillie’s Q, Wicker Park’s newest BBQ joint opening tomorrow:
1. Chef Charlie McKenna is at the helm. He’s sous-cheffed at Tru and Avenues, so you know he means bidness.
2. Two custom smokers from Georgia help McKenna fulfill his duties as pit master.
3. McKenna competes (and consistently wins) at Memphis in May, the country’s biggest and best BBQ competition.
Things you don’t know (but should):
1. McKenna tested recipes for seven years before settling on the best.
2. If you slather the Ivory sauce (one of five to pick from) on the pulled chicken, it tastes like smoked chicken salad.
4. McKenna’s mom flew in to teach Lillie’s kitchen staff to make the meringue-topped banana pudding, a generations-old family recipe.
5. Metropolitan Brewing tweaked its copper lager recipe to make it fit for Lillie’s — the house blend even has its own label.
6. A four-foot moonshine still from Kentucky sits behind the bar, equipped to turn out extra-strong white corn whiskey.
7. Come fall, McKenna’s sweetly outfitted BBQ trailer (flat-screen TV, stage, three smokers) will roll to backyard parties, rehearsal dinners, and more.
Lillie’s Q, 1856 West North Avenue, at Wolcott Avenue (773-772-5500 or lilliesq.com).
Photo: Erik Forsberg / Flickr