Friday is National Hairball Awareness Day and Arbor Day. I couldn’t find a restaurant that serves cat, so I’m saluting Arbor Day with five local barbecue joints where you can enjoy the smoky flavor imbued by chips from trees no longer with us.
5443 E. 22nd St., 745-1212, 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturdays
“Chicago Style” barbecue is similar to Kansas City and Texas styles, but is a little less spicy and a little less sweet.
BRUSHFIRE BBQ CO.
2745 N. Campbell Ave., 624-3223, 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays
Eclectic, creative BBQ joint features great, extra-smoky brisket and six different sauce choices, including Sweet and Bold, Honey Dijon and Sweet Molasses.
16010 N. Oracle Road, 825-6510, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 8 a.m.- 8:30 p.m.Sundays
Texas-style barbecue at this joint in Catalina draws fans from far and wide. Signature Smoked Prime Rib is a favorite.
BUCK & LIL’S BBQ
5121 E. Grant Road, 325-5185, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays
Squeaky clean East Side eatery features a “Carolina Sweet” sauce that’s thin, crisply sweet and spiked with a clever level of spice and tang.
MR. K’S BARBECUE
1830 S. Park Ave., 792-9484, 10:30 a.m. -6 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays
Humble yet venerable South Side purveyor excels at East Texas BBQ, with excellent pulled pork, brisket and hot links.