Lexington Betty Smokehouse

BBQ Joint

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The basics: Another instance of grandmothers instilling an early love for barbecue, Dominique Leach has gotten back to her culinary roots (after a stint in fine dining at Spiaggia, as one does) with this food truck-turned-restaurant. Black- and queer-owned—distinct in an industry stereotypically featuring straight white men—Lexington Betty started with food trucks before planting roots in Galewood near Oak Park, and adding a stall in Pullman’s One Eleven Food Hall. Evidently, the fanfare for her applewood-smoked pork, chicken, and brisket was sky-high, because not only is she expanding, she’s taking over the entire food hall and turning it into a larger, full-service barbecue restaurant (which means she’s also closing the Galewood location in order to centralize).
What the experts say: Rob Levitt, head butcher at Publican Quality Meats, values the restaurant for what it represents (in addition to just having straight-up good food). “I’m a big fan of Lexington Betty,” he says. “Dominique is a great chef and a really nice person and I love that Chicago can show the world that women can make first-rate barbecue.”
How to book: Online ordering is available via Clover, and dine-in and takeout are available at both locations until Leach shifts all operations to Pullman.

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