The two most talked about and polarizing types of cuisine are ramen and barbecue. Coincidentally, we don’t think anyone knows what the f*ck they are talking about despite endlessly debating the two. Us included. But we know what we like. We know what tastes good. And we know once you get people talking about what “real” barbecue or ramen should taste like, all hell breaks lose. It’s also why we think Brendan Sodikoff decided to open a giant warehouse of a barbecue restaurant with a tiny ramen shop in its basement - one big practical joke, and a genius marketing ploy to get people incessantly talking.
Both Green Street Smoked Meats and High Five Ramen are worth talking about, although this review is all about the smoked meats. Upon walking into Green Street from its somewhat mysterious alleyway entrance, you instantly feel like you just stepped into a pretty hip but low-key warehouse party. Hip because music is bumpin’, it’s a wide open and battered looking space, and people are hanging out over barbecue filled trays and beers. Low-key because, despite being loud, it’s not a full-blown rager. Instead, Green Street is a happy medium, and the type of lively enough place that works for indulging in barbecue and beer. And you’ll be getting the barbecue and beer on your own, because it’s cafeteria-style serve yourself before finding an open spot at one of the many picnic benches around.
And the barbecue? It’s pretty tasty, and done in a fashion most closely related to what you’d find in Texas. A side of white bread is common, and no sauce is cooked on the meat, although there is a basic sauce available for dipping on the side. So is it real Texas barbecue? Texans might say no, then again, someone from Kansas City, Carolina, or Memphis might say Texas barbecue isn’t great. But rather than solve the barbecue debate, which is more complicated than world peace, we’ll tell you that, when fresh, Green Street serves some good smoked meats. “When fresh” is an important qualifier though, because if you come late at night when things have been sitting around, chances are they’ll have run out of items, and the meat still available won’t be as good as it was earlier in the day. This is all Barbecue 101 though, so come early for the good stuff and it won’t disappoint.
What you shouldn’t be disappointed in either way are any of the sides, because they are fantastic. For $5 a pop they aren’t cheap, but you get plenty to make them ideal for sharing. And Green Street as a whole is ideal for sharing, especially since you have to purchase most meats by the half pound. It’s partially what makes this place great for hanging when you want to go out for dinner and a few beers, but then call it a night when the meal is done. So go kick it over some barbecue food and beers, just spare everyone the snobby “real barbecue” discussions.
A very caramelized and sweet edge is balanced nicely with the overall smokiness. We are big fans of what’s going on with this brisket.
A barbecue staple, and one done well. We don’t think sauce is needed on most of the meats, but we like to get it involved with the pulled pork. Use the white bread here too.
Fatty pork belly with a great rub on the outside. It’s definitely fatty though, so keep that in mind.
Not fall off the bone kind of ribs, but tender and meaty nonetheless. We don’t mind having to work for them a little.
We are real into hot links, and this one is no exception. It’s got a little bit of spice and a good snap when you cut into it.
This is the one thing we would definitely skip. Yes, it’s playfully served inside an actual bag of fritos, but it just doesn’t stack up to the other sides or meats.
Really flavorful with a great crunch. Not creamy, but also not too bland. One of the better coleslaws we’ve had.
This is some delicious broccoli salad, although we can only guess the amount of sugar that’s probably in it, the answer being a lot. It’s also probably why we like it so much.
Large chunks of potatoes in a mix that’s heavy on the mustard. Nothing wrong with it though, so order away.