Hickory Smoked Turkey Breast
While standing in line at Smoky Jon’s to place an order, one is tempted to keep elbows out as patrons creep forward, crowding personal space in what can only be a primal urge stoked by the scent of wood-smoked meat coming from behind the counter. A winner here is the juicy smoked turkey breast sliced medium-thick and placed on a soft, fresh sesame seed deli-style egg bun. Nothing more to it than that; this sandwich is served up naked, proving that simple is always going to be better. You decide how much of that tangy and slightly chunky, slow-heat-rising, award-winning barbecue sauce to pour on.
Texas Sausage Dog
There is some darn fine Texas-style barbecue happening at the Double S on Monroe Street, and you’ll find it tucked in between upscale stores and cozy coffee shops. Inside, among Texas décor of metal, wood and leather, there is the Texas sausage dog, the taste of which begs you to tie up your horse and sit a spell. Co-owner and chef Shon Jones orders up the pork sausage link from the Lone Star state, smokes it off-site in nearby Deerfield, Wisconsin (in order to keep friendly relations among neighbors) and serves it snappy-crisp with deep char. His co-owner and wife Sarah delivers it to you on a hot dog bun slathered in mayonnaise and house-made barbecue sauce that’s just so caramely, earthy and rich. And it comes with a heap of French fries to boot.
East Texas native Jonny Hunter and his team at Underground Butcher know how to treat a brisket in this town. Tender? Yes. This may be hard to believe, but—stringy? No. Eighteen hours in a smoker beneath a Texas-style dry rub gives it a blackened crust and beautiful pink meat with pockets of glorious white fat. The sandwich itself is a study in big flavor and texture wrapped in market-style brown paper. House-made kimchi—tangy with a mild burn—is an exciting choice for accompaniment. Sometimes it’s made with Napa cabbage and sometimes with Brussels sprouts, but rest assured that whatever’s in season will provide toothsome appeal. Madison Sourdough’s sourdough bread is slathered with whole-grain mustard, then the whole sandwich is toasted on a griddle until flavors become a union of butter, smoke and tang.