HomeNewsWATCH: Wes Blankenship Delivers First 5-Pin Review to Smoker at Windy City Smokeout

WATCH: Wes Blankenship Delivers First 5-Pin Review to Smoker at Windy City Smokeout


Barbeque and country music go together like arts and crafts. If you got one, you probably got the other. That was definitely the case for the Windy City Smokeout.

If there’s going to be an event like that, Outsider wants to be there. So we shipped Wes Blankenship and Jim Casey up to Chicago to hit the ground and do some tasting and listening.

The Windy City Smokeout took place from July 8-11, and featured Dierks Bentley, Darius Rucker, Jon Pardi and many more. With 17 top-level barbeque makers, it left Wes with quite a few options.

However, only one received our first-ever “5-pin” review. For those who aren’t sure what we mean by that, using Outsider’s logo, a map pin, is how we rank our eats. With a 1 to 5 scale, it’s pretty self-explanatory from there.

As Wes mentions in the above video, the previous four barbecue spots registered a four-pin rating at worst. But thanks to the presence of Leroy and Lewis BBQ at the Windy City Smokeout, we now have a five-pin review.

The Austin, Texas-based crew delivered everything you want out of barbecue. As Wes puts it, they “improved the wheel, without totally trying to reinvent it.”

Leroy and Lewis BBQ Brings it at Windy City Smokeout

Wes Blankenship goes on to explain exactly why the barbecue was so dang good. At an event like this, good barbecue isn’t going to be hard to find. Which can make comparing and separating them a bit of a challenge.

But for Wes, a deciding factor was that Leroy and Lewis attempted not one, but two unique prepations of meat that felt fresh and new, but provided the comfort and taste one expects out of barbecue.

“Between the Bulgogi Beef Short Rib and the crispy Italian Pork Belly,” Blankenship said. “This place was more than ‘alright, alright, alright.'”

Austin at its best. While this writer hasn’t gotten to sample the fare, just take a look at the video and try to tell us it doesn’t look mouthwatering. And the dishes also fit the duo’s brand of “new school barbeque and old school service” in one place.

With a contemporary approach but a deep appreciation of their roots, it’s clear that Leroy and Lewis more than earned their 5-pin review at Windy City Smokeout.

And for those who either live in Austin or like to visit the iconic barbecue town, check them out. Located at 121 Pickle Road, Leroy and Lewis is serving something special in the Longhorn State.