I know there are some people here from Chicago so hopefully they will chime in here if they agree.
This weekend my wife and I took a mini vacation (No Kids!!) to Chicago, where we used to live until about 3 years ago. There is a restaurant called Smoque BBQ in Chicago that I promise you is the closest thing to competition quality BBQ you can get. Definitely the closest in the Midwest and I would put their quality up against anything served in a restaurant in the US. They don't try and have something for everyone they just do barbecue and do it well.
I am not an expert by any means on BBQ but I know great BBQ when I have it and it is the best I have ever had outside of a competition.
If you are in Chicago and want some excellent BBQ you must swing by Smoque BBQ and enjoy a wonderful meal. They are south of the intersection of Irving Park and Pulaski on Pulaski, on the West side of the road.
Felt like I needed to give them a shout out as I am always impressed when I go back.