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Smoque BBQ Chicago

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    Smoque BBQ Chicago

    Summary: Excellent TX style BBQ in a casual Chicago suburban restaurant.

    I was visiting the college roommate and (since I always smoke up a bunch of bbq when he visits me) we decided to go hunting for some Texas style BBQ in CHicago. We settled on Smoque and the five of us ordered a pound of brisket (from the point), a slab of STL style ribs, a pound of pulled pork and all of the sides.

    I asked for and got a nice tour of the facility (we had already checked the woodpile out back). They use four big Souther Pride units and a hot oven to glaze the ribs. I was impressed with the brisket which was moist and flavorful. I ordered mine all from the point yet it was not overly fatty. I noticed others with slices from the flat that seemed like the flat was pretty thin. I hate that when I cook, but the other patrons were happy with their results! The pulled pork was fine...they serve several types of sauces including Memphis and Carolina style along with a hot TX thin style for the brisket. The ribs were excellent with a nice texture and not falling off the bone. The cole slaw, chili, fries and mac n cheeses sides were excellent but the beans were less impressive.

    We didn't get around to the desserts or chicken but I can say this....it was better than MANY MANY TX bbq joints. Clearly the best we have eaten in Illinois so I recommend it to you all when up there....It is on the Old Irving Park neighborhood and not far off I-94 so it is easy to get to. Plenty of people working so stuff got picked up promptly and a nice energy about the place.

    Thanks for the review, I should be heading that way later this year and I'm interested in trying it out.


      That place is super famous and was recently featured on the Food Network show "Best. BBQ. Ever."


        Cool Name!


          Well I didn't get the super famous vibe. It was down to earth and had more of a neighborhood bbq joint. Give it a go.


            I've been to Smoque two times and enjoyed it immensely. The food is excellent but there are a few things a diner should be aware of before you go. First, it's not a traditional "sit down" restaurant. You wait in line to order and then sit at picnic tables (inside) or reserved tables (outside, summer-only). Many people simply grab and go. Second, the place did not have beer or alcohol the last time I went. Third, you might have a long wait in line before you get some food. At dinner, we waited 45 minutes before we got to order. BUT it was well worth the wait!


            • fracmeister
              fracmeister commented
              Editing a comment
              I agree. But being from Texas we expect that

            Barry Sorkin (the owner) is an incredibly customer focused guy. If you show any interest in the art of smoking foods, he will certainly hold a good discussion with you. Great guy.

            One of my workmates has driven 3.5 hrs EACH WAY to visit this restaurant.


            • Huskee
              Huskee commented
              Editing a comment
              Meathead would concur with that, his favorite and "best brisket in the nation" he says.

            Texas Brisket is their signature meat, if i do not get the brisket platter or sandwich i always get a "taste of brisket" every time i eat there. I havent been able to find another bbq joint in Chicago that servers their brisket still sweating its so moist....most places server brisket long after its cut and its dried out. IMO brisket should fall apart when trying to eat, Smoque BBQ does brisket right.

            Using phone check'in apps Foursquare and now Swarm i have nearly 200 checkins at Smoque BBQ in the past 5 years....i think i have a BBQ problem Helps that i lived little over a mile east of the joint.


              Robb I've been there once and agree their brisket is awesome. The pulled pork, ribs, and whatever else I had on my platter were good but not great. I got the impression they kept their smoker at perfect settings for brisket then cooked the other stuff as best they could.

              That said, the best barbecue I've ever eaten was made by me. Keep perfecting your craft and you won't need to eat out ever again! (Unless you want to)


              • scottranda
                scottranda commented
                Editing a comment
                David, is this the same "chain" as Smoque BBQ in Ballantyne?

              • David Parrish
                David Parrish commented
                Editing a comment
                I'm not sure.

              • Potkettleblack
                Potkettleblack commented
                Editing a comment

              I think ribs are the hardest to be consistent with. There are too many variables in the product and the cooking process. A place that can get consistent results with ribs is doing something great. Pulled port and brisket are more forgiving. I've had varying quality for ribs from the same place. You almost never get the same quality every time.

              The best rule is to serve the meat when it's done. My wife is very frustrated with me because I can't guarantee when the meat will be finished, unless we aim at an hour or two before dinner time. Then, the meat will have to sit for 30 minutes to an hour. I have no problem being flexible, but it's hard with kids and homework. Serving early or late is always a recipe for a poor experience. That's one reason why restaurant ribs are never as good ones you can make yourself and serve when they are ready.


                For me it was their brisket. Best I've had in awhile. Almost had a sweetness to it.


                  I love this place and I am sad you missed the excellent peach cobbler!


                  • fracmeister
                    fracmeister commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Born in Atlanta Georgia (I still flinch when I see a Yankee light a match) and a Ga Tech grad I am hard to be impressed with them northerners making peach cobbler. But I will try it next time and report.

                  My company has events catered by Smoque and their brisket and pulled pork are consistently amazing. Delicious sides too!


                    Add me as one more fan of the brisket at Smoque. Had it several years ago on a weekend trip to Chicago. Perfect combination of tenderness, bark consistency and flavor that complimented the beef very well. It was a good indication of popularity when they had to have 'parking for residents' signs nearby to try to control the patron's cars.


                      Born in Atlanta Georgia (I still flinch when I see a Yankee light a match) and a Ga Tech grad I am hard to be impressed with them northerners making peach cobbler. But I will try it next time and report.
                      fracmeister That is the funniest thing I have heard in a long time! I've had plenty of Northern friends who don't understand the mentality, and how it could still be talked about today. My ex wife's family were not slave owners, but everything was burned, there was a foundation about 20 yards from my house that was burned. Her great-grandpa was an infant when it happened, we aren't as far removed as people think, and in many of those areas not much has changed at all.



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