True barbecue connoisseurs are already aware of what many say is
indisputably the best in Chicago: Smoque BBQ, the brainchild of
several guys who gave up working for The Man (in one case as an IT
consultant) to try their hands as restaurateurs-and the first time
was the charm.
The beauty of Smoque is that its menu is inspired by the
best barbecue from all over the country-Kansas City, Memphis,
Austin, St. Louis, North Carolina-and makes a unique style all its
own. The centerpiece here is the meat-not the sauce. Smoque
creators develop sauces that complement the specific meats, unlike
many barbecue joints that create a sauce and use it on every dish
Smoque novices should order a platter of brisket. The
platter includes the choice of tantalizing sides such as freshly
baked cornbread, barbecue baked beans and coleslaw. Then, "add a
taste," a small portion of another meat to sample,
such as the divine pulled pork.
The kids' menu is
tiny but crowd-pleasing: a mini pork or brisket sandwich served
with fries and macaroni and cheese. Equally miniscule is the
dessert menu: a peach cobbler so good it makes customers thrilled
that there wasn't another option.
One word of caution: Smoque is not exactly a secret hidden
gem, as evidenced by the consistently long lines. If your children
are impatient, consider visiting at non-peak hours or ordering
ahead for take-out.
Linda made it a goal to try out every kid-friendly venue in Chicago, which she chronicles in her Chicago Parent Good-to-Go column.
See more of Linda's stories here.
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