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Chicago’s Smoque BBQ pleases barbecue lovers of all ages

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.

If you go

Smoque BBQ

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 they serve.

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.

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