Last Saturday was an excellent day for a bike ride compared to every other day this July in Chicago, since the high was only 88 degrees (as opposed to 100 degrees). So I decided to ride my bike 6 miles to Smoque BBQ in Irving Park, which has gotten excellent reviews on both Yelp (4.5 stars) and Zagat (26/30 for food).
I got there at about 1:30 pm, which was perfect. There were still quite a bit of people but not enough where I had to wait for a table. Right as I got in, a worker asked if I was eating there or to go, so he could get a table for me. Sure enough, after I ordered there was one ready, which was great.
I ordered a sliced brisket platter with the brisket chili and mac and cheese as my sides. I also added on 1/4 lb. of their St. Louis ribs. Overall, pretty affordable and in the same price range as other barbeque places I’ve been to ($12.95 for the platter + sides, $4.50 for the extra ribs).
I have no idea how the slaw tasted, because I wasn’t going to waste my stomach on fatty lettuce when I could be eating the rest of this deliciousness. The sides were so good, especially the brisket chili. You could really taste each individual part of it, especially tomatoes and the brisket. The mac and cheese tasted really homemade, while the breadcrumbs on top were a nice touch. Honestly, I wasn’t a huge fan of the ribs. I thought it would be fall-off-the-bone tender, but it just wasn’t.
The real winner was the sliced brisket. It was extremely tender and moist and quickly fell apart whenever I tried to get a slice of it on my fork. The sauce that comes with it didn’t overpower the meat at all, in fact, it probably would have been just as good without the sauce.
One of the workers was amused that I brought my own tupperware to bring the leftovers home, but I explained that I rode my bike and didn’t want anything to leak. And then what happened? One of the barbeque sauces accidentally opened and spilled everywhere on the way home! Anyway, this place was amazing and definitely fulfilled my barbeque craving. I’ll definitely be back!