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  • Smoque [BBQ]

    Post #1 - September 7th, 2007, 3:22 pm
    Post #1 - September 7th, 2007, 3:22 pm Post #1 - September 7th, 2007, 3:22 pm
    Image

    Image
    St. Louis Ribs with Coleslaw and Cornbread

    "The owners of Smoque, in the historic Old Irving Park neighborhood, threw down a saucy gauntlet with their 2,300-word 'BBQ Manifesto.' Fortunately they had the chops to back it up. Applewood- and oak-smoked meats include St. Louis ribs, caramelized Chicago-style baby backs, and tenderly fatty Texas brisket served with piquant western North Carolina-inspired sauce. Macaroni and cheese au gratin, buttery peach cobbler, and smoked barbecue beans - studded with charred bits of brisket and pulled pork - gild the lily."

    That's what I wrote about Smoque for the April 2007 issue of Gourmet.

    Here's what we've written on LTH:

    "Opening in December - Smoque BBQ"
    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=10951

    "Hungry Hound effect on Smoque BBQ"
    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=12209

    But it's nearly impossible to express with words (2,300 or more) the heart and soul that Barry Sorkin infuses into Smoque. I suppose that's what his BBQ (and great sides) are for.

    I nominate Smoque BBQ.

    Smoque BBQ
    3800 N. Pulaski Rd.
    Chicago
    773-545-RIBS
    www.smoquebbq.com

    (see my Smoque BBQ Flickr set here http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/ ... 437646470/)
    Last edited by Louisa Chu on September 7th, 2007, 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #2 - September 7th, 2007, 5:06 pm
    Post #2 - September 7th, 2007, 5:06 pm Post #2 - September 7th, 2007, 5:06 pm
    Seconded, especially now that they actually have food (!) at their restaurant on a consistent basis. With early closings and shortages of brisket, pulled pork, or ribs on a given night, I felt like I was in Monty Python's cheese shop sketch for a while.

    Of course the reason I was there looking for that food all the time is that it is wonderful. With CoalFire, it is one of the most illustrative, even cautionary, tales of this board's love affair with and influence on the patronage curve of good new places. We weren't the only source to proclaim its porky pleasures from the rooftops, but have been among the most loyal. As young as it is, I still think it deserves GNR recognition and know it will be around for a long time.

    If Roger Ebert can recognize Pan's Labyrinth as a Great Movie (of all time) after less than 12 months, Smoque can have its day as well.
  • Post #3 - September 7th, 2007, 5:16 pm
    Post #3 - September 7th, 2007, 5:16 pm Post #3 - September 7th, 2007, 5:16 pm
    Anyone who's read the Smoque threads that Louisa linked above would know that I heartily second this nomination. I think Barry, Mike and the crew do a fantastic job. Their food is outstanding and they're very adept at customer service, too.

    I live in Deerfield and I routinely travel to Smoque to get my grub on. Would anyone care to count how many wonderful places I pass on my way there? :wink: :)

    Great call, Louisa!

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #4 - September 7th, 2007, 5:25 pm
    Post #4 - September 7th, 2007, 5:25 pm Post #4 - September 7th, 2007, 5:25 pm
    Well, I'll be the first to chime in and say that I don't particularly love Smoque's barbecue. It just doesn't do it for me.

    But, it has the track record to be a GNR, so even if it's not G to me, I think it's still an LTH GNR, and I think it's a good nomination.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #5 - September 7th, 2007, 6:36 pm
    Post #5 - September 7th, 2007, 6:36 pm Post #5 - September 7th, 2007, 6:36 pm
    gleam wrote:Well, I'll be the first to chime in and say that I don't particularly love Smoque's barbecue. It just doesn't do it for me.

    But, it has the track record to be a GNR, so even if it's not G to me, I think it's still an LTH GNR, and I think it's a good nomination.


    I more or less agree with gleam. While Smoque is not my first choice for BBQ (Unless I'm looking for brisket, which isn't available anywhere else), I see no reason why it isn't a great GNR nomination. Smoque has captured the attention and love of the board, and the proprietors are passionate about BBQ and to turning out the best food that they can. I'm glad to see multiple BBQ nominations this time around. So far, I have not disagreed with any of them. Smoque=yes.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #6 - September 7th, 2007, 9:46 pm
    Post #6 - September 7th, 2007, 9:46 pm Post #6 - September 7th, 2007, 9:46 pm
    stevez wrote:
    gleam wrote:Well, I'll be the first to chime in and say that I don't particularly love Smoque's barbecue. It just doesn't do it for me.

    But, it has the track record to be a GNR, so even if it's not G to me, I think it's still an LTH GNR, and I think it's a good nomination.


    I more or less agree with gleam.


    I fully agree with gleam. In fact, just tonight I came home from a business trip to find that my wife had her parents over with Smoque take-out. I thought everything really sucked except for the beans.

    But, when you talk about board track record and community love, there are few that top Smoque in this department, so, like Sabatino's in the past, I begrudgingly support this nomination.
  • Post #7 - September 8th, 2007, 7:07 am
    Post #7 - September 8th, 2007, 7:07 am Post #7 - September 8th, 2007, 7:07 am
    While I like but don't love the barbeque, I really enjoy their brisket. Also, their customer service is outstanding. I second this nomination.
    We have the very best Embassy stuff.
  • Post #8 - September 8th, 2007, 10:00 am
    Post #8 - September 8th, 2007, 10:00 am Post #8 - September 8th, 2007, 10:00 am
    Man, what a coterie of effete snooty-pants dilettantes!™

    I've just been in barbecue heaven, so I could pull out some world-class comparisons to judge Smoque by, but I have an easier comparison: how many times did I go there after the first time I tried it?

    The answer is at least 10, maybe 15, which is more than once a month. Yeah, I think I like the place. Or more to the point, the whole family likes it and it's an easy family place, which is a big contributor to why I've gone there so much.

    I like the brisket, which is nicely smoky, tender, and meaty, a lot. It has its own style, a little wet and tender, not robustly meaty quite like, say, Texas hill country brisket, but delectable; as with pizza, I don't see why liking one style should mean I can't like the next five styles too. I like the pulled pork and ribs, but not as much as the brisket. I like the sauces, which are not gloppy sweet like so many, and the bread, which is substantial enough that the sandwiches are actually sandwiches, not the quickly-dilapidated remains of sandwiches, and the sides, which are much more than an afterthought, with very good twice-cooked fries, smoky beans, tartly minimalist cole slaw and the excellent mac and cheese which is the only thing my youngest, bolognatarian son actually eats there (besides fries). I like that it's family-friendly and in Old Irving Park, not frat-boy rowdy and in Lakeview. I like that it's teaching Old Irving Park that there's something besides Gale Street Inn ribs. I like that the owners, who have been behind the eight ball pretty much since Smoque opened, watch and observe and are constantly and conscientiously working to improve the place, or at least keep it from collapsing under its own success.

    I like Smoque a lot, and I know a lot of other LTHers do, too.

    Image
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  • Post #9 - September 9th, 2007, 9:18 am
    Post #9 - September 9th, 2007, 9:18 am Post #9 - September 9th, 2007, 9:18 am
    I heartily agree with this nomination. Smoque is a fantastic example of a GNR. They provide excellent barbecue (including the best brisket in the Chicagoland area, nice tasty ribs, and even great smoked chicken), fantastic sides (fresh fried fries, crunchy coleslaw, and peach cobbler.) Smoque is a true neighborhood gem and destination dining at the same time. Plus they have an LTHforum pork clock on the wall!

    A deep, tasty menu (and deeply tasty menu) and an important contribution to barbecue in Chicago, Smoque is a slam-dunk for dinner and a GNR Award.

    Veeral
  • Post #10 - September 9th, 2007, 2:34 pm
    Post #10 - September 9th, 2007, 2:34 pm Post #10 - September 9th, 2007, 2:34 pm
    Plus they have an LTHforum pork clock on the wall!


    Wow! They do? For how long?
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #11 - September 9th, 2007, 4:15 pm
    Post #11 - September 9th, 2007, 4:15 pm Post #11 - September 9th, 2007, 4:15 pm
    Mike G wrote:Wow! They do? For how long?


    Till the batteries run out.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #12 - September 10th, 2007, 3:22 am
    Post #12 - September 10th, 2007, 3:22 am Post #12 - September 10th, 2007, 3:22 am
    Santander wrote: With early closings and shortages of brisket, pulled pork, or ribs on a given night, I felt like I was in Monty Python's cheese shop sketch for a while.


    Outstanding reference.

    I am a huge fan of Smoque as well. I read their manifesto and have seen them grow and adapt since opening day. They do have food now! It was actually pretty awesome to see them sell out so often and then bounce back with adequate services without a compromise to quality.

    Their hospitality is second to none. I've only delt with Barry on a few occasions, but he's been nothing short of great to do business with. actually - he bailed me out on short notice after my BBQ sauce $%^& the bed, half gallon, homemade, one day's notice. Thats a true BBQ guy.

    Solid choice.
  • Post #13 - February 17th, 2009, 1:10 pm
    Post #13 - February 17th, 2009, 1:10 pm Post #13 - February 17th, 2009, 1:10 pm
    This restaurant is currently up for GNR renewal. Please post your comments below.

    Thanks,

    =R=
    for the GNRs
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #14 - February 18th, 2009, 12:44 pm
    Post #14 - February 18th, 2009, 12:44 pm Post #14 - February 18th, 2009, 12:44 pm
    this one is a big h--l yeah from me. no brainer. great bbq. i don't know of anywhere else i can get ribs AND brisket AND pulled pork AND texas sausage AND great sides all at one place.
  • Post #15 - February 18th, 2009, 2:41 pm
    Post #15 - February 18th, 2009, 2:41 pm Post #15 - February 18th, 2009, 2:41 pm
    I heartily support renewal here, too. I love Smoque because their food -- meats and sides -- is delicious and because they seem to always to go that extra mile for their customers. Even in the face of long lines, they do everything they can to be friendly, accomodating and helpful.

    Barry, Mike, Al and the crew never stand pat, either. For a place that's already this busy/popular to be still working on "perfecting" their offerings, adding new menu items and increasing capacity says a lot about their dedication to the craft and their appreciation of their customers.

    A definitely 'yes' on a renewal for Smoque! :)

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #16 - February 18th, 2009, 5:00 pm
    Post #16 - February 18th, 2009, 5:00 pm Post #16 - February 18th, 2009, 5:00 pm
    I am all for Smoque remaining a GNR for the reasons stated above, though I do have one small bone to pick - Barry did admit to using liquid smoke in his beans on D, D & D - isn't that a sin punishable by ostracism and exile in many circles?

    I can forgive.
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #17 - February 18th, 2009, 5:05 pm
    Post #17 - February 18th, 2009, 5:05 pm Post #17 - February 18th, 2009, 5:05 pm
    They better add tips or I vote NO! Just kidding, they can stay on the GNR list anyway.
    I just want to eat what I want and be left alone.
  • Post #18 - March 10th, 2009, 12:01 pm
    Post #18 - March 10th, 2009, 12:01 pm Post #18 - March 10th, 2009, 12:01 pm
    More smoke rising here:

    viewtopic.php?p=231483#p231483
    viewtopic.php?p=244936#p244936
    viewtopic.php?p=234116#p234116
    viewtopic.php?p=234116#p234116
  • Post #19 - March 10th, 2009, 12:04 pm
    Post #19 - March 10th, 2009, 12:04 pm Post #19 - March 10th, 2009, 12:04 pm
    dicksond wrote:Barry did admit to using liquid smoke in his beans on D, D & D - isn't that a sin punishable by ostracism and exile in many circles?

    D,

    Yes, most definitely, but, still, I support GNR renewal for Smoque.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #20 - September 19th, 2011, 4:56 am
    Post #20 - September 19th, 2011, 4:56 am Post #20 - September 19th, 2011, 4:56 am
    This place is up for renewal of its GNR. Please post your comments here until 10/10/11.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #21 - September 27th, 2011, 6:40 pm
    Post #21 - September 27th, 2011, 6:40 pm Post #21 - September 27th, 2011, 6:40 pm
    You would think that my recent move back to Texas would help satisfy my Smoque BBQ cravings, but you would be wrong. I still dream of Smoque and have been back several times during few my short visits to Chicago.

    This is because Smoque offers the whole package- from the excellent brisket and ribs to the tasty smoked chicken, paired with some of the best fries and slaw that one can find in all of Chicagoland (and probably the country.) Such a wonderful bounty, served with a smile and the gracious hosting of Barry and company - who always make me feel welcome.

    I grew up in Texas, but I still consider Smoque a little piece of home.

    veeral
  • Post #22 - September 27th, 2011, 7:08 pm
    Post #22 - September 27th, 2011, 7:08 pm Post #22 - September 27th, 2011, 7:08 pm
    I must have missed that Smoque was up for renewal. Renewal is a no-brainer for me. It's my favorite BBQ joint in the city. The food is consistently great, prices are very good, it is well run, and the staff is friendly.
  • Post #23 - September 27th, 2011, 10:17 pm
    Post #23 - September 27th, 2011, 10:17 pm Post #23 - September 27th, 2011, 10:17 pm
    A hearty recommendation from me as well. Their brisket is what dreams are made of.
    I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
  • Post #24 - September 28th, 2011, 7:11 am
    Post #24 - September 28th, 2011, 7:11 am Post #24 - September 28th, 2011, 7:11 am
    Another vote for Smoque. Consistently excellent.
  • Post #25 - September 28th, 2011, 9:45 am
    Post #25 - September 28th, 2011, 9:45 am Post #25 - September 28th, 2011, 9:45 am
    "Of all the gin joints..." my daughter chose this place to celebrate her first communion. We gave them a heads up that we were coming and they could not have been nicer. They pushed a few tables together for us and were patient when we ordered for the group. Their suggestions were helpful on terms of quantity and variety. BYOB, great BBQ and clean friendly atmoshpere- all agreed what a great place. It gets my vote.
    What disease did cured ham actually have?
  • Post #26 - October 2nd, 2011, 4:07 pm
    Post #26 - October 2nd, 2011, 4:07 pm Post #26 - October 2nd, 2011, 4:07 pm
    I heartily endorse renewal for Smoque, which is one of my favorite places in town. In my multiple experiences there (eat-in, carry-out, catering), the food's been at a consistently high level, and service is fantastic and friendly. To me, Smoque is a textbook GNR.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #27 - October 7th, 2011, 1:58 pm
    Post #27 - October 7th, 2011, 1:58 pm Post #27 - October 7th, 2011, 1:58 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:I heartily endorse renewal for Smoque, which is one of my favorite places in town. In my multiple experiences there (eat-in, carry-out, catering), the food's been at a consistently high level, and service is fantastic and friendly. To me, Smoque is a textbook GNR.

    =R=

    I couldn't say it any better. Yes to renewal!
    -Mary
  • Post #28 - October 9th, 2011, 12:49 am
    Post #28 - October 9th, 2011, 12:49 am Post #28 - October 9th, 2011, 12:49 am
    I fully support Smoque continuing enterprise (GNR and otherwise). [edit for wrong monosyllabic restaurant name].
  • Post #29 - October 9th, 2011, 6:26 am
    Post #29 - October 9th, 2011, 6:26 am Post #29 - October 9th, 2011, 6:26 am
    Fully support GNR renewal for Smoque. Busy as a one legged hooker at a pie eating contest they are not content to rest on success constantly striving to improve hoping to make the precipitous leap from constantly excellent to ethereal.

    Smoque, count me a fan!
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #30 - October 10th, 2011, 7:33 am
    Post #30 - October 10th, 2011, 7:33 am Post #30 - October 10th, 2011, 7:33 am
    Absolutely yes, yes yes . . . although if they don't soon put the pastrami on their menu that they featured at this year's GCM bbq event, I might lose my mind - best pastrami I've ever tasted . . . and I'm not even sure it's worth talking about the second best.

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