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Smoque BBQ - now with sausage from Texas

Smoque BBQ - now with sausage from Texas
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  • Post #61 - August 27th, 2008, 8:03 pm
    Post #61 - August 27th, 2008, 8:03 pm Post #61 - August 27th, 2008, 8:03 pm
    Well, yeah. Of course not. But it's sort of essential to the story the writer wrote, no? Given the comparison established, the only thing we know is that Smoque has stayed open two years, and that that other one restaurant closed after one year, with several years between the two openings and closings. This is by no means a criticism of Smoque, which I adore and wish will stay around forever. It's a criticism of the piece. For a story about how careful planning pays off, I would have liked to learn what payoff there's been beyond staying open. After all, plenty of restaurants not nearly as apparently successful as Smoque still manage to survive. Has all that Smoque planning - not to mention a half-million dollar loan (compared to that other joint's $17,000 loan) - paid dividends or merely the rent (as it were)? Like I said, I'm simply curious, since it's a huge missing piece of an otherwise incomplete story. Why establish the success/fail dialectic if the story itself fails to define success?


    I read it like Vitesse - interesting but flawed article, not challenging or illuminating enough to be a useful guide.
  • Post #62 - August 28th, 2008, 8:54 am
    Post #62 - August 28th, 2008, 8:54 am Post #62 - August 28th, 2008, 8:54 am
    Santander wrote:
    Well, yeah. Of course not. But it's sort of essential to the story the writer wrote, no? Given the comparison established, the only thing we know is that Smoque has stayed open two years, and that that other one restaurant closed after one year, with several years between the two openings and closings. This is by no means a criticism of Smoque, which I adore and wish will stay around forever. It's a criticism of the piece. For a story about how careful planning pays off, I would have liked to learn what payoff there's been beyond staying open. After all, plenty of restaurants not nearly as apparently successful as Smoque still manage to survive. Has all that Smoque planning - not to mention a half-million dollar loan (compared to that other joint's $17,000 loan) - paid dividends or merely the rent (as it were)? Like I said, I'm simply curious, since it's a huge missing piece of an otherwise incomplete story. Why establish the success/fail dialectic if the story itself fails to define success?


    I read it like Vitesse - interesting but flawed article, not challenging or illuminating enough to be a useful guide.


    Hi, I'm the author of the story in the NY Times and read these boards frequently, so I thought I'd answer a couple of your comments. My regular job is as a correspondent for the Business Day section, where I write about the airline industry. I went to cooking school in Paris, and have studied here since then, so I like to write for Dining when I can. We don't have any food writers outside New York, so I'm always on the look out for interesting ideas.

    Since the story was written for Dining, and not for Bizday, we left out some of the information that several people commented on (under the rationale that it was a food story first, and a business story second.) I disagree that the information about profits is a "huge piece of an otherwise incomplete story," since the story was meant to be about the overall subject of people who get into the restaurant business without a food background. But as a business writer, I am sensitive to the criticism.

    I did read the Smoque business plan, and Barry Sorkin asked me not to make any of its details public. But I saw the numbers of people they expected to serve in the first three years, and as I wrote, Smoque is serving thousands more per year. Barry also said that they were profitable after a year, and continue to be, but would not give me specific figures (it's hard to put that in context, anyway, without giving readers more data from the business plan.) With those profits, they've invested in a second smoker, expanded capacity of their original smoker, and are adding a catering kitchen. Clearly, some of you would have liked to have seen that info included, and I'll make sure they hear that feedback.

    Not to hijack the board, but if anybody wants to contact me directly, you can find a link to my email here: http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference ... index.html

    Thanks for reading the story!
  • Post #63 - August 28th, 2008, 9:07 am
    Post #63 - August 28th, 2008, 9:07 am Post #63 - August 28th, 2008, 9:07 am
    Welcome! Great story.

    Glad to see a reporter acknowledge the obvious: that you frequent these boards. You might be surprised how resistant some pros are to say that. In any event, your crossover reporting status puts you in terrific company. My first activity on these boards (their predecessor, really) coincided, roughly, with a series of emails between me and Johnny Apple about the provenance and proper ingredients of a Cuban sandwich. Along with Royko, Apple was the best reporter ever.

    Jeff
  • Post #64 - August 28th, 2008, 9:13 am
    Post #64 - August 28th, 2008, 9:13 am Post #64 - August 28th, 2008, 9:13 am
    mickimaynard wrote:Hi, I'm the author of the story in the NY Times and read these boards frequently, so I thought I'd answer a couple of your comments.

    Micheline,

    Thanks for the additional perspective. I found the overall story interesting, made more so by the pleasure of seeing a thoughtful hard working fellow like Barry Sorkin get positive recognition in the NY Times.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #65 - August 28th, 2008, 9:55 am
    Post #65 - August 28th, 2008, 9:55 am Post #65 - August 28th, 2008, 9:55 am
    Since the story was written for Dining, and not for Bizday, we left out some of the information that several people commented on (under the rationale that it was a food story first, and a business story second.)


    Thank you for this insight, and for your open and welcoming presence here. We are always delighted to have the participation of professional journalists and writers on the board.

    I think this article has enough material to make a strong followup in Bizday down the line - the unanswered questions are good ones, and really could help guide (even save) some potential restauranteurs out there. I'd be very interested to know how you settled on these two restaurants in two different cities as your examples.
  • Post #66 - August 30th, 2008, 1:32 pm
    Post #66 - August 30th, 2008, 1:32 pm Post #66 - August 30th, 2008, 1:32 pm
    their pulled pork is my favorite; i think pulled pork maybe my favorite bbq, but i'm not so sure i'm a fan of the sandwiches (pulled pork sandwiches in general)... is there any other place in the city that does good pulled pork that i can just buy, dip and eat??
  • Post #67 - August 30th, 2008, 1:43 pm
    Post #67 - August 30th, 2008, 1:43 pm Post #67 - August 30th, 2008, 1:43 pm
    MBK wrote:their pulled pork is my favorite; i think pulled pork maybe my favorite bbq, but i'm not so sure i'm a fan of the sandwiches (pulled pork sandwiches in general)... is there any other place in the city that does good pulled pork that i can just buy, dip and eat??


    You can always order a pulled pork plate. That's a bigger portion served without the bread. YOu get 2 sides with that as well.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #68 - August 30th, 2008, 8:18 pm
    Post #68 - August 30th, 2008, 8:18 pm Post #68 - August 30th, 2008, 8:18 pm
    MBK wrote:their pulled pork is my favorite; i think pulled pork maybe my favorite bbq, but i'm not so sure i'm a fan of the sandwiches (pulled pork sandwiches in general)... is there any other place in the city that does good pulled pork that i can just buy, dip and eat??


    I have mentioned it a few times but some of my favorite smoked pork comes from Whole Foods on Peterson and Cicero. They recently raised the price a couple bucks but I believe it is still only $11.00 a pound and you can ask for specific pieces of meat depending on your preferences.
    “Statistics show that of those who contract the habit of eating, very few survive.”
    George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright (1856-1950)
  • Post #69 - August 31st, 2008, 11:54 am
    Post #69 - August 31st, 2008, 11:54 am Post #69 - August 31st, 2008, 11:54 am
    thanks third coast. i was their oddly enough last night; i'll buy a pound the next time, thanks!
  • Post #70 - September 25th, 2008, 8:17 am
    Post #70 - September 25th, 2008, 8:17 am Post #70 - September 25th, 2008, 8:17 am
    LTH,

    Had lunch with my friend Laura P at Smoque yesterday, Texas style sausage was dead-on, nice crisp snap to the casing, juicy peppery interior, a delicious smoked link. Would have been even better if I had a slice or three of cheap white bread, the classic BBQ accompaniment, on the side.

    Smoque's Texas Style Sausage in foreground

    Image

    Mike rubbing Ribs

    Image

    Laura P, Barry Sorkin

    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #71 - September 25th, 2008, 8:43 am
    Post #71 - September 25th, 2008, 8:43 am Post #71 - September 25th, 2008, 8:43 am
    Hey Gary - looks awesome! But really, you don't need no bread when you have that lip-smacking mac & cheese, do you? That was some of the best mac & cheese I've ever tasted - and that was after a whole day of eating with you-know-who.
    Life Is Too Short To Not Play With Your Food
    My Blog: http://funplayingwithfood.blogspot.com
  • Post #72 - September 25th, 2008, 11:58 am
    Post #72 - September 25th, 2008, 11:58 am Post #72 - September 25th, 2008, 11:58 am
    NancyEsq, I see by your locater that you are in Cleveland. Are you familiar with Mt. Pleasant BBQ over at 127th and Kinsman? If so, have you tried the Beef PB Deluxe?

    Mt. Pleasant has become one of my favorite Greasehouses in the country. They have a full compliment of smoked pork, including ribs and pulled pork, along with fried fish and chicken, an amazing array of housemade side dishes, and some tantalizing desserts.

    The "PB" in Beef PB Deluxe refers to "Polish Boy", a deep fried kielbasa nestled in a standard hot dog bun, smothered in pulled pork, covered in creamy style cole slaw, a layer of French fries, and then doused with the house Barbecue Sauce. It is a miserable mess to eat and a total joy at the same time.

    I have proposed to Barry Sorkin that he could recreate a version of this with ingredients he already has on hand. I even went so far as to bring in the buns so we could try assembling one. Overall it was a success, except for the cole slaw. His slaw recipe, which I like very much as a stand alone side dish, just didn't work with the sandwich. If he was going to do it, he would have to bring in a creamy style slaw in order for it to work.

    Nancy, I know Mt. Pleasant's 127th & Kinsman neighborhood is not the best, but in my estimation, it is worth the trip.

    Buddy

    Whitmore's* Mt. Pleasant BBQ
    12725 Kinsman
    Cleveland, OH
    (216) 561-8722

    *This is the original location of the ubiquitous Whitmore's BBQ chain which has numerous outposts throughout the Cleveland area. The quality to be found at the rest of the chain does not match up to what you will find here, and has no affiliation with the Mt. Pleasant store.
  • Post #73 - September 25th, 2008, 12:11 pm
    Post #73 - September 25th, 2008, 12:11 pm Post #73 - September 25th, 2008, 12:11 pm
    Buddy - thanks for the tip - we'll have to try them!
    Life Is Too Short To Not Play With Your Food
    My Blog: http://funplayingwithfood.blogspot.com
  • Post #74 - October 15th, 2008, 12:07 pm
    Post #74 - October 15th, 2008, 12:07 pm Post #74 - October 15th, 2008, 12:07 pm
    We carried out lunch for our office today from Smoque and it was awesome, textbook. There was great bark on the brisket and the pulled pork, both of which were tender and nicely fatty. Babyback ribs were smoky and juicy with a nice crust. The sausages were intoxicatingly good, with that mild spice and tell-tale snap.

    It had been a couple months since I'd had Smoque's food and I was thrilled to know that, even on a carry-out basis, everything is just as amazing as ever, possibly even improved over my previous visits, which was pretty hard needle to thread. This place just keeps humming along.

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #75 - October 15th, 2008, 11:02 pm
    Post #75 - October 15th, 2008, 11:02 pm Post #75 - October 15th, 2008, 11:02 pm
    I dined-in at Smoque a week and a half ago, at about 7 p.m. and opted, once again, for the pulled pork platter. It was excellent. I can't handle the fat of the brisket. :x One of the things I noticed that I hadn't seen prior was how much more controlled the seating is by the management - and I think it's working well, to the advantage of most customers. Accompanying the pulled pork was a large order of mac and cheese (comes as two small / regular containers), the slaw, and peach cobbler. The cobbler is a weak item on the menu, IMO - too much of a "straight from the can" taste to the peaches. The staff - behind the counter as well as in front - does an excellent job.
  • Post #76 - November 27th, 2008, 10:14 am
    Post #76 - November 27th, 2008, 10:14 am Post #76 - November 27th, 2008, 10:14 am
    The four of us had a pre-photo-sitting dinner at Smoque on Tuesday evening.
    I for one liked the managed line and seat process. We had a table before our food was ready, which is really all you need with this sort of food. It seemed a more polite system than typical counter service, and sort of a classy touch.

    Overall, I enjoyed it very much with a few reservations. I can't really compare to Honey 1, since I ordered very differently, and it's been a while.

    We ordered two briskets, a pulled pork and a sausage, with a side of ribs (Thing1 noted that a side 1/4 slab of ribs is significantly cheaper than 1/4 the price of a full slab. Go figure). The brisket surprised me by being moist. The two places I've been to in Texas were relatively dry -- the meat had a succulentness, but the surfaces were dry. Here, it was much closer to my family's Jewish brisket. I liked it very much, but it wasn't what I was expecting. The smoke flavor was not especially strong here.

    I actually think I liked the pulled pork here more than the brisket, it was a little smokier. The sausage had a great pop to the skin, but otherwise didn't wow me. (Still hankering for another one from The Salt Lick outside Austin).

    Side dishes: Their vinegar slaw is not my favorite style, but it's a nice foil for the fatty meats where a creamy one just would add to the heaviness. Brisket Chili was tasty, but perhaps a little too salty and a bit watery. Mac'n'Cheese was outstanding with a lot of bread crumbs. MrsF had the fries (terrific) and cornbread (didn't taste, she didn't comment on it), and the boys split a large fries and the side of ribs, rather than going for the combo, since they don't care for slaw anyway.

    I'd definitely go back again. I don't know if anyone upthread has mentioned, but it's easy to miss this place if you're heading south on Pulaski past Irving Park. It's just past the "City Smiles" sign on the right (and you can use their lot after 5:30PM).
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #77 - November 27th, 2008, 10:39 pm
    Post #77 - November 27th, 2008, 10:39 pm Post #77 - November 27th, 2008, 10:39 pm
    Mr. X and I enjoyed Smoque recently before a Bulls game. (Not really on the way to the UC from Rogers Park, but we wanted Smoque.) I hadn't been for a long time. I liked his brisket platter (sliced and chopped) more than my pullled pork, but really that was splitting hairs. Both were delicious. I think the mac n' cheese has gotten much better. It was less salty than I remember and had the right balance of crunchy topping and creaminess. I enjoyed the baked beans with a few furtive samples of Mr. X's fries. The fries are quite good. I believe eatchicago came in for take-out that night. Sorry to not say hello -- my focus was on our food. One amusing note: we had brought two beers, but only drank one. It wasn't until we got to the car that I remembered the other beer that was in a bag under our table. I went back for it, only to find it had been thrown out. Barry and I went to the trash can and he gamely dug under a light layer of trash to find the bag. Fortunately, the beer bottle was unscathed. I declined taking the bag back.

    I also agree with JoelF. The seating situation was very well managed. Much like Hot Doug's.
    -Mary
  • Post #78 - December 3rd, 2008, 2:29 am
    Post #78 - December 3rd, 2008, 2:29 am Post #78 - December 3rd, 2008, 2:29 am
    So I went to Smoque today for the first time with mixed reviews....

    1. at $11 for maybe 5 ounces of brisket, some fries, and cole slaw I felt a little jipped...but thats just my standpoint

    2. the service to me seemed to be a fake friendly ( the cashier smiled and her tone was happy but I felt very rushed even though there was no one behind me and the place was not busy at all...but this could also just be me having a bad day or something)

    2.5 I was somewhat confused about seating after reading the sign and after looking around all I could find was a table for four...and I was just one. Not wanting to stand as I ate my meal I ate at the table of four and felt like a jerk to make others wait. Maybe a wall with stools across it would have been a good alternative for single diners like myself....or maybe I should start dining with others. :(

    3. Loved the fries, liked the brisket, and just iffy on the cole slaw.

    4. I ordered the brisket sandwich and got the brisket platter ( no bun, lettuce, etc. or whatever actually comes on the sandwich...I wouldnt know because I never got that but I'm not one to complain or mix things up so I took what they gave me)


    All in all I enjoyed my meal and I'm not putting down the restaurant or the owners, I just didn't have that "knock me out of the ballpark" experience like I did at Wiener and still champion the other day.

    I'll definitely be back eventually for both style ribs since that was my reason to go in the first place...why'd I order brisket anyway? :P
    GOOD TIMES!
  • Post #79 - December 3rd, 2008, 8:04 am
    Post #79 - December 3rd, 2008, 8:04 am Post #79 - December 3rd, 2008, 8:04 am
    Jayz wrote:2.5 I was somewhat confused about seating after reading the sign and after looking around all I could find was a table for four...and I was just one. Not wanting to stand as I ate my meal I ate at the table of four and felt like a jerk to make others wait. Maybe a wall with stools across it would have been a good alternative for single diners like myself....or maybe I should start dining with others. :(


    FWIW, I think the "fear" of this (if that's not too strong a word) is why I haven't been to Smoque. (Otherwise, it's inexplicable. To the question of "why the hell don't you just go to Smoque and finally find out what makes them great," I don't have a very good answer.) My needs--and they are obviously not the same as those of many of you--include needing to know before I go that there will be a place for me to sit down with my food. (Smoque is too far away from home for me to consider it a carry-out possibility; it is either a dining destination for me or it is nothing.) The sense I've received that seating is unpredictable, or that I'd be made to feel unethical parking my lone carcass at a table for four, has been the main factor keeping me away. I know, more for the rest of you, and I can live with that.

    I have a couple of friends who live nearby the place and the subject has been broached of heading over with them at some point, and that will probably happen.
  • Post #80 - December 3rd, 2008, 8:17 am
    Post #80 - December 3rd, 2008, 8:17 am Post #80 - December 3rd, 2008, 8:17 am
    I'm not a huge fan of Smoque's food, but they do have a few items I enjoy and they're really close to home, so I do take out from there from time to time.

    When I do get take out, I spend a small amount of time standing and waiting for my order and observing the operation.

    I have to say that I think this is one of the most well-run restaurants I've seen in a long time. There is always someone (usually Barry) managing the line of customers and the dining room. He's taking stock of which customers need a table. He makes sure that people aren't saving tables from the back, he directs his busboys to keep tables clear ASAP. He's moving tables around, making space, and generally keeping the dining room moving. The kitchen runs like clockwork and the orders get out fast. Even when the line is out the door, I've never seen someone who needed a table have to wait very long to sit.

    Jayz wrote:Not wanting to stand as I ate my meal


    I've never, ever seen someone do this, nor have I heard any report of it. Were people standing and waiting to sit with their food while you ate?

    riddlemay wrote:I think the "fear" of this (if that's not too strong a word) is why I haven't been to Smoque.


    Based on my numerous observations, I think your fear is entirely unfounded.
  • Post #81 - December 3rd, 2008, 9:50 am
    Post #81 - December 3rd, 2008, 9:50 am Post #81 - December 3rd, 2008, 9:50 am
    riddlemay wrote:My needs--and they are obviously not the same as those of many of you--

    No kidding :!:

    I volunteer to be your Smoque security blanket, PM me a few tentative dates for lunch next week and when settled I will put it on the events board for any who care to join in your maiden Smoque voyage.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #82 - December 3rd, 2008, 9:55 am
    Post #82 - December 3rd, 2008, 9:55 am Post #82 - December 3rd, 2008, 9:55 am
    Jay - alas, sounds like they charged you for the brisket platter as well ($10.45 instead of $8.95), unless you had a big drink. Either way, for me, the value at Smoque comes from the "add-ons" and not the main plate. While not listed on the .pdf menu, the chalkboard allows you to add 1/4 slab of ribs, sausage, or a small mound of brisket or pulled pork, for $3-4.

    If you put together a custom sampling, it compares very favorably against the prices of "three-meat" combo platters at lesser places Smoke Daddy and Famous Dave's (and of course is superior in flavor). You can also make a meal of the sides at Smoque - fries, mac and cheese, beans, and cornbread would only set you back $6.80.
  • Post #83 - December 3rd, 2008, 11:47 am
    Post #83 - December 3rd, 2008, 11:47 am Post #83 - December 3rd, 2008, 11:47 am
    Jayz and Riddlemay - No reason not to fly solo to Smoque. I've been by myself every time i've gone there and got seating every time. You may have to wait a bit, but they'll put you somewhere.

    Don't think of yourself as denying a party of 4 a table - rather, think of yourself as allowing a standing party of 3 seating at your table.

    I guess those Deepak Chopra tapes are finally paying off :mrgreen:
  • Post #84 - December 3rd, 2008, 5:50 pm
    Post #84 - December 3rd, 2008, 5:50 pm Post #84 - December 3rd, 2008, 5:50 pm
    Yeah, the add-ons are the way to make smoque a decent value. Half brisket/half pulled pork platter, a couple buns, an addon of ribs and an addon of sausage. Fries+cole slaw + mac and cheese. Last time I did this, it came to ~$20 and was just fine for two people.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #85 - December 4th, 2008, 2:34 am
    Post #85 - December 4th, 2008, 2:34 am Post #85 - December 4th, 2008, 2:34 am
    Santander wrote:Jay - alas, sounds like they charged you for the brisket platter as well ($10.45 instead of $8.95), unless you had a big drink.


    I think that's what happened...

    Ghazi- I'd be fine with however the seating was ran...but who was the person to instruct me where to sit? the cashier made no note of it and I was left standing there with a receipt in my hand and no one else standing...so I awkwardly walked over to a table of four to waste for the next 15 minutes as I ate. :oops:
    GOOD TIMES!
  • Post #86 - December 4th, 2008, 7:29 am
    Post #86 - December 4th, 2008, 7:29 am Post #86 - December 4th, 2008, 7:29 am
    Jayz wrote:
    Santander wrote:Jay - alas, sounds like they charged you for the brisket platter as well ($10.45 instead of $8.95), unless you had a big drink.


    I think that's what happened...

    Ghazi- I'd be fine with however the seating was ran...but who was the person to instruct me where to sit? the cashier made no note of it and I was left standing there with a receipt in my hand and no one else standing...so I awkwardly walked over to a table of four to waste for the next 15 minutes as I ate. :oops:


    It sounds like there was no line when you went, therefore, seating wasn't an issue. When they get busy, someone directs people to seats. When It's not busy, you can sit anywhere. If they needed your 4 top for another party, I'm sure someone would have come along and politely asked you to move to another location, which they probably would have already picked out for you. It sounds like you are agonizing over a non-issue.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #87 - December 6th, 2008, 8:03 pm
    Post #87 - December 6th, 2008, 8:03 pm Post #87 - December 6th, 2008, 8:03 pm
    Swung by Smoque today around 3 pm. Seating was not a problem at that time, of course.

    Mac N Cheese, which i never really cared for at Smoque was very good. It was creamy and tasty. I can't remember what I didn't like about the old version, but I'll certainly be getting more of it when I go back.

    The highlight of the meal was possibly being there for history in the making. As I spoke to Barry, a coworker brought him a plate of a dozen chicken wings form the kitchen, and Barry kindly offered me a sample, saying there were experiementing with them. The wings were smoked and then fried for a crispy finish. The variety i tried were unsauced.

    That wing was fantastic. Smokey and garlicky flavor with a perfect crispy crust that crackled to reveal smokey tender chicken. I love the brisket sammich, but this wing would be my GO TO item if they ever make it an offering. (from what i gather, the boys are always messing around with different recipes and items int he back).

    I told him to "put it on the board" ASAP, but this was just a test run on something that they were clearly having fun with. So I wouldn't take this occurrence to mean anything other than a slight chance for me to possibly be a bit player in faintly-possible moment of culinary history. :mrgreen:
  • Post #88 - December 8th, 2008, 11:28 am
    Post #88 - December 8th, 2008, 11:28 am Post #88 - December 8th, 2008, 11:28 am
    After a visit with the family to Marshall Field's @ State Street (occupied by the Vichy Macy's) to see Santa, my seven year old son demanded we hop on the Blue Line and get to Smoque, since it six weeks when he got his last fix. We managed, under his protest, to squeeze in a little shopping and a trip to the Chicago Cultural Center to see Nutcracker ballerinas and the Lane Tech Murals.

    Hit Smoque about 4:30 with a short line. Got to place our order and was surprised to find a new side menu item (short term or testing - I don't know?) of brisket chili. It was a must have side for me! The kids each got a 1/4 slab of St. Louis ribs & a corn bread. Wife and I a 1/2 slab of baby backs. She a corn bread and mac & cheese. Me fries and the brisket chili. My wife, like Ghazi, noticed an improved taste in the mac & cheese - maybe different blend cheeses - she thought ricotta?

    I'm a usual lover of a thick chili-five-way variety, but I was seduced by Smoque's efforts. The broth was thin but not wholly transparent filled with chili spice, beans, onions, peppers, garlic, other spices, and the the cubed ever so tender brisket. The chili had nice spicy kick to the flavor of the broth that did not over power the flavor of the beans and the brisket. Please Smoque make the brisket chili a regular menu item, and serve it in a large bowl with corn bread! I should have asked if the brisket chili was an experiment, or a weekly/seasonal special. But then again, it might be a food holiday miracle that Ghazi, our family, and others get to experience this month with Smoque BBQ's experimentation!
  • Post #89 - December 9th, 2008, 3:33 pm
    Post #89 - December 9th, 2008, 3:33 pm Post #89 - December 9th, 2008, 3:33 pm
    this seating concern and overall conversation is pretty funny to me. I've been to Smoque more times then I can count and seating has never even been a thought in my mind. I've gone solo as well as with groups, and they've been able to take care of me/us every time

    Smoque's sausage is amazing as well as their brisket. My sides are mac and cheese and baked beans. If you go there and get all those things it'll be worth it even if seating is a little tight.
  • Post #90 - December 9th, 2008, 4:22 pm
    Post #90 - December 9th, 2008, 4:22 pm Post #90 - December 9th, 2008, 4:22 pm
    I always get anxiety when I go to smoque because of the seating, but no matter how many people I have or if I'm by myself, I never have a problem, it always just works out.

    Personally, I'm a sucker for the St.Louis ribs, but twice now I've ordered a half slab of St.Louis and was given the baby backs. Personally I figure it's fate telling me to eat the babies.

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