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Smokey's BBQ in Gladstone Park Now Open

Smokey's BBQ in Gladstone Park Now Open
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  • Smokey's BBQ in Gladstone Park Now Open

    Post #1 - August 7th, 2009, 12:58 pm
    Post #1 - August 7th, 2009, 12:58 pm Post #1 - August 7th, 2009, 12:58 pm
    After a long wait, Smokey's BBQ in Gladstone Park is now open. It's had signs of life for some weeks now, but just opened a day or two ago.

    My wife surprised me today with a take-out lunch of a barbecued brisket sandwich with baked beans and coleslaw. She got a sandwich combo of chopped pork and brisket for herself. The brisket sandwich was tender, with reasonably good bark and an apparent smoke ring, although the smokey flavor was not overly strong. Both sandwiches tasted good, with decent sauce. According to their take-out menu, they serve full slabs and half slabs of ribs, although it isn't stated whether they are baby backs or spares. They also do smoked salmon on the weekends. They offer several different kinds of sandwiches, which appear to be the main thrust of their menu. The ribs are offered in either Smokey's Original or Uncle Kenny's Famous Mediterranean. They have several sides, and the beans and coleslaw were good. Prices are reasonable for bbq.

    I'm not sure of their setup, as I haven't cased the inside of the place yet, so I can't speak to what type of smoker they use, but I'll definitely head in in the near future to check things out for myself.

    I'm happy that there is now a barbecue place close to home, as our neighborhood continues to need more good options for diverse dining. I'll be interested to know what others think of this place.

    Smokey's BBQ
    5481 N. Northwest Highway
    Chicago, IL 60630
    773-763-2328
  • Post #2 - August 9th, 2009, 9:20 am
    Post #2 - August 9th, 2009, 9:20 am Post #2 - August 9th, 2009, 9:20 am
    Do you know if this is a take-out only joint, or is there a dine in option?
  • Post #3 - August 9th, 2009, 9:46 am
    Post #3 - August 9th, 2009, 9:46 am Post #3 - August 9th, 2009, 9:46 am
    It is both dine in and carry out. Closed Sunday and Monday. They're not really "officially" open yet. They've only done a soft opening starting last Thursday. I'd advise everyone to give them time to get ramped up before making any judgements. The owners seem like very nice, sincere folks who are new to the resturant business and are learning as they go.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #4 - August 14th, 2009, 5:09 pm
    Post #4 - August 14th, 2009, 5:09 pm Post #4 - August 14th, 2009, 5:09 pm
    Southern Pride smoker.

    Just got back from Smokey's BBQ, and just finished eating my mini-sandwiches of brisket and pulled pork. Meats were tender, had not enough smoke flavor for my taste, but nicely prepared and nicely trimmed. Pulled pork may have been too nicely trimmed, as it was a bit dry. Buns fresh [stale bread is a pet peeve of mine], the coleslaw included with sandwich purchase was a nice version of the standard. Sides include fries, baked potato, beans, 'corn medley' [I was told that it's a cold salad that includes corn, black beans, peppers & some other stuff I forget . . . cucumber, mebbe], and 'Smokey's cheesy potatoes' that is so good it requires an upcharge :D. I ordered a baked potato. It was . . . a baked potato. Fine.

    One nice thing that the menu does is let you order 2 or 3 'mini sandwiches' so that you can taste more than one thing [or maybe, for people with self control, split the sandwiches over more than one meal].

    So, as I say, the meats were tender and tasty-ish. I can't tell you how the sauces were. As a good LTH-schooled eater, I ordered the sauces [regular and hot] on the side. They're so far on the side that they're still back on Northwest Hwy., 'cause they didn't make it home with me. [SteveZ is right, these seem like very nice people, and we should allow them to get their business up to speed. Still, the sauce request is written right on the order, but the order-packer was too busy complaining about something to get the sauce in my bag.] I also noticed that the ribs are smoked and then held in a wrapping of plastic & aluminum foil. The ribs I observed went straight from the wrapping into a take-out container, and were sauced in the container. When I asked about that, it was explained to me that 'that's the only way to have them ready, because you don't know when they'll be ordered' or words to that effect. I know from reading about bbq here that other pit chefs have different philosophies on that, so I'll just pass along the observation and mind my own bidness.

    I'm very impressed that this restaurant opened up even in the current economic climate. Thing is, the food was fine but it wasn't fine. It's likely better bbq than the neighborhood standard, Gale St. Inn [can't testify first hand, because I've never ordered what I assume is Jell-o], but it's not as good [yet?] as Smoque, and about on a par with what I can go get at Whole Foods on Cicero. And for $8 for two small sandwiches, a potato, & 3T of cole slaw, it's not much of an economic advantage compared to WF. [Especially if you don't buy WF's breathtakingly over-priced cole slaw.] I wish these nice people well, and hope that their food gets even better from here.

    On the other hand, there's a bar next door, so there's that going for them.

    Giovanna
    =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon
  • Post #5 - August 15th, 2009, 7:56 am
    Post #5 - August 15th, 2009, 7:56 am Post #5 - August 15th, 2009, 7:56 am
    LTH,

    I was favorably impressed with Smokey's BBQ, friendly people, casual comfortable space, good attention to detail and, within the framework of modern BBQ* plus being open less than a week, surprisingly on-track BBQ.

    Image

    You can mix and match brisket, smoked turkey and pulled pork mini sandwiches but not ribs in combination with other meats, my solution was to order a kids menu meal of ribs and and a kids menu brisket sandwich. I asked if they minded, not a problem and not a bad deal as they each came with a side and soda.

    Ribs, Brisket Kids Meal (two combined)

    Image

    Brisket was moist and tender with light smoke flavor, not quite up to Smoque, but already a solid contender in Chicagoland. Ribs were tasty if a shade tender, though by no means meat jello, with light smoke flavor. At first blush I did not particularly like the baked beans, slightly gummy/sticky, but a second taste yielded tender/firm beans with chunks of brisket, still a bit sticky sweet for my taste, but I finished the entire side.

    Image

    As I was leaving I got to chatting with Frank, one of the owners. Frank is very keen on Uncle Kenny's Mediterranean Ribs and gave me a couple of ribs to try. One bite and I flashed on every Greek style chicken I've ever eaten, same basic flavor profile, though done better than most. Not bad baked ribs as they did not fall prey to the eat-it-with-a-spoon mentality so prevalent in tavern style, though frankly I'd prefer the same Greek style spicing on chicken.

    Uncle Kenny's Mediterranean Ribs

    Image

    Though Smokey's had only been open 5-6 days they were doing a brisk lunch business with what seemed mostly folks from the neighborhood, there is a friendly can-do feel to the place. I wish them well.

    Frank, Kathy, Cassandra (Steve, co owner with Frank, not pictured)

    Image


    Giovanna wrote:On the other hand, there's a bar next door, so there's that going for them.

    Vaughan's, a friendly Irish bar that pours a nice pint of Guinness.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    *My current euphemism for gas powered rotisserie smokers such as the Southern Pride


    -Smokey's BBQ
    5481 N Northwest HWY
    Chicago, IL
    773-763-2328

    Vaughan's Pub Northwest
    5485 N. Northwest Highway
    Chicago, IL 60630
    773-631-9206

    Smoque BBQ
    3800 N. Pulaski Rd.
    Chicago
    773-545-RIBS
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #6 - August 15th, 2009, 2:59 pm
    Post #6 - August 15th, 2009, 2:59 pm Post #6 - August 15th, 2009, 2:59 pm
    Nice lunch at Smokey's today. I ordered the pulled pork and brisket w/o sauce and enjoyed both, although I thought they could have had a bit more smoke flavor and a little more seasoning. They offer two sauces, one which was a bit sweet for my tastes, and then a "spicy" sauce which was not really spicy, but it was a little less sweet. All meals apparently come with slaw which is a decent mayonnaise-based version. I like that you can order either a daily double (two miniature sandwiches) or daily triple (three minis) comprised of brisket, pork and/or turkey.

    I also tried both the regular, smoked ribs and the Mediterranean ribs. The ribs were mildly tender but far, far from falling off the bone . . . definitely had to gnaw a bit. Again, I wish their standard ribs had a bit more smoke flavor, but having been open for all of a week, it would be unfair of me to assume that this will not come in some time. And I still thought they had a real nice flavor. The Mediterranean ribs were very flavorful and a big hit with my group.

    As for sides, my favorite were the beans - a bit sweet but definitely smokey. The cheesy potatoes were a small gratin with what I suspect was a mild cheddar and maybe some breadcrumbs - pretty good but nothing special. French fries seemed to be of the standard, frozen variety and some were too limp.

    Other pluses are free refills on otherwise inexpensive fountain drinks ($1.50) and very friendly service. I look forward to seeing how they progress.
  • Post #7 - September 16th, 2009, 5:19 pm
    Post #7 - September 16th, 2009, 5:19 pm Post #7 - September 16th, 2009, 5:19 pm
    D'oh! You guys beat me to it. The pictures look terrific! After this upcoming naughty-eating weekend, I plan to make a trip.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #8 - December 13th, 2009, 6:51 am
    Post #8 - December 13th, 2009, 6:51 am Post #8 - December 13th, 2009, 6:51 am
    G Wiv wrote:Brisket was moist and tender with light smoke flavor, not quite up to Smoque, but already a solid contender in Chicagoland.

    Surprisingly good lunchtime brisket at Smokey's, tender, with crisp points of bark that jumped up flavor.

    Smokey's Brisket

    Image

    Oddly the menu does not offer brisket, pulled pork or turkey as a stand alone, sandwich form only. We asked for dereconstructed sandwiches, no sauce, and our Trifecta, three mini sandwiches with fries, slaw and one side for $9.95. Neither the turkey or pulled pork carried much smoke flavor, sliced smoked turkey breast was moist, though bland.

    Dececonstructed Mini Sandwich Trifecta

    Image

    Liked the rub on the ribs, just a hint of heat not overly sweet, but the ribs were a shade on the dry side and overly tender for my personal preference.

    Smokey's Ribs

    Image

    OF the three sauces Hog's Breath packs a legitimate habanero punch, a serious flavor boost, along with a dollop of slaw, for a made at the table turkey sandwich.


    Smokey's Sauces

    Image

    Ask for sauce on the side.

    Fries are food service, though crisp and tasty, brisket lends body to baked beans and the slaw, while not made in house, adds body and crunch to sliced turkey.

    Smokey's is never going to be listed in the top 20 BBQ joints in the country, but at 4-months in they are chugging out a decent product with reasonable prices and friendly efficient service. Moreover, there is no affectation about the place, no signs that say best ribs, best sauce, just straight forward city BBQ in a pleasant no frills atmosphere.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #9 - December 14th, 2009, 8:07 am
    Post #9 - December 14th, 2009, 8:07 am Post #9 - December 14th, 2009, 8:07 am
    i did enjoy this spot also ribs where tasty & liked the brisket ends & sides where great also :mrgreen:
    philw bbq cbj for kcbs &M.I.M. carolina pit masters
  • Post #10 - March 21st, 2010, 9:54 am
    Post #10 - March 21st, 2010, 9:54 am Post #10 - March 21st, 2010, 9:54 am
    Returned to Smokey's and had pulled pork and brisket. Both sandwiches provided moist meat and nice, crispy ends, but I really wish I could taste the wood smoke in the meat. I ordered the sandwiches sans sauce and although I tried hard, I really detected very little smoke.

    Beans didn't impress me as much as on my first visit because they were a little too sweet this visit, but the sweet and moist cornbread provided and nice treat at the end of the meal, and the service was as good and friendly as it was on my last visit.
  • Post #11 - March 24th, 2010, 8:44 am
    Post #11 - March 24th, 2010, 8:44 am Post #11 - March 24th, 2010, 8:44 am
    BR wrote:Returned to Smokey's and had pulled pork and brisket. Both sandwiches provided moist meat and nice, crispy ends, but I really wish I could taste the wood smoke in the meat. I ordered the sandwiches sans sauce and although I tried hard, I really detected very little smoke.

    Beans didn't impress me as much as on my first visit because they were a little too sweet this visit, but the sweet and moist cornbread provided and nice treat at the end of the meal, and the service was as good and friendly as it was on my last visit.

    is this palce affiliated at all with the Smokeys In Oswego and Yorkville?
    First Place BBQ Sauce - 2010 NBBQA ( Natl BBQ Assoc) Awards of Excellence
  • Post #12 - March 24th, 2010, 8:48 am
    Post #12 - March 24th, 2010, 8:48 am Post #12 - March 24th, 2010, 8:48 am
    Head's Red BBQ wrote:is this palce affiliated at all with the Smokeys In Oswego and Yorkville?


    No. It's a mom & pop operation (actually two couples) with only one location.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #13 - March 24th, 2010, 8:57 am
    Post #13 - March 24th, 2010, 8:57 am Post #13 - March 24th, 2010, 8:57 am
    stevez wrote:
    Head's Red BBQ wrote:is this palce affiliated at all with the Smokeys In Oswego and Yorkville?


    No. It's a mom & pop operation (actually two couples) with only one location.


    got it..actually im looking on-line now and the other one is Smokeys Wood Pit..
    First Place BBQ Sauce - 2010 NBBQA ( Natl BBQ Assoc) Awards of Excellence
  • Post #14 - July 2nd, 2010, 4:57 pm
    Post #14 - July 2nd, 2010, 4:57 pm Post #14 - July 2nd, 2010, 4:57 pm
    I ventured into Smokey's today and split the sampler platter with Mr.CM2772. $20 got us the trifecta (mini sandwiches of brisket with hogwash, turkey with regular/sweet and pork with hogs breath)--1/2 slab ribs and sides of slaw, beans and cheesy potatoes.

    The slaw and beans were decent, the potatoes were just okay. But the trifecta? Oh my word, these are tasty little sandwiches. And the ribs? These were the best that I have had in awhile. Pink smoke ring, slight tug, bark crust. Delish!

    I spoke to one of the owners, and she stated that they are doing great...especially with their catering for block parties. That convinced us that we will be placing an order with them for a full tray (10#) of pulled pork. This comes with a quart of sauce, which we will ask to split into Hogwash and original (and I am going to ask for a small sauce of hogsbreath for me) and 48 mini buns.

    Oh, and I saw that you can now order 1 sandwich for an additional $2.95 with an order of ribs. They must have added this option to appease the Gary-style orders. :)

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