I have never been a huge meat eater. I am more of a “soft-core carnivore.”
However, lately, I have been craving an unusual amount of meat. Perhaps, the universe is trying to prepare me for some sort of upcoming battle. So, I figured I would go with the flow and channel my “inner beast” just in case. If my words start turning into grunts and I begin to grow a tail, I will back off. But, for today, I took my solo salivating self to the “masters of meat,” Smoque BBQ, in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood.
Since Smoque BBQ is a tiny place with only 20+ tables, I got an early start, hopped the CTA Blue Line to the Irving Park Road ‘L’ stop and walked just 2 blocks south to the corner of Pulaski and Grace where Smoque BBQ has made a home.
Smoque keeps its menu simple. You’ve got your choice of brisket, baby back ribs, St. Louis ribs, pulled pork, Texas sausage and sides. You can choose your meat in the form of sandwiches, platters or small “tastes.” Here is how my solo lunch went down.
I ordered the brisket platter which comes with slaw and a choice of 2 sides. I chose the mac ‘n cheese and the BBQ baked beans. At the last minute, I decided to add a “taste” of the St. Louis ribs (1/4 slab). I know. It seems like a lot of food for one person but, hey, I am trying to do you all a public service here!
How was it? Freakin’ amazing!!! The platter comes with 2 distinctive, side sauces but you really won’t be needing those. The sauces are incredible but the meat at Smoque BBQ is already so flavorful, it would be criminal to cover it up with more sauce.
The ends of the brisket were charred to crispy perfection and the vinegar-based slaw was divine!
I prefer St. Louis ribs over baby backs because you get more meat. Smoque BBQ’s St. Louis ribs are insanely delicious. They are meaty and juicy with just the right amount of fat. My teeth barely grazed the ribs when that succulent meat gave into me and fell right off the bone. Yum!
The BBQ baked beans were THE BEST I have had to date be it in the North or South of the U.S.!
The slaw was excellent as it was in a vinegar-based dressing which balanced out the heavy meat quotient on my platter. The mac ‘n cheese was also quite delicious with just enough cream as to not make me feel blown up.
Smoque BBQ also offers dessert in the way of peach cobbler and bread pudding. I am not big on dessert but I will try those some other time. I enjoy a good peach cobbler 🙂
Smoque BBQ prides itself on traditional “low and slow” cooking. Just how low and slow can YOU go? Find out by visiting Smoque BBQ at 3800 N. Pulaski. They are open every day but Monday. For more information visit www.smoquebbq.com.
In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA Blue Line to Smoque BBQ. Save gas money. Avoid traffic, road rage and parking. Don’t drink and drive!