One Great Sandwich: Smoque's Sliced BBQ Brisket
By Benjy Lipsman in Food on Nov 14, 2007 5:00PM
If there's one thing we brought back to Chicago with us after our six years down south, it's certainly our love for smoked meats. We'd always loved ribs as far back as we can remember, but exposure to true Southern BBQ raised our expectations to a whole new level. We learned that meat is meant to be lovingly smoked for hours in order to achieve the perfect symphony of tastes and textures.
When first we got wind of a new BBQ joint opening on the north side just about a year ago, we eagerly awaited it opening. We stopped into Smoque their opening week and have returned on a number of occasions. While we've sampled the ribs and pulled pork, our clear favorite is their sliced BBQ brisket sandwhich.
The briskets are rubbed with a blend of 13 spices and slow smoked overnight. Smoque's slices of beef display the pink smoke rings that certify the authenticity of the bold flavor -- this is definitely not our Mom's Passover brisket. Tender slices are piled high on a bun and doused with a Texas-style BBQ sauce. The meat is amazingly moist by itself, but the sauce certainly completes the sandwich. Smoque uses large buns that at first glance don't seen right for BBQ but do hold up to the sauce better than the buns more typical of BBQ joints. Don't forget the sides, either. While we ususally go for their hand cut fries -- which are among the best in town -- their homemade BBQ beans and mac and cheese are also standouts.
While we may be among their biggest fans, we're certainly not the only ones. Chicago magazine named it to its recent 124 Best Dishes, and it was even featured on the most recent episode of Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" about BBQ. You can wait until the episode repeats on November 30 to catch a behind-the-scenes view of Smoque or make a trip over there and taste their BBQ for yourself.
Smoque is located at 3800 N. Pulaski, Chicago
Photo by Benjy Lipsman