CHICAGO | Smoque BBQ Irving Park is a low and slow BBQ joint owned by a team of guys who set themselves the challenge of serving up BBQ that could hold its own against the best anywhere in the USA. Their “BBQ Manifesto” goes into a lot of detail about their philosophy, and makes the point that there’s enough history and quality for Chicago to have its own style of BBQ, influenced by those who have decided to call this city home over the years.
Importantly, Smoque sees the meat as being the star of the meal, which it should be. It’s about balancing the smokiness from the meat, the spiciness from the rub, and the tangy sweetness from the sauce. While the house made sauces here are delicious, they aren’t used to mask the flavour of the meat.
Pulled pork and brisket are highlights here, with both being succulent and flavoursome. If you want ribs, go for the St Louis style ribs over the more familiar baby back ribs. They’re coated in a Memphis-style dry rub and are meatier and smokier than the baby backs. Overall, the meat here might not be up there with the best we’ve had in Texas (that’s a hard one to pull off in anyone’s book), but it’s still excellent and warrants many repeat visits. For sides, the mac & cheese and BBQ beans are the way to go, getting the balance of textures and flavours just right. The thick cut slaw is quite good too.
Service is fast and efficient, and staff are friendly and knowledgeable, happy to explain anything about the menu that you might have questions about.
Smoque also have a second location at Revival Food Hall if you can’t make it out to Irving Park.
3800 N Pulaski Road
Telephone: 773 545 7427
Tue – Thu: 11:00am to 9:00pm
Fri – Sat: 11:00am to 9:00pm
Sun: 11:00am to 9:00pm