Friday, February 10, 2012

Smoque BBQ (Irving Park/Avondale)

3800 N. Pulaski
Sometimes I can't put into words how I feel when I get excited about food. Instead, what comes out is sounds: chirpy humming, long "Mmmmm"s, short "Mmmmm"s, maybe a bit of laughter, a giggle. Or, a small dance in my chair occurs where I wiggle my butt back and forth. Well, Smoque BBQ gave me a major food high.

Order first and then take a seat to wait for the delicious wave to hit you. I ordered the sliced brisket sandwich with macaroni and cheese and cornbread. Oh boy. I drooled over my food for a good two minutes before diving in. I always eat the sides first so I started with the mac and cheese. DANG. OH DANG. Packed into a tiny, round tin, the creamy mac and cheese was somewhat of a cheesy dream.

Insert Homer Simpson drooling sound.

I do not have anything to say about the cole slaw. Not a fan of the stuff in general. I want it to be lettuce so badly but it's not. My fellow eaters put some cole slaw on their sandwiches, which seemed to make them pretty happy.

The cornbread, also in a round tin, was wonderfully moist but after a while I decided I could no longer wait to taste the brisket. It was time. This stuff hangs out in a smoker for 14 hours before ending up on my plate. FOURTEEN HOURS. I could drive all the way to New York in my imaginary '76 Chevy Corvette that I own in my mind while blasting Tom Petty & The Heartbreaker's Greatest Hits, because it's just a great driving album, by the time that meat is cooked.

Billy Bru chowin' down on some goods.
My first bite made a smile spread across my face.. The bun: soft. The meat: juicy. The sauce: thin and tangy. As I chowed down on my velvety brisket, I was transported to a BBQ heaven where the napkins never end and the BBQ sauce flows like gold.

The whole place is fairly small and fills up quickly. It's incredibly welcoming, with one of the owners standing near the register chatting with people and seating everybody. As soon as you walk in it smells you're in your friend's backyard during summer and grilling up a meat storm.

Dining with me were some friends and some family who all devoured their meals. Everyone was happy. And when everyone leaves happy you know it was a good meal.

"You had me at meat tornado." Ron Swanson

 And then Dairy Queen for dessert because it's all about the simple things.

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