We had heard about Smoque a new BBQ joint by our old place near Pulaski first on Chicagoist then TimeOut Chicago also raved about it. If there’s anyone who likes BBQ ribs its me. I even watched the BBQ face off on that new Vs. channel. Seriously.
So I know my BBQ. When in Temecula, California a few months back I checked out a local rib joint and it had a very unique, sweet sauce. It wasn’t the best ever but the uniqueness of the sauce was admirable and made the place stand out. I’d go back.
Smoque doesn’t have that going for it. The ribs, I got a full slab of St. Lous, Courtney got a half slab of the baby back, were good with a definite smoky flavor, but they weren’t out of this world and most of all they weren’t unique. They were tender but not fall-off-the-bone tender. I like that.
Everything was piping hot though which Courtney appreciated. The sides were hit and miss with the beans, mac and cheese and cornbread all very good. The cole slaw and fries were so-so with the slaw being just awful and tasteless. Anyone can make a decent vinegar based slaw right? Not at Smoque. At least it was part of the meal.
If you’re going to be a rib place you can’t just have a good logo and look, you have to make some unique and tasty ribs. It wasn’t cheap either with the bill of both meals with two sides and two drinks coming to just under $40. It’s pretty much the going rate for ribs out and during the winter I can’t really make my own so they satisfy the jones. But come grilling weather, I’m busting out my own recipes. And I'm not saying I'm a better cook than the guys at Smoque, but I have chops. Even the ever critical Courtney agreed she preferred the home-cooking.