3800 N. Pulaski
So obviously, the ‘south’ is not a country, but it does have a rich culinary tradition of its own, so we’re comfortable including it on ETW. Well, mostly because it’s a darn tasty cuisine. Our latest adventure into Southern Foodways is Smoque Barbecue. Smoque has gotten a lot of press, so we went in with some skepticism. Could it really be as good as all this hype? Short answer = yes. We arrived at 11 AM on a Saturday, right when Smoque was opening. We could tell that they did a brisk takeout service, from the fact that there was already a line, and someone had called in an order of 20+ sandwiches to go.
The menu itself is probably what you would expect from a BBQ place – the choices of meat are Pulled Pork, Brisket, Chicken and Texas sausage (which they began to make this Summer). They also have 2 types of ribs: Baby back and St. Louis. What was interesting though was that you could order small side orders or some of the meats – so if you felt like sampling something, but didn’t want a whole sandwich or a platter you can do it for $3. A ‘taste’ 1/4 slab of ribs is $4.
For lunch we opted for a Pulled Pork Sandwich platter ($8.95) and Sliced Brisket sandwich platter ($8.95). Each of these came with one side as well as homemade cole slaw. Interestingly, even for a take-in order, though there is some sauce on the sandwich, it isn’t slathered, and the order comes with a cup of the BBQ sauce came on the side. At first we were skeptical, but it makes a lot of sense since then you can add as much as you want and the roll doesn’t fall to mush. In the end we ended up using most of the cup anyway, since Smoque’s stock in trade is its peppery, vinegary, yet semi-sweet BBQ sauce. Delicious – not too too sweet, but not to vinegary either, I don’t know what they do, but they’re doing it right.
Onto the sandwiches – both were amazing. As you can see, the portions were generous. One of our sides was baked beans – which were excellent – turns out that they cook them in with the meat and BBQ scraps – so they have some nice smoky flavor. The mac and cheese was also delightfully creamy and decadent, and we would definitely recommend it to Mac and Cheese aficionados. The one disappointment was the small peach cobbler, which was only so-so ($1.95). The brisket, which you can get either sliced or chopped is uber-tender and comes with a nice smoky, crusty exterior. My sister, who doesn’t even like BBQ, loved it. the pulled pork sandwich though, was my favorite. The pork itself is light pink from the smoking and practically melts in your mouth. We were raving about our food for days.
Truth be told though, the location is pretty random – it’s right off of the Kennedy expressway, and tucked into an unassuming building in a mostly residential area. However, a few weeks after our maiden voyage, we made the venture again to get takeout. Now I understand why they do such a brisk takeout business – it tastes good even after an hour car ride! So if you can make the trip over – you should try to do it – this is some good BBQ.