Smoque BBQ

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Smoque BBQ is located in Irving Park at 3800 North Pulaski Road. It can be a little confusing to get to using public transit and then walking. It’s within easy walking distance of the Irving Park blue line stop, but depending on which exit you take you’d have to find a sidewalk road under the Kennedy expressway. Look for Pulaski road, it has a sidewalk and walking signs to get you safely across. One of the entrances/exits of the Irving Park CTA blue line stop spills out onto Pulaski and has a bus stop. The signs for Smoque BBQ can’t be seen from Pulaski Road walking from the CTA stop south, but you can smell it. The signs are facing west Grand Street.

When at Smoque BBQ you go ahead and order at counter and you’re given a number and the waiters seat you. The workers will then call out your number for you to pick up your food at the counter when it’s ready. They’ll ladle BBQ sauce on top of your food and give you a little plastic to go cup with extra BBQ sauce in it in case you need it. I ordered their 1/2 pulled pork with cornbread and ended up with their slaw as well since that’s the special. I’m not a huge fan of slaw but theirs wasn’t bad, it had a sharp bite to it, but I always figure that’s somewhat normal with cole slaw. The cornbread was mild in flavor and the BBQ sauce wasn’t particularly sweet but also wasn’t spicy, or at least not super spicy to me. They smoke their pork for 12 hours then pull them by hand for a mixture of flavor. They also serve brisket (smoked 15 hours with a 2 layer spice rub and vinegar brisket bbq sauce), chicken (smoked 3 hours which leaves the meat a bit pink), Texas Sausage, and ribs (which is what my friend ordered and enjoyed).

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The friend I went with is an avid BBQ fan and suggested the place to try. I haven’t been in many BBQ places, but it had an interesting feel to it since you have a waiter seat you yet you pick up your own food when your number is called and go over to the soda fountain to fill your paper cup. Yet the food itself is prepared slow smoked and if you’re there long enough you’ll get a whiff of the scent of the smoke. I enjoyed the food, but didn’t feel  compelled to stay any longer.

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