Smoque BBQ celebrates 15 years with a sandwich for a special occasion

Smoque BBQ, the Eater 38-rated barbecue spot that opened in December 2006 in Old Irving Park, has never been very good at celebrating birthdays. Years passed, the two smokers continued to produce ribs, pulled pork and brisket, and Smoque’s reputation spread beyond Chicago – barbecue maven Steven Raichlen said his brisket was “world class” in the New York Times – but it never occurred to anyone to celebrate the passage of time. Until now.

This Saturday, January 15, Smoque will celebrate its 15th anniversary with a special prime rib sandwich, smoked to perfection and served on a grilled French bun with roasted shallots, red wine reduction and horseradish cream. “It was a special occasion,” says co-owner Barry Sorkin. “We have prepared smoked prime ribs for more upscale events. I keep congratulating myself, but it’s really good.

Slice the smoked prime rib.

The sandwich costs $15 and will be available in limited quantities: 100 for lunch and 150 for dinner, with a maximum of two per person. Customers can only order in the restaurant or by phone, not online.

But Smoque won’t just be celebrating its own survival, Sorkin says: It’ll also salute customers who have continued to support it through its various pivots during the pandemic, which included requisitioning a side street to serve as a curbside pickup lane. of street and the transformation of a parking lot into a patio.

“We saw the same faces,” he says. “Certainly we now see them through car windows. But we had it better than many restaurants. BBQ is not something people had to be persuaded to order take out.

Will Smoque survive another 15 years? Sorkin doesn’t want to think about it right now. In an environment where everything changes from week to week, and even day to day, with new city mandates and workers who have contracted or been exposed to COVID-19, it is impossible to plan even- what 15 days in advance. “It’s an exercise in futility,” he says. “But we love what we do and are grateful that we can get up every day and barbecue for a living.”

Smoked BBQ, 3800 N. Pulaski Avenue, open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Clockwise from top: Smoque’s curbside pickup lane, dining hall, Sorkin in front of a wall full of rewards.

3800 North Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60641

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