A few weeks ago, we made our inaugural trips to both Detroit and Slows Bar-B-Q, returning home with glowing things to say about both. I posted a review on Yelp talking about our really positive (and delicious) experience at Slows, and almost immediately received a note back from another Yelper, telling me that Slows was good, but Smoque was “10x better”. So, when Keem suggested that we go to Smoque for lunch for delicious, delicious BBQ, I was suitably intrigued. AND also hungry.
We met up with Angie and Laurie at Smoque on a sunny Super Bowl Sunday afternoon, our mouths watering by the time we walked in the door. A number of people were in and out picking up Super Bowl catering orders while we made our selections – in fact, about half of the restaurant was blocked off for Super Bowl pick-ups – and justifiably so, as this is just the kind of grub I’d want at my Super Bowl party, were I to have one. We all settled on pulled pork sandwiches, available in the full or half size, with varying sides. I had a vinegary cole slaw and a very large bag of hand-cut fries that we all shared – in addition, the others tried the cornbread and the macaroni and cheese, both baked in little foil ramekins. Our sandwiches came with a bit of tangy sauce ladled over the top and a small cup of vinegary sauce to add at our discretion. For me, the half sandwich, shared sides, and a soda were just the right size for lunch – though I regretted not being able to try the brisket (available chopped or sliced) and the various ribs on the menu.
How does it compare to Slows? In my non-expert opinion, I’d say they’re just different animals. Slows has a more expansive menu, but what Smoque does, it does well. I liked having more sauce options at Slows, but I also liked the simplicity of the Smoque experience. I felt like the meat was more flavorful at Slows, but I liked being able to get a half portion AND sides for a lower price at Smoque. BBQ is something many people take seriously, and I am not one of them, but I am grateful that Slows is nearby, and that I can visit Smoque whenever I’m in Chicago.