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Oct 19, 2010 11:15 AM

Chicago Q - I wish I could review

So, went to grab takeout from our newest BBQ restaurant here in Chicago and I wish I could have reviewed it here for you. Why can I not review you ask? Because it was 40 minutes to get a take out order on Sunday night at 6:30 PM.

Now I have never owned a restaurant but i think the most key thing would be to come through on your offerings. How can one actually with a straight face say it will take 40 minutes to put together a take out of BBQ. Last I checked, and I spend a TON of time in Dallas and KC where BBQ is big, one does not make BBQ brisket, ribs and chicken to order.

PLEASE OWNERS OF THIS RESTAURANT, fancy BBQ will never make it without easy quick take out.


Has anyone eaten there and should I have waited the 40 minutes for the brisket? Seems Kobe chopped brisket is more gimmick since it's all about the sauce.

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  1. Please explain what you meant by this:
    "Seems Kobe chopped brisket is more gimmick since it's all about the sauce."

    3 Replies
    1. re: gordeaux

      I have spent much time in Texas, KC, and Memphis. When one creates a chopped brisket sandwich, the meat is really just the means to get the sauce. You are not eating the unchopped meat simply prepared because it's simply not the best cut.

      Having a Kobe-style (I would actually doubt they import from Kobe Japan) brisket chopped up would be like taking a 45 day dry aged strip and making strogonoff. I will appreciate it, but the taste of the sandwich is driven not by the beef.

      As true BBQ aficianados will debate, it's all about the sauce.

      1. re: jbontario

        I think I understand you now. I thought you were saying that BBQ in general is all about the sauce.
        But really, you're saying that a chopped meat sandwich is all about the sauce. Their menu lists sliced Kobe Brisket, so, as you said, they probably offer the chopped Kobe Brisket sandwich to use up the less than "straight sliceable" portions of the brisket.

        Me? I'd probably rather just have a pile of those less than "straight sliceable" Kobe Brisket parts on a plate right from the smoker - no sauce needed.

        1. re: jbontario

          Actually, I prefer Memphis or Carolina style where the sauce is added by the person eating and not by the cook which is the way that it is served at Chicago q.

          I have had the pulled pork & Kobe beef sandwiches and both were really good - both served with a choice of sauces - mild, hot and Carolina style on the side. Wife likes the Carolina style and I prefer the mild - at any rate since it is added after, we get our choice.

          I have also had the ribs and they were great - next time I'll try the competition style.

          Only negative that I have found is the deserts - they definitely need improvement.

          Btw... I live just around the corner and it is a great addition to the neighborhood and also very often very busy!

      2. We've been there but didn't have the brisket, so can't comment on that. We had the pulled pork, which was very good, but the standout was definitely the ribs. The ribs are worth the wait.

          1. I know this is no consolation, but did you ever try to take out from Smoque on Sunday night? Sun seems to be informal bbq take out night in Chicago and 6:30 is the witching hour. In 08 at an. They could often be 100% out of brisket by 7 or had to go early to beat everyone in the city. I agree that Q should do a better job setting expectations, but calling the kobe brisket a gimmick without having eaten it seems uncalled for. I'll look for your review when you get there...I happen to think the texture of brisket makes all the difference in the world, and kobes higher fat content sounds like an interesting variable to throw in the mix!

            1 Reply
            1. re: kathleen rose

              I have now had the Kobe brisket twice. It is very good, but I stand by my idea that there is no need to charge $18 for 5 slices of brisket.

              The sauces are excellent, I liked the spicy tomato based sauce the best, but i did like the vineagar sauce too.

              They also have terrific fries and very good ribs, the st loius were tasty.

            2. I have had one lunch at Q, actively reconnoitering a good BBQ ribs place to take a visitor later this month. I was not enthralled. The space is excellent---nice remodeling job from the Japanese place that used to be here (although I thought the feel of it now would be more appropriate to a New England-themed place serving clam chowder and blueberry muffins to Ladies Who Lunch). They brought a dish of bread and butter pickles (good) and homemade potato chips (not so very). Both people I was with ordered the Kobe brisket and said it was good. I had pulled pork and thought the chef shouldn't have bothered---meat appeared boiled. Sauce was on the side. Not much came with the meat but cornbread, or, if it did, it was so unmemorable that I've forgotten it. First course was a salad of lettuce, beets, and candied walnuts. We were having the Chicago Restaurant Week prix fixe menu so went with the dessert which, interestingly, was called "cobbler" (as in "fruit") only the fruit turned out to be Key lime juice and the cobbler to be a Key lime pie full of whipped cream and ick, too rich (I thought) to follow a meal of barbecued meat.

              One the main things that bothered me is that Q tries to breed "barbecue joint" with "fancy restaurant" and the resulting bastard doesn't deserve a birth certificate. Personally I like a BBQ place to remind me of a highway diner, down and funky. Good coleslaw would have gone better than the thing with the candied walnuts, and fancy's already in the neighborhood: what we need is a good BBQ joint.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Querencia

                I'll have to suggest to Bob, friendly retired GA State Trooper who owns Southern Heritage in Dublin, GA, that candied walnuts might just get him to the $18 for 5 slices of brisket level. Hah!

                Seriously, if one wants to smoke Kobe beef, fine. But you ignore the reason folks in TX and elsewhere smoke "regular" brisket in the first place: it's a slap-ugly piece of leather masquerading as meat. Full of connective tissue and gristle, and only saved by the bountiful fat cap.