Smoke Daddy's

>> Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I can't say it enough, I love barbeque. I love everything about it, the sauce, the smoke, the fat, everything. So when my new friend Sara suggested that we go to Smoke Daddy's for dinner on our first friend date, I happily agreed. Located in Wicker Park, an area to the northwest of Chicago, this bbq joint was relatively easy to get to. I have a hard time navigating around my new city (praise for Google Maps!) so being able to easily get to this place was a big plus!

Upon entering the bar/restaurant you could smell the smoke down the street; this is always a good sign. Once inside the place was decorated just in time for Halloween, complete with cobwebs and fake spiders. We sit down and automatically I am happy as my eyes focus on the different bbq sauces at the end of the table. As I start to peruse the menu, I am sticker shocked but for a much better reason, the prices here are extremely reasonable! BBQ places can sometimes run on the more expensive side (shocking, I know), I'm assuming for all the labor that must be put into a delicious meal, however most of the sandwiches here run from $8.50-$11 and include one side, combo platters and ribs range from $11.95 to $24.95 which come with two sides- not too bad for a mountain of food!

I opt for the pulled pork sandwich with macaroni and cheese (more on this later) and a side of cornbread, which I asked be sent out immediately as I was starving and Sara went with the burger, Carolina style (which includes coleslaw on the burger).

The cornbread arrived and I knew I was in for a treat. It was about 2 - 2 1/2 inches thick and about 2 inches wide, piping hot and screaming for some butter! Never one to deny my food anything it wants, I added a heaping amount of butter and took a bite into the crunchy outer layer then just sat in silence as the sweet, spicy cornbread melted in my mouth. That's right, melted. I have no doubt that this cornbread was made in a cast iron skillet as it had that crunchy bottom texture that can only be achieved through cast iron. Furthermore, they added jalapeños, which as my loyal readers know, I love nothing more than a good spicy/sweet combo.

Satisfied and ready for more, our food came out quickly and we dove right in. Much like the lobster roll in New Hampshire, Smoke Daddy's understands the importance of a well buttered roll. It can provide the right amount of texture that will make or break a dish. This bun was on point. The bbq was smokey and tender, although being from the South we like ours a little more chopped and with some more fat, but honestly I really cant complain, it was tasty! Sara's burger was cooked to perfection (medium rare) and the coleslaw added a tangy crunch that I wasn't prepared to like, but did! Then I moved on to the mac and cheese...

I should preface this whole next paragraph by saying - this is why we went to Smoke Daddy's...

The mac and cheese came out in a little pot and was topped with bread crumbs. Bread crumbs you might ask? Yes, bread crumbs. Listen, I too was skeptical, but if there is one thing I know from all my dining experiences is trust the kitchen. Don't alter orders, eat it as is and you will be happy. So that's what I did, I stuck my fork in and hoped for the best (I didn't want to upset Sara). Let me say this, you have probably never heard me order mac and cheese before on this blog and that is for good reason, I just don't like it from restaurants...I've worked in the food industry and know that most places let it sit and get dried out...I am not interested in that at all. So when I ordered this I was expecting the worst. However, I found that Smoke Daddy's did a nice job of balancing the cream and the cheese and it made for a delicious side dish. The bread crumbs offered a contrast in texture that can be needed when eating noodles. Overall, it was very successful!

If you are looking for reasonably priced barbeque, and good drink specials (Miller light bottles were $2 on Wednesday) I would suggest Smoke Daddy's!

Smoke Daddy's
1804 W. Division
Chicago, IL 60622


Jackie October 20, 2009 at 11:40 AM  

well i am just so happy to hear that you are eating macarroni and cheese! as you know i am a huge fan of mac and cheese, but i also don't normally order it at restaurants bc it's not usually so great.. so i'm glad to hear you found a good place to get it there! maybe when i come visit we go here? :)

Unknown October 20, 2009 at 3:30 PM  

So living in Alabama and being surrounded by tons of BbQ places I have to say i was skeptical of this post before reading; however, this stuff sounds delicious!!! I have to agree with Jackie the Mac and Cheese sounded TO DIE FOR!!!

Marcy October 22, 2009 at 10:36 AM  

I have to admit I am a little surprised you don't order mac & cheese. It's probably one of my favorite things. We should talk more about it and how a little pancetta in some M&C is amazing later.

And what about the sandwich?


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