Seems a little empty, after 16 years, for me to offer condolences. Instead I'll express understanding for your long term feelings of grief and hope today is a better day for you.
On the Smoque front, again, what he said.
The owners really did their research before opening. They traveled the country, visiting all the most respected 'Que culture hot spots, including the Deep South, Texas, Kansas City, and Memphis, among others. They kept their minds open and their mouths shut (a trait a few Roadfooders might want to adopt) and learned the craft well. What they brought back to Chicago was a brand of BBQ that incorporated the best elements of all those Smoked Meat meccas. Heck, they even import their Sausage from Rudy Mikeska in Taylor, TX
All of Smoque's food
is great, but they've built a loyal following on their Brisket
. It is consistently moist and flavorful, with just the right mount of delicious fat cap sitting on top. If I'm in a "healthy" mood, I'll go with their Chicken Salad. It's a massive base of Romaine topped with the juiciest smoked boneless-skinless chicken breast (in most cases, those last six words don't even belong in the same sentence) I've ever had. On top of that they scatter slow-roasted marinated tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion served with either the house vinaigrette (
recommended) or ranch dressing. One large salad will feed two.
The wedding reception CTD mention was my daughter's (abe_froeman) and now son-in-law (Mr. Maki). Smoque's spread was met with overwhelming approval from both sides of the family and friends (of which, CTD was fortunate enough to be one). Folks said it was the best wedding dinner they'd ever
Back to the fire, according to the article, the damage was minimal. I don't even think there were actual flames, just smoldering wood inside the walls. The slow moving "fire" took hours before they even knew there was a problem. See, that's how good a 'Que joint Smoque is: even the fire that closed them down was Low & Slow
Again, sorry you're experiencing so much grief and hope you'll be feeling better soon.