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Last night 60 or so Reader Restaurant Raters and guests descended on Smoque BBQ for the Reader's latest Nosh Mob. Nosh Mobs are private parties open only to Raters, who get invites by e-mail just a few days ahead of time. We hadn't had one in a while, but reaction to this one was so enthusiastic that we're gonna get busy planning another, stat.
Smoque's been regularly jammed since it opened in December--but business has really exploded since Steve Dolinsky featured it in one of his ABC-7 Hungry Hound segments ten days ago. There are lines out the door and down the block every day, and for the last week or so the alderman's office has been sending a dude over to direct traffic and parking on Grace. They've even had to close early several times because they ran out of food. Co-owner Barry Sorkin says they're thinking about buying a bigger smoker, but are waiting a bit to see if things relax back to pre-TV levels of business before making the investment.
Normally Smoque rests on Monday, and given the recent madness you'd think Sorkin and the rest of the crew would be protective of their day off. Instead, they opened up special for us (thanks!) and dished up pulled-pork and brisket sandwiches, quarter-slabs of baby back ribs, baked beans, fries, and green salad. Did I mention it was free?
Click the images link below for more pics of the crowd and the grub; to find out how to become a Rater, follow the link above.