The plan last weekend was to enjoy date night at a trendy new seafood restaurant. But as the day wore on and the snow piled up, I really wasn’t feeling trendy. We kicked around some ideas…Italian, French, macaroni and cheese, until we agreed that what we really wanted was comfort — stick to the bones, grade-A comfort food.
We found what we were looking for at Chicago Q.
The complimentary chips and bread & butter pickles were amazing, but did nothing to stop us from over-ordering hush puppies, fresh crab with avocado, and the barbecue trio for starters. The hush puppies came with an amazing hot sauce — I couldn’t get enough. We dipped the oh-so-tender dry-rubbed chicken, brisket, and pulled pork in each of the four house sauces before settling on favorites. My combo was the brisket in vinegary Carolina sauce, and his was the brisket in sweet, tangy hot sauce over honey cornbread. Neither of us were disappointed.
The main order of St. Louis slab was even more tender and succulent than the barbecue sampler, but at this point a half-order would have been prudent. Sometimes too much meat is too much. A chunk of poblano cheddar corn bread rounded out the plate, but the bruleed macaroni and cheese was the star of the side dishes. I thought at first the sauce was a too runny, but cooled to a creamy texture. I could have made a meal from any of the sides alone.
Our waiter was excellent and a credit to the front of the house. Not only did he make great drink recommendations and keep the pile of plates balanced, he also talked us into dessert. Cookies with a vanilla bourbon milkshake? Yeah, we went there. The cookies were warm and the shake was boozy — a tasty finish to the evening.
Despite our best efforts, we took home enough barbecue, sides, and sauce to last for two days. The boyfriend picked up an ambition to start mixing milkshakes and I can’t wait to start pickling again. The barbecue? We know where to find the experts and heaping plates of comfort.
1160 N Dearborn Street