I love good barbecue, the kind with deep smoky flavor, the kind that’s everywhere in the south but rare in Illinois. I tend to gravitate to barbecue restaurants even in Illinois regardless, on the off-chance I’ll find a winner. So when I was in Champaign looking for a quick lunch, I was drawn to Q Smokehouse. Walking through the door, I drew in the aroma of an authentic smokehouse.
At the walk-up counter, order your choice of sandwich: pulled pork, pulled chicken, sliced brisket, smoked sausage, or burnt end. Burnt end—it jumped out at me. I’d only had a burnt end sandwich once before and I had instantly decided that was my favorite of all barbecue sandwiches. What are burnt ends? According to Wikipedia, “Burnt ends are flavorful pieces of meat cut from the point half of a smoked brisket…considered a delicacy in barbecue cooking.” Burnt ends have some char, but they’re also quite tender.
Sandwiches come with two toppings from a choice of ten, including items like bourbon apples and Carolina slaw. I chose caramelized onions and bacon. Several different sauces were available in pump dispensers. I like to do taste tests with different sauces, but unfortunately only two of the dispensers were working properly.
As it turned out, the sandwich didn’t even need sauce, it was that flavorful, and the house cut fries, with enough in the order to feed two, were a tasty addition. A muffin shaped cookie was a nice finish to the meal.
In addition to sandwiches, Q Smokehouse offers appetizers like barbecue eggrolls and entrees like pulled pork burritos and baby back ribs.
Q Smokehouse, located at 617 E. Green Street in Champaign, is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day. Check the web site for the full menu.
What’s your favorite barbecue restaurant? Answer in the Comments below.
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