The third outpost of a minichain that began in the far-western suburbs, Lakeview's Q-BBQ is slinging the canon of regional American barbecue—Texas-style brisket, Carolina-style pulled pork, Memphis-style ribs, plus wings, turkey, sausage, burnt ends, "smoked corned beef" (aka pastrami)—and a range of Guy Fieri-esque salads and sandwiches as well as "loaded" potatoes. The upshot is that you have to approach this menu like a crime scene—gingerly, deliberately, and without stepping in anything messy. Q-BBQ seems to be particularly proud of its brisket, which it claims to smoke for 22 hours. Whether that's far too long or it's particularly lean beef or the meat just sits around waiting for someone to order it, the result is tough, dense, dry slices with almost no fat. Similarly, the chicken seems to be pulled almost entirely from the breast—the tasteless, unforgiving revenge of the battery bird. The baby back ribs are a different story, uniformly pink and hammy, as if they were brined before they were smoked. Be advised that Q-BBQ reflexively dumps sauce on all this stuff before it comes out of the kitchen, an act more reprehensible than applying ketchup to a hot dog. But perhaps even more revealing is that the most delicious thing on the menu just might be the sweet, spicy brussels sprouts.
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