Smylie Brothers Brewing Co. | Evanston | Barbecue/Ribs, Craft Beer | Restaurant
click to enlarge Smylie Brothers Brewing Co.

Smylie Brothers Brewing Co.

Philip Montoro

A brewpub with a barbecue menu

Our Review

The man in charge of the brew house, Brad Pulver, comes to Smylie Brothers fresh from Arcadia Ales in Battle Creek, Michigan, and the marquee attraction on the food side of the menu is barbecue: pulled pork and chicken, baby back ribs, and brisket smoked for an alleged 14 hours. You can get wood-fired pizzas too, in half a dozen styles, including truffled mushroom, fennel sausage, and “white pissaladiere.” What else? Trout, steak, poutine, mussels, vegetarian risotto, and a variety of salads, among other things. My brisket sandwich was 16 bucks—five dollars more than the same meal at Smoque, which is a little hard to defend—but the meat was tender and intensely smoky, with a swaddling of meltingly soft fat beneath a charred, chewy bark. That outer layer was startlingly salty, but that’s not necessarily a complaint—I’ve eaten saltier bagels. The two sauces I tried were both assertive and complex in their spiciness, and not even the Kansas City was particularly sweet. (I think the other style was Texas.) They were both so watery that they ran all over everything (roll up those sleeves), but I’d choose a thin, piquant sauce any day over the sort of sugary barbecue-flavored goop that’s just a short hop from canned pie filling.

Philip Montoro

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Price: $$$
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