Brand BBQ Market, Chicago, IL

My husband and I were really excited about eating at Brand BBQ Market when we visited Chicago last week. I had seen good online reviews and there menu was an unusual mix of traditional and unusual flavors for barbecue.
We went on a Monday night around 7:30pm. There were only a couple of other customers, but the service was slow and unenthusiastic. Up until then I thought it was hard to find poor service in Chicago because there are so many restaurants competing, but I was wrong. It certainly was not the worst service I’ve received by far, but it left a lot to be desired in a town of unending restaurant options.
I ordered the pulled duck sandwich confit style with a side of burnt ends mac and cheese and coleslaw. The duck was greasy and lacked flavor of quality barbecued meat. The Sweet Southern Peach barbecue sauce was the saving grace; it had a nice sweetness level and was the only way to add flavor to this sandwich. The burnt ends topped mac and cheese was really tasty and interesting. The “burnt ends” which are the dark smoked tips of the brisket are coveted by many barbecue connoisseurs. They also use an uncommon mix of smoked Gouda and sharp cheddar adding a rich complexity. The coleslaw was vinegar based and uninteresting. The cabbage was too finely chopped and the dressing was minimal.
They only serve one option for dessert, which changes daily. They may want to consider expanding that to include two or three more selections.
Overall, I was unimpressed. Slow’s BBQ in Detroit is ten times better than what I had that night, and with much better service.
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