In a city where Chicago dogs rule and pizza making is sacred, Owner Josh Rutherford and the crew at “The Daddy” are bringing a bit of barbecue charm to the Windy City, with the help of the lil’ red smoker (of course)!
Born and raised on a farm in the Midwest, Josh has been smoking meat his entire life. When the opportunity arose to acquire a barbecue restaurant in Chicago, he jumped at the chance. Even though the city’s roots are in the stockyards, the southern charm, flair and smoke (lots of smoke) of traditional barbecue was just beginning to find a home in restaurants and kitchens throughout the city. Since the success of The Smoke Daddy, there has been a barbecue boom of sorts in the city.
Josh states, “It’s been interesting and it’s been really great for the barbecue industry. The more there are, the more people want to go out and eat barbecue.”
Not only is The Smoke Daddy a great place to eat with its laid-back atmosphere and friendly staff, they are one of the few restaurants left in the country that offer free live music seven days a week, making them influential in the local music scene as well. And of course, any sports bar worth its weight in salt in Chi-town supports the local sports team – since The Smoke Daddy is an official Chicago Blackhawks bar – you can come here any game night and find fellow Blackhawk brethren chowing down on pulled pork and brisket (maybe even some burnt ends) in between the cheering and goal-scoring.
So the next time you are strolling through the neighborhood, stop by and have a Bloody Mary with a beer back on their large sidewalk patio and enjoy the views – and the people – of the great city of Chicago before digging in to some of the best barbecue this side of the Navy Pier.
Although the restaurant’s signature rub is a secret (shhhh!), Josh has prepared a version of their famous rub so you can enjoy a bit of The Smoke Daddy wherever you grill.
¼ c. Kosher salt
1 tbs. Cinnamon
2 tbs. Garlic powder
¼ c. Brown sugar
¼ c. White sugar
1 tbs. Smoked paprika
1 tbs. Black pepper, fresh cracked
Add all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork until well distributed. Rub generously on both sides of preferred cut of meat (think ribs, rotisserie chicken, and brisket) and allow meat to cure for at least 24 hours.
Hankering for the taste of The Smoke Daddy but have no plans to visit Chicago in the near future? Worry not, my friends – the restaurant features their barbecue sauces, the famous Mojo Rub and even their Bloody Mary mix online. For reservations, information or to order a taste of “The Daddy”, check them out at www.thesmokedaddy.com
The Smoke Daddy
1804 West Division Street
Chicago, Illinois 60622
By: Kerri-Lynn Swanson
Photos: Allen Carrasco