I'm apparently doing a backwards chronology of Easter weekend, Memento-style. While I was out shopping for stuff for Early Easter Dinner, I stopped at Brand BBQ Market for lunch. Brand BBQ Market is located at 2824 West Armitage and its website is http://www.brandbbqmarket.com/. Some of you with especially good memories may remember my ill-fated attempt to eat there before. For reasons that still elude me, they are not open for lunch on weekends, but they are open for lunch during the week. To me, Bucktown doesn't seem like an especially business-vibrant community whereby people would be eating lunch all the time during the week, but who knows. In any event, I had off work on that Friday, so I decided to check it out.
Fortunately, it was open this time, and I got a sweet parking spot right in front. Plus, that day was the first 70+ day of the year, so the city was teeming with life. I'm going to break this down into categories broadly described as "The Good," "The Indifferent," and "The Bad."
The Good: drinking out of mason jars, pulled duck, the delicious buttery bread, wood paneling, chalkboard menus, the awesome waiter (and possibly owner), and iced tea.
The Indifferent: All seven types of bbq sauce
The Bad: The fries
To elaborate a further, the sandwich itself was really good (but to be honest, if you screwed up something called pulled duck, you probably have a bigger problem). I also appreciate the broad swath of sauces that they tried to cover (from what I remember there was classic, smoky, signature, bourbon cherry, peach, some type of mustard, and one other one), but none of the sauces were particularly noteworthy. The fries were awful. They were soggy, green, and tasted like bug spray. Gross.
Brand has a few more upscale options than Smoque, but for the same price, Smoque is much better.