Even though I went to college in Nashville (yeah, Vanderbilt!), I was never a big country music fan until a couple of years ago. But, something about the new rock n’ roll sound in country, along with the good looking men wearing tight jeans and playing the guitar, got me hooked. So, when the second annual Windy City Smokeout was announced, I quickly snatched up my three-day pass to listen to the great tunes and taste the tempting barbecue.
After a successful first year in 2013, Windy City Smokeout returned this year with more bands and more barbecue. Bub City, Lillie’s Q, Smoque, and Chicago q represented Chicago, The Salt Lick visited from Austin, Texas, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que came to the Windy City via New York, and Pappy’s Smokehouse promoted St. Louis. Celebrity chef and barbecue competitor Myron Mixon was also on hand sampling his Jack’s Old South BBQ.
Among the music lineup were Brett Eldredge, Clayton Anderson, Randy Rodgers Band, Eli Young Band, Chase Rice, and Shawn Lacy.
The Smokeout took place in a new location this year, on Grand and the Chicago River. It allowed much more space for the additional food and drink tents. The River and the skyline made for a nice backdrop to the lively and festive atmosphere.
Some highlights from the food lineup included the brisket from Smoque, the BBQ cheese fries from Bub City, the sausage and the coleslaw from The Salt Lick, and the smoked corn and black bean salad with honey lime vinaigrette from Chicago Q.
Overall, it was a fantastic weekend of great friends, food, music, and al fresco fun. I am already looking forward to Windy City Smokeout weekend 2015!