1/23/2013 10:00:00 AM

Jewish Grandmother Approved Meat at Milt's Barbecue for the Perplexed

When we served brisket to a few Gentile friends during Hanukkah, one question was repeatedly asked: “Is this brisket kosher?” Perplexed by our friends’ insatiable curiosity about free food, the response was simple.

“No, it’s from Butcher & the Larder and it’s delicious, so put it in your mouth and stop asking questions.”

If this situation had occurred today, we would have been able to throw those ungrateful friends out our door and over to Lakeview for some certified kosher meat. It is served at Milt’s Barbeque for the Perplexed, which opened yesterday.

Chances are the folks over at Milt’s are more gracious hosts than we were. They are so courteous that 100 percent of profits from the restaurant will be donated to charity. Each month, the charity changes, starting with a local school. On the menu at this philanthropic eatery are in-house smoked meats such as chicken, spare ribs, short ribs and, of course brisket that is served in a sandwich and chili.

"What exactly is kosher BBQ?" Our endlessly curious friends might ask. There is more to it than nixing pork. It also forbids the mixing of milk and dairy, so no mac ‘n’ cheese. On top of that, their meat is purchased and prepared in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. Rather than go into all the boring details, we defer to the experts.

Other item absent, but not missed, from the menu is bacon. The porky kind is replaced with beef bacon. After downing a few of their signature cocktails and it will taste the same. Beverage options include a Bourbon Palmer made with Maker’s Mark, iced tea and lemonade as well as beer, wine and an impressive scotch list.

Perhaps all this chutzpa sparks interest in the Jewish faith. Dine on select Friday nights (the first will be on Februrary 1) for Shabbat dinner. The meal, which costs $35 for adults and $15 for children younger than 12-years-old, includes challah, smoked BBQ chicken, sides and a cup of wine or grape juice.

We’re getting a bit verklempt just thinking about all this kosher deliciousness.

3411 N. Broadway St.; 773-661-6384

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