6/18/2013 02:00:00 PM

Now Open: American BBQ and Asian Comfort Food at Smalls

More fried chicken is here - we warned you that it was trending. Joaquin Soler, the chef/owner of the Brown Bag Lunch Truck, has opened up Smalls, a tiny, five-seat BBQ shack in Irving Park. The  professionally trained chef (who has roots in Asian cuisine) first opened up a food truck in 2011 to serve classic American BBQ with an ethnic twist. Now, he's parked the truck to focus on this new operation serving smoked pork shoulder or hickory smoked brisket. The restaurant, focusing on carryout, is open all week for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as weekend brunch.

Soler’s breakfast is straightforward Southern comfort food. For instance, a housemade biscuit is sandwiched with Wisconsin cheddar, farm egg
 and pork sausage, while waffles are topped with bacon and candied walnuts. The Asian influences are in full effect come lunch in the form of a brisket bibimbap. The rice bowl is served with maple glazed hickory smoked brisket, white miso carrots and toasted garlic bean sprouts with a duck fat fried egg. The hearty bowl is served with Korean chile paste, kimchi and pickled daikon. Smoked meats are served in a sandwich or on a platter, and, as promised, there is the buttermilk-soaked fried chicken with coleslaw, fries and Texas toast.

In addition to the smoke shack, Smalls offers catering and delivery so diners can enjoy their comfort cooking at the nearby Lizard Lounge.

4009 N. Albany Ave.; 312-857-4221


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