Smokin' E's BBQ is a barbecue joint for people who know their barbecue.
The unassuming takeout shack along Lake Station's main drag has a window full of trophies, including a Best of the Midwest award its beef brisket just won at a Master Pro Kansas City Barbecue Society contest in Union Grove, Wisconsin last fall.
Don't be surprised to see out-of-state plates in the parking lot.
The southern-style barbecue restaurant at 2401 Central Ave in Lake Station smokes its meats with hickory and cherry a minimum of 14 hours in pits owner Tim Easton hand-built out back.
Inspired to become a pitmaster after eating at the famous Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q while visiting his brother down in Alabama, Easton does everything the traditional way, feeding the pits with fresh wood to cook the meats low and slow whether it's freezing in the winter or sultry in the summer.
The down-home barbecue restaurant offer brisket, ribs, smoked wings, sausages, pulled pork sandwiches, spoon corn bread and other barbecue favorites.
A standout is the Smoke-E-toe, a taquito filled with some of the most tender, mouth-watering pulled pork around. The crisp crunchiness of the fried tortilla plays well off the softness of the slow-smoked, shredded meat. The pork is smoky, juicy and incredibly tasty.
For a little extra, you can add savory melted cheese.
The appetizer comes with a side of crispy golden fries.
For more information, visit 219-654-4141 or find Smokin' E's BBQ on Facebook.
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Taste Test is a weekly feature showcasing specialty dishes at Region restaurants.