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bellyQ
Tea-smoked duck and Thai fried chicken

Chicago

Anyone who takes the CTA should know that bellies in Chicago are trending ever larger (watch your back, Milwaukee), so it should be no surprise that the latest installment from Bill Kim (Urban Belly, Belly Shack) is also the biggest yet, filling the former OneSixtyblue space with towering murals of stampeding horses, giant hand-blown orb lighting, and up-front booths equipped with their own infrared grills

Said grills can be used to fire up Korean short ribs and banana leaf-wrapped salmon (the kitchen will handle the grilling if you're one of the sad people at a regular table), or opt for the likes of Thai fried chicken, wood-fired bacon 'n kimchi pancakes, or some tea-smoked duck breast served with steamed Chinese buns, reaching an unlikely middle ground in the National Breasts/ Buns debate. They're also mixing up cocktails like the Serpentine (soju, coconut vinegar plum infusion, cucumber) and a concoction of roasted pineapple Cocchi Americano, Benedictine, lemon berry tea syrup and orange bitters called the Long Goodnight, which often precedes a Curt, Awkward Good Morning

If you're on the run, they're also running an all-day counter service joint dubbed BQ2GO that's doing salads and wraps with fillers like lemongrass chicken, basil edamame, curried cauliflower, and quinoa, suggesting there just may be hope for Chicago's bellies yet.

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1. bellyQ 1400 W Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60607

While dining at a resto with the word "belly" in the name may make you feel weird, you should get over it and chow down on Korean short ribs and banana leaf-wrapped salmon, or opt for the likes of Thai fried chicken, wood-fired bacon 'n kimchi pancakes, or some tea-smoked duck breast served with steamed Chinese buns. Also: cocktails, wine, and beer.

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