Best Barbecue - 2002
Owned by Otis and Earline Walker and managed by their son, Christopher, Smoki O's has been in business at its current location for two-and-a-half years. Four countertops, no beer, it's mainly a takeout joint with a Soulard Market pedigree: Otis and his brother Bruce ran an oil-barrel operation on the back end of the market, on Carroll Street.
Close second: Big Jake's Memphis Style Barbecue, of which former Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. is a co-owner, on Delmar. A new sit-down joint in a former McDonald's, Big Jake's serves up a mean peach cobbler and a full array of adult beverages with its fine 'cue. Plus, you get a chance at a bonus serving of the Boz's political wisdom. But on a head-to-head smoked-meat basis, get yourself to Smoki O's.