Best Barbecue St. Louis 2004 - Smokin' Al's
Readers' Choice: Bandana's Barbecue
The blues tunes Al Solis plays as background music at his canary-yellow barbecue joint tend to stick in one's head, but for some reason his lip-smacking ribs bring to mind the words of a white-chick songstress: Nobody does it half as good as you/Baby, you're the best. Solis'll be the first to tell you how proud he is of his food, how much he likes the way the cherrywood he uses imparts an understated sweetness to his 'cue -- smoked right on the Hampton Avenue sidewalk, almost as if Solis is rubbing his homestyle cooking techniques in the face of Steak n Shake across the street. Oh, Al: You're so vain.