Sugarfire Smoke House may be the new kid on the block, having opened just last September, but it now stands at the very summit of the St. Louis barbecue kingdom. The menu is innovative — no other barbecue joint in town would dare offer a smoked portobello sandwich — but it does right by all the classics as well. The ribs are meaty, dark with dry rub, and they sing with smokiness. The brisket is tender with just the right amount of fat, and the jalapeño sausage singes while it satisfies. The sauces — Carolina mustard, horseradish, garlic mayo, hot barbecue — are all made in-house. Even the ketchup is a Sugarfire creation. Ever have a smoked chocolate-chip cookie? Now you can — and should. This barbecue joint is big on flavor and small on pretension with a cafeteria-style layout, which means things get overwhelming once you make it from the meats to the steaming mac & cheese and beyond that, to the array of pie at the very end (pecan, apple, key lime...). And be sure to grab one of the products made by Excel Bottling, the makers of Ski soda, based out of Breese, Illinois. Got all that? Take a deep, smoky breath — and power through.
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