The sheer size of Hendricks (17,000 square feet and slated to be a live-music venue and moonshine distillery, to boot) might be overwhelming, but pitmaster Matt Vanderbeck makes sure the focus is squarely on the food. Barbecue, smoked over apple and hickory wood, includes baby-back and St. Louis-cut spare ribs, beef brisket, pulled pork, turkey and sausage. If you like sauce, Hendricks' "STL" is your best bet: complex, with just a little heat. Collard greens with bacon and grits with cheddar cheese are the can't-miss sides.
The barbecue renaissance continues in St. Louis. When we last ranked our best barbecue joints, only five made the cut. This time around, we found seven worthy of consideration -- four holdovers from last time and three newcomers. -- Ian Froeb.