Zagat Huffington Post Declares Pappy's Smokehouse Top "Barbecue Mecca" [Updated]

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click to enlarge Mike Emerson at Pappy's Smokehouse - Ian Froeb
Ian Froeb
Mike Emerson at Pappy's Smokehouse
Zagat, publisher of restaurant guides nationwide, Huffington Post has declared Pappy's Smokehouse (3106 Olive Street; 314-535-4340) the nation's top "barbecue mecca" in a top-ten list apparently based on data from restaurant-guide publisher Zagat for the Huffington Post. Now, this list doesn't feature the most in-depth analysis of each choice -- the article cites Pappy's for its "awesome eats," which should go without saying in a list like this -- nor does it offer any methodology.

Regardless, Gut Check predicts that this will only increase the length of the line at Pappy's.

Owner Mike Emerson tells Gut Check that he was driving when he learned the news today: "My nephew called me. He goes, 'You're not going to believe this one."

Emerson says he is "still in shock."

"It good for all of us," he adds. "We've got this tremendous crew here [in St. Louis], chefs that I love to call my friends," and if people are drawn to the restaurant by the Zagat ranking, then, "I'll tell them to try this place, try this place, try this place...."


Update: (Thursday, September 1, 8:04 a.m.) The Post Dispatch spoke to Zagat about the ranking. A Zagat spokesperson claims the Huffington Post "misinterpreted the list of best barbecue restaurants that Zagat had provided." In short, Zagat doesn't compile national rankings, only local, based on reader feedback.

Of course, this doesn't change the fact that there is a list of top barbecue meccas with Pappy's at the top -- the article header includes these words: "we narrowed down 10 top barbecue havens you must go to before you die"  -- so we've clarified the original article to reflect that this list is a Huffington Post product rather than a Zagat one. If HuffPo provides any further clarification, we'll let you know.

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