Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

#4: The Ribs at Pappy's Smokehouse

Posted By on Thu, Apr 21, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Half a slab of the ribs (with baked beans and sweet-potato fries) at Pappy's Smokehouse - IAN FROEB
  • Ian Froeb
  • Half a slab of the ribs (with baked beans and sweet-potato fries) at Pappy's Smokehouse
I spent the past week stuck in my house with a sprained ankle. I hobbled around on crutches. I didn't eat very well. The most strenuous activity I undertook was opening a new browser window on my laptop.

Today, I was able to abandon the crutches for a sturdy and oh-so-discreet support stirrup. The first place -- the only place -- I wanted to eat once I was free to leave the house?

Pappy's Smokehouse.

That it was high time for the beloved barbecue joint's appearance on this list was just a happy coincidence.

What more is there to say about Pappy's Smokehouse -- except, to the two women behind me today who bailed from the line halfway to the register, "What the hell were you thinking?"

The ribs are my go-to order here, smoked over apple and cherry wood and seasoned perfectly: a zing of black pepper, that beguiling rosemary note. And, above all else, the sweet-savory hit of pork cooked hour after hour after hour...

My lunch was more than enough to improve my mood, but just visiting Pappy's lifts my spirits. The regulars. The tourists. The fans having their picture taken with the sunglasses-bedecked pig's head mounted on the wall or, if the pig's not available, with Mike Emerson. The whole damn bustle of the place. It's the most communal dining experience in St. Louis, and it never fails to bring a smile to my face.

(By the way: I didn't visit Bogart's Smokehouse in Soulard, featuring pitmaster Skip Steele and several other Pappy's vets, until after I'd finalized my 100 Favorite Dishes, but if there is ever a sequel, without doubt Bogart's will make an appearance -- a certain smoked prime rib sandwich or maybe the pastrami.... Consider that an early tease for next week's review.)

Pappy's Smokehouse
3106 Olive Street
$12.99 (half-slab), $20.99 (whole)

I'm counting down -- in no particular order -- 100 of my favorite dishes in St. Louis. Some are well-known, others obscure. Some are expensive, others dirt cheap. All of them, I guarantee, are delicious. Please do not hesitate to share your own favorites via the comments thread.


#5: The applewood-smoked duck breast at Sidney Street Café
#6: Beef tenderloin with foie gras and a port wine demi-glace at Tony's
#7: Dry-aged steak at Prime 1000
#8: Tajadas con queso at Fritanga
#9: Kumamoto oysters at DeMun Oyster Bar
#10: Tacos al pastor at La Vallesana

#11: The Heath Bar concrete at Ted Drewes Frozen Custard
#12: Beef tongue at Café Natasha's Kabob International
#13: The root beer braised short rib at Monarch
#14: The egg raviolo at Acero
#15: Pappardelle at the Tavern Kitchen + Bar
#16: Carnitas at La Tejana Taqueria
#17: Benne's Farm half chicken at Five Bistro
#18: Dátiles rellenos at Modesto
#19: Hot-and-sour noodles at Joy Luck Buffet
#20: Lamb vindaloo at India Palace

Tags: , ,

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 19, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2022 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation