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17th Street Bar & Grill is a barbecue restaurant in Murphysboro.
17th Street Bar & Grill 1711 West Highway 50, O'Fallon, Illinois; 618-622-1717. Mike Mills has been named grand champion at the annual Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest (a.k.a. the Super Bowl of Swine) three times -- a dynasty as notable as the Yankees of the late 1990s or the Patriots of this decade. His trademark sauce is a coppery brown, layered with flavor and applied with proper restraint. Two- and three-meat plates allow you to sample several different meats (brisket, chicken, pork shoulder, spicy smoked beef sausage), but the standout dish is the baby back ribs. Smoked in a pit over apple- and cherry-wood for as long as seven hours, Mills' ribs taste like pork raised on pure autumn sunshine.
You can't spell barbecue without "cue," but the lines haven't formed outside the door at Adam's Smokehouse -- yet. The slow-smoking barbecue joint in Clifton Heights opened in October and serves as a sister store to well-renowned, consistently packed restaurants Pappy's Smokehouse and Bogart's Smokehouse, so it seems like only matter a time before all of St. Louis stands in line to try a bite. Co-owners Frank Vinciguerra and Mike Ireland spent several years working at Pappy's with barbecue master Skip Steele before embarking on their own venture. With the blessing of their barbecue brethren, the two put together a small but substantial menu of smoked meats and traditional sides done well. --MABEL SUEN
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