Review: Pappy’s SmokehouseAuthor: Show | Filed under: Food Reviews, Location: St. Louis, MO, On The Road
3106 Olive St.
St. Louis, MO 63103
My expectations could not have been much higher here, because Pappy’s was on Man vs. Food (click here to see the YouTube of the appearance, it’s the second segment; go to the 6:40 mark), has been voted the best BBQ in St. Louis three years running — it opened in 2008, so it’s 3-0 so far — and was named one of the top 10 places to “chow down” by the Travel Channel.
Upon arrival, I noticed a huge smoker on the street and I was even more excited. Then I walked in and the smell was everything you can imagine and more. Just straight old-fashioned BBQ smell. The line was nearly out the door and I stood in line to order for about a half hour. Don’t let that worry you, though, because once I ordered they plated up the food and took it to my table within two minutes.
The restaurant bills its food as “delicious, juicy Memphis-style BBQ.” They smoke their meats from four to 14 hours over cherry and apple wood. They have three sauces on every table: Original, Sweet Baby Jane and Holly’s hot sauce.
Oh, and I’d recommend going for lunch. Since they don’t want to serve leftovers, they only have a certain amount of food for each day. Once they run out, that’s it. So if you go for dinner, you run the risk of not having a full menu.
What I Got: Rib combo; $23.99. Half slab of ribs, ¼ pound choice of meat and two sides. I went with pulled pork, green beans and deep-fried corn on the cob. I’ll hold off on ribs for a second and talk about everything else first.
The pulled pork was fine. I wasn’t a huge fan, in fact, I’d say it was pretty run of the mill. I tried it with all three sauces and I quite liked all three. None were spectacular but they were all very good with Sweet Baby Jane coming out as my favorite. I didn’t care for the fried corn, but I don’t think they did anything wrong. I think I would have just rather had regular corn on the cob and skipped the deep-fried part — I was just curious to try it once. So I’ve tried it, didn’t care for it and can move on. The green beans weren’t for me, either, and I usually love green beans. They were a bit bland and had a snap to them, meaning I’d rather them be cooked more. I don’t like my green beans crunchy at all, but if you do, these may be to your liking.
You know the saying “they knocked it out of the park?” Pappy’s more than did so with these ribs. They hit a grand slam with the baseball ending up across the street. I was chuckling when they dropped off the food and my plastic silverware. If they’re that sure you don’t need actual silverware, these ribs had to be falling off the bone. They were and then some. I could physically just grab each individual rib and pull it out, leaving myself with a bit of a rib steak, if that makes sense. It was just one body of rib meat with no bones. The flavor was incredible, too. I was so disappointed when I was done, even though I was full, that I was like an animal trying to ravage a trash can for every last bit of food — just holding each bone and desperately trying to gnaw off every last bit of meat. If there wasn’t a half-hour line, I seriously think I might have gotten another half rack. And, again, I was full.
Would I Buy It Again? I would and plan to every single time I’m in St. Louis for the rest of my life. I’ll plan my day around a trip there. There’s no need to offer any further superlatives about the ribs, as you should have gotten the idea by now. I wouldn’t get the pulled pork again. I’d think about trying the brisket, spicy sausage link or chicken, but the ribs are the specialty and just so damn good that maybe I’d just get a full slab of ribs and not mess around. I’ll be trying different sides next time, but why get caught up in that? They’re sides. I don’t yet have a large amount of experience traveling, so there could absolutely be better ribs than this somewhere in the country (one of my friends said Alabama, for example), but these are the best ribs I’ve ever had and it ain’t close. If you’re ever in St. Louis, go get Pappy’s ribs. You will not regret it.