The STL Beer, BBQ and Whiskey Challenge: BBQ Edition
Hungry? We’ve got you covered.
Smoked Salami from Adam’s Smokehouse
The pitmasters at this tiny storefront earned their street cred at Pappy’s before setting up their own ‘cue shack. With the salty, peppery, smoky salami—a melt-in-your-mouth blend of pork and beef—they’ve done their old boss proud. 2819 Watson Road, Clifton Heights, 314.875.9890.
Rib-meat Sandwich from BBQ ASAP
On the competition circuit, the owners’ brisket, pulled pork and ribs are all winners—which means that at the restaurant, the winner is you. The three award-winning meats are all served two ways: as platters or as sandwiches bookended by a twisted pretzel roll. 15581 Manchester Ave., Chesterfield, 636.256.1908.
Tri-tip Sirloin from Bogart’s Smokehouse
This is a combo we can get behind: The pitmaster from Memphis smokes St. Louis-style ribs and uses sauces influenced by Kansas City and North Carolina. Want to expand your borders? Look to the menu for meats that aren’t often found at barbecue joints, like pastrami and especially the tri-tip sirloin. 1627 S. 9th St., Soulard, 314.621.3107.
Burnt Ends from Bootleggin’ BBQ
A group of friends just opened this laid-back Kansas City-style restaurant, featuring dry-rubbed and hickory-smoked meats and a house sauce that’s tomato-y, molasses-y and full of secret spices. 1933 Washington Ave., Downtown, 314.241.5999.
Rib Tips from C&K Barbecue
C&K’s website boasts that it has sold more than 1.6 million of its delectable rib tips over the past 40 years. Based on the number flying out the door every day, that’s probably about right. 4390 Jennings Station Road, Pine Lawn, 314.385.8100.
Amish Chicken from Capitalist Pig
Yes, pigs are big at the Mad Art Gallery’s in-house barbecue joint, but the chicken gets even more TLC. The meat is wet-rubbed with spices, smoked and then finished on the grill. If you must have something from a pig, go with a side of the pork-belly baked beans. 2727 S. 12th St., Soulard, 314.772.1180.
Pork Spare Ribs from Charlotte’s Rib BBQ
The restaurant’s signature mild hickory barbecue sauce, based on a generations-old family recipe, is what got things started more than 30 years ago. True to their St. Louis-style roots, the award-winning pork spare ribs come slathered in it. 15467 Clayton Road, Ballwin, 636.394.3332.
Turkey Rib Sandwich from Gobble Stop Smokehouse
This barbecue’s for the birds—literally. Slow smoking gives the turkey and chicken wings, breasts, tenderloin and legs just the right balance of flavor and tenderness. In keeping with its non-traditional theme, the restaurant’s best sauce has a distinct Asian influence. 1227 Castillon Arcade Plaza, Creve Coeur, 314.878.5586.
St. Louis-style Ribs from Hendricks BBQ
This local cut has less cartilage than traditional spare ribs, which makes for easier eating. But you’ll still want to use your fingers—and lick off every drop of the housemade barbecue sauce. 1200 S. Main St., St. Charles, 636.724.8600.
Pulled Pork Supper from Highway 61 Roadhouse & Kitchen
Cajun flavors spice up many menu items, from their sauteed Louisiana BBQ Shrimp to red beans and rice with andouille sausage, but it’s the hickory-smoked pork shoulder—pulled, sauced and layered onto a cornbread waffle—that had us at hello, y’all. 34 S. Old Orchard Ave., Webster Groves, 314.968.0061.
Rib Tips from Lampert’s Q-Shack
The owners have built a following over the years with other restaurants and catering services. They’re serious about their KC and Memphis-style meats but also have a little fun with Mexican burritos and “crumbles” of meat, like the sloppy Jose. 6900 Noonan Ave., Maplewood, lampertsbbq.com.
Barbecue-glazed Half Chicken from Lester’s
Hints of sweetness from the applewood smoke get an additional boost from pineapple-rum barbecue glaze. For maximum flavor, pair it with a pale ale and eat with your fingers while catching a game on the big screen. 9906 Clayton Road, Ladue, 314.994.0055.
Pork Shoulder Sandwich from Lil’ Mickey’s Memphis Barbeque
The owners’ Memphis heritage shines through in this rich serving of pork. Whether you prefer the meat pulled or chopped, tradition calls for the sandwich to be served in a sweet-and-spicy sauce and topped with a scoop of coleslaw. 1020 Cave Springs Blvd., St. Peters, 636.922.4227.
St. Louis Ribs from Ms. Piggies’ Smokehouse
These slabs of hickory-smoked goodness taste even better with the Southern side dishes of yams and collard greens—or, best of all, with a serving of deep-fried okra and pie for dessert. 10612 Page Ave., Overland, 314.428.7776.
Frito Pie from Pappy’s Smokehouse
The Memphis-style ribs at this top-tier barbecue joint are right on the money, but the real jackpot is the dish of Fritos topped with pulled pork (or your meat of choice), onions, baked beans and cheddar cheese. 3106 Olive St., Midtown, 314.535.4340.
Pork Steak from Phil’s BBQ
The beloved backyard barbecue-style pork steak is alive and well at this joint. In true potluck style, there’s also an eclectic assortment of dishes like pizza, spaghetti and baked beans. 9205 Gravois Ave., Affton, 314.631.7725.
BBQ “Carolina” Steak Burger from The Precinct
The brisket here smokes over cherry wood, coming out tender and moist. It’s great by itself, but it’s an even more excellent (if messy) burger condiment, especially when topped with coleslaw and white barbecue sauce. 1900 Locust Ave., Downtown, 314.588.8899.
Smoked Half Chicken from PM BBQ
With award-winning chicken like this, it makes sense to plug it in all over the menu, accompanying salads, starring in gumbo and topping their “Loaded Tater.” But be sure to sample it straight too, with a dash of zesty sauce. 161 Long Road #103, Chesterfield, 636.536.1966.
Baby Back Ribs from Rib City
Hungry for barbecue? How about a rack and a half of baby back ribs, imported from Denmark to get just the right ratio of fat to meat. The sauce is thick and sweet, perfect for dipping fries in once the ribs have vanished. 1181 Colonnade Center, Des Peres, 314.965.7427.
Riblets and Tips Combo from Roper’s Ribs
Perfect for indecisive diners, Roper’s offers all kinds of hickory-smoked options: riblets and tips, snoot and riblets, wings and brisket, shrimp and tips, riblets and wings … you get the picture. 6929 W. Florissant Ave., Flordell Hills, 314.381.6200.
Brisket Chili from Salt + Smoke
There are so many deliciously unique items on the menu—smoked trout sandwiches, burnt-end toasted ravioli and smoked wings, for example—that a small-plates approach works well here. Be sure one of those is a side order of rich, hearty brisket chili. 6525 Delmar Blvd., The Loop, 314.727.0200.
Smoked Tri-tip Sandwich from The Shaved Duck
The steak is cooked Argentine-style, which means it’s marinated and rubbed with spices, then smoked and sliced thin. There are hints of rosemary and garlic, but mostly what you’ll taste is pure beef. The kitchen’s way with smoked proteins (from duck to mozzarella) is impressive. 2900 Virginia Ave., Tower Grove East, 314.776.1407.
Snoot & Tips Combo from Smoki O’s
Industry insiders give this family-owned shack its due, but it’s a bit of a secret to the rest of us, tucked away on the north side of Downtown. The snoots are legendary, but if that’s too exotic on a first date, pair them with excellent rib tips. 1545 N. Broadway, Downtown, 314.621.8180.
Pork and Beef Sausage Plate from Smoking Barrels BBQ
This double dose of juicy sausage sings out for the Carolina-style mustard barbecue sauce and
fried sides like corn on the cob and okra. The restaurant is a word-of-mouth favorite with South City families and groups of friends. 5641 Kingshighway Blvd., South City, 314.669.9455.
Beef and Pork Barbecue from Seoul Q
Do-it-yourself barbecue meals are a popular option at this Korean joint that shares space with its sister restaurant, Seoul Taco. Choose beef chuck, rib-eye or short ribs—or pork shoulder, belly or jowl—then surround yourself with dishes of pickled condiments and let the fun begin. 6665 Delmar Blvd., The Loop, 314.925.8452.
SNR Plate from Spare No Rib
This is fusion dining at its best: two ribs, two tacos. You can tip the scales toward either Tex-Mex or barbecue with sides (refried vs. Great Northern beans), beers (Corona vs. Schlafly) or soda (Jarritos vs. IBC). Multiple locations, sparenorib.com.
Big Muddy from Sugarfire Smoke House
Top-quality ingredients set Sugarfire apart, but it’s the debris you want on this sandwich: hunks of brisket and smoked sausage plus horseradish and barbecue sauces. Brave the lunchtime wait—this ‘cue is worth it. Multiple locations, sugarfiresmokehouse.com.
BBQ Slinger from Vernon’s BBQ
Forget your old notion of a slinger: This belly-busting dish from a modern barbecue joint has cornbread slathered with sugary burnt-end beans, your choice of meat (pulled pork is highly recommended), coleslaw and cheese sauce. 6707 Vernon Ave., University City, 314.726.1227.
Barbecue from Seoul Q. Photo by Matt Pfaff.
Photo credit: Photos by Jennifer Silverberg | Illustrations by Misty Manley