Salt + Smoke = Barbecue + Bourbon + Beer
The barbecue-bourbon-beer tagline sums up the three passions behind this local restaurant chain from restaurateur Tom Schmidt. The barbecue: slow-smoked (up to 18 hours for some cuts of meat) and served with signature St. Louis-style spicy-sweet sauce (bottled as My Sweet Bestie). Must-try dishes include the burnt end toasted ravioli, deviled eggs with bacon, the brisket plate, St. Louis cut ribs, fried jalapeño and Cheddar bologna … oh, who are we kidding, we could list everything. There’s not a disappointing dish on the whole menu.
The bourbon: mostly in cocktails that range from hard core (the Manhattan and the Classic Old Fashioned) to sweetly gentle (the Elder Uncle). Salt + Smoke mixes the good stuff—Buffalo Trace, Knob Creek Rye, Dickel Rye, Bone Snapper Rye—but if you’re looking to have your bourbon straight, ask for the bartender’s choice flight.
The beer: from local craft brewers like Schlafly, Urban Chestnut, Perennial, Old Bakery, Civil Life and Heavy Riff. The draft beer selections are barbecue-friendly, light ales and lagers with lots of hops and hints of citrus, but if you’re looking for something heartier, check out the list of canned beers for stouts, porters and dark ambers.
5625 Hampton Ave.
While you’re in the neighborhood …
The Mack Neighborhood Bar & Grill
The Mack is exactly what a bar and grill should be, from Velveeta-topped burgers to fried pickles to oven-baked pretzels.
4615 Macklind Ave.
The Famous Bar
The bloody Marys are perfect—but they’re just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cocktails at this bar-lovers’ bar.
5213 Chippewa St.
The dive bar vibe is strong at Stan’s, especially when singers hop onto one of the most popular karaoke stages in the city.
5007 Macklind Ave.
Images courtesy of Aida Hasanovic.