Disclaimer: I am not a barbecue expert. I’m not even a barbecue amateur. I did not grow up around barbecue, but I do find it tasty.
We took an impromptu trip to St. Louis for a long weekend, and while there we figured we were close enough to Kansas City and Memphis that we should find some good barbecue. After settling into our hotel, we used Urbanspoon and TripAdvisor (aka my traveling godsends) to find a good barbecue place nearby. One place appeared to be one of the best in St. Louis, but reviews had accompanying photos of people lined up far outside the door, which deterred us.
We ended up at Pappy’s Smokehouse, which also was ranked among the best in St. Louis. Although we weren’t warned of a line, we quickly learned that to get good barbecue in St. Louis, one must wait in a line. So, we waited. It was part of the experience, with signs posted along the way saying, “Halfway there!” and prodding that you probably should have figured out your order by now. Waiting in line gives you the opportunity to soak in the scenery inside the restaurant.The walls are lined with bottles of different BBQ sauces and autographed menus from famous athletes and actors.
When you finally get the food (and they do sell out), it’s worth the wait.
I settled on the turkey breast platter with potato salad and green beans. The turkey was flavorful and tender enough that it didn’t need BBQ sauce, but I sauced it anyway. The potato salad was exactly what I’d want at a BBQ joint. The green beans were good but nothing to write home about.
The fiance ordered the pulled pork sandwich with sweet potato fries and fried corn on the cob. The pork was very good, but we both agreed the turkey was better. The sweet potato fries were outstanding — a great blend of salty and sweet. The deep fried corn is hard to describe. It seemed unnecessary to fry it, as it didn’t do a ton for it other than make it taste like oil. But, it was still delicious.
Pappy’s offers four different BBQ sauces. My favorite was the traditional Kansas City sauce. The house sauce was good, but not as sweet as I prefer.
In addition to standard soft drinks, Pappy’s sells bottled drinks from a local company, Fitz’s. Their Cardinal red cream soda was one of the best red cream soda’s I’ve had. Just don’t look at the sugar content!
Pappy’s oozes with character. Its employees are passionate about what they’re doing, and they’re good at their jobs. The food is the best part, though. It’s clear why people are willing to wait in line for it.