Grail Note: Life is full of coincidences. A few days ago my youngest daughter, who is traveling across the US, sent me a text asking what BBQ restaurant they should try while in St. Louis, Missouri. After a quick text to a good friend in the area I was able to suggest Pappy's Smokehouse. After asking Megan to write a review I got the press release that Pappy's Smokehouse had been named one of the Top 20 BBQ restaurants in the United States. I hope you enjoy my daughter's first ever restaurant review. My trip to Pappy's Smokehouse in St. Louis, Missouri left me aching for more. When I arrived at Pappy's I could see the smokers outside on the street. So, of course, I went to check them out. The pitmaster opened the smoker for me as he lathered melted brown sugar over the tops of the ribs. He told me about the meat and how the ribs are smoked slowly for about 12 hours and the brisket for 24 hours. The pitmaster was proud to show me everything about the meat and the smoker.
As I was walking into the restaurant I heard a group of people outside (who obviously had no idea about good food) said to one another, “The line is long. We are going to go to TGIFridays instead.” I looked at them and said, “TGIFriday’s over this?” I suppose they deserved to go to TGI Friday’s.
The line was out the door, but we only waited 15 minutes to place our order and received it within five minutes. We ordered pork, brisket, and a rack of ribs. None of the meat was served pre-sauced, although bottles of sauce were on each table. My side dishes included coleslaw and deep fried corn. Neither of which were worth spending time on.
The pork had a great texture. Unlike a lot of pulled pork I have eaten in the past it did not look, feel, or taste soft and mushy. I could easily taste the pork and not much else. The pork was satisfying, but compared to the brisket and ribs it didn’t stand a chance for me.
The brisket was my second favorite item. I could actually smell the meat aroma of the brisket as I was putting it into my mouth. The very top of the brisket had a slight pink smoke ring. It tasted fresh, light and almost sweet. I am not sure if this is normal, but the brisket tasted better cold. I tried it at the end of the meal after it had cooled down and I could taste the flavor of the meat much more than while it was warm.
The brisket was good, but hands down the ribs were the best. The rib meat easily fell off the bone as I pulled the ribs with my teeth. They were the perfect amount of messy, and I was grateful I did not have to fight through the membrane to get to the meat. Each rack of rib was slowly smoked and basted with melted brown sugar that created a sort of crust by the time they were served. The crust was not hard to get through. It added a great contrasting texture to the meat. So good.
My experience at Pappy’s was great because the food was great. But Pappy’s was also wonderful because of the customer service. There was a constant line to the door the whole hour and a half we were there, but the employees did not miss a beat. They were so helpful and fast. I went to Pappy’s with three small children and we were only able to find a small table to sit at. When our food was delivered, one of the employees asked us if we wanted a bigger table, and she went around the smokehouse trying to find us a more convenient place to eat. It was wonderful. Pappy’s was the best BBQ I have had (well, except my dad’s).