The Ten Most Important Restaurant Openings of the Aughts #9: Pappy's Smokehouse (2008)

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Pappy's Smokehouse
(2008)

The most annoying food comment we have to make to out-of-towners: "Yes, St. Louis has its own style of pizza." The runner-up? "No, St. Louis doesn't have its own style of barbecue." But now we do have Pappy's Smokehouse, whose meteoric rise from slightly hidden midtown barbecue joint to line-out-the-door phenomenon is one of the decade's most astonishing and most welcome developments. Owner Mike Emerson and his staff serve 'cue so good that...well, put it this way: If I were to compile a list of the decade's best dishes, the pork ribs -- smoked over apple and cherry woods, with a dry rub kissed by rosemary -- just might come in at No. 1.

3106 Olive Street; 314-535-4340; website

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