by Ian Froeb
Almost six months after it first crossed Gut Check's radar, Vernon's BBQ & Catering (6707 Vernon Avenue, University City; 314-726-1227) finally opened for business this week.
Owner Matt Stiffelman, a native of the University City-Olivette area, is a restaurant-industry veteran. He logged several years at Super Smokers, where he helped open several of the then-larger chain's locations. He also helped open several area Ben & Jerry's locations.
The Vernon's menu (link PDF) includes several barbecue standards -- pulled pork, baby-back ribs, turkey breast, beef brisket -- as well as some more unusual items, like smoked ham and smoked tofu. Sides include "Aunt Jan's Burnt End Beans" and vegetarian beans, horseradish potato salad and tequila-lime green beans.
Vernon's BBQ is open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday, and from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The restaurant is closed on Monday. Also, Stiffelman tells us that they are going to "try" to stay open till 10 on Friday and Saturday, so if you're headed over there late you might want to call first.