by Ian Froeb
The Gut Check One Hundred is our accounting of the 100 dishes in St. Louis that you must eat right now. These are the best dishes at the newest restaurants and the newest dishes at the best restaurants. These are the 100 dishes that define St. Louis dining in 2013. Our list culminates this fall when the Riverfront Times Best of St. Louis 2013 names the "Best Dish" of the year.
The name Gobble Stop Smokehouse (1227 Castillons Arcade Plaza, west St. Louis County; 314-878-5586) tells you much of what you need to know: At this nine-month-old barbecue joint, turkey and chicken rule the roost.
If I had a vote for Gut Check's most underrated barbecue spot, I might cast it for Gobble Stop. The turkey tips are a main reason why.
See Also: - Vote for St. Louis' Most Underrated Barbecue - Ian Froeb's RFT Review of Gobble Stop Smokehouse (2012) - Jennifer Silverberg's RFT Slideshow of Gobble Stop Smokehouse (2012)
These look like pork rib tips (the bit trimmed off when a spare rib is cut St. Louis-style), but they're actually pieces of dark meat from the turkey's thigh. You have to do a little work to free this meat from bits of bone and gristle, but once you dig it out with your fingers or teeth or -- if you must -- a knife and fork, you're rewarded with a tender hunk of turkey deeply imbued with hickory woodsmoke.
(You can also order turkey "ribs," which bring three uncannily rib-like pieces of meat, each attached to a long, slender bone. A bite reveals white meat, its already mild flavor almost entirely cloaked in hickory. As it happens, these "ribs" are like the pork "wings" that started appearing on menus a few years ago: an attempt by meat processors to turn underused cuts into marketable products. In the case of the pork "wings," it's a piece of the shank. Here the "rib" is the turkey's scapula. The result is tasty enough, but for their richer flavor and a more succulent texture, I preferred the tips.)
Is there a dish that you think belongs among the Gut Check One Hundred 2013? Let us know!
The Gut Check One Hundred 2013 (So Far)
- Pastaria's Italian Ramen - Pi Pizzeria's "Grove" Pizza - Famous Szechuan Pavilion's Spicy Wonton Soup (Novice) or Yu Shan Pork (Advanced) - La Tejana Taqueria's Goat Soup - Hendricks BBQ's Ribs - Sauce on the Side's "Costanza" Calzone - Siete Luminarias' Guanajuato-Style Carnitas - Fork & Stix's Khao Soi