Best Barbecue

Pappy's Smokehouse

Pappy's Smokehouse has never been a secret. More or less from the day it opened in February 2008, it has been a smash hit, a mecca for St. Louis barbecue hounds. The lunch-hour line is legendary. (Pro tip: Call in your order ahead of time.) Bad news: That line only grows. Good news: The line grows as people outside of St. Louis learn about Pappy's. Owner Mike Emerson and pit master Skip Steele have been among the select company grilling and smoking at the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party. The restaurant has served guests such as Bobby Flay, Willie Nelson and barbecue guru Steve Raichlen. Fans from out of state detour or plan a trip to midtown to try the incredible ribs, pulled pork and beef brisket. The success is deserved — and vindication for those who hoped that one day St. Louis barbecue would mean something more than how a butcher happened to cut ribs.

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