Ever since Mike Emerson opened Pappy's Smokehouse, his insanely popular midtown joint, Riverfront Times has chosen it as "Best Barbecue." For those of you keeping score at home, that'd be three years running. If this were bowling and not barbecue, you might say Pappy's was working on a three-bagger, or a turkey. But this isn't bowling, and there inevitably comes a time here at "Best of St. Louis" HQ when we get a little twitchy. You know, consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds and all that. So this year we went and tapped newcomer Bogart's Smokehouse in Soulard for "Best Barbecue." Granted, Bogart's is owned by Skip Steele, Pappy's former pitmaster, making it Pappy's brother from another mother, as it were. We've got a feeling Emerson will be able to handle having Pappy's streak broken up by Bogart's. He's too busy smoking up the best pork ribs in this town (and possibly any other): tender, imbued with the smoldering essence of apple- and cherrywood, the meat's porcine perfection gilded with a rich medley of herbs and spices. You don't need sauce to enjoy these ribs, but because Emerson is a generous man, he gives you three terrific ones from which to choose.
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