Best Service in a Restaurant

Pappy's Smokehouse

Pappy's Smokehouse has received copious (and well deserved) praise for its barbecue — don't ask us to choose between those ribs and anything else we hold dear — but owner Mike Emerson and his staff don't get enough credit for what a pleasantly efficient operation they run. Yes, the wait to order can be long, but the line is orderly, the staff makes sure that those at the end of the queue have a menu to peruse, and Emerson himself will often work the line, shaking hands, beaming his contagious smile. Once you've ordered, the kitchen crew is so on point that you likely won't have to wait five minutes for your food — indeed, the most challenging aspect of visiting Pappy's might be pouring your fountain drink and finding a seat before your order's ready. The staff doesn't ignore you once you have your ribs and they have your money, either. Rare is the meal here without a friendly "How are you doing?" or "Can I clear that for you?" The only way Pappy's could improve its service? A valet — or maybe an airline ground crew wielding those orange flashlight thingies — for the always packed parking lot.

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