Pappy’s Smokehouse

Worth a return

Roadfood is all about restaurants we love, or at least like. We do not love Pappy’s. On the other hand, the Food Network rated its ribs among America’s top five; USA Today said it was one of the top ten foodie spots in St. Louis; crowds of locals like it enough to wait in long lines just to get a chance to eat what is billed as Memphis-style barbecue. If pale-flavored ribs, dry pulled pork, and chewy sliced brisket are Memphis-style, it must be a Memphis other than the barbecue-rich one down the Mississippi River, where succulence is a given.

Dry or wan meat can be improved by barbecue sauce, of which four kinds are arrayed on each table here: “Texas style hot”; “Jane’s Sweet” (does a good job covering the meat); “Pappy’s Original” (vinegar-peppery); and “Hoodoo” (even more peppery).

While the popular appeal of the meats is a mystery, I can say good things about the sweet and soupy baked beans, the crunchy cole slaw, the crisp and well-salted sweet potato fries, the caramelized fried corn on the cob, and the big baked potato.

Pappy’s is a fun place with a happy rustic vibe like being at a barn dance. I won’t be rushing back to eat here, given the presence of truly great barbecue elsewhere in St. Louis, but neither am I willing to write it off completely. Jane and I ate five different dinners at Pappy’s. Maybe they were just the result of an off night.

What to Eat
Pappy’s Smokehouse, Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet Potato Fries
Crisp, salty-sweet, and earthy, sweet potato fries are the side dish we like best.
Pappy’s Smokehouse, Ribs
Pappy's is famous for its ribs. There is a lot of very tender meat in this rack, but its flavor is elusive. Below the ribs are slices of good smoke-cooked turkey.
Pappy’s Smokehouse, Beans
Soupy-sweet beans are a good choice among the side dishes.
Pappy’s Smokehouse, Pulled Pork
Pulled Pork
Pulled pork isn't very juicy, and while the application of sauce does compensate, the meat itself is beyond redemption.
Pappy’s Smokehouse, Fried Corn on the Cob
Fried Corn on the Cob
Fried corn on the cob is sweet and crunchy
Pappy’s Smokehouse, Potato Salad
Potato Salad
Good sides: potato salad and green beans
Pappy’s Smokehouse, Hot Links
Hot Links
An austere hot link sandwich. Pass the sauce, please!
Pappy’s Smokehouse, Brisket
Pappy's brisket isn't tough, but neither is is succulent. A lot of chewing yields minimal flavor.
Directions and Hours
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

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