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Recommendations in St. Louis and Kansas City?

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    I would also put on the list Bogards's Smokehouse in the Soulard section of St. Louis. Interesting neighborhood and they serve up some really good BBQ. Pappy's is a classic, but there are some additional newish places: Salt and Smoke, SugarFire, Adam's Smokehouse, Beast Craft BBQ. Lastly there is a place called Grace Meat + 3 that has a great chef (formerly of Southern next door to Pappy's). The menu is a little more broader than a traditional BBQ joint, but the food was outstanding.


      Can't help you with St. Louis. But in the Kansas City area I really like Woodyard Bar-B-Que. It's located on Merriam Lane in Kansas City, Kansas. I've been there a couple times and tried each of their meats. They were all terrific. Cool spot that also serves cold beer. Make sure to get the Burnt Ends Chile....


        Lamb ribs at Jack Stack's Freight House!


          Q39 in Kansas City, hands down the best barbeque restaurant I have ever eaten at. I am in Kansas City a few times each year and try eating at new barbeque restaurant each time and hit up a "old favorite" as well. Jack Stack's is also very good upscale place, get the beef ribs. While is KC be sure to check out the Kansas City BBQ Store, very cool place to look around lay hands on things that might be hard to find in your area. Enjoy your trip and safe travels.


            OK, so we were only able to go to three places while we were there (I had to visit family, after all). We hit Pappy's in St. Louis, and Q39 and Jack Stack in Kansas City.

            My thoughts:

            Pappy's was fantastic. We got one of the large platters so the four of us could try a bit of everything, so we had brisket, ribs, pulled pork, and chicken. The ribs were probably the best commercial ribs I've had. If anyone has a reasonable facsimile of their rub recipe, I'd love to get it from you. The brisket was tender and juicy. The pulled pork was, well, pulled pork. Nothing about it really stood out, but it was very good. And the chicken was good, but I've never been a huge bbq chicken guy. None of the sides were particularly great. They were fine, but nothing to write home about.

            Q39 - I felt Q39 bested Pappy's in all respects except ribs, while the rest of my group preferred Pappy's. I liked the bolder flavors and seasoning that Q39 used. We had burnt ends, brisket, ribs, sausage, corn dogs, and pulled pork. The brisket and burnt ends were amazing, but I especially loved the sausage. It had a great flavor and texture, with just the right amount of spice. The pulled pork was fine, and the ribs were a little overcooked and lacked flavor (compared to Pappy's). Sides were fine, but still nothing special.

            Jack Stack was a huge disappointment to our whole group. Everything was bland. If you closed your eyes and had a bite of brisket or pulled pork, you would only know the difference by texture. I'm having a hard time figuring out why so many people were willing to wait an hour plus to get in there. We had burnt ends, some of which were cooked to the point of being hard and dried out. The ribs were cooked well enough, but had no flavor. The brisket was cooked fine, but also completely bland. And the pulled pork was a bit dry for pulled pork. It seemed like it had perhaps been holding for too long, which doesn't make much sense given that the place was packed. The one worthwhile thing Jack Stack had was their baked beans. These were the best baked beans I have ever had, with excellent flavor and what looked like a generous amount of brisket chunks thrown in. I want to recreate these beans as closely as I can. It's just too bad it's the only thing this place did well.

            Sorry for being so long-winded, but those are my thoughts on the places we went. Thanks again, everyone for the recommendations, especially everyone who recommended Q39. I probably wouldn't have gone there if so many of you hadn't suggested it.


            • PJBowmaster
              PJBowmaster commented
              Editing a comment
              Good write-up Dave!!

            • EdF
              EdF commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks for the detailed report!

            • dshaffes
              dshaffes commented
              Editing a comment
              Nice follow up, much appreciated. I was at Pappy's in late January and agree with your review. Great ribs and overall excellent BBQ.

            TLDR version of the above: Pappy's in St. Louis was fantastic, Q39 in KC was my favorite, and Jack Stack in KC was aggressively mediocre, and I don't understand why it had such a long wait to get in.


              I repeat the recommendation for Q39. Amazing food!


                For a three months, I worked in KC on the other side of the rail tracks from Fiorella's Jack Stack. So, friday was Jack Stack day, and I think I had every smoked item on the menu. there's good stuff. great stuff. There are some meh sides and some less great smoked meats on the menu.

                BB's Lawnside was the most fun place.

                Joe's was the best on a trip with the wife to the home of her alma mater. Arthur Bryant's was a memorable experience.

                This is all a decade ago. Dunno if Lil Jake's Eat It and Beat It is still around, but it was popular with the union guys when I was at a trade show work put on. Yeah, seems like Lil Jake's is gone, but Danny Edward's Blvd BBQ is the same pitmaster. Worth a lunch, as they don't do dinner. 11-3, eat it and beat it. Crap, Guy Fieri featured it... can't be good anymore... *sigh*

                I lived in St. Louis for four years. My favorite place is long gone, Lampert's Plush Pig. This was before Pappy's was a thing, and Bogard's was pretty new, IIRC. I wasn't a huge fan of Bogard's. If you're in the wrong neighborhood of St. Louis, you'll see some guys with a shingle and a 55 gallon smoker. There are a lot of these guys around... if they have Snoots, get a Snoot sandwich. That's a St. Louis original you won't find anywhere else.


                  See my writeup of Jack's Stacks and Q39 here: https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...d-q39-and-jj-s


                  • dave_trimble
                    dave_trimble commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I wish I had thought to take pictures. Good to see I'm not the only one very underwhelmed by Jack Stacks

                  The next time you make it to Kansas City you definitely have to go to Slap's and L.C,'s BBQ


                  • Mr. Bones
                    Mr. Bones commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Howdy from Kansas Territory, Welcome to Th Pit, Neighbour!
                    Glad to have ya here to learn along with, an from!

                    I'm jus west of ya, in Larryville (LFK)...
                    Last edited by Mr. Bones; May 1, 2018, 05:19 PM.

                  Ok folks. A chef friend of mine from the Bay Area Via Hawaii will be in KC Mo next month at the Marriott. She has asked me for recommendations on where to eat other than the Big Boys like gates and Arthur Bryant. I noted Q- 39 and a few other from above

                  are there any off beat smaller places walking distance from the Marriott other than the above listed. The list seems pretty current though.

                  Great thread and thank you for your help.


                  • T-bone
                    T-bone commented
                    Editing a comment
                    SLAPs isn’t walking distance but it’s worth an Uber ride.


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