St. Louis Eats: Pappy’s brings taste of Memphis to St. Louis

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Only at Pappy’s Smokehouse will fanatics wait in a line that extends out the back door just to sink their teeth into some good old Memphis-style barbecue.  Named as the best barbecue joint in the United States by a recent Zagat survey, Pappy’s crème de la crème meats and their out-of-the-ordinary business culture capture the hearts of both local residents and travelers alike.

Mike Emerson, owner of Pappy’s Smokehouse, grills with a unique mindset. His slogan, “We’ve got nothing to hide, so the sauce is on the side,” accurately describes why Pappy’s ribs and beef brisket spends anywhere between four and 14 hours in the smoker, above apple or cherry wood. It is left up to the customer to choose which of the three homemade sauces to devour.

The simple, but delicious, sides, including sweet potato fries, baked beans and more, are nothing short of extraordinary.  Pappy’s just celebrated their third birthday this year. In such a short time, Emerson and his staff have had their share in the scope from critics across the nation. Pappy’s has been featured on the Food Network and other related television channels.  Famous critic Adam Richman, from the TV series “Man Versus Food,” made a pit stop in St. Louis to film an episode. Richman was pinned up against the $35 dollar “Big Ben” meal on his trip to the Gateway City. Emerson invented the “Adam” bomb, which then became planted on the full-time menu in his honor.

Seasoned customers understand to head to the smokehouse early because Pappy’s  is officially closed once the last bits of brisket are scarfed down.  Arriving early is a must, even though the visitors sometimes arrive before the doors are officially opened for the day.

If an early trip is out of the question, Pappy’s encourages customers to call ahead of time and order for pickup, at  314-535-4340.