We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Believe the hype - THIS IS THE BEST.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pappy's Smokehouse

Pappy's Smokehouse
3106 Olive Street, Saint Louis, MO (Grand Center / Midtown)
(314) 535-4340
Website
Menu
Improve this listing
Ranked #2 of 2,361 Restaurants in Saint Louis
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cuisines: Barbecue
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Delivery, Late Night, Takeout
Neighborhood: Grand Center / Midtown
Saint Louis, Missouri
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Believe the hype - THIS IS THE BEST.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

I had the day off on my birthday, so I told my wife that I've always wanted to go to Pappy's Smokehouse ever since we saw it featured on "Man V. Food" on the Travel Channel. The St. Louis area is a hotbed of barbeque pits -- some large, some chains, some little bitty shacks that make fantastic food. But I have NEVER experienced anything quite like Pappy's.

We arrived around noon on a Wednesday, and it was fairly busy. Lots of business around, so the lunch crowd was there. The line wasn't long -- we probably waited for 10 minutes, total -- and we were served less than 5 minutes after we ordered. The place is filled with picnic tables, so you might be sitting with people you don't know, which kind of adds to the charm. The walls are plastered with photos, signed menus (LOTS of celebrities have eaten here), artwork, and other personal touches that make Pappy's truly one of a kind. You'll also see many of their major barbeque awards on display near the ordering window, including their most recent 1st place Whole Hog trophy from the 2012 Big Apple Barbeque festival in New York.

What we noticed right away was the massive attention to service. You stand in line, place your order, then find a seat. When the servers come out with your food, they call your name loud (so make sure you give them a name that's distinctive, so everyone in your party will recognize it when it's shouted), then bring your food to you. If you need anything, they'll ask. The owner often comes around and stops by every table to see if people are doing ok, and they also have runners constantly scanning the dining room, looking to see if any spots need to be cleaned up. When they brought our food out to us, I immediately noticed that had given me the wrong side, and I got someone's attention, who brought out the right side with no hesitation. Whatever you need, they're on it. Best service I've seen in a LONG time.

Then there's the food. Holy crap. Okay, even if you're not a rib eater, you HAVE to make sure you try the ribs. All their meats are smoked with a dry rub, not basted in sauce, and they have succeeded in creating some of the most flavorful meats you could ever hope to come across. The ribs are beautifully prepared, smoked to absolute perfection. While the meat doesn't fall off the bone (which is totally okay with me), it's not tough at all. Easily comes off without much effort, and is juice and tender. The rub really seals in the juices and allows the smoke flavor to come through. This is a complex rib.

All the other meats we tried -- the brisket, the pork, and a hot link -- were fantastic as well. Beautifully smoked and prepared, not basted with sauce, but relying on the smoking process and the rub to give the meat its beautiful flavor. The portions are generous, too. I got the half slab rib combo with additional meat, and my wife got a 2 meat combo, each with 2 sides. We both got the same sides, the deep fried corn on the cob and the sweet potato fries. The corn wasn't crispy, but had a great flavor, and the fries were nice and melt-in-the-mouth chewy with a crispness on the outside that wasn't overbearing. Even the green beans they brought out by mistake were fresh, just like my grandmother used to grow out of her garden.

Their sauces are fantastic, too. You can buy some to take with you, if you like, and if you really like barbeque, I recommend you try all three while you're there. They each have their distinct characteristics, and will work for any palate.

You'll pay for your food -- we dropped about $34.00 on our meals, but we had quite a bit. I demolished mine, but my wife took home what she couldn't finish and still had a full meal. All in all, this was a fantastic experience, and some of the absolute best barbeque I've ever had in my life. Believe the hype.

Oh, one other thing. They make a limited amount of meat for each day, so when they run out of something, they're out. If you're heading to this place on a weekend, GO EARLY. The crowd wasn't bad on the day we went, but it was a work day, and the crowd slowed down a bit by the time we left. But on the weekends, this place is a madhouse.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

1,586 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    1,119
    323
    111
    23
    10
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
CT
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“What a great experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

Went to St. Louis with my family of 4 for a long weekend. Our first meal was at Pappys. The food was so incredibly delicious that it was all the kids talked about. The ribs just fell off the bone and they had a "Frito Pie" that contained fritos, beans, cheese, and a meat of your choice. We had one with pork and one with brisket. At the end of the weekend, the unanimous vote was to have our last meal there as well. What a treat!

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Had to roll out I ate so much”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

THE best BBQ I have ever put in my mouth. I was told to try the ribs, but opted for the pulled pork and brisket. The pork was AH-mazing. So were the beans and fried corn on the cob. The brisket could have been a little more tender, but it was still delicious if not a little peppery for my taste. A must go.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edenton, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“The best we found from N.C. to S.D.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

This was by far the best smoked meat we found on our road trip from N.C. to S.D. The food was excellent and plentiful. My husband and I shared a plate. This would be a must when in St. Louis.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“On a par with Bogart's”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

As they say timing is everything so if yours is a bit off the lines will be long but the wait is worth it. I've been a few times and something different every time and I liked it all.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Pappy's Smokehouse also viewed

 

Been to Pappy's Smokehouse? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Pappy's Smokehouse, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.