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“Great place, noisey, good food, but......”
Review of Ethyl's Smokehouse

Ethyl's Smokehouse
Ranked #4 of 191 Restaurants in O'Fallon
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Barbecue
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Holden, Missouri
Level Contributor
178 reviews
124 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Great place, noisey, good food, but......”
Reviewed April 28, 2013

This is a good place to eat, it is fun, a little noisey, great atmosphere, good, but not great BBQ. First off the food is good and there are lots of choices on the menu. I had BBQ ribs and my wife had brisket. It was good, but not what I consider "real" BBQ. The brisket was cut in thick slices and was very tender, (it may have been oven cooked after it came out of the smoker) but lacked that real smoker flavor. The ribs were also good, maybe a little tough, but also lacked the real honest to goodness slow cooked in a smoker flavor. Maybe it was lack of seasoning as well, but it could of been tastier. Prices are a little on the high side. The services was good, the place was packed and on the noisey side. The decor is great, old service station signs, gas pumps and related items. There is more than BBQ on the menu and perhaps if I go there again I will try something else. At the very least, it is worth a trip. As I said, the place was packed, so they must be doing something right.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank GLM3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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155 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Pompton Lakes, New Jersey
Level Contributor
60 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Cool Atmosphere, BBQ Lacks Seasoning”
Reviewed April 15, 2013

Let me get this out of the way. This is in no way a sub-par restaurant. The atmosphere is very cool. The building is historic. There are lots of old gas/oil signs. The bar in the corner is very nice with lots of great wood work. The servers are nice. The menu is fine with average pricing (maybe a little high for the area). So 90% of the formula is there.

When I try a BBQ place for the first time, I always get pulled pork. That's my barometer. So that's what I got at Ethyl's. I got it with the kettle chips and some vegetable beef soup. The soup made me sad. You expect a nice vegetable beef to have an almost stew like quality. You know, something that reminds you of home. This soup was very runny, and lacking in nice pieces of veggies or beef. The whole bowl had three little pieces of beef and a few tomato chunks floating around. They need to borrow a lesson from Gingham's veggie beef soup. The kettle chips were nice with the BBQ sauce. They were completely dredged in thick seasoning, which was a little much, but I like seasoning so I was okay with it.

But I didn't come here for the sides right? The pulled port was basically smoked meat. There was no hint of seasoning at all. It tasted like they just threw the shoulder in the smoker naked and let it do its thing. Maybe that was intentional, but every time you see a decent BBQ place on Food Network or The Travel Channel preparing pulled pork, there is always a dry rub. If Ethyl's incorporates a dry rub on their pulled pork, I could not detect it. I didn't even taste salt. Maybe they're going for sort of a "meat and smoke" mentality, but I am of the opinion that the right seasonings can be a great friend to BBQ.

My fiance joined me for dinner, and she got the smoked meats platter, which came with brisket, ribs, and pork. Her brisket reminded me of my pork. Very nice smoke ring, quality meat, but no seasoning. The best tasting meat I had was a piece from her ribs, but how is it even possible for baby back ribs to taste bad?

So I hate to sound like a broken record on here, but Lil Mickey's is still the go to place for BBQ in St. Charles county. Once I try Pappy's Smokehouse, it may be my go to place for BBQ in the entire STL area.

Proprietors of Ethyl's: Maybe I caught you on a bad day and someone was trying to ration the rub, but consistency is key for a long standing, quality BBQ establishment. If what I got was the norm, then I guess we agree to disagree on execution, which is fine. I just ask that you don't let "good enough" be your mantra. You have a good thing going, but it could be legendary.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Benny231
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
355 reviews
203 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
“Clean smokeless dining with separate smoking option”
Reviewed March 25, 2013

Only one visit by me, which was good. I would like to return for another experience. Food was good, service was good, smoke free bar was good. Seems to be and independent neighborhood place that welcomes families.... If I didn't know better, I would say this is a chain as it has that clean well thought out layout, and attentiveness.... could be a candidate for franchising. I hate to say this, but I don't remember what I ate... typically I recall memorable meals. So if you are looking for an independent place that has the vibe of a chain with good food... this place is for you. Feb 2013.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank kyle s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
“Great burgers”
Reviewed March 17, 2013

Great location for a burger or BBQ. I have had the burger most times I go and it is great. The atmosphere is welcoming whether it is mid-week lunch or weekend dinner. Seems that it becomes a bit of a nightclub on the weekends (changing over the dining area into a dance floor...) an there were lots of young people there the time I was there. Has beach volleyball too!

Visited December 2012
Thank WIJen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
Level Contributor
43 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2013

if you want great BBQ, go to Ethyl's, then go play pool or volleyball afterwards! They are also very military friendly. Love this place

Visited September 2012
Thank 333kimm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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