This Little Piggy: Bogart’s Smoke House

When you’re in St Louis and you desire barbecue, you have ribs. To quote a bad commercial, it’s what you do. So, when I stopped at Bogart’s Smoke House, I knew the prime meat on my plate. But what would compliment it?

In Bogart’s small shop, you wait in line until a table opens up before you order. When it gets busy, this can take a while. It doesn’t help that Bogart’s was named Best BBQ in the city by a few publications, and currently sits atop Trip Advisor’s rankings.

The toughest decision was what other meat should join the ribs on my combo plate. Apart from the usual suspects – brisket and pulled pork – Bogart’s had some unique meats. Turkey, tri-tip sirloin and most interesting, pastrami. With all the choices, I still decided to stick with what I know best, and went with the brisket. Bogart’s sides also offer unusual options, including BBQ pork skins and deviled egg potato salad. I went with the later as well as the pit baked beans.

At each table reside four sauces. Whereas Austin BBQ is about the flavor of the meat, St Louis and other Midwest restaurants I’ve tried focus on the sauce. Bogart’s were quite good. The Sweet Maegan Ann and Mad Maddie’s Vinegar were personal favorites.

I started with the brisket, and was immediately disappointed. Austin spoiled me. There was little flavor, and the meat required sauce experimentation. The ribs were not as tender as I was hoping, but they were tasty. Their vinegar sauce worked well with the pork. The baked beans highlighted the meal, while the potato salad could have used more paprika to give it a true deviled egg flavor.

Overall, the barbecue at Bogart’s was good, not great. It has been a while since I sampled Sugarfire Smoke House in St Louis, but I remember them being a cut above. Have you sampled their food before? Post your thoughts in the comments.

Jason is a writer and photographer. He has been published on, Beloit Daily News, The Capital Times Mashable and CNN. You can follow him on Twitter @The_Dean.

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