Pappy's is a beloved barbecue restaurant on Olive Avenue in St. Louis. The restaurant has been featured on numerous TV shows, including "Man Vs. Food." The barbecue is so well known, that while their official operating hours are from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., in actual fact they are rarely open past 4 p.m. as they literally run out of food. Like many barbecue places in the south, Pappy's provides bottles of barbecue sauce on the tables for you to add to your meet. They just cook it in their smokers and barbecues and serve it. Above is the line in the restaurant at 11:30 a.m. It only took us about 30 minutes to get to this point.
This is the line out the door at 12:30 p.m. By 2 p.m., it typically is around the corner and heading down the street. This is how it is at Pappy's practically every day when it isn't raining or snowing. The moment you get out of your car, you can smell the heavy smoke of barbecuing meat. It's pretty magnificent. Another factoid - they moved the front entrance of the restaurant to the back of the restaurant to give the line more room to grow. The line then snakes through the building to the cash registers up front.
This is what I had for lunch. The top meat is pulled pork, before I added a touch of barbecue sauce. The bottom meat is sirloin, which I added no flavoring to, as it was perfect the way it was. Both were served on bread. Sides were baked beans and mustard potato salad.
This is what my friend had - a half slab of ribs, beans and seasoned green beans. He said the meat on the ribs "fell off the bone." He also had very high praise for the green beans, which were not overcooked and still had some snap to them.
Barbecue has become a national past-time to the south and midwest, with everyone claiming their own barbecue. It's popularity in the past 20 years has become on the level - in my mind - of pizza. Just like their is NY, Chicago, St. Louis and California pizzas, you can not find Texas, St. Louis, Chicago, Memphis and Kansas City styles of barbecue. Some claim to use a "mustard" or "vinegar" rub, others claim it's all about the sauce, while others claim it's all about the wood used in the barbecue. At Pappy's, their secret is not in the sauce, but rather in how well cooked the meet is. It's never dry and has a nice, light smoke flavoring throughout. If you want barbecue sauce, you can add it after it is cooked.