Over the past month or so, I've become aware of a new BBQ joint in St. Louis called Bogart's Smokehouse. Now all I really need is an excuse to go eat BBQ so when one of the owners dropped me a line here at Grill & Barrel asking me to pay them a visit, I had all the excuse I needed.
I didn't annonce myself, but I showed up this afternoon on my way home from work. I timed my visit to be just after the lunch rush since I'd heard that they do a crazy amount of business at lunch time. Even at 2:00pm, there were no empty tables inside to be had. I figure that's a good sign.
I was met at the door by Mike Macchi, one of the partners, but I kept a low profile, stepped to the counter, ordered a combo plate, and took up a seat to sample the fare. What I got was a plate piled high with brisket & pulled pork on an open hoagie roll, pit beans, and a side of pork rinds.
I sampled each of the four sauces that were on the table. They were all uniquely named and uniquely different. There was what I'd call a St. Louis style sauce called Sweet Maegan Ann's. It's a sweet tomato based sauce. Mad Maddie's Vinegar sauce is a thin vinegar based sauce as the name suggests. Pineapple Express is a thin sauce that unmistakably has a hint of pineapple flavor. And the sauce that I like the best, VooDoo Sauce. That's a thinner sauce with a peppery kick.
So how's the food? The pulled pork was some of the best in St. Louis. I really enjoyed the taste and texture, and the VooDoo sauce was a great compliment. The brisket was very good, though I wasn't a huge fan of the rub. I couldn't tell if the rub was applied pre or post cook, but there was a beautiful smoke ring and it was very tender and flavorful. And the pit beans? Some of the best BBQ beans I've had. I learned that they cook the beans on the pit with the brsiket for 12 hrs. They were smokey, peppery, and really tasty.
As I was wrapping up my lunch, one of the partners stopped by my table and we began to chat. Mike gave me the background on the relationship between Bogart's & Pappy's (one of my Top 5 BBQ Joints in St. Louis). It turns out that the 4 partners who own Bogart's started it up with Pappy's blessings. They still work with Pappy's, but they now have a chance to do their own thing as well. That's a pretty sweet deal, and Pappy's deserves a tip of the hat for being open to helping their folks spread their wings a bit.
Mike took me out back and showed me the Ole Hickory & Southern Pride pits that they're cooking with. We chatted about the pits and he let me peek at the butts that were finishing up on the Ole Hickory.
All in all, I enjoyed my visit and will definitely return to try the other items on the menu. Here's how I'd rate Bogart's Smokehouse:
- BBQ - A
- Side Dishes - A
- Atmosphere - A
- Value - B
- Overall – A
Bogart's is definitely worthy of a stop if you're in the St. Louis area. They're in the Soulard neighborhood between Busch Stadium and Anheuser Busch Brewery, and right behind the Soulard Farmer's Market. I think I'll be revising my "Best in St. Louis" list to include Bogart's.
Here's their address:
1627 S. 9th Street
St. Louis, MO