St. Louis (and BBQ) Blues

So I spent all day shuttling around St. Louis. Five events for the boss, nary a second to spare. As far as lunch goes, the rundown, forlorn-looking bbq place across from one of our locations (B & G BBQ) looked the part but was not recommended by the folks in the know. We were left with hotel food, at the Marriott West, which was a few shades above edible.

I clearly hadn’t given up on barbeque however, and how can you, reall? So when I saw the sign for the clearly locally-operated Double J BBQ Ranch, I yanked the state-owned Lumina into the right lane and made a beeline for the smoke.

The end product, a pulled pork sandwich (served depressingly with wavy Lay’s chips), was mediocre. The meat was stringy and tough, and tasted watery – the first time I’ve encountered that in smoked meats, I must say. But, it was 4pm, so I’ll try to cut them some slack. I just won’t make it a special trip.

Which brings me to a question. Which I-70 barbeque joints don’t suck? So far, Double J seems to. Bates City BBQ sucks real hard (microwaving your ribs to warm them up for me does not engender faith). Biffles in Concordia may be even worse.

What’s a bbq-lover and I-70-frequenter to do?


Author: Scott

I am a married father of two. I graduated from Rock Bridge High School and then Mizzou before spending six years in the Washington, D.C. area. We returned to Columbia, Missouri in 2006.

8 thoughts

  1. Bandana’s. Is it great? No. But it is better than mediocre. At least the pork is. But local it ain’t.

    By the way, there is a BBQ joint in town that onced served me the most watery pulled pork sandwich that I have ever tasted. I don’t know if that was normal because I’ve never gone back. Rhymes with “broken chips.”

  2. Wow, thanks for the tip on Bates City BBQ. We were thinking of trying that. BBQ places along the I-70 environs: heading west in KC area, how about Colorado Pete’s in Blue Springs, or the Smokehouse in Independence? How’s Zarda’s BBQ? I’ve never been to these places, but I have been to both Arthur Bryant’s and Gates and enjoyed them, but they are in KC; however some locations are not far from I-70. Agree with you about Biffles.

    I’m excited to hear about a place called Panhead Billy’s BBQ (what a name, huh?) at the Kingdom City exit, north of I-70 just a quarter mile (to the east of 54). Actually it’s on the outer road on the north side of 70. I found the place but it was on a Sunday, so wasn’t open. It looks like a dubious biker bar, which is what I think it is, but all reports from people who’ve eaten there is that it’s real good, but so far, I can’t vouch from personal experience. So that’s your mission if you choose to acccept it, Scott: check out Panhead Billy’s BBQ and report back ;). Hope you’re having a good summer!

  3. Here’s some info about a BBQ place that’s highly recommended on the STL PD food forum. It’s in St. Peters, or maybe St. Charles, but at any rate, sounds as if it’s not very far from I-70.

    Lil’ Mickeys on Mexico, just east of Mid Rivers Mall Drive. Take 70 west to Mid Rivers Mall Drive. Go south on Mid Rivers Mall Drive to Mexico Road. Make a left onto Mexico. Lil’ Mickey’s is in a strip mall on the left… right before the 7-11. It is a very small place with only a couple of 2-top tables. You might want to get it to go and make a picnic of it… maybe in front of the City Hall/Recplex complex.

  4. Pappy’s is the BEST in town, bar none. I don’t eat ribs anywhere else….ever**. It’s not worth the disappointment.

    **except when my husband makes them at home….we use the Pappy’s method tho…

  5. I stopped by Double J’s on my way back to KC and I generally agree with you. The pork wasn’t watery or tough, and and the sauces weren’t too hateful. However, I also had the smoked chicken breast, which was the driest and worst piece of chicken I’ve ever ordered from a restaurant. The BBQ beans tasted like they were from a can, and the potato salad tasted like glue save for the excessive use of dill.

  6. Re: Pappy’s. I don’t really understand why people are so fired up on this place. The brisket was gross: rubbery, lots of gristle and fat, and clearly had not been smoked nearly long enough. The ribs were… I don’t remember the ribs. I had them, but I don’t remember them, so they weren’t all that. I think the sausage was eh at best. I’ve heard the pulled pork is supposed to be dandy, but I haven’t gone back after my first experience.

    So did I have a bad day there? Is the brisket normally not gross? Is the pulled pork really head and shoulders above others?

    I’ve had such a rough time with BBQ in this town that I’m close to opening up a place myself!

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