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Sunday, September 30, 2012

2012: Eat and Repeat - Bogart's Smokehouse

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This month kind of slipped away from us, even more so than usual. With my sister Julia's wedding and our trip to Napa, September kind of happened in one big whirlwind. Realizing we had just a few days left to get in our 2012 Eat and Repeat challenge for the month, we quickly made it over to Bogart's Smokehouse yesterday, inviting Ryan's parents to join us. I was more focused on enjoying time with my in-laws than snapping photos, which is why this post is lacking many photographs.

Pappy's has been the heralded BBQ joint in St. Louis for many years, and Bogart's joined the scene in 2011, causing the ongoing debate: Pappy's vs. Bogarts. Having reviewed Pappy's as part of our Best of 2011 challenge, I was anxious to compare the two and weigh in. We knew Bogart's had to be good, making Sauce's Best New Restaurants list...the question was, was it better?!

We thought Pappy's was small, but Bogart's manages to be even smaller, with nothing more than a handful of tables. Showing up around 1:00 on a Saturday afternoon, I expected a long line and was pleased to find there were only a handful of people ahead of us. The line moves quickly and our few minutes in line were spent deciding what to order. Our decision-making was interrupted by a Bogart's employee who stopped by with a platter full of wings, which may have been my favorite part of the meal! The meat was tender, heavily smoked with a sweet finish...the chicken falling off the bone and causing my father-in-law to change his order at the last minute!
The four of us grabbed half of one of the picnic tables outside, taking advantage of the beautiful St. Louis weather we're having lately! The tables were equipped with four kinds of BBQ sauce with varying levels of sweet and spice as well as the very necessary paper towels! We had barely taken a seat when our trays of food were delivered. After our meals at Pappy's, Ryan and I knew better than to each order our own platter of food. We opted to split the half rack of ribs and got an extra quarter pound of pulled pork, which came with our choice of two sides. Having heard that the sides were the best part of Bogart's from a few other visitors, I had settled on the applesauce and their baked beans.
The rib meat wasn't falling off the bone, like we prefer, but it was still fairly tender, and well seasoned and sauced (I think I read that they use an apricot glaze). I mixed three of the BBQ sauces together and mixed that with the pulled pork, which was dry but nice and smokey. I wouldn't have minded bottling the sauces and bringing them home with me--the contrast of sweet and spicy had me wishing we had more than a quarter pound of pork! Ryan was underwhelmed by the baked beans, claiming none can beat his dad's (sounds like a recipe I need!), but I couldn't keep my fork out of them! The applesauce was spot-on in terms of texture (chunky), but I wouldn't have minded a deeper flavor.

I think Bogart's wins for location and outdoor seating, but if I'm looking for outstanding BBQ (and those to die for sweet potato fries!), you can find me at Pappy's! Then again, I would definitely return for some of those wings...!

One Year Ago: Zucchini Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
Two Years Ago: Pomegranate Banana Bread
Three Years Ago: Best Ever Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (really. make these!!!!)

Bogart's Smokehouse on Urbanspoon