Note: On January 6, 2006, The St. Louis Business Journal announced that Super Smokers closed unexpectedly. As it turns out, only one of the five St. Louis area restaurants remains open. This will add several miles to our trips to Chicago, but any detour that leads to outstanding barbecue is well worth it. St. Louis, Missouri isn’t widely recognized as one of America’s barbecue capitals as is cross-state barbecue bastion Kansas City, but perhaps it should be. St. Louis based Super Smokers may not just serve the best barbecue in the state, they have been certified as ‘cuing the very best pork in the world.
The Super Smokers BBQ team has finished in the top ten in nine of twelve years competing at the World Barbecue Championship at Memphis in May, including a 2000 first place finish in the “whole hog” competition. Nicknamed “The Super Bowl of Swine,” Memphis in May is the largest pork barbecue event of its kind with more than 240 teams from all over the world participating.
Meeting and exceeding the lofty quality standards and unwavering consistency required to win at the World Barbecue Championships has influenced the way Super Smokers conduct business at their St. Louis area restaurant. The competition not only helped them develop their best dry rubs, barbecue sauces and marinades, but the head hogs treat each day in their restaurant operations as a barbecue contest with every customer being a judge. Super Smokers strives for perfect scores from every person who walks through their doors. From me, they’ve got as close to a perfect score as I’ve ever accorded to anyone other than the incomparable Arthur Bryant’s!
Super Smokers is among the very best barbecue restaurants in which we’ve ever dined on fine swine. Just as the Greeks were unable to resist the sirens’ call, it may be impossible to resist the alluring aroma of succulent swine as it is smoked to perfection on the Smokers’ barbecue grills. The barbecue ribs may rank second only to the one from which Eve was created as the best ribs in the history of mankind. Glazed with a nearly honey sweet “championship” sauce with a slight tang, the meat escaped easily from the bone and was as mouth-wateringly tender as any rib meat we’ve ever had.
You couldn’t pull me away from the pulled pork in what was quite likely one of the two or three best pulled pork sandwiches I’ve ever had. The sesame seed buns were overstuffed with succulent pork yet a generous amount of pork remained on my plate for ravenous consumption. Despite their proficiency with pork, it was Super Smokers brisket we thought stood out. Nowhere in Texas where beef is king, have we had a better, more tender and delicious brisket.
The sides were fitting accompaniment to the magnificent meats. I thought I had experienced outstanding okra in the Deep South, but the fried and lightly breaded okra at Super Smokers made all previous experiences pall in comparison. Similarly, the sweet potato fries were beyond comparison to any I had previously. The baked beans were just a tad sweet, but generously doled out. Super Smokers’ jalapeno cornbread is sweet, moist and absolutely wonderful.
Super Smokers BBQ is a world-class barbecue competition team, a successful catering company, and a restaurant business that we now call one of my very favorite barbecue restaurants in America.
601 Stockell Drive
LATEST VISIT: 25 November 2005
# OF VISITS: 3
BEST BET: Brisket, Pulled Pork, Ribs, Fried Okra, Sweet Potato Fries