Bogart's Smokehouse Now Open in Soulard

Categories: First Look

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Robin Wheeler

At the height of their first lunch rush today, barbecue mastermind Skip Steele stepped outside Bogart's Smokehouse, his small joint across from Soulard Market, to take a phone call. Dogs on their afternoon walk stopped to give Steele the once-over, straining at their leashes towards the open door and the heavy smell of smoked meat.

"Food and Wine is sending a reporter. Not bad for the first day," Steele said as he came inside after being thoroughly investigated by a Weimaraner.

Not bad at all. The small dining room was full through most of the lunch rush with a line stretching to the door. Diners rotated through a communal table the length of the room and a few four-tops to the side with dozens of carry-out orders zipping in and out. The staff, filled with barbecue veterans from Steele's days with Supersmokers and Pappy's Smokehouse, kept the pace.

Bogart's doesn't feel new; it feels like an old friend in a cute new house.
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Robin Wheeler
The view from the far end of the communal table.
The menu features plenty of the smoked meats that have made Steele a legend - rich and tender pulled pork and ribs with a black pepper-studded glaze over meat that barely fights its hold on the bone. They're the same meats Steele's been making for over a decade, but refined and perfected.

Steele's new offerings differentiate his new venture from the places he's been before. There's the pastrami, pale pink and thinly sliced, buzzing with the flavor of vinegary corning brine. When he approached a Chicago company to help him develop a pastrami brine, Steele was told they couldn't do that. He persisted, and damn if they didn't get it right.

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Robin Wheeler
Pastrami sandwich with pit baked beans and slaw.

While Pappy's is no slouch in the hot sausage department, Steele makes some more changes with the Sausage Fatty. Instead of a link, it's three thick patties that look like well-seasoned meatloaf. The subtle blend of spices makes a broad palette for the sauces. The sweet-tart Pineapple Express and deceptively thin Mad Maddie's Vinegar both compliment the sausage. The real treat is the bread. Don't eat it as a sandwich - eat the meat and save the bottom bun for last. The Portuguese roll from Companion soaks up the flavor of the sausage in a dense white bread that's hearty enough to handle it.

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Robin Wheeler
Sausage Fatty sandwich with deviled egg potato salad and BBQ pork skins.

Most surprising isn't the pastrami, or the presence of prime rib on the menu. It's Steele's new twist on brisket, which is often treated as the bastard cousin when barbecue's discussed in St. Louis. Instead of thick slabs intended to carry sticky-sweet Kansas City-style sauce, this brisket is sliced as thin as the pastrimi, then added to soak in an au jus made from the liquid rendered during the smoking. The finished product doesn't need a knife. It doesn't even need a fork, because it's so tender it shreds with the touch of a finger. For its delicate texture the brisket carries a complex flavor of beef, smoke, and spice. The Portuguese roll dipped in the leftover au jus is almost as good as the post-sausage bun.

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Robin Wheeler
A bowl of brisket with a rib garnish.

Side dishes are all outstanding, with beans that have been in the pit for 14 hours and potato salad and slaw reminiscent of Sunday lunch at Grandma's. The best, though, has to be the heaping piles of barbecue pork skins. They're fresh and crisp with a dusting of a seasoning rub that starts sweet and ends with a bit of bite. They would be fantastic piled on a pulled pork sandwich.

Bogart's has been a highly anticipated addition to ever-evolving Soulard. It was worth the wait.

Bogart's Smokehouse
1627 South 9th Street
St. Louis, MO 63104
314-621-3107
www.bogartsmokehouse.com

Location Info

Bogart's Smokehouse

1627 S. 9th St., St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant


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6 comments
Goodgirlhl76
Goodgirlhl76

BOGARTS is our favorite. Everytime we go we can't decide what we want so we get several things and just split them and take the rest home for a delicious snack later. The sauces are amazing and I always buy a few jars when we leave, but its never enough to last us until the next time we come back. The staff is so friendly and sweet, and the atmosphere is so cozy and nice. With that being said you can't help but thinking about when your coming back as you leave, It's that good!

Christopher McIntyre
Christopher McIntyre

It is about time that Skip gets the recognition he deserves! Not only is he the BEST pit boss around he is also one of the nicest guys you'll ever have the pleasure of meeting and that my friend is a fact. CONGRATULATIONS SKIP STEELE!!!!

Andy
Andy

phils bar bq is #1 in st.louis missouri.phils barbq is in affton. and eurkca . by sixflags. phils barbq is bettr then pappys and bogarts.

Rdalton73
Rdalton73

Went there the other day, and the ribs were good but not as good as Pappy's. I tried the pastrami and it was very nice. The atmosphere was homey, relaxed and fits into the neighborhood. However given the choice I am still going to go to Pappy's.

Heathbear2448
Heathbear2448

I was really disappointed that you did not serve wild boar as that is your logo! & a great side would have been Rocky mountain Oyster's to go along with the wild boar! the pastrami was good but should have been served with a pickle as in all other deli's! PLEASE UP WILD BOAR ON YOUR MENU THANKS Heath

Mlgray7
Mlgray7

It was good before but something better came to town and it's called PAPPY'S SMOKEHOUSE & BOGARTS!!!!!!!

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