Good morning, loves!
I’m feeling a little groggy today. I didn’t get much sleep last night, because I was busy rocking out to Jason Mraz!
I was in the 5th row, front and center. And it rocked my world. Totally worth the missed hours of sleep.
Anyway, on to food. We have ribs to talk about! And I have a winner to crown!
Before I pick my personal favorite, I’ll do a quick rundown of each place I visited (in order). Let’s do this!
Smoki O’s, located in north city, was quite the experience. The area is a little rough, but the moment I stepped in the door, all was forgotten. The smoky smell of BBQ made me forget where I was!
These ribs were saucy and delicious. The meat fell right off of the bone! They were a bit messy, but that’s what wet naps are for, right?
Bully Boys was on the other side of town, in South St. Louis. Their ribs were a bit different; they weren’t drowning in sauce, and relied more on a flavorful dry rub.
These look amazing, but they honestly weren’t my favorite. They were a little tough. Tough meat = no bueno!
Richard’s Ribs is located in Kirkwood, and much like Smoki O’s, these ribs came already sauced.
It’s just too bad they didn’t taste as good as Smoki O’s! The meat itself was tasty, but the sauce destroyed any chance these ribs may have had in my challenge. Bad sauce is a dealbreaker for me. Next!
Charlotte’s Ribs were much better. This Ballwin spot was quite a drive for me. A long drive deserves two different styles of ribs, right?
Baby back and pork spare ribs. Both were amazing. Simply amazing. The sauce that Charlotte’s uses is thick, sweet and smoky. The meat fell of the bone and was tremendously flavorful. Good stuff!
Rib City, located in West County, was the first chain BBQ spot I visited. My expectations were low (because I’m a ridiculous food snob sometimes).
Unfortunately, my instincts were correct. I was hoping to be proven wrong, but such was not the case with Rib City. Tiny ribs with tough meat? Looooooser! The sauce was tasty, but it wasn’t enough to save these sorry ribs.
Bandana’s BBQ wasn’t much better. The ribs looked fantastic…
…but the meat was so tough I couldn’t enjoy these. The dry rub was finger-lickin good, but if I can’t get the meat off of the bone, all of that fantastic dry rub is wasted, no?
Let’s go to Jennings, baby! Rib Shack was right in the thick of this north St. Louis county suburb. I couldn’t wait to see what they had to offer.
Sauced up ribs that were already separated for me! How sweet. Speaking of sweet, these ribs fell into that category. Sticky, sweet and messy sauce? Check. Meat that falls of the bone? Check. It was flavorful as all get out. Two (dirty) thumbs up. Where are my wet naps?
Roper’s Ribs was also in Jennings (not too far from Rib Shack, actually!).
Come on, baby. Kick them daisies. (Can you tell it’s late? I get really silly—and weird—at night!)
Enough of that. These ribs were the bomb. Not even joking. Aside from the meat being ridiculously tender and flavorful, the sauce was like nothing I’ve tasted in my life. Sweet. Spicy. Smoky. Tangy. This sauce was the boss!
Holland Café is located in the heart of Fenton. Not exactly where I would expect to find stellar BBQ, but I was hoping to be pleasantly surprised.
And surprised I was! These ribs knocked my socks off. You should have seen me tear these suckers apart. It was not pretty. Hey…I’m very serious about my ribs, okay? And I’m not afraid to get a little dirty.
I sound like a broken record at this point (I hope I receive a thesaurus for Christmas!), but it must be said: the meat fell off of the bone, and it was delicious and flavorful. The sauce coated these ribs perfectly. Fit like a snug glove. Or something like that. Again, it’s late. Just roll with it, okay?
Last (but not least)—Boodle’s BBQ!
Okay, I lied. These definitely my least favorite of the bunch. Good grief, where do I start? I hate tearing restaurants apart (Or do I? Just kidding. No, really…yes I am. Kidding. Spare me the hate mail, would ya?)
Anyway. Tough meat. Weird flavor. And the icing on the cake? These ribs smelled bad! How does something like that even happen?! Boo on you, Boodle’s. Boo. On. You.
Now you have the rundown. Ready for a winner? Drumroll please…
Yes, Roper’s. Everything about these ribs were perfect. Delicious sauce, tender meat, and a hearty portion of ribs all factored into my decision to crown them as my winner. I highly highly recommend Roper’s. Take a drive to good old Jennings and try it out for yourself. Try to ignore the sketchy neighborhood. I promise it’s worth it.
Moving right along to a giveaway!
Oh, how I miss that car.
Anyway, Chevy was generous enough to provide me with a $100 Visa Gift Card to give away to one of you! That will buy a lot of ribs (or whatever else your heart desires! But I recommend ribs…)
Winning the card is easy. There are just two requirements:
1. Follow @ChevySTLKeys on Twitter. If you don’t have Twitter, get an account! It’s 2012, people.
2. Become a fan of Off The Eaten Path STL on Facebook. Once you become a fan, leave a comment on my Facebook page telling me about your favorite place to order ribs. If you’re a vegetarian (or you just hate ribs/America/freedom), leave a comment with a recommendation for a restaurant you think I should review. Before you suggest a restaurant, you may want to check and make sure it’s not one I already visited.
That’s it! Two steps. 100 buckaroos. I’ll choose one lucky winner this Friday, so hop on it! And tell your friends.
That’s all, folks! See you back here on Friday.