My husband loves barbecue, almost more than he loves me. He loves barbecue so much he’ll stop at just about any little shanty or food truck with a BBQ sign out front. I’m partial to ribs, my husband’s preference is brisket. Oddly, when I find ribs I love at a restaurant, he tends not to like the brisket; and vice versa.

We’ve eaten barbecue in Maryland, the Carolinas, Texas and Kansas City. There are fine purveyors of smoke in all of these places, but by far, the best ribs I’ve ever had are right here in St. Louis at Bogart’s Smokehouse, and they have outstanding brisket too.

Bogart’s is a cousin or nephew or some relation to Pappy’s Smokehouse. I’m not sure of the exact lineage but I do know I’ve seen Mike Emerson of Pappy’s chit chatting with Skip Steele of Bogart’s several times. Maybe they’re just close friends. Pappy’s is wonderful too, they were my all time favorite ribs, until Bogart’s opened. Pappy’s is also on the Show-Me list and I have dined there twice. Pappy’s ribs and pulled pork are both delicious and worth the trip. And then there’s Bogart’s.

Bogart’s has some unusual menu choices for a barbecue joint – Turkey, Pastrami and Tri-Tip Sirloin – as well as Ribs, Pulled Pork, Brisket and Burnt Ends. They have the best baked beans I’ve ever tasted and I HATE baked beans, but I always get a double order of their’s. The coleslaw is a crunchy vinegar slaw and my next favorite side. All of their sauces are so flavorful I can’t decide which I like best so I use them all. But the ribs…mmmmm….those ribs.

I’m not sure what sets them apart from the rest. Could be the way they’re smoked, could be the sauce, but I think it’s the apricot bruleed with a torch just before serving that makes these ribs so special. The meat falls off the bone, they are so flavorful they don’t even need sauce – it’s rib heaven.

I went for lunch mid week with Sue, Susan and Julie – always go to Bogart’s early because they close when they run out of food so dinner is often not an option. After we gobbled up our tasty lunch, we roamed through the Soulard Farmers Market.

On a chilly day in November there wasn’t much happening, but we were able to have Jello shots. Why Jello shots? St. Louis has the second biggest Mardi Gras in the country after New Orleans (please note French founding fathers in this post) and Soulard Market is the heart of the St. Louis Mardi Gras. I guess those farmers feel they should serve Jello shots year round to honor their partying ways.

Another couple of items checked off the list. I’m sure going to miss those ribs.