Gobble Stop Smokehouse, Creve Coeur, MO – Where’s the Beef? Nevermind, It’s Not Needed!

Can you believe it, time for another BBQ post! Gobble Stop Smokehouse in Creve Coeur opened in 2012 and I was confident it was going to fail.  Why?  They serve only turkey and chicken.  How can you have a BBQ place without any pork or beef offerings?!?!?  Since they found a way to survive, I figured I better finally give it a try.  Once I did, this place quickly earned a spot in my regular rotation of dining options.

The dish I order the most frequently is the smoked wings.  Take a peek at this:

gooblestop wings

The wings have a perfect smoky flavor without being dried out. They serve them with a sweet sauce that they will put on for you or you can have it on the side.  They do have a spicier sauce available if you request it.  After eating these wings I don’t see a need to ever eat a breaded and fried wing again. One time I was so excited I didn’t wait to get home, I just opened the box outside at one of their tables and went to work!.

I have tried a handful of the sides and all were satisfactory.  There really hasn’t been one that will steal the show from one of the turkey or chicken main dishes.  I typically stick with the baked beans or their creamy potato salad (pictured above).

St. Louis does get some love for its BBQ, but in my opinion not enough.  When you can have a restaurant that only does chicken and turkey and it survives, we are unique.   Is it enough to make me swear off pork?  I wouldn’t go that far!.  It is good enough for me to not miss it, and I clearly must not be the only one that thinks so.  I have had days where I’ve had to move to a third or fourth option because my old standbys are already sold out. Some of the other dishes I like are half smoked chicken, pulled chicken, and the turkey ribs.  This is my favorite place to eat in Creve Coeur.

Dive 2 Five Scale:  2.  Gobble Stop is located in an older strip mall at Fee Fee and Olive.  It’s a strip mall that I have driven passed daily for 2 years and didn’t see any reason to stop until now.  The inside is clean and small.  The owner usually is the person taking your order.  I see a bright future for this restaurant but I hope they don’t move to a different location!

Gobble Stop Smokehouse on Urbanspoon

Black Thorn, St. Louis, MO – Bring on the Cheese Please!

Notice a disturbing trend on my blog lately?  Where are all the dive bars?  I had noticed that too and chose Black Thorn Pub to help balance things out.

Looks like a great neighborhood dive

Great dive bar style curb appeal.

Black Thorn pub is a true dive bar.  It’s slightly dirty and run down, but all in an inviting way.  There is nothing pretentious about this place at all!  Black Thorn specializes in pizzas; they offer thin and pan crusts as well as a Chicago style pie.  As a Black Thorn virgin, I decided to try the style I have heard the most about: Chicago!  I chose three of my standard toppings: pepperoni, mushrooms, and onion.

Once I had ordered with the bartender, I took a spot at the corner of the bar with an adult beverage to pass the time.  Trust me, you may need a few to pass the time; it took well over an hour to get our pizza.  Not a big deal for me since I was in no hurry and had good company.  Even if I had gone alone, the people watching at the Black Thorn is top-notch and the other patrons were friendly.  There was a Pat Benatar look-a-like at the bar…what more do you need?

Once the pizza arrived, I was ready for it…or at least I thought I was.  This is one heavy pizza.  I ate half of a medium (four slices) and had to throw in the towel.  I could have squeezed in a fifth but would have been miserable.  Take my advice: just eat two to three slices.

Look at the cheese in the crust

Very hefty pizza

How was it? It had a smokey tomato paste based sauce with a lot of seasoning.  It seemed to have a bunch of oregano and was topped with a ton of cheese, including some in the crust.  I wouldn’t call it a true Chicago style pizza, but that’s not a favorite style of mine anyway.

I tip my hat to Black Thorn for providing balance back to my blog.  They have a unique pizza that I can’t wait to try again.  I also found that it reheated well the next day, which is important considering you’d need to bring along a healthy group of friends to finish an entire pie. The only reasons NOT to go here:

  1. You are in a hurry.  Still not a deal breaker, call ahead!  Like I stated above, there is great people watching.  They also have shuffleboard and 80’s arcade games.
  2. You don’t like dive bars (then why are you on my blog?!?!?)
  3. You don’t like pizza (what’s wrong with you?)
View from the bar

View from the bar

Dive 2 Five Scale: 1.  Based on my exploration of St. Louis thus far, this would be my top recommendation of a true dive bar.  What makes it a true dive bar?  If you are sitting at the bar, you may see large stacks of PBR cases waiting to become the next “dead soldiers“.  The bathroom has humorous graffiti everywhere.  They serve you on foam plates but with real silverware.  The building is a mixture of brick and 70’s style wood paneling.  I think you get the point.  Go there for the dive bar experience and enjoy the pizza!

Black Thorn Pub on Urbanspoon