Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.
I’ve always found those words to be true when it comes to BBQ joints. The best joints always seem to look a little suspect, both in the restaurant itself and the general neighborhood it’s in.
Smoki O’s is definitely no exception. It’s in a neighborhood that’s mostly abandoned buildings and warehouses in the northeast part of St Louis. However, once you go through the door, it all changes. The inside is nice, clean, and neat. The staff is very friendly, and the place just oozes smoke.
After perusing all the options, I settled for what both the staff and other web reviews recommended: an open-faced sandwich combo of both rib tips and snoots.
The rib tips were nothing short of excellent; nicely smoked and tender rib tips with a nice combination of smoke, tang, crunch, and chew that I expect from good ribs. The sauce compliemented the ribs nicely with some more tang and some sweetness, without masking the taste of the meat itself.
The snoots (pig snouts)? These were actually new to me. Imagine an extra-thick pork rind. Now make it crunchy, and slather it in sauce, and you get the idea. I rather liked the cartilaginous taste of the snoots, but the texture was a little novel: I’m glad I had a half order, I would’ve gotten a bit burnt out with a full order. From what I hear, Smoki O’s is one of the better places for snoots; no bristly hairs here!
In any case, I highly recommend Smoki O’s. They’ve obviously got the barbecue process dialed in, and partnered it with a seriously good sauce? The snoots? It depends on how ambitious and adventurous you are.