BBQ along I-44 in MO

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ScreamingChicken
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2004/12/15 15:22:33 (permalink)

BBQ along I-44 in MO

Since my in-laws live in Arkansas we have occasion to travel along I-44 between St. Louis and Rolla once or twice a year, and I've observed a couple of barbecue joints along the way. One is actually off of 44 and if memory serves is called something like "Hillbilly's", and the other is "Johnny's Smoke Stak" in Rolla itself (where I'm also hoping to try Lee's Chicken someday).

Is anyone familiar with either of these establishments? I know part of the Roadfood experience can be trying something blind but a little advance info doesn't hurt, either. Thanks!

Brad O.
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    mayor al
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    RE: BBQ along I-44 in MO 2004/12/15 15:36:31 (permalink)
    Brad,
    I have family in Rolla, who insist on making any stop we make there a dinner visit to Johnnies Smoke Stack. I would rate it a 5 minus on the 10 scale...The salad bar is strictly routine, the Portions are small, and often have been cold, or 'not hot' when served. I would not drive out of my way for it on my own... With two elderly aunts who think it is outstanding I shut-up and eat light !!

    One you didn't mention --Tiny's Smoke House right on I-44 at exit 100 (Marshland). Good flavor, but pretty greasy. The place seemed "dirty" with a lot of residue around the serving table and the utensils and plates were slippery before you used them !! After three tries in the past 2 years, we won't be stopping there again either.

    On I-44 up near ST Louis (Fenton/6Flags area) We usually need a fuel stop in that area as we head west from Louisville, I don't have a name or exit number for a red smoke house set up near a number of convenience store gas stations in a strip mall. Decent take-out for 'hit and run' eating on the road. Sandwiches made on the spot and ribs ready to go keep us happy now because of the bummers we hit with the two places listed above. I will search for the name and exit and add it here later.
    #2
    ScreamingChicken
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    RE: BBQ along I-44 in MO 2004/12/15 15:49:59 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen

    Brad,
    I have family in Rolla, who insist on making any stop we make there a dinner visit to Johnnies Smoke Stack. I would rate it a 5 minus on the 10 scale...The salad bar is strictly routine, the Portions are small, and often have been cold, or 'not hot' when served. I would not drive out of my way for it on my own... With two elderly aunts who think it is outstanding I shutup and eat light !!

    One you didn't mention --Tiny's Smoke House right on I-44 at exit 100 (Marshland). Good flavor, but pretty greasey. The place seemed "dirty" with a lot of ressidue around the serving table and the utensils and plates were slippery before you used them !! After three tries in the past 2 years, we won't be stopping there agasin either.

    On I-44 up near ST Louis (Fenton/6Flags area) We usually need a fuel stop in that area as we head west from Louisville, I don't have a name or exit number for a red smoke house set up near a number of convenience store gas stations in a strip mall. Decent take-out for 'hit and run' eating on the road. Sandwiches made on the spot and ribs ready to go keep us happy now because of the bummers we hit with the two places listed above. I will search for the name and exit and add it here later.

    Thanks! Sounds like your experiences at Johnnie's is similar to the one I had a Mike's Smokehouse in Eau Claire, WI a few years back. Heard lots of hype from the locals and was rather disappointed when I actually ate there, although it's always possible I happened to be there on a day when things were going wrong. Regarding Tiny's, we exit 44 long before Marshland and based on your description I think we'll continue to do so.

    I wish I could remember the name of the other place I'm thinking of; it's probably somewhere along the St. James-Cuba-Bourbon stretch.

    Brad
    #3
    Bill B.
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    RE: BBQ along I-44 in MO 2004/12/15 15:54:20 (permalink)
    Johnny's in Rolla always gets high marks in the annual Rural Missouri magazine "Best of Missouri" contest. Here's a link to the latest version:

    http://www.ruralmissouri.org/best04.html

    I've stopped there several times and have always had the buffet. For a barbecue buffet, I thought it was pretty good--maybe a 7 out of 10. But it's definitely not LC's.

    It's really difficult to find good barbecue in the Ozarks. Kind of surprising, what with billions of acres of hardwood forest all around.
    #4
    1bbqboy
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    RE: BBQ along I-44 in MO 2004/12/15 16:19:03 (permalink)
    Say hey, billy B, might you edit that mag? scary that I know and love about 99% of the things listed.
    Bill
    #5
    Bill B.
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    RE: BBQ along I-44 in MO 2004/12/15 17:35:58 (permalink)
    Nah. Nothing so high-class for me. I used to edit "Ridgerunner," a magazine filled with b/w photographs of toothless relics with names like Yokum, Yancey and Grampy. Then I slipped down a notch to "Hound Dog Magazine" -- self explanatory. Now I have reached rock bottom at a daily newspaper in the heart of Misery--I mean, Missouri.

    (Don't show this to Grampy!) " />
    #6
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