Tasty Tuesday–The Best of Beast!

I’m still super excited that Beast Craft BBQ made the top 20 of Ian Froeb’s “STL 100” restaurant list, and was named the “best barbecue restaurant in the St. Louis area” on that list! I thought today, it would be fun to take a look back at all of the amazing meals I’ve had at Beast over the last three-plus years:

Some of the items pictured are from when Beast was just starting out, and don’t really appear on the menu anymore. Some are rather new addition’s to Beast’s menu, and are available regularly. And a few have been there from the beginning, and are such favorites that they’re menu staples. They all have one thing in common, though, and that’s how delicious they are!

Tasty Tuesday–Beast Craft BBQ: The Brisket Mac Attack!

About two weeks ago, Beast Craft BBQ debuted a new “sammich” on their menu, and it had been a long time since I tried one of their sammiches! So on the way home from the grocery store, we stopped and I got the “Brisket Mac Attack”–Texas chainsaw brisket, smoky bacon mac ‘n’ cheese, shredded cheese, and grilled onions on Texas toast. I also got a side order of the mac ‘n’ cheese, because I don’t think I’ve tried it since they landed on their current recipe.

This sammich is not for the faint of heart…the sauce packs some major heat. But it was the perfect combination, because the mac ‘n’ cheese and shredded cheese helped cool it down some, the onions added a nice flavor, and the bread was toasted perfectly…well, the top piece, anyway. The bottom piece had completely disappeared under the meat and sauce, but I assume it was just as good!

Beast has had some other new menu items recently, as well, including pork taquitos which are AMAZING, and grilled peaches topped with blackberry butter and mint, the perfect summer side dish!

I will warn you, if you want to carry out food, especially on a Sunday in our experience, you need to be prepared to wait. Ryan was in the restaurant for almost half an hour waiting for my sammich and his turkey to be prepared, even though it wasn’t overwhelmingly busy, and he was a little frustrated by the time he made it back to the car. Calling ahead definitely alleviates some of that, but I think that on the weekends, you just need to expect that you’re going to have to wait it out.

Tasty Tuesday–Beast Craft BBQ: Beer-Braised Short Rib Sammich

At the beginning of December, Beast debuted a new sandwich (I think, unless I missed it along the way), that I really wanted to try, but unfortunately, I couldn’t make it there that day. I waited (kind of) patiently for over a month, and last week, they finally had it again! It’s a beer-braised short rib sammich with onions, beer mustard, and some wonderful gooey gouda cheese, topped with pickle slices, on one of their amazing buns:

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This is my new favorite at Beast, which saying a lot, because I’ve tried so many amazing things there. It had a perfect combination of flavors and textures, and I wouldn’t change anything about it. As always, I’m so happy Beast came to Belleville, and I’m even happier that they’re doing so well, and continuing to come up with amazing new specials!

Tasty Tuesdy–Beast Craft BBQ–My Favorites

I’ve tried quite a few different things at Beast Craft BBQ now, and I’ve decided to make a list of my favorites by category of meat.

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In the poultry category (and I have tried both the turkey and chicken at Beast), The Jive Turkey is my favorite. Any Beast turkey is excellent, but I especially like the combination of flavors (including tomatoes, cucumbers, and smoky mayo), in this sandwich!

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In the beef category, I have to go with The Beefcake. Why, you may ask? First of all, burnt ends. They were the first thing I tried at Beast (other than the fried brussels sprouts), and the reason I fell in love with Beast. Aside from that, The Beefcake also has tobacco onions (onions straws in my world), that are amazing. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, if I could pay Beast to give me a box full of just those, I would! The rest of the sandwich, especially the white BBQ sauce, is great, too!

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In the pork category, I have to go with the biggest sandwich of all–The Pig Daddy. This is the sandwich that actually made me appreciate pork steak, plus it also has ribs, pulled pork, and candied bacon! Of course, you need an army to finish this particular beast, but given that we’re a family of seven, that is not a problem!

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And, the obligatory other category. The things that I include here (The Big NY, The Big Oscar, Pastrami Hash, and Nachos, brisket or otherwise), could go in one of the other meat categories I guess, but they’re such special items, I think they need their own group. Plus, the Brisket Nachos, my favorite item in this category, could fit in with all of the other meats at one time or another, depending on how Beast is serving them (I think I’ve seen both chicken or pork options at different times, as well)!

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Finally, side items. Now, Beast has a lot of good sides. But this one is a complete no-brainer, and I think the only side I’ve ever actually ordered (even though I’ve sampled the different things Ryan has tried)–the fried brussels sprouts. I’m weird in that I like brussels sprouts anyway, but when they’re fried with pork belly…AMAZING. Can’t get enough of them!

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So, those are my current favorites at Beast. Of course, this list may be revised in the future, depending on what new menu items Beast comes up with. But really, everything I’ve tried at Beast has been excellent, so you can’t go wrong, no matter what you order!

Tasty Tuesday–Smokin K’s BBQ & More

Apparently reviewing BBQ restaurants in the Metro East is my thing now…

We ate at Smokin K’s BBQ and more in Millstadt last week, because our church’s youth group was working there for a fundraiser. Like most places around here, the outside is fairly unassuming, although I did appreciate the smoker out front.

The inside is bright and colorful:

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The decor is mostly all of the awards the Smokin K’s BBQ team, 4 Smokin’ Butts, have won, and there are a lot of them!. There are trophies, ribbons, and other various prizes everywhere! Very impressive!

On to the food. I ordered the pastrami reuben and fries, and it was amazing. Definitely the best pastrami I’ve ever had. I liked that the fries were beer battered, and I took the suggestion of one of the owners and sprinkled them with Smokin K’s special seasoning, which was also good. (I also had the 4 Smokin’ Butts Bloody Mary, and it was fantastic…best Bloody Mary I’ve ever had. Very unique presentation, and it was just the right amount of spicy!)

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Ryan tried the slider trio, which included pulled pork, brisket, and pastrami, with a side of beans. He also loved the pastrami, and said the other meats were good, too, but was a little disappointed with the buns, which were somewhat flimsy. He also like the beans, even though they weren’t BBQ beans like he was expecting. That’s ok, though, because he really likes baked beans, and he thought Smokin K’s did a good job of making them!

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We didn’t try any of the desserts, but it sure was fun to look at all of the options in the pie case!

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Smokin K’s isn’t as conveniently located near us like Beast is, but you certainly won’t have to twist our arms to get us to go back there if we’re looking to go out to eat when we’re in Millstadt!

Tasty Tuesday–Righteous Pig BBQ: The Cuban

I’m taking a break from talking about the amazing food at Beast Craft BBQ to talk about another Belleville BBQ location: Righteous Pig.

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Ryan and I recently tried their Cuban sandwich (pork belly pastrami, pulled pork, mustard, BBQ sauce, and pickles).

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The pastrami was amazing…sliced super thin (I was actually shocked by how thin…I was expecting chunks of meat, so this was a very pleasant surprise), and almost prosciutto-like. We both loved it. The pulled pork, however, was dry. Maybe it was just because we ordered near the end of the day, but it was not nearly as remarkable as the pastrami was, and not what we were expecting. The bun was good–an onion roll, it appeared. It did start to fall apart before the sandwich was gone, but the taste was good. The mustard and pickles on the sandwich both added to the flavor, and the BBQ sauce was good…I thought it had a bit of a kick, but Ryan found it to be pretty tame. Go figure.

We also tried the pit beans and the potato salad. Both were good. Ryan really liked the beans, and while he’s not much of a non-mustard potato salad person, he liked that, too. I thought the potato salad was excellent, and I could admit the beans were good, even though I’m not a huge baked beans fan.

Righteous Pig certainly won’t replace my favorite BBQ place, Beast, but it’s worth a try, for the pastrami alone, especially if you’re spending the day in downtown Belleville!

Tasty Tuesday–Beast Craft BBQ: Brisket Nachos

Did you know that Beast Craft BBQ makes brisket nachos? Now, I’ve done brisket nachos at home before…actually, I make them every year with our Fourth of July leftovers. But I may just have to give that up this year, because Beast’s are so much better!

What makes their brisket nachos great (you know, aside from the wonderful Beast brisket)? Let’s start with the…brussels sprouts?!? Yes, the nachos are topped with brussels sprouts, and being a huge fan of them, I love it (there is someone in this house that insisted on picking around the sprouts, however). But, there’s more than just brisket and brussels sprouts on Beast’s nachos. There are also tomatoes and jalapeños, smoked cheddar cheese, a lime sour cream (which is AMAZING), and of course, Beast’s fantastic BBQ sauce.

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The tortilla chips managed to hold up under the weight of all that pretty well…they did get pretty soggy by the end. But when I say all that weight, I really mean it. None of us could believe the amount of toppings on the nachos, and it was a full family effort to finish them.

As always, I’m impressed with the menu items Beast creates…they sound familiar, but they always have a unique Beast twist, which has made everything I’ve tried unlike anything else I’ve ever had before!