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Jan 23, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Mike Emerson’

Pappy’s Mike Emerson joins the Guerrilla Street Food crew

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018



Guerrilla Street Food has teamed up with an industry veteran to help them expand their Filipino street food empire. Mike Emerson, co-founder of Pappy’s Smokehouse, joined the GSF team as a consultant as they grow their brand.

“I originally reached out to Mike just to ask some advice on what to look for when trying to expand,” said Guerrilla Street Food co-owner Brian Hardesty. “He’s been through all that and come out the other side successfully.”

That meeting evolved into Emerson joining the team to assist in growing the business. “He’ll be kind of an ambassador for Guerrilla,” Hardesty said. “That’s going to be huge for us. He’s kind of got it all figured out. We’re excited to have him on, and the possibilities are endless with him in the mix.

Though no longer involved in the day-to-day operations, Emerson is a spokesperson for Pappy’s and sister eateries Bogart’s Smokehouse, Dalie’s Smokehouse, Adam’s Smokehouse and Southern.

His plate will remain full during the next few months as Guerrilla Street Food prepares to open its next two locations, at 6120 Delmar Blvd., in the Delmar Loop and inside Tropical Liqueurs at 4104 Manchester Ave., in The Grove.

“These guys know what they’re doing,” Emerson said. “Brian just called me and I thought ‘Well, maybe I can help them around a couple of rocks in the river.’ Plus, I feel like it’s a St. Louis requirement to help your brothers out.”

Photo by Greg Rannells

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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Tweet Beat: The week’s best tweets from #STL foodies

Friday, January 8th, 2016

Best New Restaurants: No. 11 – Dalie’s Smokehouse

Monday, December 7th, 2015

Opening a restaurant isn’t easy. Each year, hundreds give it a shot – and not everyone succeeds. Some, however, aren’t just surviving; they’re killing it. In the last year, we ate our way through newly opened restaurants from Alton to Ballwin, compiling a list of places that serve the food and drinks we can’t get out of our heads. They bring something different and exciting to the scene – and they do it damn well. While technical excellence was a must, the service and ambiance also had to win us over. Office debates nearly came to fisticuffs, but at last we agreed on St. Louis’ 11 best new restaurants of 2015. Clear your schedule and book your reservations; you’ve got a lot of eating to do.




The newest installment of the Mike Emerson-Skip Steele family of barbecue restaurants has some unexpected draws. We expect delicious pulled pork and ribs from the co-owner of Pappy’s Smokehouse and Bogart’s Smokehouse, but here are six exceptional things that took us by surprise – and kept us wanting more – at Dalie’s Smokehouse:

1. The Cuban sandwich. Shaved ham and Pappy’s pulled pork are complemented by gooey Swiss cheese and a layer of heat from chipotle mustard on ciabatta, while the house-made Fire and Ice Pickles bring a hit of acidity that cuts through the rich meat.

2. The Ultimate Reuben. Beef and pork pastrami are piled on grilled marble rye for a monstrous, meaty sandwich topped with Thousand Island dressing, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese.

3. The Hushpuppies. So often dense and dry, Dalie’s hushpuppies have a light, crisp exterior and an almost cake-like interior studded with bits of jalapeno, green onion and fresh corn.

4. The Mac-n-Cheese. This is the first Emerson-Steele barbecue joint to offer a side of mac-n-cheese, and we’re so glad it does. Elbow noodles luxuriate in a creamy cheese sauce with just a touch of heat and a crunchy bacon-breadcrumb topping.

5. The Fried Pickles. What’s better than the Fire and Ice Pickles? Deep-fried Fire and Ice Pickles.

6. The staff. From the busboy to the cook to the server, Dalie’s employees are unfailingly kind, exuding the same charm as their boss. Is an Emerson likeability test required before hiring? It’s entirely plausible.

Is Dalie’s your favorite new restaurant of 2015? Click here to vote for this Valley Park barbecue joint in the People’s Choice Facebook contest

-photo by Carmen Troesser

First Look: Dalie’s Smokehouse in Valley Park

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015



Fans of Pappy’s Smokehouse will note the familiar scent of wood smoke wafting from Valley Park this month. Doors have opened at Dalie’s Smokehouse , the newest member of the venerable barbecue joint family. Co-owners Mike Emerson and Skip Steele opened the restaurant at 2951 Dougherty Ferry Road on June 30.

As The Scoop reported in May, Emerson announced he would open his seventh eatery in the space that formerly housed Squeaker’s BBQ & Bar. Dalie’s big day came on the heels of yet another Emerson project with chef Rick Lewis: Southern, a hot chicken and sandwich shack located next to Pappy’s in Midtown. That restaurant opened just one week before Dalie’s. “Imagine planning two weddings back-to-back and the whole city’s invited,” Emerson said.

Pappy’s and Bogart’s Smokehouse customers will find similar menu offerings at Dalie’s, but all Emerson and Steele’s restaurants boast their own unique barbecue preparations and sauces (except the classic pulled pork recipe, the same at all their restaurants). For example, Dalie’s ribs receive a rich coating of the new Papa Joe’s original barbecue sauce, while the smoked chicken is glazed with the sweet heat of cranberry cayenne sauce.

Eleven sides are available, including Pappy’s classic sweet potato fries. Customers can also pair barbecue sandwiches or plates with chipotle-spiked mac-n-cheese, crunchy fried pickles and hush puppies studded with jalapeno, corn and black pepper. On the beverage side, soda and tea are currently available; Emerson soon hopes to add beer and wine.

Dalie’s is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect when you jump in line at Valley Park’s newest barbecue joint.


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-photos by Michelle Volansky 

The Scoop: Pappy’s Mike Emerson spearheads national barbecue festival in St. Louis

Monday, June 22nd, 2015




Naysayers may claim the barbecue craze is on its way out, but Mike Emerson, co-owner of Pappy’s Smokehouse, begs to differ. Emerson recently announced the debut of Q in the Lou, a national barbecue festival Sept. 25 to 27 at Soldiers’ Memorial. The free event, which celebrates St. Louis’ role in what Emerson called the “barbecue triangle” of St. Louis, Kansas City and Memphis, will feature food available for purchase and demonstrations by a number of national barbecue gurus.

“I’m extremely excited. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” Emerson said. “I have some of the best barbecuers in the world coming in.”

Event spokesperson Mack Bradley said the goal of Q in the Lou is to bring together barbecue pros from across the nation. The festival will see barbecue luminaries from states as far flung as Texas, Tennessee and New York. Participants hailing from the St. Louis area include Emerson, Mike Johnson of Sugarfire Smoke House and Tom Schmidt of Salt & Smoke. Holding up Tennessee’s end will be Memphis in May festival grand champions John David Wheeler of Memphis BBQ Co. and Brad and Brooke Orrison of The Shed Barbeque and Blues Joint. Bradley said the full roster of participating chefs and vendors is still being finalized, though 10 chefs are already on the schedule.

“There’s been a rising tide of great barbecue places in St. Louis for several years now,” Bradley said. “There are good barbecue events around town, but they’re all pretty local. We have yet to do something on a national scale and take our place in Mike Emerson’s barbecue triangle.”

Bradley said he hoped high foot traffic downtown in September – in the midst of the Cardinals and Rams seasons – will result in a good turnout. “I’ve never been involved with something that people were so instantly excited about,” he said. “The line we got from everybody was, ‘Why didn’t we do this before?’”

Emerson is a busy man these days. Last month, he quietly unveiled a truncated Pappy’s menu at Head’s Store in St. Albans with Annie Gunn’s proprietor Thom Sehnert. The partnership crystallized earlier this year. “I had stopped by Annie Gunn’s one day, and Thom and I just started talking,” Emerson said. “It was really a simple handshake agreement to give it a try, and it’s worked out well.”

A smoker onsite at Head’s Store is manned by a Pappy’s pit boss Friday to Sunday and servers a smaller selection of barbecue dishes, including ribs, pulled pork sandwiches and three side options. Emerson said he expects the lineup to expand soon. Unlike Pappy’s, beer and wine is served. Taking inspiration from Annie Gunn’s, Sehnert added a list of sandwiches and burgers to the menu, too. “He is a St. Louis icon, and I consider it an honor to collaborate with him,” Emerson said.



Sneak Peek: Southern in Midtown

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015



Fried chicken has come home to roost in St. Louis, and chef Rick Lewis is adding to the flock with Southern. As The Scoop reported in March, Lewis left his chef post at Quincy Street Bistro and joined forces with Pappy’s owner Mike Emerson to open a hot chicken spot next door to Emerson’s famed St. Louis barbecue joint. After months of recipe testing, renovations and prep work, Lewis hopes to open doors at 3108 Olive St., in Midtown the week of June 22.

Southern will serve fried chicken in the same vein as Nashville institutions like Hattie B’s and Prince’s. Golden brown pieces of fried chicken fly from the fryer and take a dip in one of three spicy oils (mild, Cluckin’ Hot or General Tso’s) before landing on an aluminum tray. Lewis will offer an assortment of hot chicken plates, serving the fried bird with a slice of white bread to soak up the spicy juices, two sides and house-made pickles. The curious (or chicken-hearted) can also order pieces a la carte.

While Southern’s hot chicken may be the hot topic of the moment, it’s not the only thing Lewis will dish up at this 45-seat, counter-service eatery. Nine hefty sandwiches feature house-made salami, ham, pepperoni, roast beef and even bacon, smoked low and slow in one of Pappy’s four famous smokers next door. Sandwiches are stacked high with cheese, dressings and house pickles between Companion bread. Some sammies, like the Cubano, are griddled to melted goodness on the large flattop.

An array of snacks is available, too, including deviled eggs filled with house pimento cheese, a spread of house-made pickled vegetables, and a butcher board of house-cured meats. Rotating daily dessert specials will include fried hand pies, banana pudding and ice cream sandwiches from Dogtown bakery Sugaree.

When doors open, the lunch-time eatery will fire up the fryers from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday. Here’s a sneak peek at what to expect when Southern opens doors.



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-photos by Michelle Volansky 

The Scoop: Pappy’s, Bogart’s owners to bring barbecue to Valley Park with Dalie’s Smokehouse

Monday, May 4th, 2015



{Pappy’s owner Mike Emerson} 


People travel great distances to enjoy pulled pork and beef brisket at Pappy’s Smokehouse and Bogart’s Smokehouse, both of which serve big crowds within St. Louis city limits. Now Mike Emerson and Skip Steele, respective owners of those establishments, are throwing a (rib) bone to their fans out west with a new barbecue joint, Dalie’s Smokehouse, at 2951 Dougherty Ferry Road in Valley Park.

“There’s a ton of wonderful people out that way,” Emerson said. “I’ve been in the city for quite a while and had a lot of requests from people who sometimes can’t make it out to the city.”

Set to open in early June, Dalie’s will be located in a space that most recently housed Squeaker’s BBQ & Bar, as reported by St. Louis Magazine.

The menu is not quite set yet, Emerson said, but will feature highlights from both Pappy’s and Bogart’s, plus daily specials. Emerson hopes to take advantage of the kitchen’s flat grills, a feature he doesn’t have at Pappy’s. One dish he’s considering is barbecued meatloaf, which might also appear on the menu at Southern, his other soon-to-open venture with former Quincy Street Bistro chef Rick Lewis.

Unlike its sibling restaurants, Dalie’s will offer beer, most likely local. “It’s something new for us, and I think in this location it’s going to work out very, very well,” Emerson said. “I’ve got a lot of friends in the craft-brewing industry, so I’m anxious to see what they’ve got to offer.”

In addition to seating about 75 people inside and on its patio, the restaurant will offer curbside carryout, which Emerson hopes will appeal to parents with cars full of hungry kids.

Look for familiar faces among the staff when Dalie’s opens, too. “I never like to open a restaurant with a rookie crew,” Emerson said. “Skip Steele and myself will be out there, as well as partners from other restaurants.”

And he plans to spend some time with the owners of his new neighbors at the Valley Park shopping center, The Shack, The Tavern Kitchen & Bar and The Corner Pub & Grill.

“I knew those guys from The Shack when they were down by us,” Emerson said. “I couldn’t have better neighbors. We’re going to make that corner a hot spot to go to. Not only will you see me at Dalie’s; I’ll probably be sitting on their patios as well, so it will be fun.”

-photo by Greg Rannells

The Scoop: Rick Lewis to leave Quincy Street Bistro, open chicken shack with Pappy’s Mike Emerson

Saturday, March 14th, 2015



Fried chicken is flocking to St. Louis, and two big restaurant names have just thrown their knives into the ring. Chef Rick Lewis announced today that he is leaving Quincy Street Bistro to open a chicken shack called Southern with Pappy’s Smokehouse owner Mike Emerson, as reported by St. Louis Magazine.

Emerson and Lewis hope to open Southern, which will be located at 3108 Olive St., next door to Pappy’s in Midtown, in mid-April. Lewis described the fast-casual concept as a mixture of popular Nashville hot chicken spot Hattie B’s and Southern/Cajun-focused Cochon in New Orleans. Southern will serve hot chicken as well as sandwiches made with house charcuterie and other classic Southern fare.

The two men have been friends since Lewis took the helm at Quincy Street in 2012. Lewis’ elevated comfort food at Quincy Street received local and national acclaim; in 2014 he was a semifinalist for a James Beard Foundation Award in the Rising Star category. The friendship grew to a business partnership recently when Lewis, looking to start another project, sat down with Emerson, who sought to add another restaurant to his fold. Emerson also co-owns popular barbecue spots Bogart’s and newer Adam’s Smokehouse, which Sauce reviewed in July 2014.

“We started our business based on comfort food, and this guy takes comfort food to another level,” remarked Emerson about Lewis’ talent as a chef. “In the barbecue business, you start with the best product, and when I get to start with one of the best chefs in town, that doesn’t hurt either. It’s like signing Derek Jeter.”

Emerson said he wasn’t worried about the growing roster of fried chicken restaurants opening in St. Louis, and that he looked forward to Lewis’ unique contribution to the genre. “It’s always been one of my favorites,” said Emerson of fried chicken. “We’re in love with anything along the comfort food line. I’m not going to stop just because places keep popping up.”

At Quincy Street, Lewis said chef Chris Tirone (a member of the Sauce Ones to Watch class of 2011) will take the helm as executive chef, a role he has unofficially filled since hip surgery limited Lewis’ role in the kitchen for several months last year. “I’m not trying to tear something I built apart,” Lewis said.

Despite his new project, expect to see Lewis frequently Quincy Street often – his in-laws own the joint. “I’m always going to be up in that place,” he said. “There’s no doubt about that.”



The Scoop: Heritage BBQ by Cochon returns to St. Louis Sept. 14

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014


{From left, Blackberry Farm’s Michael Sullivan, 2013 Cochon competing chefs Fabrizio Schenardi, Gerard Craft, SPQR’s Matthew Accarrino, Kevin Willmann, Kevin Nashan and Cochon founder Brady Lowe}


Pork lovers, rejoice! Heritage BBQ by Cochon is returning to St. Louis this year. The national tour that celebrates heritage breed hogs will take place Sept. 14 at the Four Seasons Hotel-St. Louis. Cochon founder Brady Lowe brought his Heritage BBQ to town for the first time last year, and his 2014 ‘cue fest is set to be even bigger.

The main attraction at the event is a whole hog barbecue competition. Five area chefs will each cook up a 200-pound heritage breed swine to create six dishes judged by a panel of local industry professionals. The lineup of competing chefs is: Gian Nicola Colucci (executive chef, Four Seasons – St. Louis), Eric Heath (chef and co-owner, Cleveland-Heath), Patrick Connolly (executive chef, Basso), Josh Galliano (chef and co-owner, The Libertine) and Lou Rook III (executive chef, Annie Gunn’s).

But the pig-crazed can dine on more than competition barbecue. New this year is Barbecue Traditions, during which area meat moguls will serve a dish exemplifying their take on barbecue paired with wines, bbers or spirits. Look for Mike Emerson of Pappy’s Smokehouse and Chris Bolyard of soon-to-open Bolyard Meat & Provisions to be among those educating eaters on barbecue culture. Other food attractions will include a pop-up butcher shop featuring Andrew Jennrich of soon-to-open The Butchery, a tartare bar with edible delights by Creekstone Farms, a cheese spread by Rogue Creamery and ice cream from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.

Even though there will be pound upon pound of tender, juicy meat prepared every which way, libations aren’t an afterthought. Festival-goers will can partake in top-tier bourbons, Crispin ciders, wines, mezcals and Goose Island beers, including its rare Bourbon County brews.

VIP tickets are $200 and include a 4 p.m. early admission, as well as access to reserve wines and spirits. General admission tickets are $100; tickets available online.

Sauce Magazine is a sponsor of this event.

Readers’ Choice 2014: Pappy’s Smokehouse – Favorite Barbecue

Thursday, July 31st, 2014


Just what does it take to deliver the internationally acclaimed Memphis-style (with a St. Louis twist) ribs, pulled pork and brisket to the daily throngs at Pappy’s Smokehouse? Owner Mike Emerson lays it all out, by the numbers.

5 smokers: Walter, Big Ron and LeRoy, plus two new ones, Waino and Porkey LaFarge
6 years since Pappy’s opened its doors in 2008
6 to 8 local meat producers sourced from Missouri, Illinois and Iowa
4,000 pounds of pork smoked daily
14 to 18 hours to slow smoke pork over apple or cherry wood
30 minutes average wait time in line
Nearly 60 employees keeping Pappy’s running daily
14,000 gallons of barbecue sauce produced last year
82,650 pounds of sweet potato fries made last year
Around 400 rib slabs smoked a day
27,000 bottles of Fitz’s root beer sold last year
360,000 customer hands shaken by Emerson and 10,400 pretty ladies hugged last year (He aims to beat that this year)

Find out who else you voted your favorites in St. Louis. Click here to see all our Readers’ Choice winners.

-photo by Greg Rannells

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