Photo by J.B. Forbes, St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Sugarfire Smoke House

Sugarfire Smoke House is both an integral part of the St. Louis barbecue renaissance and a miniature version of it. Since Mike Johnson, David Molina, and Carolyn and Charlie Downs opened the original Olivette location in September 2012, Sugarfire has quickly expanded to St. Charles and O’Fallon, Mo. What’s more, a fourth venture, Sugarfire Pie, featuring Carolyn Downs’ pies and other desserts, debuted in fall 2014. The rapid success isn’t difficult to explain. Sugarfire serves great barbecue, especially the beef brisket. There are also tasty griddle burgers, fun sandwiches (a brisket cheesesteak, smoked chicken tossed in hot sauce) and sides, the aforementioned pies and a seemingly limitless roster of daily specials. Though I might prefer the ribs at Bogart’s Smokehouse and Pappy’s Smokehouse, or the fatty beef brisket at Salt & Smoke, right now, for the complete package — meat, sides, sauces, dessert — Sugarfire Smokehouse is the barbecue joint to beat.