Crosstown Barbeque, at 1331 E. Division in Springfield, has just become one of my new favorites. How I could have lived there for several years and not have discovered this place is beyond me... but it is a little off the beaten path, so I won't be too hard on myself.
This joint was featured in Springfield magazine recently, and I can vouch for the fact that owner Steve Williams knows what real BBQ is! I had a good visit with him when I was there recently. As a matter of fact, this is real brick pit barbeque and the ribs and the pork are excellent. The ribs have an exquisite exterior crispness and yet remain tender on the inside, with a deep hickory flavor. Steve likes to smoke spareribs and these are probably the best spareribs I have had. I will put them above any of the KC joints I have had, and for me to make that statement, does not come lightly. You will love 'em!! DO NOT, I repeat, do not, make a trip to Branson or Bass Pro Shops without stopping by and having some BBQ at Crosstown. Look on your map for the intersection of National and Division; this joint is just about a block east of there. The sauce is good too, and I understand he may be bottling it before long. This guy needs a page on the internet to spread his BBQ "gospel" far and wide! I had not developed a star system yet, but I just did as I am typing this page, I'm giving Crosstown 5 stars. BBQ as good as it gets...
Hogwild BBQ, in Aurora, was featured in Midwest Living magazine a couple of months ago. Aurora is 18 miles southwest of Springfield on Highway 60. A good friend and colleague of mine who worked in my office used to bring me BBQ sandwiches from there that she had picked up the night before. If they were that good warmed up, I KNOW they were wonderful fresh. These folks know real BBQ! Give them a try.
Johnny's Smoke Stak, in Rolla, is one of my longtime favs! Located at 201 West Highway 72 (just east of the Highway 63 and 72 junction) they have very good real hickory BBQ.
Johnny's is what I miss the most about living in Rolla! I just recently had their Friday night "all-you-can-hog" buffet, with 9 meats on the line, including homemade smoked sausage and baby back ribs. Their original "Missouri Classic" sauce is mild enough you could eat it on cornflakes, if you were so inclined. Check them out on your way to Branson if you are coming from the east. Rolla is about 100 miles west of St. Louis on I-44. It will be worth your stop, trust me. You can buy the sauce to go, or they do mail order. Call (573) 364-4838 for details, but be warned, their sauce is addicting! I think you will like it as much as I do.
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This page last updated 10-30-99