Friday, August 10, 2007

Mama's Coal Pot

I'm going to slightly deviate from the subject of this blog to write about a St. Louis BBQ joint I recently ate at. I saw it after eating with my family at Blueberry Hill in the Loop. Actually, I smelled it long before I saw it, and when I saw the little BBQ shack with a very interesting menu, I knew I had to try it.

Mama's Coal Pot
Menu at Mama's Coal Pot

There are two interesting dishes here, at least. The first is snoot, which is a St. Louis local dish relatively unknown in the rest of barbecue country. Snoot is pig nose, by the way. The second are rib tips, which I've never seen before either. This was all very exciting for me, so I went back another day and tried them both out, of course.

A few days later, I went back, taking with me my friend Joel.


The snoot was coated in a delicious barbecue sauce. It came with some white bread on the side. I picked some snoot up with some bread, and gingerly nibbled on it. It appeared to be nothing but bone. However, I knew it was edible, it was really just cartilage. So I put that snoot between my molars and bit down as hard as I could. It gave a satisfying crunch, and I just continued crunching through this piece and then doing the same to many other snoots I had. The snoot itself didn't have a lot of flavor. It was mostly texture with a coating of barbecue sauce. I liked it, and would order it again, but it's a bit much for one's only lunch item. It'd go better as an item in a large BBQ spread.

While I was eating, the owner came up and chatted with us. He told us all about snoot, and how in "soul food" you eat every part of pig, "everything except the squeal". I said I was also interested in trying rib tips, and he was kind enough to give us a fair portion of that too.

Rib tips

The rib tips were excellent. This had some actual meat, which was flavorful and a bit fatty. I highly recommend this for those who like ribs.

So, Mama's Coal Pot. If you are in St. Louis and want a unique St. Louis-style barbecue treat, head on over there! And finding it is easy, just walk around the Loop and follow your nose.