Barbecue is not often described as delicate, and it’s not clear that the proprietors of the newly opened 17th Street Bar & Grill (near East Saint Louis) would appreciate such praise anyway. But there you have it: The barbecue here is delicate. From the beef brisket to the baby back ribs to the pulled pork sandwich, the eats at 17th Street are perfectly seasoned, smoked and blackened to within an inch of “too much,” and tender as the dickens. The O’Fallon incarnation of the grill is actually the third restaurant opened to showcase the barbecue of Mike Mills, three-time grand champion at the annual Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. So be respectful: Order a full spread, and save some room for dessert. The mason jar of banana pudding is your best bet. Even if the Nilla Wafers don’t charm you, the silken layers of vanilla pound cake will still blow your mind.
17th Street Bar & Grill
1711 W. Highway 50, O’Fallon, Illinois