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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

Southern style barbecue

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Nikki Blechle, manager of the Sikeston Smokehouse, cuts pork to order.
(Photo by Tim Jaynes, Staff)
SIKESTON -- In opening their fourth location, the owners of the Sikeston Smokehouse have the experience to know what makes a restaurant successful.

And that's evident in the services provided at the restaurant.

Austin and Cherie Seitz, former co-owners of Bandana's BBQ in St. Louis, also own restaurants in Rolla, Washington and Hannibal, said Nikki Blechle, manager. She said adding a Sikeston location in January was something the owners did to expand to the southern part of the state. The flavor is unique, said Blechle, a family friend of the Seitzes who has experience working as a waitress for their other restaurants.

"All of our meats come straight from the smoker and are cooked with hickory for up to 15 hours," said Blechle. Served are barbecue pork, beef, chicken, sausage, ribs and turkey. "Pork is our No. 1 seller," she said. But the ribs are another hot item. "Everybody likes our ribs -- they are pork spare ribs, as opposed to baby back ribs."

The meals are all prepared to order and none of the meats are served with sauce -- something the clientele appreciate, said Blechle. However, customers have four types of sauce to choose from, ranging from sweet to spicy to give whatever taste is desired.

"All of our menu items are made from scratch daily," said Blechle.

Side items include potato salad, barbecue beans, cole slaw, fries and green beans, said Blechle. Also served are specialty sides including boiled peanuts, hop'n'jon (black-eyed) peas), fried corn on the cob, Brunswick stew and chili.

Blechle said the entire facility is non-smoking. Management tries to create a family environment, and with the purchase of an adult meal on Monday through Thursday, children ages 12 and under eat free, she noted.

Service is quick, to accommodate those who need a fast bite to eat. "All orders are ready within five to seven minutes," she said. "We try to cater to the work force, as well as families."

Although several customers dine in, about half of the business is take-out orders, Blechle noted. "We have several family deals," she said, adding that those can be called in. "And it seems to fit what people want."

Catering is also available through Sikeston Smokehouse. "Do it Yourself Catering" is an item on the menu, where customers can purchase meats in certain quantities in addition to pint-, quart- and gallon-sized side items.

Blechle said that building renovations and facelifts have been ongoing since the restaurant opened and will continue. She also pointed out the business is in no way associated with the former restaurant there. From customer comments, she said that seems to be one of the restaurants biggest obstacles in the community.

Sikeston Smokehouse is located at 2600 E. Malone Ave. in Sikeston. Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The phone number is 472-8191.