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Dalie's Smokehouse Mac-n-Cheese

Mac-n-Cheese as prepared by Dalie's Smokehouse at 2951 Dougherty Ferry Road, pictured with a Cuban sandwich and chili. Photo by David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com

Q • My whole family (both kids and adults) love the Mac-n-Cheese at Dalie’s Smokehouse in Valley Park. We always need to buy extra. — Carol Krueger, South County

A • Dalie’s is sometimes characterized as “son of Pappy’s” and “son of Bogart’s” — no stretch since its owners also own the nationally recognized Pappy’s Smokehouse and Bogart’s Smokehouse and the three barbecue spots share the same smoke, the same rub, the same techniques and some of the same core dishes.

But what makes Dalie’s more “wayward son” than suburban look-alike is the luxury and flexibility of a full kitchen. “We can do fun stuff out here,” says chef and general manager Craig Basler. For example, Wednesdays are Creole day with weekly specials like crawdaddy gumbo and brisket etouffee. Basler loves this kitchen, especially for labor-intensive dishes like Mac-n-Cheese. “Low and slow,” he says, works not just for barbecue but also for from-scratch stovetop cooking. “We take time; we don’t do everything on ‘high.’”

Since opening in 2015, Dalie’s has become a destination not only for traditional barbecue but also for “reubens and cubans” — sandwiches loaded, respectively, with housemade pastrami and fresh sauerkraut, house-smoked ham and pulled pork.

What makes Dalie’s Mac-n-Cheese stand out is not so much the mac or even the cheese but the crispy bits sprinkled on top, a bacon-panko-spice combo that Basler calls “GBD” — golden brown and delicious. Add an “F” for fresh to sum up Dalie’s bacon crumbs, for it’s the freshness, Basler says, that makes all the difference.

Lots of kids love Dalie’s Mac-n-Cheese; so do customers who order it with brisket or smoked turkey for an impromptu off-the-menu bowl of chili mac. Basler defends the use of Velveeta, the processed cheese product. “I love the stuff; it has a purpose. It creates body and color.”


Dalie’s Smokehouse

2951 Dougherty Ferry Road

636-529-1898; daliessmokehouse.com


Special Request is written by Town and Country resident Alanna Kellogg, author of the online recipe column KitchenParade.com and “veggie evangelist” at the food blog about vegetables, A Veggie Venture.

Amy Bertrand 314-340-8284

@abertrand on Twitter

abertrand@post-dispatch.com