HotGirlsBrother sent me a panicky message about his coupon for Rack Shack expiring in a day and we had to go immediately – which I had no problem with. In our haste, we forgot to contact Low-Vee and verify she could come. Our mistake, but we went anyway to check out this place that a friend of ours said was quite good. It’s in a strip mall in a suburb, which is always a good sign in Minnesota, for some reason.
The inside is pretty spacious and there is a huge menu on the wall with tons of delicious-sounding items. We scoped it out, but since we generally stick with what’s good, we knew we were getting a slab of ribs. So the only thing we needed to haggle over were the sides. The beans and coleslaw are pretty standard at most places, so we ordered those with our meal. The new also threw in a side of cornbread and a side of potato salad. The ribs come dry, but Rack Shack has an awesome display of BBQ sauces along one wall for you to choose from. When I first walked in, I caught HotGirlsBrother sampling each of them on the end of a fork while waiting for me. They also have a ghost pepper sauce for those people who have no regard for their own taste buds. I’m sure it’s a draw for some people, but I can’t handle THAT kind of heat. I’ll stick to the other hot BBQ sauces they have. The guy behind the counter was really helpful and explained all of thise to us. He knows his ribs and his sauces.
We grabbed our drinks (they have Dew) and checked out the sauces. There is a large sign right above the table of sauces that explains what each one is. VERY brilliant idea. The food showed up pretty quickly on a plastic cafeteria tray – my favorite rib presentation ever. The guy then came back with some plates, so we didn’t have to eat off the same tray – he could tell we weren’t savages or anything.
The sides first: The baked beans were good. Actually very colorful with a variety of bean types, but the flavor wasn’t overly awesome. They were just good beans. No complaints but nothing to rave about. The coleslaw was a little mayo-y for me. I know there’s a fine line between mayo-y and creamy, but it was about all you could taste in it. It could have used a kick more vinegar or seasoning or something. Again, good, but not stellar. The corn bread had good flavor, but was pretty dry. It was so dry, it was difficult to sop up the left over BBQ sauce on my plate, which is a sad thing. The redeeming factor was the potato salad. Huge chunks of red potatoes and lots of creamy-ness. This was top notch stuff. We both really liked the potato salad, and it might be slightly better than Baldy’s, which we didn’t think possible. But it is awesome, to say the least.
The ribs: These ribs are pretty darn good. Much better than we expected. Lots of meat on the bones and really good flavor. They meat came right off the bones when you bit into them, so it was easy to use the variety of sauces on hand to experiment with which ones you liked the best (or which combinations, as the case might be for HotGirlsBrother – he’s like a BBQ chemical engineer – no offense, EJens). There was a good smoke flavor, without being fake or overwhelming and there was almost no cartilage to work around. We both said even the end pieces were really delicious and those are usually pretty worthless. I ended up liking the Kans City Spice and the Savannah Heat the most, although the St. Paulie Sauce has a great flavor. Try them all!
While eating, I kept staring at the small menu they have on the table. Based on the food items alone, I will come back here. There’s a bacon melt that looks amazing and some sort of mac and cheese with meat concoction that looks mind-blowing. I can’t wait to come back here for lunch sometime. Luckily, it’s REALLY close to my house, so I will get to rub it in to HotGirlsBrother when I come back here and try everything we saw pictures of on the menu. They also have what’s called the Original Hobo – it’s a baked potato with almost everything no the menu included on/in it. Seriously. They top it off with mac and cheese, more meat, a scoop of coleslaw, and then cover the whole thing in cheese sauce. It looks incredible and I can’t wait to eat it. IF you eat three of them in half hour, you win a $100 gift certificate and a t-shirt. I can’t even imagine eating two. They look enormous.
This place put up a solid fight in the Bar-B-Quest. They’re up against Rooster’s this round, so we will keep you posted how Rack Shack does. This place is delicious. Here’s the bracket, as it stands today:
Top 5 things about Rack Shack
1. Potato Salad
2. Ribs were delicious
3. Lots of sauces to choose from AND explanations of what each tastes like
4. Tons of other delicious-sounding menu items
5. They serve beer, wine, and Pepsi products
Bottom 5 things
1. Corn bread was dry
2. Beans looked pretty but were just alright
3. Coleslaw needed some zip
4. No wet-naps, sorry Low-Vee
5. I wish I could eat more than I already do