My wife and I headed over to one of the newest restaurants in the area, the Rack Shack BBQ in Burnsville. Located in the strip mall along with J’s and Subway, they have inserted themselves into the local BBQ scene and have received accolades from many people including Chowhound rjayasuriya and our ever so famous MSPD. I have to admit that after MSPD’s mouth watering review I had high hopes for the quality of food coming out of this place and perhaps that was where I went wrong.
We arrived just before 7. The place is clean and simple with more tables than I expected for a place that considers itself a take out joint. We sat down and looked over the large menu on the wall. Pretty standard BBQ items including ribs, brisket, chicken, turkey, etc. Prices seemed acceptable for a meat item and two sides. We placed our orders with my wife grabbing a half rack of ribs and me a BSB pulled pork sandwich (i.e. huge). My wife got their baked beans and coleslaw and I went with their corn bake and potato salad.
Our food did not take long to pop up and was served in black Styrofoam containers with plastic silverware. I get the desire to be a counter-service takeout place but I think that if you’re eating in the Styrofoam containers can be ditched. Seriously save yourselves some money while doing something good for the landfill. The sides were, well, paltry. They come in tiny little containers which could double as shot glasses. The sauce is also served in tiny amounts and must be requested and handed over from behind the counter instead of the typical bottles of sauce available at most other BBQ places I have eaten at nationwide.
My wife’s ribs were a good size and were definitely meaty but she was mildly annoyed that they were pre-split. She wants to see the entire half to full rack presented to her for tearing so she knows what she’s getting. She asked for their St. Paulie sauce and went to town on the slaw, beans, and ribs. She enjoyed them and thought the sauce was fine. From the little bits I had, both with my sauce and her’s, I found the St. Paulie sauce worked really well with the ribs. I would certainly eat those on a future visit. The beans, which everyone has raved about, were just ok for us. Nothing special at all to be honest. Yeah, they weren’t out of a can but I really didn’t see any true advantage over any other baked beans I’ve ever had. The coleslaw was a complete “meh” for me but as I’ve mentioned many times before, I’m pretty particular about my coleslaw so feel free to take it with as much salt as you’d like.
My pulled pork sandwich was a behemoth. I mean it was seriously huge. But for $11.95 I kind of expected that. The bread was soft and apparently is brought in daily–nice touch. The Houston Oil Fire sauce had kick but lacked any spice longevity at all. I used the entire container, aside from a tiny bit that I used on a bit of my wife’s ribs, and aside from a slight peppery taste, even though it had ~10 peppers next to it to on their sauce list to indicate spice level, it didn’t match the level of Sriracha or even Frank’s. Aside from the lack of spice level it just really didn’t have much depth and it’s not one I’d recommend.
The meat looked good but when I tasted it plain it had absolutely no flavor. Later when I was asked by the owner what I thought about my meal I told him it had the consistency of canned tuna fish and was tasteless. The bread completely overpowered the sandwich even with the sauce–which just shouldn’t happen, right? Perhaps another sauce would have offered me more but being that I didn’t have easy and open access to them I didn’t bother to ask for another.
My potato salad side was fine. I mean, it tasted like the potato salad I whipped up a few days ago to get rid of a couple of extra red potatoes and some sour cream I had laying around. I wouldn’t order it again but it wasn’t inedible. The corn bake on the other hand was gross. I mean, it reminded me of dry canned creamed corn. I took a couple of forkfuls between bites of my tasteless sandwich wondering if it would grow on me but it just kept heading further and further south. While certainly not the main draw of this place, I really do expect the sides to at least be something I don’t have to choke down and as you know, I can literally eat almost anything…
My wife thought her meal was fine and based on my experience with her ribs and the choice of St Paulie sauce, we’d return for a full rack to split between us. We’d forgo the sides and save ourselves quite a bit of money because what we had tonight was certainly not worth the $34+ we spent–at all.
Have you eaten at the Rack Shack BBQ in Burnsville? If so what are your thoughts? What meats and sides did you try and what did you like best? What sauces worked best for you and your entrees? Whatever you have to say about the Rack Shack BBQ in Burnsville go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Rack Shack BBQ
2925 Cliff Road
Burnsville, MN 55337
11 AM – 8:30 PM
See all the pictures from the Rack Shack BBQ on Flickr here