The Rack Shack on Cliff Road in Burnsville is further evidence that great food can be had outside the urban ring. We had heard way too many good things about this place to have waited this long to check them out.
A small place in a strip mall shared with an old established family Italian restaurant, a Subway, and a bakery it would be easy to look at the outside of the place and drive by. That would be your loss. We walked in on a Wednesday night around 6:30 to a small line of locals getting takeout and a goodly number of tables for a place that appears to serve more food in bags heading out the door than at the tables- at least on this Wednesday. Walking through the door the first thing you see is the shelf of sauces in squirt bottles just waiting to be tested.
Ribs, brisket, and pulled pork were all up to expectations. The ribs were cooked soft and needed a small amount of effort to remove the meat from the rib- perfect. Side dishes were good but not exceptional. The beans were the best of the collection we had. Side portions seemed a bit small but the main dishes were plenty big. A good menu with more than enough selections. They have a HOBO bowl that looks like an amazing collection of food but none of us were up to it. They do have a three Hobo’s in 30 minutes challenge that looked interesting. Seems it was interesting enough to draw in the Man vs. Food crew.
The highlight of the place was the selection of sauces. Hot and sweet, sweet and hot, hot and stupid tastes all all met by the row of sauces. The New Orleans Ghost was a big hit with all of us with good taste at the start and a slow remarkably hot build. The burn lasts for a good long time. The Houston Hot was too much vinegar and heat, generally panned by this nordic-influenced group expecting their heat to come with flavor.
By the time we finished all were satisfied with only a bit of the smoked potato remaining. The staff was friendly and people came and went the entire time we were there. We’d rate the meats better than the local favorite- Famous Dave’s but the sides were just equal.. We are starting to see more rib joints popping up with a disturbing number of less than tasty offerings. We’ll stop by the Shack again and as soon as the tundra thaws some Shack take-out will make for a great picnic meal. Maybe we’ll grab some and head inside of the urban ring to eat..