Okay, chain snobs — you know who you are, those of you who wouldn’t be caught dead at a chain restaurant — y’all might want to skip this one. There are plenty of lovely local restaurants to review, but that doesn’t mean we have to be exclusive, now does it?
That being said, I had reservations about Shane’s Rib Shack. Being a true-blue (Carolina blue, that is) North Carolinian, I am decidedly picky about my barbecue. Specifically, about my barbecue sauce.
I don’t mind the taste of that gloppy, syrupy, sugary stuff they call barbecue sauce in other places — it’s just not barbecue sauce. It’s a sticky glaze. And even though I don’t hate it, I don’t really want it anywhere near my barbecue. My barbecue needs, instead, to be thoroughly drenched with good ol’ Eastern NC, vinegar-based, tangy barbecue sauce that zips through the fatty pork flavor and creates fireworks in your mouth. Shane’s barbecue sauce wasn’t quite that way — it was thicker, and sweet — and so I was prepared to be disappointed.
And I might’ve been, if I’d ordered the pork plate, but I didn’t. See, I’d seen this ridiculous picture of something called The Shaniac. It’s a cheeseburger topped with pulled pork, topped with coleslaw. This thing is — as its name might imply — crazy. First off, it has a giant circumference. When I arrived at the Shack, I was unsure if a burger and one side would be enough to fill my giant appetite — but I shouldn’t have worried. It definitely was. In fact, I gave Mike the last few bites of my burger. Second off, even with the somewhat sub-par barbecue sauce, The Shaniac was grand: a truly juicy, cheesy, pork-y food fest.
Also in the Rib Shack’s favor: FOUNTAIN COKE ZERO. I’m a Coke Zero fanatic, and everyone knows that fountain sodas are the best sort! A+ for beverages.
If you’re in the mood for a rockin’ burger, skip the fast food and head to Shane’s. If you’re in the mood for barbecue, though . . . well, perhaps head to the Mallard Creek Barbecue in October!
Charlotte Spoon Rating: 3 out of 5 spoons