Rib Shack BBQ & Seafood
Rib Shack (932 J R Lynch St, Jackson) won me over with sides and also more than hit the spot when I had a serious bbq craving.
The ribs were pleasantly tender. They had some pink color, but the taste of smoke didn’t quite shine through the vinegariness of the sauce (which was also sweet, but not quite spicy enough for me).
On my plate, the sides really stood out. The beans were less sweet than at some other places, and some of the sweetness came from lightly caramelized onions–this added an aromatic level that was intriguing and got me to finish the serving and wish for more. The hushpuppies were my favorite part of my meal. They were straight from the fryer, with a dense crispy outer shell and a wonderful interior texture that my friend described as almost creamy. Like the beans, some onions imparted an extra depth, and the overall hushpuppy experience was less heavy and more subtle than I generally expect from deep fried corn meal.
My friends let me sample their meats, and I decided that despite the restaurant’s name, I had ordered the wrong thing. Maybe it was my particular batch of ribs, but both of the other dishes I tried were significantly smokier than the ribs and, for that reason, I liked them a lot more. The chopped pork’s smoke provided a better balance against the sauce, and the chicken (not shown) was both smoky and moist.
Next time I’ll be really going back for the sides, but I’m also excited to try the fried catfish (the catfish nuggets are tempting, both because I know the Rib Shack can really fry and because the nugget shape is always so appealing). And if I’m in the mood for some bbq, I’d happily go back to the chopped pork or even branch out to beef. Check out the full menu here. They’re open Tues-Thurs 11-8, and Fri-Sat 11-10.