November 4, 2011

Rack Shack BBQ Review

For months I have been looking forward to going to Rack Shack BBQ in Burnsville, MN.  I have been following them on Facebook and Twitter since they opened.  They have made my mouth water with posts of Brisket Blue Burger, ribs, their sauce and even the road trip to Tennessee for a larger smoker. It was great to see a small local restaurant get national television attention when they appeared on Man vs Food on the Travel Channel. 

I finally had the opportunity to visit for lunch last Friday; I must admit it was because I was once again tempted by a Twitter message from @RackShackBBQ about the Brisket Blue Burger.  I was so excited to try a place I had been following that I invited my parents with me to share the experience.

Dad ordered beans as a side to his meal. He said they were good.
I noticed they post about the Brisket Blue Burger quite a bit, so I figured it would be the menu item to have and that is what I ordered.  The gal that was taking the order and cashiering asked in a very confused tone, "So you want just a brisket bacon burger with blue cheese dressing on it?" I told her, I didn't see it on the menu board on the wall but it is talked about on Facebook and Twitter all the time, heck it was even posted within 30 minutes of my arrival on Twitter once again.  She told me, [insert sigh] "I don't know what that is, but ok."  REALLY? Wow! I was shocked. I had heard the cheesy mac was also good so I had that as one of my sides. She seemed annoyed as my parents ordered.  My mom mentioned she wanted to try the New Orleans Ghost Chili BBQ sauce on the side of her turkey sandwich.  That was $1.56 extra. Our bill for lunch was about $45.

We found a table, it was dirty.  I understand it was the lunch hour, but there should be someone responsible for making sure the tables were clean.  Mom went to ask the not so friendly cashier for a wet towel; she told my mom she would come clean it off. By the time mom returned I had taken a napkin to the fountain pop area and wet it using some water.  Mom told me the gal was coming to wash it I looked up and saw a line of at least 8 people.  My question was "When?" It wasn't until we were half way through our meal did she appear with a squirt bottle and rag to clean the table.  What was she going to do, make us lift up are food and clean the table at that point.  I told her I already wiped the table, "You did?" she said puzzled once again. "With what?"  Simple: I took a napkin, got it wet, wiped the table and threw away the napkin.  She went back behind the counter.

Brisket Blue Burger, fries and cheesy mac
When my  Brisket Blue Burger, fries and cheesy mac arrived I was excited to finally try what I had reading about for months.  Presentation-wise the meal had a BBQ feel. The mac n' cheese bowl had a cover when it arrived, as did the beans. I tried the burger with no additional sauces, I was disappointed.  It was very dry and over cooked; the only flavor I could taste was the bacon and blue cheese. Any brisket I have ever had has been juicy and full of flavor.  I was hoping the juiciness of the brisket would translate into the burger, it didn't.  I decided to cut up the burger and test out some of the sauces.  I started with the New Orleans Ghost Chili BBQ sauce because my mom commented that it wasn't hot and tasted like chili powder; she was right! It was not worth paying the extra money for. Then I tried the other flavors available at the tables for no charge. I enjoyed all of the flavors they offered, they range from a sweet & sticky mild sauce (Georgia Sticky) to bold and hod (Houston Oil Fire). My favorite was the Kansas City Spice and the Houston Oil Fire.  I would give Rack Shack kudos on their sauces, with the exception of the New Orleans Ghost Chili. 
I did discover the blue cheese was actually blue cheese dressing.

The cheesy mac is described as "We threw the box away on this one. Gooey, creamy, cheesy, & crunchy goodness" It lived up to it's "Gooey, creamy, cheesy" description.  The was a bread crumb topping, but it didn't add a lot of the "crunchy", most likely because it came covered.  I enjoyed the cheesy mac, however I was surprised to find peppers, perhaps jalapeno, in the bottom of it. I am not sure they were supposed to be in there, however if it is an ingredient it should be listed.  I don't think it would appeal to kids or people who do not like spice. 

Unfortunately, Rack Shack did not live up to my expectations.  I also found it interesting that even though I mentioned them in my Twitter posts I did not have any response from them about the experience. I want to see local businesses succeed, unfortunately bad service one of the main reasons customers will not come back.

Rack Shack BBQ
2925 Cliff Road East 
Burnsville, MN 55337
(952) 736-3004


  1. Oh what a bummer of an experience! Am especially surprised that the staff out front is oblivious to the FB and tweeting! Excellent review, though. Perhaps it will result in a wake up call for Rack Shack.

  2. This place sounds like it needs to get its' act together. What kind of disorganized restaurant would be tweeting about a menu item that their staff has no clue they serve. Never going to go there.

  3. You have nice writing skills. I agree that the rack shack is not all its hyped to be, but I think you were too critical. The place is a hole in the wall. It is overpriced I will give you that. The only thing i disagree with is your comment about the ghost sauce. I eat the hottest food. I put "da bomb sauce" on everything. The ghost sauce is very freakin hot. It is way hotter than buffalo wild wings hottest sauce.