Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Travels with JAM: Jenn's trip to Phoenix: Shane's Rib Shack

Recently for work I went down to Phoenix with my coworker, Jeremy, to attend a educational conference. Knowing that I'd probably have an opportunity to eat out at some non-NY and VA places, I took my camera to record any potentially exciting food adventures.

Really most of the food we ate was pretty much meat oriented like...
my chipotle BBQ bacon cheeseburger from Fuddrucker's! At first I was worried there would only be chain restaurants and hotel food to eat, but luckily Jeremy and I wandered towards the Arizona Cardinals stadium and found many restaurants of interest, the first being Shane's Rib Shack.

Shane's Rib Shack is a casual family style BBQ joint with an extensive menu including barbeque chicken, beef, pork, ribs, and huge variety of sides like mac 'n cheese, okra, etc.

Being a rib fan myself, Jeremy and I debated between the ribs and other options, but were completely convinced when the girl behind the counter recommended a $30 family meal of a full rack of ribs and two large sides, which was "the best deal we've got". Done.

After a $4 Mike's Hard Pomegranate Lemonade for me and a $4 Leinenkuegel Berry Weiss for Jeremy, we paid for our meal up front at the counter then sat down at one of the many tables, waiting for our food to come. I'd give my Pomegranate Hard Lemonade a solid 2.5 JAMs for flavor, and Jeremy was not a huge fan of his beer, though I didn't mind it, which is huge considering I normally hate beer (but this one was very sweet).

Then, the lovely waitress brought our feast to the table. Ribs in a plastic basket with a vinegary, thick sauce were a huge portion...

and really hit the spot after a long day of conferencing. Jeremy and I split the portion, I ate about 2/3 and Jeremy finished his whole portion. They were tender and well seasoned, in a very mild BBQ sauce, though I enjoyed mine far more once I squirted on another layer of sauce on top. Messy, but good enough where I was more tempted to lick my fingers then continually find a clean spot on our sparse napkins.

The sides themselves were decently sized too. Baked beans, a side green salad, Texas toast, and mac 'n cheese (which, for the record, per Jeremy's questioning, is not made from scratch).
Side salad was nothing to write home about, with a couple of tomatoes and cucumbers and iceberg lettuce. The baked beans were my favorite side - sweet, mellow, echoing a lot of the flavor notes of the ribs without overpowering the palate. They were on the soupy side though, requiring more of a spoon approach or a swift fork motion. Texas toast wasn't as garlicky as I'd like personally, but was a nice side item. The mac 'n cheese was a bit congealed for my liking, but from a flavor standpoint was cheesy, but personally I like Kraft Mac 'N Cheese much better.

We also had some peach cobbler which was very good, peachy with a lot of crust and crumbly bits mixed in and on top, along with some vanilla ice cream.

All in all, a decent meal, but honestly the bad points of the mac 'n cheese and sad side salad were not outweighed enough by the cobbler and ribs, so it makes me have to give it a 2 JAMs (with half a JAM due to lack of other options).

No comments: