Shane’s drizzles in with BBQ sauceJan 24th, 2013 | By Amber Smith, Jennifer Gleason
| Category: 2013-01-24, Features, Food and Dining, Spectator Tasters, Spotlight, Spring 2013, Top Headlines
By Amber Smith & Jennifer Gleason
I took a right at the light by the Valdosta Mall entrance one day and noticed that the Moe’s that had previously sat at the end of the strip mall had been replaced by Shane’s Rib Shack. I laughed– my boyfriend commented that our friend Shane now had a namesake in town, and that was the last I thought of it. Little did I know, one day when Jennifer and were throwing around ideas for where to go for lunch, that the idea would resurface. She started telling me about what a staple the restaurant was “back home” and how funny she thought it was that none of the locals around here “know what a Shane’s is.”
Jennifer: Shane’s Rib Shack is all over the Atlanta area—particularly in Henry County. After church, my dad would demand we go there for lunch weekly. One would think we would grow tired of the barbecue, but it’s one of the few places I have looked forward to eating. I was excited to introduce one local to the restaurant, because for some fairly-priced and fast barbecue, Shane’s has definitely been a top choice of mine. Someone going into a Shane’s and expecting a Smokin’ Pig atmosphere would be disappointed, though. Shane’s is more quaint and small compared to the aforementioned barbecue joint—but that’s what I love about it.
Valdosta’s Shane’s Rib Shack is just like the ones at home, but luckily with more seating than the one I frequented in McDonough. When we walked up to the register, the staff members were polite and friendly—our cashier even held a short conversation with us about shopping when she spotted a Gap card in Amber’s hand.
A: When we walked in, I kind of felt like we were in a fast-food version of Texas Roadhouse. The country-themed atmosphere was perfect for the downhome menu of soul food offered. We walked up to order, and then sat at a wooden table with wooden chairs facing a sepia wall of what appeared to be family photos and a quote.
“Shane isn’t about flash—he’s about family, community and darn good food,” it read. “So much so that he quit his highfalutin corporate job, dusted off Big Dad’s (Shane’s grandfather) secret recipe and enlisted his own family to make a dream come true.”
On the table was an array of sauces in a holder attached to a roll of paper towels. I guess they expected us to get messy. I noticed the black and white photo over the table was the Boomerang, a rollercoaster at Wild Adventures Theme Park on the south side of the county.
Another sign on the wall gave a dictionary-style definition of “The South,” stating that here “Tea is sweet and accents are sweeter” and “‘Y’all’ is the only proper noun.”
When the food was brought out to us, I was excited to dig into my BBQ chicken plate. I remembered how wonderful their macaroni and cheese could be, so I was excited to order my favorite plate with it and some okra. The portion sizes were perfect, and the taste brought me back to home and going out to eat with my dad.
I’m a simple kind of gal when it comes to food. I loved their original barbecue sauce and lightly drizzled it over my chicken to not detract from the actual flavor of the meat. The piece of toast that came with the meal was a nice addition to the flavors. Later in our conversation and dining, Amber mentioned she liked the hot and spicy sauces. I realized I had never actually tried the hot barbecue sauce, for fear it would be too fiery for me. I dabbed some on my finger and was proven wrong—the sauce had little heat compared to what most might consider “hot”, yet combined spicy and sweet flavors in a unique, balanced way. I definitely will have to try it again sometime.
Needless to say, I devoured my meal, and the Valdosta Shane’s did not disappoint me at all. I especially enjoyed roaming the restaurant a little later and spotting the VSU and Valdosta school athletic jerseys and pictures—an ode to the town that welcomed in the business. There was even a cool picture of Blaze on the wall. I’m just happy to know there is a restaurant from home for me here that is welcoming and delicious.
A: When our food came, I was shocked at the plate that sat in front of me. This was the largest potato I had ever seen. I wound up with enough left over to split what was left with my boyfriend as part of our supper. The potato was topped with cheese and pulled pork. I had never seen anything that looked so utterly American and gloriously fattening simultaneously.
I tried each of the four sauces before drizzling three of them over the top of my meal. My favorite: the mustard barbeque sauce. Its flavor was unique, just the tangy blend of mustard and barbeque that I should have expected but did not.
The meal was worth every cent. It may sound like $9 was a little much for a baked potato, but this is no ordinary ‘tater. Factoring in size, quality and the fact that I could feed myself for three days on one meal, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.