Johnna’s Pick of the Week (Travel Edition): Baby Back Shak (Dallas, Texas)

[ 0 ] February 18, 2010 |

Alert: For all vegetarians, this post may be a bit disturbing. For all meat eaters, this is the place you need to be! When one is in Dallas there are two food genres they must try…TexMex and BBQ. Texas is well known for its slow cooked, grilled BBQ and arguably has the best BBQ on this side of the map. We are used to North Carolina BBQ which is typically chopped, then mixed with a little vinegar and red pepper flakes (*and with a bun and some coleslaw, you are in heaven!). When we made our trek to Texas, we decided it was time to try a new type of BBQ, Texan style.

What better way to taste BBQ then to get advice from the local community?? On the last day of our trip, we found ourselves on the south side of Dallas licking our fingers covered in house made BBQ sauce. The Baby Back Shak is the restaurant that made the cut. They say “a name says it all” and this holds true @ the Baby Back Shak: meager seating accommodations, lighting that resembles that of a bodega in Harlem and of course, plenty of south Dallas attitude in a Southern accent. Good thing we weren’t visiting for the decor…this trip was all about the food.

We couldn’t let any of the fat escape our palates so we ordered the heart attack plate (*at least that’s what we renamed it after seeing what was on it…): Shak’s platter which includes ribs, smoked sliced pork, grilled chicken, boudin, link sausage and two sides. We just couldn’t let the main course outdo the sides so we decided on the loaded baked potato and the green beans. This was all accompanied by four slices of wheat bread and the house made BBQ sauce. That enough to keep us off our diet?? No, we washed all of this down with a sweet tea and lemonade mix (*when one is in the South, they must drink plenty of sweet tea…).

Needless to say, we should have brought our Pepto, but it was well worth it. The thin sauce was a sweet mix of brown sugar meets vinegar meets ketchup, all the ingredients necessary for some good BBQ sauce. All of the meats tasted like they had just come off the grill and from the smoky charcoal smell outside, this is exactly where they had been cooked. This was our first time with boudin (*a Cajun staple) which is a sausage stuffed with a pork rice dressing and then grilled. We were quite pleased as we drenched each piece of meat in BBQ sauce and sunk our teeth into some of the most tender cuts we have ever tasted. After this experience, we think we can add another to the “must try” list (*That is, if your in the mood for a meat feast that doesn’t cost Fogo De Chao prices..): When one is in Dallas, one must try the Baby Back Shak.

Baby Back Shak on Urbanspoon

Category: Food.Fun.Stuff., grilled, Johnna's Pick of the Week, Travels, Various Cooking Styles

About the Author ()

Johnna Rowe is a Harlem NY native with deep roots in Washington, DC and North Carolina. All three places have heavily influenced her life and the foods she loves today. After graduating Howard University School of Law and beginning her life as a young professional in the city she was led to start Johnna Knows Good Food in November 2007 to keep family, friends and colleagues updated on where to go and what to eat while dining in the nation’s capitol. Rowe, who still practices law, leads a team of three writers to cover the ever expanding Washington, DC food scene. Rowe has been featured in print and television, appearing in Washingtonian Magazine and is a regular contributor to various local TV affiliates including WUSA 9 and WJLA’s News Channel 8.

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