We continued our Florida BBQ quest today with a trip to the Roadside Rib Shack, which is located just off Highway 41 on Bahia Vista Road in Sarasota. They bill it as “Southern Style Barbecue,” and that is exactly what I have been seeking — with not too much luck I must add.
It is a nice-enough looking establishment from the outside. The ribs are tender and tasty … the pulled pork was flavorful but a little too fatty for my taste. I know, fat = flavor, but I’m still trying to be somewhat healthy, even when eating smoked pork BBQ. The cole slaw was OK — not great — but far better than the slop I was served at The Oaks just about 24 hours previously. The meat was served on a Kaiser-style yeast roll.
Small but comfortable on the inside, the Roadside Rib Shack gets an A for effort when it comes to their BBQ sauce variety. They offer you the choice of sweet, spicy, or mustard-based. All are good, but I preferred the spicy variety. Owner Derek Luther makes it himself and the extra care shows. The sweet sauce had a Memphis vibe to it, while the mustard sauce took me back to the 5 years I spent in the beautiful South Carolina Lowcountry. This, I believe, is the first time we’ve seen this unique sauce served at a FL eatery. Nice going, Derek!
Mr. Luther was quite personable — I always appreciate that courtesy. They also have a sense of humor at the Roadside Rib Shack. I could tell by looking at the T-shirts (see below) they sell in the front of the restaurant.
This wasn’t the best BBQ we’ve had in Florida, but after our recent trials and tribulations this was definitely a step in the right direction.