Friday, February 21, 2014

Baby Back Shak has a new look, same great food

Posse photo by Jim Rossman

Posse member Irwin Thompson alerted us to a remodel at the Baby Back Shak, a longtime Posse favorite joint.

We've always loved the ribs and boudin, along with the turkey and even the Shak beans, but the building, which was totally void of windows, was always very dark and the decor was mid-70s with faded sports photos on the walls.

The way a place looks has never stopped us from enjoying Clarence Cohens great food, but I have to say, the changes -- especially the new front door and wall of windows -- makes a huge difference.

The two sides of the building have been repainted bright red with very bold logos. The side of the building facing downtown remains untouched. Gone is the old smoking pig mascot, replaced by a larger-than-life caricature of Clarence, who's now proud to tell everyone he's the "King of BBQ."

Inside you'll find new gray paint on the walls, and the old, tired photos are gone. A very nice, lighted "BBQ" sign adorns the main dining room, along with a very nice galvanized metal covering on the counter.

The beloved smoking pig logo is gone at the Baby Back Shak.
(Photo by Guy Reynolds)
Tables don't wobble anymore and they're covered with nice checkered tablecloths. The old wooden chairs are gone and very nice, light, sturdy alumnium chairs are quite comfortable.

Clarence teased us with a possible new menu item -- spaghetti with a very flavorful red sauce. We're not sure how serious he is about selling spaghetti, but it was very tasty.

As he came to our table to see how we liked the food, Clarence mentioned he'd just finished filming a "Bar Rescue" type of TV show that should air in late March or early April. He said he'd give everyone plenty of notice when a date was set, so watch this blog or the Posse Facebook page for updates.

The food today was very good. I ordered a brisket and rib platter with two sides of boudin.

The ribs were fantastic as usual. The brisket, while far from perfect, was better than I expected, but could stand to be a bit more trimmed of fat. There also wasn't any visible crust.

Do yourself a favor and order ribs and turkey or just skip to the boudin, which was perfectly cooked, with a crispy snap to the casing and rich, peppery filling that didn't fall apart when I took a bite.

The Shak is the only joint I frequent with boudin on the menu. You can get it as a platter on its own or as a side (or two) on platters with other meats. I'm proud to say a platter with meat and two sides of boudin is known in the Posse as the "Rossman Platter."

I forgot to ask Clarence about the Shak's air conditioner, which is famous for not being able to keep up with demand in the summer months. I'm hoping some of the upgrade budget went for A/C.

It is great to see one of our original favorite places make some much-needed upgrades, and it was even greater to know the food is as good as ever.

Baby Back Shak, 1800 South Akard St., Dallas, 214-428-7427. Open Mon-Thurs 11am-5:45pm, Fri-Sat 11am-6:45pm.

Posse photo by Jim Rossman

Posse photo by Jim Rossman

Posse photo by Jim Rossman

Posse photo by Jim Rossman

Posse photo by Jim Rossman

Posse photo by Jim Rossman


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