If the place is named Meat Shack, you should know what to expect
By Steven Sandor | September 20, 2022
As I get older, and my 50th birthday grows smaller in my rear-view mirror, I find that more and more of what I assumed to be well-known pop culture analogies receive nothing but puzzled looks from younger audiences. If I mention WKRP in Cincinnati, I get dumb looks. I accept that what I still see as the fresh, young punk bands of my youth would have a hard time having reunion shows on account of the fact that more than a few members of those bands are dead.
But, when the Smoked Beef Rib from Meat Shack arrived at my table at the 5th Street Food Hall, I thought about a classic show from my youth. When I saw the size of the rib that sat in the middle of the platter, flanked by potato salad and cole slaw, I thought about The Flintstones. For all the kids out there, it was a major animated series set in prehistoric times. Bedrock was a town where people kept dinosaurs as pets, and cars were propelled by the feet of the driver. And the Flintsone family loved to go out for brontosaurus ribs; they’d go to the drive-in, and a server would bring out this massive serving of meat that was so heavy, it would tilt the car to one side after it was delivered. ‘
This is a long way to go to make an analogy, I know. But this was one big rib.
Meat Shack is one of the food vendors you can order from at the 5th Street Food Hall, and the promise on the menu is that the beef rib is so tender, the meat just falls off the bone. This is true, the meat came off the bone clean, with just the prodding of the fork, and the smoke in each bite was pretty darn powerful. I tried two of the sauces; the Texas Bold and the Longhorn (yes, there’s a them there), and the Bold was really nice, for the sweetness up front and the heat that sneaks in from behind. As barbecue in Edmonton goes, Meat Shack is onto something. This is a solid offering, and this could easily be split between two people, unless, say, you haven’t eaten in a week and are scheduled to take part in a weightlifting competition the next day.