Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Finger lickin' good

For express barbecue (or fast casual as its officially called) Shane's Rib Shack in the University area is the spot. I stopped by on Wednesday and their grand opening is today (Feb. 16). Shane's is in the Grande Promenade near Total Wine and Moe's.

I had a barbecue sandwhich with a side of mac and cheese and collards. A waitress walked around with ribs for patrons to taste. The ribs fall off the bone. The barbecue sandwich was good as well. The collards were sweeter than I prefer and I could've skipped the mac and cheese. I should've tried the baked beans and the cobbler -- both looked yummy.

Shane's has outdoor seating and the area where you order resembles a screened-in front porch. Shane's serves beer, and the owners will decide if they want to sell wine. Who drinks wine with barbecue anyway?

Shane, the man behind the Georgia-based franchise, was at the restaurant Wednesday night. The one in University is the first in Charlotte, and they also plan to open one in the EpiCenter by the end of the year. Heck, I'd like to see if anything opens in the EpiCenter this year.

Apparently, fast-casual barbecue is a burgeoning market in the restuarant business. What do you think, can good barbecue really be fast food? And what's your favorite area barbecue joint and why? Post your replies below.