Racks BBQ, Burgers & Brews, a new concept restaurant located near the Landers Center and appropriately right next door to the Southern Thunder Harley Davidson motorcycle store in Southaven, offers up delicious food and a fun atmosphere to watch sports or enjoy some live music.
Racks is owned by Ericka Hahn and the team behind another Southaven staple: AC’s Steakhouse– her husband Aaron Hahn and Cynthia Borkowski, according to the Memphis Business Journal.
“We are trying to make barbecue sexy and fun,” co-owner Ericka Hahn said to the Memphis Business journal in May.
The restaurant would be best described as a more modest version of Hooters or Twin Peaks, but with more boots and more denim. The concept works well, especially being neighbors with Southern Thunder Harley Davidson motorcycle shop.
In a recent visit to Racks, I did my best to sample a little bit of everything.
A lot of the food and drink names are cheeky and fun. I tried the “Honey Hole,” a cocktail featuring Jack Honey, Sangria, Orange Juice and a splash of Grenadine. The “Baby Maker” also looked refreshing, featuring: vodka, Malibu rum, Watermelon Pucker, Triple Sec and lemonade. The average cocktail price is $7. If cocktails are not your thing, they offer plenty of beer options on tap and in bottles.
My wife and I tried the jalapeño whole wings, which were smoked and featured a fried dry rub with not-too-spicy jalapeño sauce and ranch dipping sauce. They were delicious! Perfect texture and quality meat.
I came hungry and glad I did, because I had the combo plate for my entrée and it did not disappoint. You can choose from 1/2 rack of baby back ribs, pulled pork, 1/2 bbq chicken, catfish, fried cod, fried shrimp and sides. You can see the full menu here.
For the persnickety eater in your party, if barbecue is not their thing, Racks offers some really good looking sandwiches and burgers.
I went with the 1/2 rack of baby back ribs and catfish. Let me tell you, the catfish was amazing. Perfectly crisp, flavorful and sizable. It’s some of the best fried catfish I’ve had in a longtime.
The ribs featured a house made barbecue sauce and perfectly smoked meat. In addition to the sides, the plate was topped off with texas toast and tartar sauce for the fried catfish.
I found the barbecue entrées to be slightly on the pricey side (prices range from $13 to $25) and not a price that I would want to pay regularly. But, that may be a good thing and encourage people to try other items on their menu. The burgers, sandwiches and appetizers are all considerably cheaper than the barbecue entrées.
Overall, the food was great, the atmosphere was friendly and service was solid. We visited Racks on a mid-to-late afternoon on Saturday. It was slightly past lunchtime and too early for dinner, but the restaurant was still mostly full. People were enjoying drinks, chatting with the Racks Girls and watching college football on one of the many tv screens and 10′ projector screen located near the live music stage.
If you follow Racks on Facebook, you’ll see they often run specials and let folks know about special events coming up, such as trivia nights, live music nights, Happy Hour specials and more. For example, on the day of this writing, Oct. 21, they are offering 20% off select appetizers and $2 off all their barbecue entrées. So, keep your eyes peeled for those specials.
Racks also features a ton of outdoor seating with a spacious patio and a rooftop deck, perfect for warm days, crisp nights and loud live music.
Racks BBQ, Burgers & Brews is a welcomed addition to the growing restaurant scene in North Mississippi.
Review: 8 out of 10
You can visit Racks BBQ, Burgers & Brews at 4840 Venture Dr. in Southaven.