There is something particularly satisfying about digging into a meal you have to roll up your sleeves and tie your hair back for. At Ike’s Rack Shack, The Beaufort’s new restaurant out back, you will have to prep before tucking into your rack of ribs, but it’ll be worth every bite.
The Beaufort’s head honcho Dave Kerr has transformed the dive bar’s back room into a dark, moody den made for cracking ribs; complete with AstroTurf, boarded-up windows and sheets of corrugated iron overhead.
“The inspiration for the rack shack is the grubby old ribs shop on the show House of Cards,” Kerr says. “But really this was more of an evolution of the original [Beaufort] bar.”
Working in collaboration with chef Chris Terlikar, whose Bluebonnet BBQ pop-ups had been making regular visits to The Beaufort previously, the bar’s menu has also been revamped to focus on slow-cooked ribs.
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Chef Terlikar’s credentials, having spent time in both Michelin-starred kitchens as well as Texas’ BBQ pits, has equipped him with the chops to serve up a great ‘ribs and bibs’ experience. Available in pork, beef or lamb (or all three with Ike’s Triple Back Rack Stack), the ribs are smoked overnight and glazed with a Bulleit bourbon and maple syrup combination before being chargrilled. The result is sticky racks, the dregs of which are perfect for mopping up with the spicy jalapeño cornbread. Bibs are available if you ask nicely.
Those who want vegetables with their ribs can order the more wholesome sides such as the green beans with feta and toasted almonds, lentil salad with pecan and truffle pomegranate dressing or the chargrilled asparagus with sea salt and miso lemon dressing. Meanwhile, vegetarians aren’t left out with vegan ribs available, made from a rotating recipe of vegetables (currently it’s corn, quinoa and jalapeños).
Wash it all down with one of Kerr’s classic Old Fashioneds or a glass of the Bulleit Bourbon batched cocktail, served over hand-cut ice. Ribs are damn thirsty work.
Ike’s Rack Shack
421 Rathdowne Street, Carlton (behind The Beaufort)
(03) 9347 8171
Mon to Thurs 5pm–1am
Fri & Sat 1pm–1am