Restaurant offers Troy flair close to FSU campus

Published 10:27 pm Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Just a few blocks away from the campus of Florida State University, likes a restaurant that served as a “Trojan oasis,” during the NCAA Regionals last week.

Sweet Rack Rib Shack, located on West Tennessee Street in Tallahassee, has a lot of Troy flair, because the owner of the establishment is hometown product. Chris and Amanda Dickens opened the barbecue restaurant a few years ago, after their passion of cooking developed in to a possible career.

“It all started in 2007 when we entered a contest in Mobile,” Dickens said. “We enjoyed cooking, and it started as a chance to spend time with one another. We got beat pretty bad that first time, but we learned form some of the best and got better. We even developed own on special glaze for our ribs.”

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The name of the restaurant came about from that special made glaze of honey and brown sugar.

During the NCAA Regionals last week, a Troy flag flew on the front of the building, and fans inside could dine at the “Coach’s Table,” complete with a large signed photo of Troy head football coach Larry Blakeney.

Dickens said that he wanted to have a little piece of Troy with him, and that Blakeney’s have been important people in his live for quite a while.

“I’ve known coach for, heck, about 20 years,” Dickens said. “Mrs. Janice is like a second mom to me, and everyone in the town is just so nice. It is a special place, that I will always cherish.”

After the Trojans’ 5-2 win over Alabama on Friday, Dickens and staff held a special gathering for Troy fans and administrators. The event was well received by the fans, and the food prompted many to return to the restaurant throughout the weekend.

“It is by far the best barbecue that I have ever had,” said Jaxson Lee, a Pike Liberal Arts senior that made the trip to Tallahassee. “We need to have one in Troy. It would be a really good addition to the town.”

Being just a few blocks away from the FSU campus, the restaurant sees quite a few Seminole fans, and Chris is an Alabama alumnus, but the Dickens’ family allegiances never wavered when they found out the Trojans were coming to town

“It was such a great outpouring of support from the Trojan nation,” Dickens said. “It was absolutely amazing to see so many hometown fans all weekend long. Some of my employees got some tickets, and even though they are FSU students, they were supporting the Trojans all the way. We were dug in for Troy.”

Dickens also said that he has future plans to franchise out the restaurant, and that Troy would be high on the list of places he would want to expand to.

“I would love to open one in the long term,” said Dickens. “I have plans to franchise out, but the Troy location would be one I would always hang on to, if it came to be.”