FAMOUS FOODS: Sweet Rack Rib Shack named in ‘The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America’
Published 2:00 am Friday, May 29, 2015
Sweet Rack Rib Shack is now listed as one of the top barbecue restaurants in America.
Johnny Fugitt, author of The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America, visited 365 restaurants in 365 days in search of the top 100. He contacted Chris and Amanda Dickens, owners of Sweet Rack, to schedule a visit at their Tallahassee location on March 21, 2014. The book was published May 12 and included Sweet Rack, which expanded to Troy earlier this year.
“We started from nothing,” Amanda said. “No one in Tallahassee knew who we were, what we were, what we served or anything, and because of the reviews and comments our guests wrote between our opening date and the day Johnny found us online, he chose to visit Sweet Rack.” Customers had posted great reviews for Sweet Rack on social media and review sites such as Yelp and Urbanspoon.
“We were very nervous to even be considered to become a part of a list of top 100,” she said. “At the time it seemed like it would just be a memory of just having him in the store.”
Fugitt sampled everything they offered from the ribs and pulled pork down to the desserts and even their homemade sauces. Chris said that Sweet Rack is “dedicated to serving meats that are hormone and antibiotic free,” even though at times that means some items aren’t available to customers because owners have difficulty sourcing ingredients.
“He raved over everything, and we can honestly say we did not do anything different in the preparation or the cooking,” Amanda said.
Now, one year later, Sweet Rack has moved from Tallahassee to Troy, giving The Square a dose of stardom. However, Sweet Rack has made some changes since the move. The atmosphere is no longer a “Hooters” theme, as Amanda described, and Sweet Rack offers full table service as opposed to counter service.
“We had two years to build our restaurant in Tallahassee before he visited and then when we moved to Troy, other than the name and the recipes, we had to basically start over,” Amanda said. “We had to retrain an entire new staff. We went from counter service to full table service, which is a huge difference in training. We have a two-floor restaurant and this may seem small but it is like running two restaurants in one. We had such high expectations already set for Sweet Rack in Troy and we wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. However, we would like to address that we are still on the path to those same results like we developed in Tallahassee.
“We are proud to be back in Troy,” she continued. “We have had some hard critics but to those who may have not been in to visit since we opened, we invite you back in. Bring in your friends and family and you will join the majority of our regular guests and new guests as loving what we offer at Sweet Rack Rib Shack.”
The book is available on Amazon.com for $15.99.
“Being named as the Top 100 BBQ restaurants in America is like a dream come true for us,” Amanda said.