The Shack in the Back – BBQ restaurant review

N is turning Southern on me.  My suave, posh British boy now wants nothing more than a slab of BBQ ribs on his plate with extra BBQ.  He even went and bought his own smoker over the summer so that he could replicate real American BBQ.  I love that man.

Not to put down the British (or Europeans, actually), but they don’t know what real BBQ is.  To them, “barbecuing” is grilling.  Sticking a hunk of meat on the grill for 10 minutes or so, maybe with some sort of marinade or sauce, and boom.  Dinner.  Au contraire, mon frere.  BBQing is a way of life, a science, a passion.  Only an American can smoke a chicken, brisket, ribs (ANY MEAT) for 8 hours and be content.  N has learned how to appreciate this.  If you’re interested in learning more about proper BBQ and smoking, check out the Smoking Meat Forums.

My friend J is a BBQ aficionado (he wouldn’t say so, but I know better) and when we decided to go out to lunch last week, N knew he wanted BBQ.  We placed our trust in J’s capable hands and he took us to a little known spot called Shack in the Back.  Apparently it’s been getting rave reviews, particularly for its burgoo which is amazing.

Shack in the Back is literally a shack on the side of Mt Holly Road in Fairdale.  In the times I’ve been home I must have passed it quite a few times but it never really clicked in my brain that it was a BBQ joint.  Never again.  This little unassuming place boasts its own pit in its own smokehouse.

Shack in the Back 2
They were about to decorate for Christmas, hence the boxes of decorations….

The inside is down home country style with easy wipe table cloths, paper towels instead of napkins and seats that have seen better days.  It’s rough around the edges but that only lends to the experience and to the atmosphere.  We got there towards the end of the lunch run (around 1:30pm – 2pm) and there were still a few people there.

Inside Shack
Inside Shack 2
Tiny place but they do have a larger outdoor seating area which boasts live music on the odd night.

In true, fat Southern gal style, I opted for the “Shack Sampler” which gives you a slab of ribs, three chicken wings and two sandwiches (I had brisket and pork).  It also comes with two sides… I chose the baked beans and burgoo which really was worth all of the rave reviews.  N had the exact same meal topped off with some sweet tea.

The full plate
The Shack Sampler…. awwww yeah!

That.  Food.  Oh lordy.  It made me wanna stand up and slap my momma it was so good.  The burgoo is famous for a reason… it just had so much going on but it was such a simple, hearty taste and perfect for the chilly day.  The beans were perfect, the ribs literally fell off the bone and the sandwiches were super tasty.  The chicken wings were fine but standard, but to be honest I didn’t expect much as wings are wings.  J had a side of turkey wings (which none of us knew existed) and they were properly fantasmagoric.

All in all, it was a very long lunch BUT I cleaned my plate.  That’s how you know it was good.

No shame ribs
Ain’t no shame in my BBQ game.

And my god, I can’t wait to go back.  We’re taking home some BBQ sauce and some spicy pickles to enjoy back home in London town but it just won’t be the same.

Shack in the Back BBQ
406 Mt Holly Rd
(502) 363-3BBQ (227)



If you’re interested in getting in touch, tweet me at @stephanie_khani or @londondiaries1.  Alternatively you can email me at emailthelondondiaries [at]


4 thoughts on “The Shack in the Back – BBQ restaurant review

      1. Wow Steph! This was just sent to me! As the owner of Shack in the Back BBQ, I wanted to THANK YOU for the review! We really appreciate the compliments and hope we get the pleasure of treating you to dinner the next time you are in town!
        Barbara & Mike Sivells

      2. Hi Barbara,

        Thanks for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment–I really appreciate it! I’m looking forward to visiting Louisville soon and will definitely be stopping by for lunch again. Maybe I’ll even be able to persuade my grandparents to come out… they love good eatin’!

        Steph x

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