OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — May is National Barbecue Month, so it's only fitting 3 News Now Anchor Serese Cole introduces you to the newest barbecue spot in town.
In this week's Takeout Tuesday, she heads to the Rib Shack Smokehouse where their St. Louis style ribs keep customers coming back.
"Finger lickin' good, smacking," laughed Jackie Robbins.
That's how Jackie Robbins describes the barbecue at Rib Shack Smokehouse.
She and her husband Malcolm opened the place in April.
"We're from St. Louis and we're bringing the St. Louis flavor and vibe here to Omaha," Robbins explained.
The key to their St. Louis style ribs starts with their secret rub.
Their pit master seasons them just right, then puts them in the smoker where they're slow-cooked for hours.
"We took them off the smoker and this one lady bought like 10 slabs. They loved these beef ribs," she shared.
The ribs are the main attraction, but there's plenty of goodness on the menu.
"They love brisket here. I'm like wow, brisket and pulled pork. They've been buying in droves of that," said Robbins.
There really is something for everyone.
"Fried catfish, you can also get fried shrimp and you can get catfish nuggets and fried wingettes. Smoked wings, too," she added.
Jackie said you also have to try their soul food sides. The collard greens, cabbage, mac and cheese, summer chili baked beans and spaghetti are all made from scratch.
The slogan at Rib Shack is you can try it before you buy it. So if you're not sure what you want, you can actually sample the meat and the sides.
No matter what you decide, all the barbecue is served with their signature scoop of potato salad.
"My favorite is the brisket sandwich. It has a lot of flavor," said Isaiah Coleman.
Isaiah, who is a line cook at Rib Shack, loves their sauce, too.
"It's very sweet. It's got that tang. You know, that vibrant taste that you can't get anywhere else," Coleman said.
"This is a special restaurant," Jackie said.
After owning two successful rib restaurants in St. Louis, Jackie says their new barbecue business is blessed.
"We came here not after a mission of a restaurant. We came here with a heart journey with my husband," Jackie explained.
Malcolm had a massive stroke in 2018.
"My husband had a severe heart and brain bleed and a coma which he was in for days," she recalled.
He needed a heart transplant which brought them to Omaha.
After getting a heart in July, they stayed.
"We decided to make it our home," Jackie said.
A new heart and a new restaurant with heart...
"So when you come through the doors, you're going to get the great food, but it's a little more than just that here. It's the love and the passion and just being a part of our journey," Jackie stated.
Malcolm is on the mend.
"We're so thankful because we have this opportunity to open up a restaurant again during the pandemic. It's so amazing my husband got a heart during the pandemic," Jackie said with a smile.
Both are grateful for new beginnings and the chance to bring their St. Louis flavor to their new home in Omaha.
Rib Shack Smokehouse has a lunch special for less than 10 dollars.
You can find the restaurant at 10841 Q Street, Suite 105.
They are open six days a week. You can dine-in, carry out, order delivery or curbside.
To see the full menu or their catering menu visit their website.