Eagle BBQ restaurant opens Boise location — but with short rib pizza, too: ‘Blew me away’

As general manager at Boise’s new Rib Shack Barbecue, Matt Bucher might be biased.

But you can tell by his voice — the man isn’t blowing smoke.

Not when Bucher talks about a section of the menu that separates the new location at 11801 N. 23rd St. from the flagship Eagle restaurant. From the majority of barbecue joints, period.

Rib Shack at Cartwright Ranch in Hidden Springs serves pizza.

And Bucher recommends one pie in particular. “The Short Rib,” he said, “actually blew me away.”

For $20, it comes with burnt-end gravy, smoked short rib, roasted red pepper, caramelized onion, mushrooms, mozzarella, gorgonzola, arugula and balsamic caviar. “It’s a lot of flavor,” Bucher admits, “but they mesh really well. It’s not too much. I’m impressed.”

Meat plates

Opened the second week of November, Rib Shack Barbecue offers a solid selection of traditional, Kansas City-style meats. It even serves breakfast daily from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Still, bringing a lunch- or dinner-sized appetite might be best. The from-scratch menu is loaded with traditional, nap-inducing options.

Rib Shack Barbecue has become a staple in Eagle for its smoked meats.
Rib Shack Barbecue has become a staple in Eagle for its smoked meats.

Meat plates come with two sides. The protein choices include brisket ($20), tri-tip ($20), pulled pork ($17.25), baby back ribs ($17.25), smoked chicken ($16.25) and pork belly burnt ends ($17.25).

But ... getting back to pizza? Check out the Smoke Show ($19): “It’s incredible,” Bucher says. It’s got barbecue sauce, mozzarella, gouda, brisket, pork and chicken, with red onion sprinkled on top.

Craving something more old-school? The Meat Lovers ($18) has red sauce, mozzarella, meatballs, pepperoni and chorizo.

There’s another Italian slant to the menu, too: housemade pasta bolognese ($17).

Beer, wine, kids

You can pair wine with that. (And if you bring your own fancy bottle, you can pay a corkage fee.) But the beer selection is larger. There are 10 brews on tap.

Hunting for veggies? There are two or three salads; one potentially will rotate seasonally, Bucher said.

Got rugrats with you? Rib Shack has tenders ‘n’ tots ($8).

Hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. If you’d like to call in an order, the phone number is (208) 229-3435.

A grand opening event is coming — probably next month, Bucher said.

And if you don’t smell the wafting smoke of a barbecue pit? There’s a reason for that. For now, meats are being trucked in from Eagle each morning.

“Ideally, we’ll be smoking meats and everything out here as well,” Bucher said. “But for the time being, everything’s so dialed in at the Eagle location that we’re just smoking the meats over there.”