There have been so many blog posts about this place since it first opened a few months ago. I've been dying to go but always forget about it once I get in to Leeds city centre.
Finally last Saturday I got my day in rib heaven.
It was drawing towards the end of the month which always means careful spending in the run up to pay day. I was shopping (essentials only) in Leeds, my friend had just finished work and was absolutely starving. That morning I had read yet another blog post about this place so it was fresh in my mind and my tummy was craving it! Once I'd shown my friend the menu I didn't need to ask twice if we could go.
I've read in a few blog posts noting they have been confused about where to go and what to do when they first arrived. Another part of the Anthony's empire sits next to it, The Piazza, in which nicely dressed waiters meet and greet you and take you to your tables etc. I know Rib Shakk have wanted to be a bit more laid back but it would seem they have taken on customer comments. There was someone to greet us (who we saw greet the one other group who came in after us) who told us to sit where we wanted and explained whilst handing us menus to order at the till once decided.
For drinks I chose a Fanta and my friend a cream soda.
We were contemplating getting a sharer platter but then went against it and got our own plates.
We both decided on baby back ribs with two sides, both choosing chips and coleslaw. For my 'mopping sauce' I chose San Diego Piri Piri BBQ sauce and my friend chose Texas Style Red Eye BBQ sauce.
Apologies in advance for photo quality as this was taken on my phone not camera and the light is quite dim in the basement of the corn exchange.
My friend's ribs with chips and coleslaw (£9.95 for half a rack of ribs and two sides).
Here are my ribs...
We both loved our ribs, although I was expecting mine to be a bit spicier than they were. I really liked the chips and finished off the whole lot. The chips reminded me of the chips (fries) I have eaten in America. (Feel free to disagree with me here - the only place I have been in America is Florida). The coleslaw was different, but really creamy and delicious if perhaps a little hard to eat as it wasn't shredded but chopped cabbage, it sort of just skated around my plate.
If you love getting messy then this is a great place to go. I have to confess I am not a massive fan of getting my hands dirty when eating and this resulted in me using half of the napkins from this dreaded contraption.
If you've read any of my blog posts before you will know that I dislike these things, the tissue is always poor quality and always rips when you try to get the bloody thing out! Although it seems to be a reoccurring feature in Anthony's empire.. although I doubt they have these in their main restaurant.
The food was great, the atmosphere lacked a little thought. I get that they want it to be nandos-esq and make it less formal etc. But it felt as if they just had a spare corner and thought I know we'll just put a rib place there and then that was sort of it. It needs livening up a little, decoration to distinguish it a bit more from the rest of the basement? Make it look a little more intriguing and well... fun? Come on Anthony's have a bit more imagination!
Great for a cheapish lunch in the city centre, our bill came to about £23.. the same price we would have paid in Nandos. (Yes I like Nandos this is not a crime).
Next time we go I really want to try a rib burger, it's not minced rib meat, it's just the meat pulled off the ribs and put into a burger bun. Sounds awesome.
Piazza by Anthony
The Corn Exchange