Hanging On To Summer

Sometimes we hang onto things for too long. Like those Italian wafer cookies we received as a house warming gift two years ago that we feel bad tossing. Or our beloved VHS copy of The Sandlot we’re afraid to ditch even though we sold our VCR more than a decade ago.

But other things are worth hanging onto for as long as possible. I’m talking about summer in New England. No need to throw in the towel on summer until there is snow in the forecast. So how do we continue celebrating the summer? We head over to KC’s Rib Shack and grab a seat at the tiki bar on the back patio.

If you’re hoping to relive those glorious summer days, KC’s Rib Shack can put you right back in that mindset. From the outside, the building and grounds are inconspicuous, and look to be a fun southern themed BBQ restaurant. But once you step through the back doors, you will be transported straight out of the city and straight into a tropical oasis.

Brightly colored picnic tables are loosely arranged around a central Tiki bar, and the whole patio is lit with string lights. Scattered palms add to the theme and give the setting a Caribbean feel that is hard to find this far north.

And the theme is all pulled together with a great playlist of summer jams rocking in the background. Check out a virtual tour of the Tiki bar here.

No matter what time of year, it will be easy to get into a summer mindset at KC’s Rib Shack. Now you just need some sustaining food to keep the party going. Fortunately, the hefty portions of classic American BBQ food at KC’s will sustain you for days.

The meat combo plates have such large portions it’s actually difficult to find the plate underneath all the food. And the meats are delicious – smoked chicken, savory beef brisket, and melt-in-your mouth pulled pork are a few of the enticing meat options.

But if you arrive with a tremendous appetite and plan to spend a bit of time in the summer oasis, there are plenty of great shareable appetizers to accompany your meal. KC’s offers some unique options like the bacon sriracha deviled eggs, which are a treat for your eyes and for your stomach, as well as the crispy pig tails, which are strips of fried rib meat with BBQ dipping sauces.

Or you could stick to the classics, like the chicken wings, with a variety of sauce options ranging from Kansas City BBQ and Traditional Buffalo to Spicy Caribbean and 357 Diablo.

Since I’m a sucker for tear-inducing heat, I ordered a side of the 357 Diablo sauce and was a little heavy-handed dipping my wings. Fortunately, the waitress noticed my pain and brought me a cold glass of milk to help me to cope.

As you work your way through the wide range of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and entrees, make sure to save some room for the great dessert options, including “campfire at your table s’mores.” Yes, you read that correctly. Just when you thought the experience couldn’t be more summer themed, they bring you s’mores to make at your table. Check out the full menu here.

Make sure you have easy access to your shorts and T-shirts, because you’ll need them for the never-ending summer at KC’s Rib Shack. Go check out their great BBQ food and Tiki bar at 837 Second Street in Manchester.

As always, please email eatdrinkplay@stayworkplay.org to share your ideas of any New Hampshire related food/drink/venue/organization that you think should be featured in our “Eat Drink Play” blog posts.

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