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Sticky Fingers Ribhouse Celebrates 25 years and A Comeback

By Kelly Church

With 12 barbecue restaurants all over the Southeast and celebrating its 25-year anniversary this year, Sticky Fingers Ribhouse has solidified its place in the barbecue world. Described as Memphis-style barbecue, the food chain was started by a group of high school friends that said they had no clue what we were doing. Over the years they figured it out and perfected their recipes, which include slow cooking their meats in-house with aged hickory wood.

The road to success hasn't been the smoothest for the Sticky Fingers crew, however. About 10 years after opening their series of restaurants, the trio of owners, Chad Walldorf, Jeff Goldstein and Todd Eischeid, sold their company to spend more time with their families. The company changed and veered from their initial vision and culture. According to a recent press release, everything was different under the new owners, from the menu to the staff and even the restaurant's atmosphere.

In 2016, the restaurant's operating partner, Robert Patterson, convinced Walldorf to return to the company and bring the restaurant back to its roots. Walldorf agreed and this year is all about celebrating the origins of Sticky Fingers Ribhouse.

The release went on to say that "While the past 25 years have brought many ups and downs for the company, Sticky Fingers' focus this year is to return to its roots with one of the founders [Walldorf] back at the helm." In celebration of their anniversary, Sticky Fingers Ribhouse will offer specials throughout the year featuring barbecue combinations you can't find on their regular menu and highlighting their signature barbecue sauces.

The menu's ribs are award winning and the company's motto is "low and slow." That is, the meats are cooked over low heat over aged hickory wood for a long period of time to make the meat smoky and tender. Customers choose their sauce from a long-list of Sticky Fingers Ribhouse specialty sauces. They offer everything from smoky to sweet to spicy, dry rubs and wet sauces.

There is also a selection of wings, sold in combinations of six, nine, 12 or 18. Wings are smoked slowly, then fried quickly just before serving. They're served with Sticky Fingers Ribhouse's house-made barbecue ranch dressing.

The menu doesn't end there. Sticky Fingers Ribhouse sells appetizers that include fried pickles, potato skins and barbecue nachos. There are salads, featuring classics with a twist like a chopped Walldorf salad inspired by Walldorf, the founder, a club salad and a chicken Caesar salad. Sandwiches and burgers feature some smoked meats, too. The smoked beef brisket sandwich highlights hickory-smoked brisket with mozzarella and barbecue ranch. The menu also offers a catfish sandwich, turkey burger and more.

Sticky Fingers Ribhouse is located all over the Southeast in Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. Online ordering is available through the restaurant's website stickyfingers.com.

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