Custom-smoked meat, drive-through service, and loyal staffers are just some of the perks to savor at Ellie Selig’s Rib Crib, named December 2015’s Small Business award winner courtesy of the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce.
Florida’s only branch of the Western-style rib joint, at 4960 South Florida Ave. in Lakeland, takes BBQ seriously, along with its staff and surrounding community. Owner Selig, a Clearwater Culinary Institute alumnus, creates a welcoming egalitarian atmosphere for employees and customers alike, drawing diners from as far away as Orlando and Tampa.
Rib Crib offers a bounty of choices for rub, sauce and dining styles. The restaurant smokes all its meat in-house, offers dine-in or drive-through, and Western-style décor. Staff carefully dry-rubs and slow-roasts its savory fare — always with the option for sauce on the side or drenching the plate.
The Chamber recognized Rib Crib for its popularity and endurance as a business, workplace standards, and community involvement, sponsoring groups ranging from the Boys & Girls Club of Lakeland and Kiwanis to catering local events like the Margarita Ball, the Chamber’s CarBQ, and Sun N Fun — handling chow for as many as 1,500 on at least one occasion.