Red’s is Smokin’

Yesterday, in spite of a relatively easy tax session with our accountant we were still feeling a little stressed and very hungry.

John suggested checking out University Boulevard and my first thought was Red’s Smokehouse and Tap Room.

Simply put, we were amazed.

My good buddy, CJ Hamm, is the manager there. CJ is lots of fun and truly loves his job. Add the fact that chef Ramiro Scavo is the owner/chef/inspiration at Red’s and you’ve got the perfect combination of great food, a smart bar program and hip atmosphere. Plus, the location it the perfect spot for a place like Red’s. Not only is it smack dab in the middle of busy University Boulevard, but it’s across the street from Ramiro’s other restaurant. Pacso Kitchen & Lounge.

All the meats spend some time in the Big Daddy Smoker, which can hold up to 750 pounds of meat at a time.

We ordered the smoked and grilled hot wings and the beef brisket. Our sides were the corn bread and the beef baked beans (smartly, they also have pork baked beans.0

There was a short wait but that’s a good sign meaning that entrees aren’t siting under a warmer somewhere. I think the finish everything off on the grill as food is ordered.

The wings were fabulous. DSCN2146Big, plump and juicy with an outstanding char they melted in my mouth. I ordered a dozen thinking I’d bring some home but alas, I ate every last one.

The brisket was perhaps the best brisket I’ve ever eaten. DSCN2147I’m not a big brisket fan because most of the time the meat is either too fatty or too dried out. And often, to avoid those drawbacks, it’s served shredded. Not so here. Red’s brisket is thick slices of tender beef that barely needs a fork, let alone a knife. The beans were the perfect complement to the brisket; not too sweet and loaded with bits of beef.

I’m not sure what they do at Red’s to get so much flavor into the meat, but the results are heavenly. We loved the food so much we took home a full rack of the pork ribs for dinner. Oh, my they were nothing short of wonderful!

While Red’s has wine and cocktails we opted for beer. The twenty craft beers on the menu cover a wide range of styles and flavors. About half are from Tucson or just beyond.

One thing that you can’t help but notice at Red’s is the long glass-fronted cooler that is loaded with packaged beer TO GO! Red’s is the only place on University that offers craft beers to go. It’s a clever idea. The choices mirror what you find on tap and if you’re ordering food to go, a six pack or a couple of bottles are a great addition.

We can’t wait to go back.