Smokin’ Hot!

Something is in the air in Tucson these days. It’s the lusty, sweet aroma of wood smoke coming from a wild assortment of BBQ joints all over town.

Tucson had had its fair share of ‘que restaurants over the years but in recent months BBQ restaurants have been opening at a fast clip. It seems like there’s new ‘que every week.

Some places are big and bustling with whiskey and beer and wine. Others are standalone food trucks. Catering companies are also making their mark.Congress BBQ-53

The idea of a competition is a logical next step and in that regard there’s the upcoming ‘Cue for a Cause; Smokin’ Showdown on Saturday June 4th at Hotel Congress. This is the second year of the event and proceeds raised will go to the Steele Children’s Research Center at the University of Arizona.Congress BBQ-35

This year’s protein is pulled pork.

The nine competitors include:


Brother John’s Beer, Bourbon & BBQsmoke

Shooter’s Steakhouse & Saloon

Chillin n’ Grillin


Red Desert BBQ

Brushfire BBQbrushfire

The Cup Cafe

Maynards Market & Kitchen

Congress BBQ-28(1)



For a mere $35 ($40 the day of the event) attendees will get:

*A 2oz serving from each contestant

*Two sides prepared by The Cup Cafe

*One 16oz beer from Catalina Brewing

*Live music by The Jons

*The opportunity to judge the entrants! (It’s not as easy as you think.)

Celebrity judges include Matt Russell of On the Menu …Live; 12801587_1158863867458558_8749567108048597689_nCJ Hamm of Red’s Smokehouse and Tap Room; 12993621_1169525489725729_2052699665378504468_nand Tucson Iron Chef Danny Perez of JDanny-Perez-620x400W Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa.

This should be a good one.