Red Rock BBQ – Sedona, AZ

Name: Red Rock BBQ
Date: 5/17/13
Location: 150 Hwy 179, Sedona, AZ
Order: Beef Brisket Platter with Coleslaw and Potato Salad (link to menu)
Bill: $17

Rudy: I heard a saying once that, “You can call a horse a duck all you want, but at the end of the day, it’s still a horse”, which I think applies to Red Rock BBQ. They can call it BBQ and brisket all they want, but what this place served was neither. 

I recently went on vacation to Arizona with my in-laws, and knowing I loved barbecue, they looked online to see what was the best place where we were going.  

Monk: I haven’t put this to the test yet but I would guess that my in-laws would be very accommodating for my barbecue habits. Very nice.

Speedy: …And you better believe it will be a prerequisite should there ever be a Mrs. Speedy.

Rudy: The gesture was extremely nice, but I knew something was amiss as soon as we showed up. Walking up to the entrance, the only smoke smell that was around was the smell of something burning badly, not of wood smoking. Most restaurants decorate their walls to represent the types of foods that they serve or where they are located, but Red Rocks BBQ only had a Guinness Beer poster.  

Monk: I mean I’m Irish and all and can always enjoy a Guinness but no, not with barbecue. That is just odd…

Rudy: Not exactly what you would expect from a barbecue place located in Arizona…should have been my 2nd warning. But I knew I was in serious trouble when I ordered the brisket platter and asked for it to be the ‘moist cut’ and the waiter gave me a confused look. Anywhere that pretends to sell brisket should know the different cuts and know what I was asking for.

When the brisket arrived, it looked like chopped beef and tasted like unseasoned pot roast. There was no smoke ring, no crust, and no flavor. This was not brisket and this was no barbecue. They had several different types of sauce, but even they couldn’t make this “brisket” edible.  

Monk: From the looks of your photo below, it definitely looks like you’ve got some roast beef there, not brisket.

Rudy: For sides, I got coleslaw, which was mayo based (Speedy’s favorite) and potato salad. Both of these tasted like they were generic store bought sides. Nothing to write home about, but still better than the main course.  

Monk: If this place was as egregiously bad as you describe (and I have no reason to believe otherwise) then this would have just put me in a bad mood.

Rudy: Again, my in-laws were trying to be nice and found me barbecue, so the hardest part was saying something nice or not spitting it out when they were asking me what I thought. While I love barbecue and like trying it all over the country as well, this experience may keep me from trying barbecue at too many places outside of the traditional locations. It was far and away the worst barbecue I’ve ever had, if you can even call it that.

Speedy: I will say that I’ve had barbecue in Arizona one time – back in Phoenix in 2007. I don’t recall the name of the place, and while it wasn’t anything to brag about, it wasn’t this bad. Rudy, I think it’s your duty, nay, your calling to continue tasting barbecue wherever life may lead you.

Atmosphere/Ambiance –  1 Hog
Brisket – 0 Hogs
Sides – 1 Hog
Overall – 0 Hogs (!!)


Red Rock BBQ on Urbanspoon

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