Monday, July 4, 2016
RR BBQ (Rimrock, AZ)
We came to Sedona, Arizona for a quick weekend getaway. The tall red rocks were as beautiful and majestic as the people were quirky. It's the only place I've been where you can take a rugged ATV tour and get your aura photographed afterward. With all of our pre-planned adventure and sightseeing complete, I coaxed my way into a last-minute stop in Rimrock for a quick barbecue lunch on our drive back to the Phoenix airport.
RR BBQ, or, more appropriately pronounced, "Double R", has sort of a southwest bistro motif going on. The entire place is chock-full of painted cow skulls, Native American and cowboy artwork, and, of course, tons of turquoise and copper. It was all very clean and open and new. They also have a nice bar and a great outdoor patio space, although it was far too hot today to enjoy the latter. Double R makes good use of their scattered chalkboards, suggesting that the menu items and specials rotate often.
I was instantly drawn to the RR BBQ Platter, which comes with a quarter-pound of pulled pork or turkey (no poultry for me today), a quarter-pound of brisket, and a quarter-slab of baby back ribs. For my sides, I eagerly picked their smoked potato salad and pepper jack mac and cheese. This was definitely more food than I needed (a fact pointed out several times by my usually-correct wife), but I couldn't help myself.
Double R's potato salad was absolutely superb. There was just enough mayo to hold everything together, letting the skin-on potatoes do most of the heavy lifting. This made it somehow creamy and chunky at the same time. It had a great texture from all of the green onions and pickles, which only had a mild acidity. The macaroni was a little runny for my liking, but tasted great. The spicy pepper jack cheese added a nice zip, the downfall being that it's not really a cheese that's conducive to melting properly. I did appreciate the big shell pasta though.
The brisket came in the form of lean, thin-ish slices, but it was much more tender than I expected. I didn't find any visible smoke ring, making the only color a rather unappealing, dull gray. There was only a mild smokiness, and it could have really benefited from some extra spices and more bark.
My pulled pork was also very tender, but kind of watery, if that makes sense. I think they may have poured a liquidy marinade of some sort over the top, though I'm not entirely sure. Whatever it was, it didn't add much in terms of flavor. The pork had minimal seasoning, and there wasn't much smoke to be found either.
The baby back ribs were definitely the winner amongst this platter's meaty components. Here again, they were lacking more than minimal smoky flavors, but I did enjoy the light drizzling of Double R's sweet barbecue sauce. The ribs were tender and very juicy, and the meat stayed put until each subsequent bite. This is no easy feat when it comes to baby backs, so I commend them for that. The pork was also nice and pink, just the way I like it.
All in all, Double R BBQ was ok, but their four-star rating on Yelp and TripAdvisor is probably at least one star too high. Although, to be fair, they do rank fifth out of all five restaurants in this tiny community. I will say that my wife thoroughly enjoyed her Santa Fe Grilled Chicken wrap, which I suppose is bound to count for something.
5155 N Dave Wingfield Road
Rimrock, AZ 86335