Hog Heaven

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Red Rock BBQ

Red Rock BBQ Feast – $27.75 ($25.75 on Fridays)

Sometimes, you just can’t make up your mind, and if your dining companions think family-style eating makes for a great Friday night, dive into the Red Rock BBQ Feast. This platter, which feeds at least two people depending on appetites, includes a half-slab of baby back ribs, a quarter-pound of in-house hickory-smoked pulled pork, a quarter-pound of pulled chicken and a quarter-pound of some of the best beef brisket we’ve ever tasted. You’ll need the two thick slices of garlic bread to mop up the sauce, a self-serve choice of Chicago pepper sauce, sweet sauce or honey mustard sauce. All three were so savory that we couldn’t help but smother our meat: pepper sauce for the beef, sweet sauce for the pork and honey mustard for the chicken.

The feast also comes with your choice of two sides. Take our advice: Spend the extra couple of bucks, and order the new green chili fries. Red Rock BBQ has breaded strips of green chilies and fried them up. An ancho-chili ranch dressing is the perfect dipping accompaniment. We also like the smoked baked potato – the smoke effect enhances the flavor of the potato tenfold.

The menu at Red Rock BBQ, owned by Kathy Chambers and Shayne Watts since 2008, includes a large variety of sandwiches, platters and salads. The restaurant offers daily specials and some very tempting homemade pies like the peanut-butter-and-banana-cream pie.

Ambience: This joint is more on the upscale side with vintage ad decor from France, Ireland and Chicago. Check out the outdoor deck that is perfect for warm summer evenings. The dining room and patio boast great red rock views, and we loved the cool tunes playing on the radio.

Red Rock BBQ, 150 SR 179 (928-204-5975)

The Barbecue Outlaw Texas BBQ

Pork Spare Ribs (Full Rack) – $25 or the Pork Sandwich – $5

Food trucks are all the rage in cities like Los Angeles, but Errol Bryand says his red barn on wheels isn’t a truck – it’s a concession trailer. Whichever way you slice it, we love stepping up on a yellow platform to place our order at the window. A smoker is attached to the front of the trailer, and Errol, who grew up in Texas and moved to Sedona 13 years ago, smokes all of his meat for five to 10 hours. He uses local wood – oak and mesquite – and the meats are naturally prepared without the use of MSG or gluten.

When Errol offers up his beef brisket as a daily special, order it because the tender beef usually sells out. (The Barbecue Outlaw is only open Friday through Sunday, noon until 4 p.m.) Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with the house specialty: pork spare ribs. A full rack isn’t cheap, but it’s huge, boasting 12 to 14 ribs. You’ll need to order your side dishes separately ($2 per side), and we recommend the Texas Cattle Drive beans. Errol says the recipe for the beans dates back to the 1800s. These aren’t barbecue beans, either. The pinto beans swim in a thin gravy that is full of cilantro, bacon, tomato, garlic and cumin, giving the dish a Southwest flavor. If you aren’t quite that hungry, try the pork sandwich, which comes with pickles from the Sedona Community Farmers Market.

The Barbecue Outlaw is a joint effort between Errol and Karen DeSalvo, the executive chef at Relics Restaurant & Nightclub at the Historic Rainbows End, who is responsible for the potato salad and coleslaw. When Errol isn’t cooking up tasty barbecue, he sings and plays guitar in The Last Kid rock band.

Ambience: This barbecue-on-wheels sits in a dirt parking lot behind Relics Restaurant (look for the A-frame sign on the sidewalk). Step up on a platform and place your order, then take it to go or have a seat at the plastic table and chairs in the shade a few paces from the eatery. Errol says this summer a stage will be set up on the patio so diners can enjoy live music. Usually wearing a cowboy hat and boots, Errol is part of the fun at this joint, so make sure you tell him hello.

The Barbecue Outlaw Texas BBQ, 3235 W. SR 89A in West Sedona (928-282-1593)

In Sedona, lip-smackin’-good barbecue can be had outside of typical barbecue joints, too. Here are some of our favorites.

Baby Back Pork Ribs @ the Cowboy Club Grill and Spirits (241 N. SR 89A in Uptown; 928-282-4200)

Ancho Chipotle BBQ Beef or BBQ Chicken Wrap @ Mesa Grill (1185 Airport Road in the Sedona Airport; 928-282-2400)

Baby Back Ribs @ Judi’s Restaurant & Lounge (40 Soldier Pass Road in West Sedona; 928-282-4449)

Pulled Pork Platter @ Nick’s on the West Side (2920 W. SR 89A in West Sedona; 928-204-2088)

Red Rock Rack Pork Ribs @ Oak Creek Brewery & Grill (336 SR 179 at Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village; 928-282-3300)

BBQ Bacon Cheddar Burger @ Olde Sedona Famly Restaurant Bar & Grill (1405 W. SR 89A in West Sedona; 928-282-5670)

Baby Back Ribs @ Shugrue’s Hillside Grill (671 SR 179 at Hillside Sedona; 928-282-5300)

Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich @ Heartline Gourmet Express (1600 W. SR 89A in West Sedona) (928-282-3365)

Get Your Pig On Barbecue Competition

For the second year in a row, the Kansas City Barbecue Society has partnered with Sedona Main Street during its National Day of the Cowboy celebration to present the Get Your Pig On state championship barbecue competition. The competition takes place July 28 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. behind the Best Western Plus Arroyo Roble Hotel & Creekside Villas in Uptown. Judging begins at noon with the barbecued chicken category followed by pork ribs at 12:30 p.m., pork at 1 p.m. and beef brisket at 1:30 p.m. Awards are announced at 6 p.m. Spectators can sample the goods throughout the day by purchasing tasting tickets at the event. While the majority of the competitors herald from Arizona, last year grill masters traveled from as far as Texas. Three men from Colorado, New Mexico and Nebraska comprised 2011’s overall winning team, Sweet Peppers. For more information, visit www.getyourpigon.com.

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