Red Rockin’ BBQ

Should you find yourself on Water Street for the kind of fun Water Street is known for, you would do well to start out the evening (or finish it) at Red Rock Saloon. Nothing sets you up for a night on the town like a belly full of BBQ.

Though WMSE Station Manager Tom Crawford and I were planning a more subdued evening, we dropped into Red Rock and were treated to a sampler platter covering all the major meat groups (pulled pork, brisket and chicken wings) as well as two representatives from classic BBQ sides (cowboy beans and chipotle mac-n-cheese) and a representative of the bar food group (shoe string onion rings). The brisket, pork and wings gave us plenty of opportunities to explore Red Rock’s sauces. The KC Jones sauce is full of smoke and molasses, the RR Signature sauce is a sweet traditional BBQ sauce, and the Outlaw sauce – well, Tom said you could put a little of that on a shoe and it would taste good. It’s got a great kick, and Tom did, in fact, put it on everything but his shoes.

Southern delight in downtown MKE

Southern delight in downtown MKE

Tom also said the beans were about as good as any homemade beans you’re going to get. You can taste the bacon in these beans, giving them a nice smoky flavor. Mac-n-cheese is almost always fun; throw chipotle in there and it’s electric bull riding kind of fun. (Yup, they have one at Red Rock. Though you should probably wait a while after eating before riding it.)

Now, perhaps you are worried about our nutrition. “Where are the veg?” you might ask. Don’t worry, Mama, there was also a nice big plate of deep fried pickles with southwest ranch sauce. Tom said I needed to fess up and tell y’all this was my first experience with fried pickles. All I can say is, what took me so long? If there was ever a perfect bar food, it would have to be deep fried pickles. I hogged the ranch sauce while Tom pinstriped his with the Outlaw sauce. Being a deep friend pickle virgin, Tom schooled me in the delicacy explaining that Red Rock does them the right way; sliced long and thick. I appreciated the fact that the breading was crispy and not greasy, helping me pretend these gorgeous little suckers were actually good for me.

The veg group: deep fried pickles

The veg group: deep fried pickles

Red Rock has been a frequent participant in both the WMSE Chili Cook-off and The Food Slam. When you drop in to get yourself all full of BBQ, you’ll see their awards from the events displayed on the wall.

Tom suggests these musical pairings to go with Red Rock’s messy finger food fun: “Consumption” by ZZ Top  and “Thunder Chucker” by Raging Slab.

by Food Slam blogger Steph Kilen

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