Ramiro Scavo’s newest venture, Red’s Smokehouse + Tap Room, a craft beer and barbecue joint, opened quietly yesterday at 943 East University Boulevard.
Red’s is Scavo’s second restaurant. Pasco Kitchen & Lounge opened in 2011 just down the street. The airy, bright, modern restaurant serves barbecue with a slight edge, infusing Scavo’s foodie background to deliver mains and sides that feature small ingredient tweaks giving the traditional cuisine of barbecue a fresh and exciting – and surprising – uplift.
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“Ramiro loves smoking meats,” said manager CJ Hamm. “That’s his passion. When this spot opened up, he knew barbecue would do well, especially when coupled with the craft beer movement.”
Featuring a limited menu at least until the beginning of next week, guests can expect to choose from Brisket, Chicken, Pork Ribs, Pulled Pork, and Smoked & Grilled Hot Wings. Current sides include vinegar slaw, creamy coleslaw, potato salad, corn bread, corn on the cob, baked beans, and macaroni salad. On my quick, brief visit, I sampled the half chicken, which was perfectly cooked, falling off the bone, and smoke ring red on the inside, the pulled pork, and a number of sides. If you’ve been a fan of Scavo, you know that he’s a former Tucson Iron Chef and does a phenomenal job making food exciting. For instance, Red’s potato salad isn’t your basic potato salad. It’s new red potatoes, for one, and in addition to typical ingredients includes a dash of cumin.
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All meats are smoked in house in the custom built – and red painted – Myron Mixon Smoker. This thing is no joke at $32k, but it’s the primary place where the magic happens.
But who’s Red?
“Red was this cowboy family friend,” said Scavo. “I knew I wanted to name it after him, but then other things presented themselves that also made sense, such as the UA colors, red barbecue sauce, the red of the smoke ring…”
Red’s also offers a ‘cue station for to-go orders and pick-up. The ‘cue station also doubles as a place to purchase bottled beer to go, or to drink on premises. Over 50 bottles are available.
Behind the bar, former east coast brewer Scott Miller has curated a mostly local craft beer selection that will rotate regularly.
“We do want to mix it up,” say Miller, “but we’ll also feature out of town and out of state beers. About half of the taps will rotate regularly.”
Red’s Smokehouse + Tap Room is now open for business. Again, it’s a limited menu until the weekend. They also just opened yesterday, so expect some possible service kinks, but it’s worth a visit.