Although Plumer Avenue, south of Broadway, isn't a popular road for the daily commute, it's home to a few gems. Laverna's Coffee Shop has a great early bird special, while Iron John's Brewing Company has made a name for itself with unique brews.
Now Kiss of Smoke BBQ & Catering, which opened on January 5, is serving Arizona-style barbecue bright and early at 7 a.m., Wednesday through Saturday.
"The landlord told us there was a demand for a restaurant that early," said Brandi Romero, who owns Kiss of Smoke with her parents Ted and Cindy Robinson. "And we're already here that early smoking the meats anyways."
Romero and the Robinsons have entered barbecue competitions for a decade. About a year ago, their business began as a food truck.
"The food truck and catering were busy, we figured now might be a good time [to open a brick-and-mortar]," Romero said.
The dining room, formerly El Taco restaurant, seats 40. Thankfully, the bright red building is hard to miss when driving down the industrial road. Why choose such an out-of-sight location?
"It is midtown and we're next to a bar that has a liquor license, so people can enjoy alcohol here or bring their food over there," Romero said.
Customers don't even have to leave the building to access the Silver Room — an open door inside separates the two businesses.
The menu offers many standard barbecue joint options, but the team takes pride on their house-made rubs and sauces. Secret ingredients, of course. Meats are smoked with pecan and cherry wood for a milder smoke taste, while chicken includes mesquite in the wood mix. Jackfruit will be on the menu soon as well.
Kiss of Smoke BBQ & Catering is located at 663 S. Plumer Ave. Operating hours are 7 a.m. - 8 p.m. or when the meat sells out, whichever comes first, Wednesday - Saturday. For more information, call (520) 270-7917 or visit kissofsmokebbq.com.
Jackie Tran is a Tucson-based food writer, photographer, culinary educator, and owner-chef of the food truck Tran's Fats. Although he...