10 fun facts about Red Desert BBQ & Catering to chew on

Their collab with Serial Grillers will open late 2019.

Red Desert BBQ & Catering started out as a humble food truck. With enough loyal followers and success, they made the move into the brick and mortar restaurant at 918 W. Prince Rd.

With the announcement of their new concept opening at 5737 E. Speedway Blvd., here are 10 fun facts to help acquaint yourself with this local barbecue gem.

1.

“I started the truck after doing barbecue for over 23 years as a hobby,” said David Martin, owner-chef-pitmaster at Red Desert. “I worked the truck for almost two years when I thought it would be better to have a brick-and-mortar.”

David Martin, owner and pitmaster of Red Desert BBQ (Credit: Jackie Tran)

David Martin, owner and pitmaster of Red Desert BBQ (Credit: Jackie Tran)

2.

“We opened our restaurant 19 months ago,” Martin said. “We sold the food truck a few months after opening the restaurant and have never looked back.”

3.

“We only have four people who work in the restaurant,” Martin said. “My wife [who is the co-owner] works the evening, my mother-in-law opens, Lindy works mornings, and I’m here from early morning ’til after close.”

4.

Lindon “Lindy” Reilly is the same Lindy from Lindy’s on 4th fame. Now at Red Desert, he creates burger specials such as this:

Burger special at Red Desert BBQ & Catering (Photo courtesy of Red Desert BBQ & Catering)

Burger special at Red Desert BBQ & Catering (Photo courtesy of Red Desert BBQ & Catering)

5.

“We only use prime grade brisket,” Martin said. “It costs more, but the customers deserve only the best.”

Brisket at Red Desert BBQ (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Brisket at Red Desert BBQ (Credit: Jackie Tran)

6.

Red Desert has an insane barbecue burrito challenge. It’s “a 24-inch long, seven-pound bacon-wrapped burrito, that if finished in 25 minutes or less, is free,” said Martin. “Attempted once and finished in 12 minutes by a 120-pound female. Come on, guys!”

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Red Desert BBQ burrito challenge

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7.

Their house-made lime pickles don’t contain any citrus. Yip, no limes in there. “It’s an old family recipe and sometimes I make hot variations of them,” said Martin. “It takes five days to create our house pickles.”

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Lime pickles

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8.

Martin is a Le Cordon Bleu graduate. He graduated in 2008 with a BA, but took an eight-year hiatus and worked at the copper mines before opening the food truck.

David Martin, owner and pitmaster of Red Desert BBQ (Credit: Jackie Tran)

David Martin, owner and pitmaster of Red Desert BBQ (Credit: Jackie Tran)

9.

“Red Desert BBQ owns no microwave or working oven,” Martin said. “Everything we cook is done either in the smokers or stove-top, griddle or fryer.”

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6 brisket and 6 butts getting a kiss of Hickory

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10.

“We are teaming up with Serial Grillers towards the end of the year to open a new barbecue concept restaurant,” Martin said. “Located in their original location on Speedway, we will bring barbecue with a southwest twist such as barbecue tacos, cheese crisps topped with barbecue, and salads topped with barbecue.”

Red Desert BBQ is located at 918 W. Prince Rd. For more information, visit rdbbq.com.

Jackie is a food writer and photographer native to Tucson. He loves corgis and still thinks rickrolling is funny. If you'd like to stalk him, visit jackietran.com.

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