The Awesome Mitten- Red Rock Facade

Day 356: Red Rock Barbeque

The Awesome Mitten- Red Rock Facade
Red Rock Facade

The rumblings of new life in the quiet downtown of Ypsilanti have been growing too loud to ignore, Dear Reader. It feels like it’s been years since a little sign appeared in the window at 207 W Michigan Ave., promising the imminent arrival of Ypsi’s very own beer and BBQ brasserie. In actuality it only took a year and a half of remodeling for Shawn Cool and his parents turn the old T.C.’s Speakeasy into the new Red Rock.
The aroma of smoked meat tempts you before you even enter, and will most definitely snare unsuspecting passersby off the sidewalk like some sort of giant Venus Flytrap. Upon entering, the service was attentive and passed along a frankly impressive beer list promptly. With selections like New Holland’s Dragon’s Milk and North Peak‘s Diabolical IPA among the 20 or so beers and ciders on tap, you can feel rather spoiled for choice. They also have a fully stocked bar and some mean looking mixed drinks, but as far as I’m concerned cosmopolitans and beef brisket should never mix.

Red Rock’s menu is not overly imaginative, but it doesn’t need to be. Pulled pork and chicken sandwiches rub shoulders with racks of ribs and beef brisket. Shawn confides, “We’ve really spent a lot of time perfecting our pork.” He was quick to add, “It’s all great, but the pulled pork and ribs really have been on-point.” I tried something called the “Juicy Lucy,” a burger stuffed with blue cheese and sautéed onions. Embarrassing to order, but delicious to eat. The option of offering a pretzel roll as a sandwich bun is a trend that the folks at Red Rock have delightfully adopted as well.

The Awesome Mitten - Red Rock
Red Rock

The array of sides available are a menu unto themselves and are just as appealing as the main plates. Rich and creamy macaroni and cheese and fluffy cornbread are pretty much a given, while the fresh apple cherry coleslaw and bangin’ waffle fries give them a run for their money. Speaking of money, with all sides running at just three bones, they are in keeping with the rest of the menu’s generally affordable fare.

Once the meat of your choice arrives, you’re faced with a variety of barbeque sauces available at each table. This lets you decide how much of a mess you would like to make with your meal, which is a good call. There is an abundance of seating at Red Rock which makes it large group friendly. Thanks to the unconventional layout it never gets too loud, making it an excellent place to linger with friends. Red Rock is open 11 a.m. until midnight Monday through Thursday and until 2 a.m. on the weekends, making it a seriously contender for bar supremacy in downtown as well. So what are you waiting for? Aren’t you hungry?

~Jasmine Zweifler, Feature Writer

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