Red Rock Barbecue, Ypsilanti
Went to Red Rock last night. Apparently it was their grand opening weekend. At the outset, this place is EXACTLY what Michigan Ave in Ypsi needs. The place was jammed and hopefully bringing a lot of people out to eat, drink and shop to add to that old local economy.
It's located in the old TC Speakeasy's, and they kept the old wooden entryway, but that's about it. It's all exposed brick with a large central bar splitting the large room. A back wall and the ceiling were painted a rich red, and it looked nice. Another back wall was a weird puffy leather-covered affair. Bathroom had nice slate tile and was very clean, although they still need to add some trim to the walls.
We called ahead and were informed we would have no problem being sat. I got there and put in for a table for 3, and the hostess couldn't tell me the wait time -- so hostessing was a little rocky. I sat at the bar to wait for my friends, and asked the bartender what bourbons they have. He rattled off a fair few, and I order a Knob Creek on the rocks (I know, I know, but I sometimes like it on ice). It was a $9 pour, but a very generous pour. The rocks were generous too, and I would have preferred a few cubes instead of a rocks glass 3/4 full of ice. The bartenders were friendly but busy. I noticed a full complement of Hangar 1 vodkas on display, so I'll be going back to hit those up.
We got seated more quickly than I thought, so that was a plus. Service was good and attentive, but there's a bit of room for improvement just to make things go a little more smoothly. Our drink orders came out pretty promptly. They have a really nice selection of beers, mostly microbrews from Michigan. The one thing about the beer menu that puzzles me is the abundance of stouts, bocks and heavier beers. I for one like really crisp quaffable beers with barbecue, but to each their own.
Ok, now the important part, the food. My companions ordered a pulled pork sandwich and the brisket plate. I order the pulled pork plate. The coleslaw accompanying the sandwich got high marks, as did the cornbread. The beans were deemed kind of flavorless, even though there were big hunks of pork in them. The cornbread was a standout. Two medium-sized muffins per order, studded with corn kernels and extremely moist and cakey, which is how I like it. My sweet potato mash was very good, cinnamony but with a sweetness that came from the actual vegetable and not a bunch of added sugar.
And now the meat. Smoke ring is in evidence, people. My pulled pork came out cold, but was very good nonetheless. A great smoky, meaty flavor, with very little extraneous fat. The brisket was stellar -- beefy, smoky goodness. It is served sliced thinly, which I thought made it just a very little bit dry. However, 3 different sauces are provided on the table, so those took care of any lack of moisture. The sauces offered are a vinegar one, the house sauce, and a hawaiian sauce. They were all good. I preferred the house, even though it's not the best bbq sauce I've head. The hawaiian had a complex sweet-savoriness which was very good too.
So, all in all, a very good experience. I'd give the a definite B+. Hopefully they'll keep packing in the crowds and will keep up the quality they're striving to put out from the kitchen.
Tried it last weekend, It was just okay. The portion size on the Brisket was pretty small. The prices are pretty high. If you want mac and cheese as a side it is a $1 upcharge. The ribs were overcooked for me, I do not like fall off the bone ribs. I still prefer Slows or Union Woodshop for BBQ.