Our favorite barbecue restaurant in the Ann Arbor area is Ypsilanti’s Red Rock Barbecue. One thing that we appreciate about Red Rock is that the food is consistently great. Other restaurants, it can be amazing on one visit and a bust on the next visit.
Red Rock Barbecue Food
We all love the food at Red Rock Barbecue. We find the portions to be large and good for sharing.
The Burnt Ends are the only appetizer that we ever get at Red Rock. The brisket ends are coated with Red Rock Rub before a second smoking and then served with jalapeños. Even though my daughter and I don’t care for the spiciness of jalapeños, we are able to enjoy the Burnt Ends. Be warned that they are available in limited quantities and may not be available by the end of the night.
The Burnt Ends appetizer is the favorite part of a trip to Red Rock barbecue. Honestly, I’m not sure what their other appetizers are since we always get the Burnt Ends. As soon as we mention Red Rock, my daughter says “MMMM, burnt ends!”
My daughter and I often split dishes at Red Rock, so she usually doesn’t order from the kids menu. However, on this visit I didn’t feel like sharing, so she ordered a Pulled Pork Sandwich with a side of Macaroni & Cheese. The Mac & Cheese side dish is a $1 up-charge, but gave her just what she wanted. Mac & Cheese topped with pulled pork. The kids pulled-pork sandwich was about the size of a slider. I know the Kids Menu also included Mac & Cheese. I didn’t look too much beyond that, but I think chicken fingers were an option for kids.
My husband and I both opted for barbecue entrees. I ordered Pulled Pork with a side of green beans and a side of cornbread. The pulled pork portion was plentiful and I was able to bring half home for the next day. The green bean portion was so large that I shared some with my daughter. The green beans are a quality side dish – fresh whole beans, cooked perfectly, and buttered – no canned beans cooked in lard like some barbecue restaurants. The corn bread side included two muffins so I gave one to my daughter.
My husband ordered a full rack of ribs so he would have leftovers with green beans and corn bread as his side. He also shared a few of his green beans with our daughter. He enjoyed their ribs.
Of course sauce is one of the key components of any barbecue meal. We enjoy the variety of sauces at Red Rock. My only disappointment is in their Mustard Sauce. It’s a bit more “mustardy” than other mustard sauces and less sweet.
Other Menu Categories
Beyond the barbecue entrees, there are also barbecue sandwiches such as pulled pork, smoked chicken breast, brisket and combination sandwiches. One of my favorite barbecue dishes is Mac & Cheese topped with pulled pork. Red Rock does not disappoint here with several Mac & Cheese options including a Build Your Own. For those who don’t like barbecue, they also offer burgers and salads.
As might be expected from a barbecue restaurant, there are few options for vegetarians – notably Mac & Cheese or Salad.
About Red Rock Barbecue
Red Rock Barbecue Location
Red Rock Barbecue is located in downtown Ypsilanti at 207 W. Michigan Avenue. Ypsilanti offers free parking both on the street and in their surface lots. On this visit we were able to parallel park directly in front of the restaurant. We often park in the lot south of Michigan between S. Washington and S. Huron which is across the street from the Downtown Farmers Market.
Red Rock Barbecue Hours
Red Rock Barbecue is open 11a-midnight Mondays through Thursdays, 11a-1a on Fridays and Saturdays, and noon-midnight on Sundays. They offer both Reservations and Call Ahead seating by calling 734-340-2381. Since the restaurant can be crowded, I do recommend reservations for weekend evenings particularly after 6.
Red Rock Barbecue Atmosphere
Red Rock Barbecue’s interior is dominated by their large bar. They offer both high top tables and low top tables. If you are visiting with younger children, I definitely recommend calling ahead and requesting a low top. The restaurant is dark and can get noisy inside.