Where There’s Smoke

There’s something about the desert that always puts me in the mood for barbeque.   Maybe it’s the memory of old Westerns set in the Southwest that makes me think of cookouts, wood fires and slow smoked meats.

Of course,  great barbeque is hard to find and Catalina BBQ Company is as well.  It’s located on a very dark road leading up to the JW Marriott in Tucson.  When you begin to see the lights of the resort in the distance, keep your eyes peeled on the left side of the road for the restaurant sign.  They share a lobby with Shell Golf Suites but the restaurant is part of the Marriott resort.  If you are a guest at the resort they have complimentary shuttle service to the restaurant but it is open to the public and definitely worth finding.

The setting is comfortable and the aroma will make your mouth water as soon as you walk in.  Don’t fill up on the wonderful jalapeno and chile biscuits even though they are hard to resist.  The honey butter offers a nice sweet/savory balance.

All the meats are served without sauce and a trio of sauces presented at the table so you can suit your taste.  Personally I favored a hearty spoonful of the spicy sauce blended with the sweeter sauce on my sausages.

My husband had a combo plate with brisket that barely stayed on a fork it was so tender.  The meats bore the telltale pink of hours of slow smoking.

I had the creamed corn side which was a little too milky for my taste.  However I tipped the dish to drain the excess liquid and found the corn to be amazing.  My husband had the macaroni and cheese but didn’t eat much of it.  Same with the chile/sea salt fries.  It’s not that they weren’t good, but when you find such delicious meats, we focus our appetites there instead.

Our server was warm, friendly and more than accommodating.   When we asked about hikes in the area,  both she and the manager gave us great information.   She even got us a copy of an area trail map without our even asking.

This was truly a “find” and we look forward to the opportunity to eat there again.


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