Scottsdale: Big Earl’s BBQ
The first day I arrived in Scottsdale for Arizona Cocktail Week, I wandered around Old Town Scottsdale looking for a place to eat. I hadn’t been in over 8 years and the Old Town had changed a bit. Quite a few places looked packed with an early happy hour crowd and there was live music at the park. Unfortunately, the nearest restaurant wasn’t doing happy hour yet so I kept wandering until I got to Big Earl’s BBQ. It was quiet around 4 p.m. so I grabbed a booth to myself and immediately got an iced tea. Hydration I knew would be key for the opening night of Cocktail Week.
I must have not gotten my fill of barbeque in Austin when I decided on Big Earl’s. I asked what they’re famous for and the server replied the brisket and the St. Louis style ribs.
Fine, bring them on. I hadn’t eaten all day despite the short flight to Phoenix/Scottsdale.
The meats are dry rubbed and smoked. You add sauce if you please. I kept trying both the original and the spicy to see which I liked best. The spicy wasn’t hot at all, more vinegary. I decided I liked the original sauce for the brisket and felt the tarter spicy sauce was good to cut the fat of the St. Louis style ribs.
As for the sides, I opted for corn bread and coleslaw. The cornbread was pretty good but I thought the slaw needed some oomph.
Overall, this ‘cue wasn’t as good as it was in Texas but it’d do if you wanted something away from the crowds.