Best Barbecue

Rod's KC Barbeque

READERS' PICK: This tiny restaurant is always a favorite because of its old-fashioned good food. We know that Tucsonans like their food hot, but Rod's KC has gone about as far they can go with their hot links. The gracious hosts will ask if you want to try a bite before you order one. Do it. If it's too hot you can order your beef, pork or ribs sauced hot or mild. You could spend the rest of your life eating the ribs in mild sauce. They're just sweet enough to balance the tangy barbecue flavor. This is the perfect place to stop for your take-out dinner. But since everything is up-to-date at Rod's, you can sit in the outdoor café and watch the show go by on Fourth Avenue.

B-SIDE: Soul Feathers, 1350 E. Broadway Blvd. Anyone who knows barbecue and lives in Tucson knows that Tucson is not exactly paradise where BBQ is concerned. We were recently bemoaning that fact over some brisket in Austin (which is paradise where barbeque is concerned) with a friend who's a Texas native living in Tucson. He piped up and spoke the truth: "There's one good barbeque place in Tucson. Have you been to Soul Feathers?" We had, and when he mentioned it, all we could see was Barbara, the restaurant's proprietor, smiling with a plate of baby backs while Robert Johnson played in the background. The mere aroma could make a man strike a deal with the devil.

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