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Opening today: Oro Valley fast-casual BBQ joint turns to Texas, Carolinas for inspiration

Opening today: Oro Valley fast-casual BBQ joint turns to Texas, Carolinas for inspiration

Salted Pig American Barbecue is slated to open on Feb. 12.

A new fast-casual barbecue restaurant in Oro Valley will take its cues from Texas and the Carolinas to create what the owners call American barbecue.

Salted Pig American Barbecue, 11835 N. Oracle Road, Suite 101, is set to open Friday, Feb. 12.

The menu borrows the Texas dry rub style in its Central Texas brisket and kicks up the spicy with its East Carolina style pulled pork. They also have smoked chicken, housemade chorizo verde, country kielbasa and classic St. Louis spareribs, all sold as plates or by the pound and half-pound.

The menu includes the traditional barbecue sides — coleslaw and potato salad — as well as some signature sides — smoked mac and cheese, bacon baked beans, tomato and cucumber salad and garden pickles. Smoked cauliflower burnt ends also are an optional add-on for the house meal-sized salads.

The kitchen is helmed by Ricardo Heredia, the former executive chef of San Diego’s popular Alchemy Restaurant. Heredia has some solid barbecue chops, with back-to-back honors in 2013 and 2014 World Food Championship’s bacon category.

His 2014 win came from his original recipe for Bacon Tamal with Bacon Salsa Verde, according to published reports.

“He has worked all over the country,” said Jason Lukas, Salted Pig’s general manager. “He’s an award-winning bacon and barbecue guy.”

Salted Pig is owned by the mother-and-son team of Debbie and Jacob Hoffman, who Lukas said own three pizzerias and a steakhouse in Maryland, where they were before moving to Oro Valley a few years ago. The family still has a role in those restaurants, Lukas said.

Salted Pig has been two years in the making. Initially the restaurant was supposed to be full-service, but COVID-19 forced the owners to rethink the restaurant as a fast-casual model to fit in with pandemic social distancing restrictions.

“We started putting out ideas and trying to figure ways to engineer completely hybrid service models,” Lukas said. “As things have gone forward, at least for us getting started, we are going to embrace more of that fast-casual model.”

Lukas, who has been involved in the project for about nine months, said they had initially hoped to open late last spring or early summer, but they kept pushing the date back largely in response to the rising COVID-19 numbers.

“After November definitely seemed unattainable, we pushed back to January and little hiccups here and there, and now it’s February,” Lukas said.

Salted Pig will open at 11 a.m. Friday. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.

Find out more at: facebook.com/saltedpigbbq or saltedpigbbq.com.


The Tucson area welcomed these restaurants and bars in 2020:

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at cburch@tucson.com. On Twitter @Starburch


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