At Wickenburg’s Hassayampa Smokehouse BBQ, there’s a hierarchy of flavor superiority. At the top is the king of all barbecue cuts: brisket.
“The brisket is absolutely the best item on the menu,” co-owner Michael Richey says. “It’s the item I worked the hardest on, and I’m very proud of how it’s come out. The Reuben is a close second, though. We smoke the corned beef in-house and have had amazing feedback about it. We recently added burnt ends, which are quickly becoming one of the top-selling items, and we do ‘Brontosaurus Ribs,’ on Friday and Saturday for dinner, that are amazing — we run out almost every weekend.”
(Don’t panic: The ribs aren’t actually made out of brontosaur meat. Rather, they’re the three largest beef short ribs that include the entire rib.)
The smokehouse opened in 2019, and Richey, who’s been in the restaurant industry for more than 20 years — as a chef in Denver, then as general manager of the Raven Café in Prescott — took over in 2022. He and his business partners — his stepdad, William Holder, and stepbrother, Jon Moyers — have been overwhelmed by the support of Wickenburg locals ever since.
“I’ve never been in an area where everyone is so supportive and welcoming,” Richey says. “Not only have the people in the community been amazing, but the fellow restaurants as well. In all my years, I’ve never had such a great community of business owners so willing to help each other out.”
In turn, Richey is helping the community — including by offering something that most traditional barbecue joints don’t: breakfast. “When we took over, breakfast was being served,” he says. “It’s pretty traditional, but we really focused on our gravy recipe. Our biscuits and gravy and chicken fried steak are our most popular items. We also do a homemade corned beef hash with the house-smoked corned beef we use for our Reuben sandwich. But for Sunday, we decided to do a brunch.”
And, boy, did they. Among the menu items are the Cowboy Benedict, a biscuit topped with brisket, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce; the Smoked Reuben Benedict, eggs on rye toast with sauerkraut, house-smoked corned beef and Thousand Island hollandaise; and many of the restaurant’s regular menu items.
“We also have, in my opinion, the best bloody mary and some great mimosas to go with it,” Richey says. He consulted with some of the top mixologists in Denver, and the results don’t disappoint.
“I think our drink menu is one of the hidden gems of the restaurant,” he adds. “It has a little bit of something for everyone. We recently added a Cowboy Mimosa [Jameson Orange Irish whiskey, triple sec, sparkling orange juice and Sprite] that’s getting an absolutely great response.”
Hassayampa Smokehouse BBQ
169 E. Wickenburg Way