Las Vegas offers up barbecue styles for every taste
Few areas of cuisine are as hotly contested as barbecue. From secret sauces more carefully guarded than Fort Knox to cooking methods that no two fans can agree on (peach wood, hickory, mesquite, propane, etc.), barbecue continues to be food’s great divider. Luckily, Vegas offers plenty of barbecue choices, so instead of debating dry vs. wet rub, head out and enjoy some of the best meat west of Texas.
For the Memphis style of barbecue, head to Double Barrel Roadhouse at Monte Carlo, where meats are either smoked or prepared on a wood grill. Two wood shacks utilize apple wood chips to provide flavor to dry-rubbed meats, which are then topped with tangy sauce, and wet rub is applied to all cuts cooked on a wood grill fueled with mesquite charcoal and peach wood. Everything gets marinated in a secret “DB Spice.” As with any barbecue restaurant, sauce is key, and Double Barrel uses three different types—North and South Carolina and Kentucky, all of which used smoked and wood-grilled habaneros for a little extra kick.
Texas is considered barbecue royalty, and Gilley’s Saloon, Dance Hall & Bar-B-Que at Treasure Island does the Lone Star State proud with dry rub barbecue cooked over mesquite, served with three sauces—Jack Daniels, Carolina mustard and smoke onion. Simple and classic, but don’t be surprised to find yourself begging for more once your plate is empty.
Southern-style barbecue has legions of fans, and locals who have discovered Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que at Red Rock Resort count themselves among them. All meats are prepared with Lucille’s own rib rub and barbecue spice (the chicken is wet marinated in Lucille’s original barbecue sauce), and everything is cooked in a hickory-fueled Southern Pride smoker in the restaurant’s dining room. Add in signature sauces—original, Memphis and hot and spicy—and you’ll understand what all the fuss is about.
For great Carolina barbecue by way of Miami, check out Yardbird Southern Table & Bar at The Venetian, a Miami-based restaurant chain that specializes in Southern comfort food. Yardbird uses a two-step process for its amazing ribs, first using a dry rub while they’re smoked over a low and slow heat using mesquite, then finished on the grill with a secret “Backyard BBQ” sauce.
Then there’s the style that borrows a bit from all. The barbecue at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill at Harrah's is a “melting pot,” using secret barbecue sauces and rubs. Smoked items are prepared on the property in a hickory wood-fueled smoker, and a brine-style marinade is used for both the rotisserie wood-roasted chicken and the baby back ribs prior to the dry rub. Pulled pork is also marinated and, after receiving a dry rub, sits overnight prior to smoking.
The question in Las Vegas isn’t whether your favorite barbecue is available; the question is: Why you aren’t there right now?