Rollin Smoke BBQ

Being a Saturday, it was swamped as usual. I called ahead and ordered brisket – a pound of burnt ends and a half-pound of sliced brisket. It was ready when I arrived. They were telling people ordering at the counter (10-minute line) that their orders would take 20-30 minutes.

As with most great BBQ, Rollin Smoke is a bit inconsistent. This was a very good day – the sliced brisket was very tender and smoky with a nice bark – probably the best we’ve ever had there. Unfortunately the burnt ends were more fat than meat (probably at least half fat), but the meat that was there was very good, although a bit dry. That said, there have been previous trips where the burnt ends were the best item. For Las Vegas, which isn’t really a BBQ town, this was excellent BBQ. (Their ribs, links, and chicken are good too, although we didn’t order any this time around.) I keep meaning to try their smoked meatloaf, but I was once again waylaid by the brisket. I saw someone with a plate of the meatloaf, though, and it looked great – I think I’ll have to try it next time around.

Onion strings were outstanding, and reminded me of my all-time favorite onion rings (from a long-gone pizza joint in Pacifica, CA in the early 80’s).

From the Strip, go west on Fashion Show Drive (at the north end of the mall) for about a half-mile (it turns into West Desert Inn at Sammy Davis Jr. Drive), then turn right on Highland, and it’ll be on your left in about a quarter-mile. If you’re coming from anywhere else, use your smartphone. Trust me on this.

Following up on myself here. Finally made it back to Rollin Smoke for the smoked meatloaf. Absolutely excellent – one of the best meatloaves I’ve ever had, and definitely the best we’ve had in Sin City. Huge portion, very moist and flavorful, with a nice edge crust and great smoky flavor. Some shreds of brisket or other unidentified BBQ are incorporated into the loaf, making for an interesting texture. Comes with their loaded mashed potatoes, and topped with outstanding onion strings. We’re gone back for it twice since first trying it – as much as I like the brisket, this loaf is just too good to resist. The other day, we also picked up a pound of their smoked turkey breast (holiday special). Also really excellent, and not at all dry.

Pro tip: Call ahead to order and pay by CC, so you can skip the often long line when you get there. When it’s busy, the wait can be a half-hour, even after you order.