One of the things I like almost as much as burgers is a good pulled pork sandwich, so after hearing several great comments about Rollin Smoke BBQ I had to check it out. I ventured over there for lunch a few weeks ago with a hunger for some great BBQ, but as I was browsing their menu I spotted a burger with the statement “best burger in Vegas” and my focus shifted to validating this lofty claim. I think 99.9% of the time any menu that claims this about a burger, coffee or whatever the food may be never turns out to be true, but how can I truly tell until I sample it for myself? So once again I skipped my desired meal to test an unknown burger for you all. What a tough life I have.
The restaurant is in a very odd industrial area near auto shops, strip clubs and warehouses, and is probably the only one in the area. You walk in to a haphazard restaurant with not much of a front counter, but instead a confusing podium to order at with no one standing there most of the time. The menu is on a wall kind of near this podium, so you better know what you want before you walk over to order. There are a handful of two, four and large top tables between the two awkwardly cramped rooms of this place, sparsely decorated with a few down lights and some reclaimed wood on the walls. You can tell it was thrown together cheaply, but it seems to fit with the homegrown feel of backyard BBQ. The great smell of smoke fills the space the whole time you sit there, and never really fades away while you’re there or from your clothes when you leave.
The menu features pretty much all the standards you would expect from a BBQ joint, but as I said I was suckered into ordering their Outlaw Burger: brisket, onion, bell pepper, onion strings, red cabbage slaw, lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese and chipotle aioli. I’m skeptical of any BBQ place that can’t get sweet tea right, so I was nervous about this thing given the somewhat flavorless tea I sat with while waiting for my burger to arrive. And what came out was just too big to enjoy; the patty alone is a thick mass of meat that’s possibly a bit overcooked just because of its size and how long it has to cook. The bun was far too small and thin to hold up to this mess, even with a decent helping of lettuce at the bottom to create a buffer from any sauce. Probably the best flavor in this whole thing were the onion rings, which tasted far better on their own than in the burger where they got lost in the myriad of flavors. The huge glob of cheese had good flavor, but like most other things in this burger there was just a bit too much of it. As for the aioli, slaw and other items, I couldn’t really tell you much because I didn’t notice them enough. I think if this were your typical 1/4 or 1/3 pound burger it would probably be pretty good, still a far cry from the best burger in Vegas as they’ve claimed, but maybe in the upper half. But like my recent complaints about a huge burger in San Diego, this is just too much to properly enjoy.
Something extremely puzzling and disappointing for me was the complete lack of fries with my burger. Looking at their menu online now, apparently the $8.99 “smoking deal” for the Outlaw Burger is a deal for just the burger, you have to read the small print at the bottom where it says to add $3 for a side and drink. I wish the guy that took my order would have said something as I spent $2 for just my iced tea expecting the fries that were in the picture with my burger. What burger doesn’t get ordered with fries?! I guess maybe one of this size, as I surely wouldn’t have been able to finish it if I ate anything else, but fries are almost always a necessity. For $11.88 I certainly got a lot of food, but I don’t know if it was worth the cost or stomach bomb. I have a feeling that you should stick to the true BBQ that this place is known for, and not their “best burger”. I know I’ll be back to test this theory.