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‘Cue Smackdown – T.C.’s RIB CRIB v. MEMPHIS CHAMPIONSHIP BARBECUE

We at ELV get tired of seeing all those “Best Of….” banners all over town — especially when nothing could be further from the truth.

Such is the case with T.C.’s Rib Crib — a friendly, modest little joint on West Desert Inn that has perfectly passable ‘cue, but that’s not even in the same league as Memphis Championship Barbecue.

Of course barbecue, we’re fond of saying, is like sex — the worst we’ve ever had was still pretty good.

But whereas Memphis’s product is slow smoked, smoky, and sweet, T.C.’s suffers from (we suspect) being par-boiled before being finished in the pit (a distinct lack of pink smoke ring and the requisite flavor being the giveaways). T.C.’s also doesn’t cook its ‘cue anywhere near the restaurant — another minus.

And don’t get us started about other menu items. T.C.’s brisket and beef ribs need serious triage — both were stringy and tough to navigate with teeth or fingers, and the chopped pork shoulder at Memphis kicks T.C.’s ass (and any other ‘cue’s ass in town). Keep in mind, Mike Mills’ skills have been recognized throughout the land as one of, if not the best in barbecue (so T.C. and clan shouldn’t take it personally).

On the plus side, T.C.’s side dishes: mac ‘n cheese, collard greens, sweet potato fries, et al, stand up to anything pitmaster Mills can throw at you, and Memphis has nothing to compete with T.C.’s glazed doughnut bread pudding.

Bottom line: For the real deal in ribs and all things porcine, head for Memphis Championship’s ‘cue. And ignore those R-J banners….but if you’re reading this, we’re betting that you already do.

Lunch at either will run you about $10-12/person; dinner about twice that, exclusive of tax or tip.

MEMPHIS CHAMPIONSHIP BARBECUE

1401 South Rainbow Blvd. 702.254.0520

4379 Las Vegas Blvd. North 702.644.0000

2250 East Warm Springs Rd. 702.260.6909

www.memphis-bbq.com

T.C.’s RIB CRIB

8470 West Desert Inn Rd. #H3

Las Vegas, NV 89117

702.451.7427

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12 Responses to ‘Cue Smackdown – T.C.’s RIB CRIB v. MEMPHIS CHAMPIONSHIP BARBECUE

  • How about CJ’s for Texas BBQ? Does that hold up?

  • Mr. C – i may take issue with your spin on Buzz v. Cajun BBQ, but you hit the nail on the head with memphis v. TC’s. It’s a shame because the TC owners / family are very nice but sadly, i agree that the ribs have that soggy, “boiled first” texture to them.

    btw – i am a fan of CJ’s, so many places, so little time !!

  • Hiya J.C.
    Had lunch today at Memphis. Delish!
    And the only way I like dill pickles is fried…

  • Ever since moving here from eastern North Carolina (Greenville to be specific) 3 years ago, I’ve been on a quest to find anything in Las Vegas that can stand up to B’s BBQ (loved so much that they renamed the road it lies on B’s BBQ Road), Boss Hog’s BBQ, or any of the other legendary eastern NC BBQ I love so much.

    While Memphis Championship BBQ was certainly the best I’ve had here in town, it just doesn’t do the trick for me. Everyone here seems to use sweet, syrup-py BBQ sauces, and not the cider vinegar based hot sauces found back east.

    BBQ Shak on Warm Springs had some awesome pulled pork and a great eastern NC sauce to go with it, but I heard they recently went out of business :(

  • HASN’T ANYONE TRIED LONGHORN BBQ, NOW THAT IS THE REAL DEAL AND THE RIBS OMG!!!!!! THEY JUST FALL OFF THE BONE. AND THEIR HUGE SMOKER IS RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE KITCHEN. THE BRISKET AND PULLED PORK COULDN’T BE MORE TENDER OR LEAN
    YOU GOT TO TRY IT, IT DOESN’T COMPARE TO ANY OF THE OTHER BBQ PLACES

  • As you know John, we have argued about TC’s for a while now.

    I think they are the BEST in the city. Their pulled pork and brisket is to die for. Memphis doesn’t get my vote even in the top 5. I also think that CJ’s is one of the worst! Too much pepper and too overcooked.

    The biggest disapointments for me are Salt Lick and RUB. Overpriced and a big fat nothing! Big Mammas is still ok, but TC’s is better. Buzz and Lucille’s are another great favorite.

    TC’s also has a sign in book where if you like authentic Cajan and southern cooking, Irving and the family will cook up things like Stuffed Pork Chops, Jumbalya, etc, on occasion and let you know when.

    The place oozes from ‘naw orlins’ southern hopsitality and the family always makes you feel welcome. The prices are great and the portions are enourmous.

    Sorry John, but as you know we disagree on this one.

  • I haven’t been in a while, but over the years, Memphis CB has always impressed me as being better than a chain-y looking place ought to be.
    Very overdue to try others, so keep me in your thoughts, ELV ;)
    I AM a big Salt Lick supporter (though of course the Texas original is going to be better than the casino outpost).. and as far as RUB, surprisingly the meats that I found to be best there were the pastrami and the smoked turkey (that’s right, the two you would be least likely to order)! Oh, and their house red ale is quite good.

  • There is no good bar b que in Vegas.

  • Memphis BBQ is way too sweet for me, and I like TC’s the best, they are the favorite when friends come to town. We gave up on Memphis a long while ago, The folks at TC’s are a great Lousianna family, and they desewrve the kudos for the ribs in Vegas, Cause they are!!!!

  • You must have gone a bad day. TC’s is MUCH BETTER THAN MEMPHIS. TOO SALTY AND TOO DAMNED EXPENSIVE! Salt Lick here is horrible. If you want to try some good bbq and aren’t afraid of the hood, go to H&H. No place to sit, to go only. They are good,

    My guess is the people commenting are yuppies who wouldn’t no good BBQ if it bit them in the butt.

  • Gosh, I can’t imagine any place being worse than Memphis BBQ. The food at the Nellis location is consistently overcooked, bland, and unappealing to look at on the plate.

  • TC’s is really great! I don’t know what people are complaining about, but I especially enjoyed their beef tips and baby back ribs. I’m always satisfied whenever I eat there. Plus, the service is great! I really enjoy the family feel to it where you can’t find at most places. I read another article about the place, http://localvegasdeals.com/food/t-c-s-rib-crib/, and I knew I had to go there again. I can’t believe how big they’re getting since I first went there two years ago. I heard they’re opening another location in Henderson too!

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