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
T.C.’s RIB CRIB
8470 West Desert Inn Rd. #H3
Las Vegas, NV 89117