Local Restaurant Highlight: Rollin' Smoked BBQ
I had the privilege to chat with Dusty Ardoin at Rollin’ Smoke, one of Vegas’s neighborhood gems. On a hot summer day, he was quick to greet me with a big smile and a cold bottle of water. This was the “southern hospitality” that comes second nature for a boy from southern Louisiana. The moment we sat down on the picnic benches in the dining room, I felt the nostalgia of my childhood family barbeques.
That was exactly Dusty’s vision when he opened up shop in 2012.
“My brother was living in Vegas, and he called me up one day while I was in Louisiana and told me that there was no good BBQ in this city. We wanted to show this region how traditional southern BBQ is done,” said Ardoin.
Here’s the highlights from out interview:
If you published a cookbook, what would you name it?
“Put Some South in Your Mouth”
What was the first meal you cooked for someone and how did it turn out?
“I made chicken fried steak. Glad I only cooked for my mom… You should have seen the kitchen. There was flour everywhere. I think I melted some Tupperware, too,” he chuckled.
How do you dress your hot dog?
“Definitely cheese. Relish and onions, too. On a grilled bun!”
__Did you ever want to do anything else before opening a restaurant? __
“I studied psychology at University of Louisiana, Lafayette. I really wanted to help underprivileged children.”
What is your go-to, neighborhood gem in Vegas?
“Boiling Crab. They have big, fresh, juicy crawfish. Feels like I’m back in southern Louisiana eating with my family”
What’s your favorite thing about operating in this city?
“Diversity. Seeing all these different people from all over the world eating our food is incredible. No matter what language they speak, it doesn’t matter. A smile is universal.”
What is your favorite memory from your first month in the business?
“Before we had this restaurant, my brother and I were selling food out of a little grill pit we pulled around with the truck. It was over on Russell & Valley View. The guys at the hardware shop were nice enough to let us do business there. The first day we sold 3 sandwiches. The second day we sold 7. I was so excited that we doubled our sales in one day!” he said optimistically.
When someone eats at Rollin’ Smoke, what dish do they absolutely have to try?
“The smoked meatloaf. It’s my mom’s recipe, but we added our smoked pulled pork and brisket. Can’t beat it”
__Anything else we should know about Rollin’ Smoke? __
We opened up a second location at the beginning of this year. It’s at 725 N Las Vegas Blvd next to Gold & Silver Pawn. You can catch my partner Rick Harrison (from Pawn Stars) bartending there a couple times a month.”
The interview concluded with me chowing down on their signature meatloaf and a generous portion of pulled pork. Try it for yourself at one of Rollin’ Smoke’s two locations in Las Vegas. Special thanks to Dusty!
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