Plate 2.3 – Baby Back Ribs, Smoked Pulled Pork, Laura’s BBQ Baked Beans, Collard Greens, Macaroni and Cheese, Cornbread Muffin
Plate 2.3 – Hot Link, Chicken Chorizo Sausage, Buffalo Style Smoked Peg Leg Chicken, Pasta Salad, Macaroni and Cheese, Corn on the Cob
Banana Pudding with Shortbread Cookies
Bob’s Key Lime Pie
Open for approximately three months on West Warm Springs Road, Southwest Las Vegas’ dining scene continuing to grow by leaps and bounds, Tennesseasonings sees the Harris family bring a unique style of regional Barbeque to Sin City, the couple from Chattanooga certainly not shooting for Texas or Kansas City in style and equally far from the Mop-sauces offered in the Western half of their home State.
Located in the streetside storefront of the same strip mall as Japaneiro, the interior bright with Volunteer-Orange and pictures of Peyton and Reggie, guests entering Tennesseasonings will immediately be struck by the lack of a ‘smoked’ smell and the sounds of Sports Television, a sleepy-eyed team of four tucked behind the counter on a recent Saturday visit that found the space devoid of guests around 12:30 in the afternoon.
Thus far receiving mixed reviews that seem to be based on misperceptions of intent, comments about not being “Tennessee BBQ” clearly referencing Memphis and thus unaware that the East’s dry-rubbed style is as different from that as St. Louis is from Kansas City, it was as a group of two that the counter was approached with a big smile offered from a young man happy to make recommendations, he and his colleagues previously entertained by their cell phones and a re-run of Dunk Kings.
Bridging the style of Jack’s in Music City with North Carolina ‘cue, though the obvious lack of smokers at Tennesseasonings leads one to believe that the meat is prepared in an electric oven next to wood chips as opposed to directly over them, it was after a bit of decision making that two “Plate 2.3” combos were ordered along with Desserts and a Drink, the total cost coming out to just over $53 before tip and a nearly fifteen minute wait to follow as Food was prepared.
Offering a fairly diverse menu, the rotating specials including Turkey, Bologna and four styles of Sausage while the “Everyday Meat Choices” include traditional smokehouse fare plus several sides, it was after being approached twice more by servers to inquire about Wing Sauce and whether the order was to-go or for dine-in that several Styrofoam containers were presented, the sweet BBQ Sauce and seasoned Vinegar not particularly memorable, yet necessary as both the Ribs and Pork are served naked save for a bit of Salt, Pepper and Chili Powder.
Taking a look first at sides, the Macaroni and Cheese no better than straight-from-the-box Kraft with a touch less salinity while the tri-color Pasta Salad is virtually flavorless, those looking for something better are encouraged to try either the BBQ Beans mixed with Ground Beef or the tender Collard Greens teaming with Pork in a generous ladle of Pot Liquor.
Not particularly impressed by two complimentary Cornbread Muffins, the texture a bit too crumbly and sweetness for lack, it was by way of Pulled Pork that Meats were first tasted, an ample amount of crispy Skin mixed in with the flesh creating a pleasant texture that only required a bit of Sauce, the Ribs an entirely different story as they were plenty juicy but without any evidence of a Smoke ring and thus totally reliant on the Sauce for flavor beyond the basic seasoning.
Offering two links of Sausage to an order, the “Peg Leg Chicken” nothing more than smoked Wings and Drumettes slathered in a choice of Sauces, it was with hopes of a good spice profile that a Hot Link and Chicken Chorizo Sausage were selected, both of them clearly store bought and merely finished in house despite being flavorful enough while the ‘homemade’ Desserts were a hit and miss way to finish, the Hulk-Green Key Lime Pie buoyed by a buttery Graham Cracker Crust that played well off sour Filling that would have been better off with less Whipped Cream while the Banana Pudding was completely devoid of any whole Fruit with just a single Shortbread Cookie adding texture to a mix that was almost certainly straight out the box.
TWO AND A HALF STARS: Offering “good for what it is” as a sort of backhanded compliment, East Tennessee BBQ not especially well known outside the region for a reason, Tennesseasonings finds itself in a tough spot for trying to do something different in a city notoriously bad for Barbeque, the results largely marred by the lack of a smoker and reliance on what seems to be a lot of low-effort non-Meat items.
RECOMMENDED: Pulled Pork, Collard Greens, Hot Link, Chicken Chorizo Sausage.
AVOID: Banana Pudding, Macaroni and Cheese, Tri-Color Pasta.
TIP: Open from Noon till 8:00pm Wednesday through Saturday and until Seven o’clock on Sundays. $25 off $50 on Restaurant.com
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.