No cuisine is more American than barbecue, and no barbecue restaurant in Las Vegas embodies the American dream more than Rollin’ Smoke. Chef John Holland’s story begins in his birthplace of Magnolia, Arkansas where he worked in wholesale construction for the better part of his life. His passion for cooking, as well as his desire to be near his dad, fueled his decision to ditch his hometown gig as Pitmaster of the company picnics and head to Sin City.
John immediately funneled his friendly Arkansas spirit into block parties, where he and his father invited the whole neighborhood to come out and enjoy their barbecue specialties. He decided to further his culinary education by enrolling at Le Cordon Bleu, and shortly after graduating one of his block party guests invited John to sell his soulful creations outside the man’s hardware store on Valley View and Russell. On the first day John sold three sandwiches in four hours, but within two weeks he was selling seventy five sandwiches in two hours.
John continued cooking on the side of the street six days a week for three years with help from his pop, who would tend to the barbecue while John was working swing shift in the kitchens of Station Casinos. He soon ran out of cooking space to expand any further, so he decided to move the operation from his garage to small strip mall tucked beneath the 15 at Highland and Desert Inn. Rollin’ Smoke now had a place to call home.
John’s affable brother Dusty moved out to help John and his dad open the restaurant, and for the first four months it was just the three of them. John cautiously kept his casino job for the first year, knowing that most restaurants fail during this crucial time. His fears dissipated as the accolades started flowing in, and the restaurant quickly earned national recognition as one of Localeats.com’s top twenty barbecue restaurants of 2013.
John attributes his success to following his passion to cook the food he loves and strong desire to put smiles on the faces of all who eat it. Arkansas isn’t part of the four main regional styles of barbecue, but John calls what he creates his own version of Arkansas BBQ, or simply a combination of all the kinds of barbecue he likes. The ever-praising Dusty considers his brother to be a pioneer in the kitchen, modernizing soul food with twists like the Outlaw Burger, the BBQ Parfait, and the family’s personal favorite, Smoked Meatloaf. The meatloaf is made by combining his mom’s recipe for the retro dish with pulled pork that has been smoked for fifteen hours, brisket that has been smoked for eighteen hours, and then smoking that concoction for another six. It is doubtful this much time and thought has gone into any other meatloaf ever prepared.
For the purists, Rollin’ Smoke’s baby back ribs are tender as can be without disintegrating off the bone, and the sauce is something special to say the least. It’s light and tangy with the optimal mix of heat and sweet, and so delicious you’ll want to order an extra side or two if taking food to go. Don’t miss out on a side of Kicken’ Beans, which are spicy and slow-baked with hot links and pulled pork.
John and his family have embraced Vegas as home, and love that people from nearly every continent have come to try their ‘cue. You can feel the love and Southern hospitality from the moment you smell the smokers outside, an experience that sticks with you as you leave with a fully belly and happy heart. The whole crew down to John’s four and eight year old daughters help create this for you, so get your dose of family and phenomenal barbecue at Rollin‘ Smoke, and follow Dusty’s order to “put a little South in your mouth”.
3185 Highland Dr
3185 Highland Dr
Las Vegas, NV 89109
That's the meatloaf buried under a mound of crispy onion rings.
Here was the fish tank recently created for the TV show "Tanked". It has a bunch of fake meat and little fish in it.