By: Bob Gourley
The LINQ is full of unique places to dine but until recently there was no BBQ. That has changed with the opening of Virgil’s Real BBQ. This is the newest location of a small chain that also has outposts at Times Square in New York and at Atlantis in the Bahamas.
“Real BBQ” means different things to different folks but the menu at Virgil’s should toe the line for smoked-flavor fans. On a recent visit, not everything was perfect but for the most part if you know what to order you will enjoy not only a good meal but the live music that accents the experience well.
For starters don’t miss the BBQ Chicken Wings. They are gigantic and have a slightly smoked flavor that is enhanced with the Maytag Blue Cheese dip that comes with it. Other first flavors include BBQ nachos with pulled chicken, Carolina pulled pork and brisket.
Texas Chili is made with braised beef, shredded cheddar and tortilla chips. Homemade potato chips are dusted with Creole seasoning and smoked coarse salt. Trainwreck Fries are a collection of spuds generously covered with melted cheddar and jack cheeses, smoked bacon, scallions plus pickled jalapenos with ranch dressing.
You may want to skip the Grilled Chicken Salad. The avocado, bacon and onion were fine but what looked to be standard ready-mix greens were not worthy of the $15 cost.
Much better was the Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwich with a mound of meat seasoned with signature sauce on a sesame bun. It comes with potato salad, cole slaw and pickles. By the way the sauce was spicier than I usually like but I wasn’t bothered by this one at all as it was delicious. A Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich is another option along with a Fried Catfish Po’Boy.
Dinner entrée portions are large but on this particular visit the beef brisket was a little fatty with my companion having to cut out large pieces to get to the juicy meat that was fine after all of the labor.
You can also get a chargrilled 20-ounce T-Bone Steak with two sides and cornbread. I want to try the Kansas City Fried Chicken on my next visit.
Sides include hickory-pit baked beans (again on the spicy side) mashed potatoes and gravy and collard greens with ham hocks. Rarely-found pickled beets are available and so is cornbread.
Our party didn’t try dessert but there are a couple: banana pudding and peanut butter pie.
Since there is a large patio area, this is a good spot to enjoy a libation from their extensive list of cocktails and craft beers. You can not only watch the crowds as they scamper down the main street at the LINQ, but they will probably also enjoy getting a look at your plate of food and want to immediately enter.
I’m sure they do plenty of catering as their party menu is well equipped to handle even the largest event. BBQ, ambiance and music all go together at Virgil’s BBQ.
Virgil’s, the LINQ Promenade, 3545 Las Vegas Blvd., S. Las Vegas (702) 389-7400. www.virgilsbbq.com.