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DOUBLE BARREL ROADHOUSE

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Monte Carlo

3770 Las Vegas Blvd. S.

Las Vegas, NV 89109

702-222-7735

website

$20-$30

Mon-Sat 11:30am-11pm

Sun 9am-11pm

American

B+

AT A GLANCE

What is it?

A honky tonk style restaurant and bar with a casual atmosphere and good food.

Where is it?

At Monte Carlo on the South Strip.

What kind of food is served?

Big portions of hearty, stick to your ribs, American food.

What is the atmosphere like?

Done up like a southern roadhouse with four bars and a big outdoor dining patio.

How is the service?

Excellent throughout the meal.

What are the prices like?

About typical for this type of restaurant on The Strip.

What else do I need to know?

They have frequent live entertainment at night that really kicks up the party atmosphere.

What's the bottom line?

A welcome addition to South... South Strip, that is.

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FULL REVIEW

Casual restaurants like this one are all the rage in Vegas these days. It serves up huge portions of hearty, stick-to-your ribs food in a laid back atmosphere at prices that may not be exactly cheap but aren't outrageously expensive either. The list of eateries that are doing the same basic thing includes Citizens Kitchen, Culinary Dropout, Dick's Last Resort, Gilley's, Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen PUB 1842, the Pub at Monte Carlo, pretty much anything with the word "pub" in the title, and pretty much every theme restaurant in town from Margaritaville to the Hard Rock Café. Call it the TGIFification of Sin city.

This particular example of the breed starts off with a great location and design. It's on the north end of Monte Carlo, right along The Strip and is, essentially completely open to the outside. Great big glass doors allow the exterior dining patio to blend almost seamlessly inside, making it light, bright, and airy. The overall aesthetic is like a southern roadhouse, with lots of exposed ductwork, brick, and metal accents giving off an industrial vibe. It's comfortable and casual - the kind of place you want to park yourself at and not leave for awhile.

Explaining a lot about its aura is the fact that there are four (!!) separate bars in the relatively small space. They serve a wide variety of both down home and handcrafted cocktails plus wine, wine coolers, draft beer, bottled beer, frozen drinks, and more.

As far as the food goes, you're talking good old American food here, much of it with a decided Down South spin. Snacky starters include mini corn dogs, deviled eggs, nachos, wings, and more. We sampled the quite fine corn chowder, topped with bacon bits and sour cream, and the crispy meatloaf appetizer, breaded and fried and then served with a bacon ketchup. Yes, I said bacon ketchup. Why didn't I think of that? It was delicious with just the right amount of spicy kick to keep it interesting.

If you have a hard time deciding on which appetizer to get, you can order the "Tower," which gives you a choice of five different ones plus nachos. It's roughly the size of a Buick.

There are a few salads, but as I have said about many places like this, really? You can fool yourself all you want but you're not fooling me. You really want the shrimp and cheesy grits or the half rack of St. Louis ribs, don't you? Did I mention they slow smoke their BBQ for hours so it is falling-off-the-bone tender? But okay, if you really want the salad the "Farmer's" variety is basically a farmer's market in a bowl with field greens, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, blue cheese dressing, and more.

The sliders are a good way to go if you are hungry but not insanely hungry and don't want to have leftovers. BBQ beef or pork, mushroom, Buffalo or fried chicken are the options. I sampled the latter, served on Hawaiian rolls with grilled poblano peppers and ranch and was very happy with my choice.

"Boss Plates" come with a choice of a side and a biscuit and include options like the aforementioned BBQ, fried chicken, Pacific swordfish, a pork chop, and more.

"Plate Specials" have more of that downhome flair with items like a chicken pot pie, chicken fried steak, pork shank, and even a cowboy steak.

Burgers and sandwiches round out the menu. From this section we sampled the pulled pork, served on a sweet Texas toast with a tangy mustard-based BBQ, and the grilled cheese, also served on the toast but with a parmesan crust, big tomatoes, and thick-cut bacon. Both were terrific but if they got thrown into a cage to fight for supremacy the grilled cheese would win by a mile and then promptly go on to kick the ass of every other grilled cheese that came to challenge it. It was a really good grilled cheese.

Desserts are silly fun. I was going to try the birthday cake, complete with candles and decorations, or pie in a jar options (a slice of peanut butter or lemon meringue served in a glass jar) but in the end went with the deep fried s'mores.

Salad? Really?

I was actually a bit disappointed in the s'mores. They were like little beignets - graham crackers stuffed with marshmallow and chocolate, then battered and deep fried, but the batter made them more dough than anything else and it overwhelmed the richness of the filling. The chocolate chunk cookies that I took to eat on the plane later were much more successful.

Service was great - friendly, knowledgeable, and patient.

Appetizers are mostly under $10; salads (really?), sliders, and sandwiches are mostly $13-$15; and plates run from $13 on the low end all the way up to $40 for the 24 ounce cowboy steak. The latter is an exception - most others are under $20.

Those are typical prices for the TGIFification category, but Double Barrel is a cut or two above many of the others in the class (including most with the word "pub" in the title and all of the theme restaurants). But you know what would really kick it up a notch? Maybe they can put the bacon ketchup on a salad...

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