Road Kill Grill’s barbecue delivers an out-of-the-way experience

Chuck Frommer goes to work on some Road Kill Grill chicken, one of the best bites at the northwest barbecue shack.
Photo: Beverly Poppe

The Details

Road Kill Grill
At John Mull’s Meats, 3730 Thom Blvd., 645-1200.
Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Road Kill Grill's filling half-chicken dinner, with mac and cheese and green beans.

The Strip is chock full of transporting dining experiences, restaurants that can make you feel as though you’re anywhere but Vegas. Off the Strip, not so much. But swing by John Mull’s Meats, a butcher shop in the northwest, and you’ll wonder if you’ve been magically teleported to a tiny southwestern town where the roadside barbecue shack is everyone’s favorite lunch. With its cramped counter and barn-like outdoor dining area, the store’s makeshift Road Kill Grill feels just like one of those joints Guy Fieri discovers on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

Actually, it is one of those joints. It was on “triple D” in May. Whether owner Chuck Frommer quickly fashioned Road Kill Grill out of his catering operation specifically to secure Food Network stardom is not our concern; we are hunting awesome barbecue, and we’ll go anywhere for it. He’s got it.

Wait in line patiently and decide which meats you want. There’s chicken, brisket, spareribs, hot links, pulled pork and pulled chicken. The side dishes are pure home cooking, the best and most filling accompaniments I’ve tasted at any local barbecue restaurant. Serious mac and cheese, people. You can also pick cold potato salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw, soupy and delicious baked beans, or green beans. For dessert, there’s super-sweet apple or peach cobbler.

If you can’t decide, go with a three-meat, two-sides combo ($16). The quartered chicken is the best of the meats, juicy succulence awaiting under crispy-charred, spicy-salty skin. The half chicken dinner with two sides is $9 and easily stuffs two starving people.

Fieri practically freaked out when Frommer boiled his ribs on TV, a big no-no among barbecue purists. Maybe skip those. The flavor from the house-made rub is powerful, but the meat is dry and bland. The sliced brisket is a step up, and the tender, well-sauced pulled pork is even better, perfect in sandwich form ($6).

With the heat hopefully subsiding, ’tis the season for outdoor cooking and eating. Save yourself the cooking part here, with the bonus of feeling like you made an adventurous road trip discovery.

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Brock is an award-winning writer and reporter who has been documenting life in Las Vegas for 20 years. He currently ...

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