It hasn’t received recognition as such, but H&H BBQ is nothing short of a local institution.
Its status as one of the Valley’s go-to barbecue joints stretches back to 1968, when it opened as Hicks Bar-B-Q on Jackson Avenue, then the commercial-district heart of historic West Las Vegas. H&H moved to several locations over the years, including a popular spot on Martin Luther King Boulevard that opened in 1999 and burned down four years later. (The family rebounded by opening the more upscale Sweet Georgia Brown’s restaurant on East Flamingo Road, which later closed.)
No matter the location, H&H has always been more than a place to get great ribs and fried catfish. It remains an integral business and community gathering place—a long-running favorite of local politicians—and though it has primarily served North Las Vegas, H&H has consistently attracted customers from all over the Valley, including its current headquarters, a takeout stand on Las Vegas Boulevard at Civic Center Drive.
In the fall of 2012, H&H became a little more accessible when partners Rochelle Schoener and Toni Terrell opened the first franchise. H&H BBQ Plus 2 took over a former Burger King space on North Rancho Drive, offering the same soulful Southern fare in a bright and friendly atmosphere. Sitting here, working my way through a lunch of perfectly crispy, cornmeal-coated catfish, exuberantly sauced baby back ribs, fried okra and black-eyed peas, I have to wonder why this new restaurant’s arrival wasn’t bigger news, and why H&H is never mentioned in lists of our city’s oldest and best-loved eateries.
Order ahead if you want to fire up your family cookout with the good stuff, like a full slab of ribs with two sides ($32.99) or a large bucket of rib tips ($28.99). H&H BBQ Plus 2 maintains the original’s tradition of Sunday specials, gravy-smothered chicken or pork chops over rice ($7.99 lunch, $11.99 dinner) with a cornbread muffin and two of its terrific sides. If you don’t dig okra and black-eyed peas, they’ve got fries, slaw, ranch-style beans, potato salad, collard greens, candied yams, mac and cheese or corn on the cob.
My favorite H&H meats are pork and fish, though the barbecue chicken and fatty, smoky brisket are up there, too. Those tender, sweet and saucy ribs and rib tips may be the most popular, available as lunch plates ($6.99) or in multi-meat combos ($14.99-$20.99). If you want it on a roll, get the pulled pork and slaw sandwich ($6.99). Fresh from the fryer, there’s that catfish, the pollock-like whiting or whole chicken wings ($7.99 to $11.99). For dessert, it’s peach cobbler or banana pudding, two treats that exemplify the simple, sweet satisfaction that H&H has been serving up for decades.
H&H BBQ PLUS 2 4510 N. Rancho Drive, 702-333-1233. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, noon-7 p.m.