Day 12 started with us leaving the Palazzo headed North for Reno. It was coming up on lunch time, so we stopped by John Mull's Road Kill Grill in North Las Vegas for some award winning BBQ. Tucked back in an old North Las Vegas neighborhood it isn't easy to find the Road Kill Grill, but this place knows how to BBQ. Huge portions and great prices rule the day, and the friendly folks in this shop will have you coming back for more.
John Mull's started as a butcher shop in 1954, and when you walk in the door it is easy to see that even with the press his Grandson's Road Kill Grill has gotten, this is still very much an old school butcher shop. Now run by his Grandson, Chuck Frommer (who was expertly cutting up chicken fryers on the table while we were in line for our lunch) the shop no longer houses a slaughter house like it did in the old days, but still processes meat from local hunters in addition to their own meats shipped in from local stock yards.
When you start with fresh meat, good BBQ naturally follows and Chuck and his crew make some great food. On the Fat Boy Road Trip we stopped in at several places featured in Food Network and Travel Channel food shows, and many had changed portion sizes or prices after gaining notoriety. If the Road Kill Grill trimmed down portion sizes, it wasn't evident in what I received.
In true BBQ joint tradition there are several meal types available at the Road Kill Grill. You can order a single type of meat and choose two side dishes. You can order a BBQ meat sandwich with most of the meats as available options. The most typical order for me at this type of place is the two or three meat combo. I chose a two meat combo unsure of portion size, and was floored by the amount of food on my plate. I received easily a pound and a half of meat between the brisket slices and the sliced hot links, plus a huge portion of scratch made mac & cheese, a white dinner roll, and a cup of beans on the side. All of this for just $14.95, a bargain considering the amazing flavor. Some folks from Texas might complain that the brisket is kept warm in aus ju already sliced instead of being sliced to order, but in a high volume line setting like this expecting hand carved brisket is unrealistic. Purists should be thankful that the sliced brisket is served from a pan of aus ju and not BBQ sauce as I've seen up North, which I think often masks poorly seasoned and smoked brisket far too often. The hot links are obviously their own recipe, and have good flavor that is only enhanced by the sauce if ordered sliced (you can order them whole as well, where they are served without sauce). I also had an order of peach cobbler for dessert, and was glad I did as it was an amazing addition to a fabulous meal.
If you are in the area of North Las Vegas, you owe it to your taste buds to stop in to see the folks at The Road Kill Grill for some amazing BBQ at this down home slice of Fat Boy Heaven.
After leaving Las Vegas we headed North to compete our gambling trifecta with a visit to Reno for Coop to meet up with a buddy he served with who calls "The World's Biggest Little City" home. After the lights and glamour of Vegas, Reno seems quiet and sedate by comparison. Much more sedate and with a feeling of more age and history I actually preferred the slower pace Reno offered. Before we got there we had to pass through the desert though.
We got to Reno and checked into our room at Circus Circus ready for a night out exploring "The Biggest Little City on Earth". Coop's friend Jon met us at the hotel and we started exploring the strip. As I said earlier, after Vegas being in Reno was like leaving the big city for your hometown. It just felt more laid back and comfortable.
We walked from hotel to hotel having a few beers along the way, and around midnight I headed back to Circus Circus to get some sleep and let Jon and Coop have some time to catch up. Back at Circus Circus I sat down at a slot for a couple minutes and hit my first big win of the trip, $304.65 on a $20 deposit into the Batman: The Dark Knight video slot machine. More would follow the next day, but I decided to head to the room up $280 for the night.