There’s really only one spot serving real barbecue on the Strip, and it’s this honky-tonk at Treasure Island. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t know how to two-step or are lacking cowboy boots, Gilley’s ’cue is loved by all. There’s a namesake beef and bean chili on the menu, but it was the award-winning green chili that had us wanting another bowl. A rich, tomatillo sauce enhanced with Hatch and poblano chilies, making it tangy and only slightly spicy, it is studded with big chunks of pork, topped with Mexican sour cream, and served with fresh tortillas. Barbecue is done properly here, smoked over a mesquite pit. St. Louis spare ribs get finished with a Southern Comfort barbecue sauce glaze, while the baby back ribs also take a glaze at the end, though you’re more than welcome to order them naked (the ribs, not you) if all you need for flavor is smoke. The combos are the best way to go here, with choices of two to six meats, so you can sample a little bit of everything. Should you want to take a ride on the mechanical bull, make sure you do it before you eat, or wait a good period after—it’s definitely not fun when you’re as stuffed as you’ll get here. Line dancing to help digest is always a good idea.
- Rick Garman