B.B. King's Blues Club
 Las Vegas, Nevada         Date of Visit  12/10/10             

Here we are, back where it all started, Viva Las Vegas. Having arrived and gotten settled we started right off the bat and strolling through the Mirage found B.B. King’s Blues Club. It’s not that often you see Southern food in Vegas, so we thought we would give it a shot. Plus there is a live band doing some blues/soul classics, how could you go wrong. While the band was warming up we perused the menu and ordered the Catfish bites appetizer. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting all that much as most joints connected to a famous name often don’t deliver on the plate. The basket of catfish nuggets upped the ante though. Moist and covered with a thin and flavorful breading the nuggets alone were really good. The dip added another radishy layer of flavor that upped expectations. I was so excited I ordered a house shot called Boogie Woogie  and about then the Memphis All Stars Kicked in, belting out some soulful accompaniment.



The Memphis All Stars, Workin' it

Our Table Top

As the horn section backed up a Blues Boy hit we started to notice the décor. The walls are littered with blues memorabilia from Eric Clapton to Booker T. and the MGs. Each table top was painted with an album cover from artists I knew and some I had never heard of. We were sitting at the table of Guitar Slim’s album, The Things That I Used To Do, you can see the picture. Our server appeared disinterested in the evening’s events and apparently had something else on his mind.

For entrees we purposefully chose two of the identified King’s personal dishes, the pulled pork platter and the chicken fried chicken. There is a reason B. B. looks the way he does and is doing commercials for blood sugar meters. The pulled pork was nice, tender and had a nice smoke ring. There appeared to be little flavoring on the meat and the sauce was understated even though it appeared dark and rich. Over all it was simple straight forward Q. The slaw was passable but the baked beans were a complete throwaway, I would definitely have done something different.

The chicken was another story. Again a thin and tasty breading encircled very well prepared meat full of juices and flavor. The chicken was resting atop a white cheddar mac and cheese which was the greatest disappointment of the night. The pasta was disastrously overcooked and was about 30 of boil away from porridge. I can’t really recall the sauce; I was so distracted by the pasta…really too bad, considering how good the chicken was.

The Real Highlight, Catfish Bites

Workable Pulled Pork Platter

Great Chicken Fried Chicken, Tragic Pasta

At this point the band had won over the room, which was no small feat. Waiting for a cab at the airport I had begun to wonder if we had accidentally flown to Houston as we were surrounded by many shiny belt buckles and Stetsons. The rodeo is in town, Houston has come to us. It wasn’t much difference in the Blues Club as the boots and vests inhabited nearly half the tables. You might think the two wouldn’t go well together but the band could play and the cowboys were certainly interested in a good time and hit the dance floor in appreciation of the tunes.

We would have joined them but we still had “work” to do. In a last gasp we tried the signature dessert, the banana bread pudding. Rich, custardy bread with slices of banana was soaked in a rum flavored sauce and made for a serious but not over sweet close to some southern comfort. Nice place, great music, blasé service and better than expected dining, that might sum up the Blues King’s club.

Banana Bread Pudding




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