Tennessee transplants share a taste of the South

Courtesy of Tennesseasonings/Flury Photography

Laura and Michael Harris owners of Tennesseasonings pose for a photo inside their restaurant.


• Address: 7315 W. Warm Springs Road, Las Vegas

• Phone: 702-342-1260

• Email: [email protected]

• Website:

• Hours of operation: noon-8 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday

• Owned/operated by: Michael and Laura Harris

• In business since: May

Describe your business.

We nurture a down-home feel, where walls are decked out with Tennessee Volunteers memorabilia and our staff upholds the same Southern hospitality we were raised on.

We also provide food for delivery, pick-up or dine-in, so our menu is fit for tailgaters, party hosts or families who just don’t feel like cooking at home on a busy weeknight.

What’s your most popular entrée?

Tennessee is all about the pork. Anyone who takes a first glance at our menu will see that whether it’s pork baby back ribs or pork sausage, we specialize in it.

Since we opened, we’ve seen a huge thumbs-up from folks who order our hand-pulled pork. The most popular sides are our beans and country coleslaw.

What flavors or methods distinguish East Tennessee barbecue from barbecue in Memphis or Nashville?

In the Southeast, you can almost pinpoint your location on a map based off of what’s cooking nearby. East Tennessee in particular borders North and South Carolina, where good barbecue is dry-rubbed, and brushed with spice and vinegar during the smoking process. We also have Alabama and Georgia as neighbors, so it’s no surprise that a special mustard-based sauce is a favorite on our menu. We often refer to east Tennessee as a blend of all its delicious surrounding influences.

What is your business philosophy?

Do it right, keep trying, serve with a smile, and customers come first. Tenets like these are a part of our blood, and are true staples of where we come from.

What obstacles has your business overcome?

It wasn’t easy finding a location that could both accommodate our fast-casual business model and provide the space necessary to carefully prepare our food. Smoking meat is a long, drawn-out practice that requires lots of time and patience. It’s not unheard of for Chef Michael to begin the smoking process at 3 or 4 in the morning.

What has been your hardest lesson in business?

The hardest lesson has been learning how to amplify buzz around your success. Sometimes, word of mouth isn’t everything, like it can be down South. In addition to encouraging those who like our food to tell their family and friends, we’ve invested in outside promotion, harnessing social media and newer channels of communication in the digital age.

How can Nevada improve its business climate?

All businesses can learn from one another. Whether you’re a major hotel and casino, tire mechanic or barbecue restaurateur, we all feel a responsibility to do well and succeed for our livelihood and our families. It would be nice to see businesses being more vocal about lessons they’ve learned and insight to triumphs that translate across all walks of business.

Of course, we’re all entitled to our own secret sauce; it just never hurts to reach out to other businesses to share thoughts and ideas that benefit our whole community.