Opened three months ago by a husband and wife team hailing from San Antonio and Estonia, respectively, Big B’s Texas BBQ took over the former Jason’s Deli at 3019 St. Rose Parkway and completely reinventing the inside brick-by-brick and board-for-board over the course of just three months. The phrase “work of passion” proves thoroughly appropriate, and on a Saturday afternoon a visit they showed me the ‘cue to be superior in its simplicity, with no lack of down home flare.
Designed as a boot-scootin’ indoor picnic where the big board details a wide range of meats, sides, salads, sandwiches and combo plates, Big B’s brings the concept of true Texas Barbeque to Las Vegas by way of low n’ slow smoking using imported Oak from the Lone Star State with little more than a salt and pepper rub, the resultant crust on items like Beef and Baby Back Ribs a bit robust for flimsy plastic utensils while the smoke is deep to penetrate with a good ring on the brisket and chicken where crisp skin gives way to flesh that is moist and lean.
Explaining the reasons for importing Oak, as well as the use of North Las Vegas’ Nicholas Meats to acquire Beef in place of US Foods, first bites of ‘cue from Big B’s smoker included both Chicken as well as two cuts of Brisket, the lean stuff not particularly flavorful no matter the rub or techniques while the fattier cuts were melt-in-the-mouth tender, actually better on its own than with either style of house-made sauce.
In general trending a bit tomato heavy in terms of sauces as well as BBQ Beans, the first side tasted made by slow-simmering of Brisket from the day before, Creamed Corn and Coleslaw both also need a little work in terms of seasoning while the cornbread and Mac n’ Cheese are as good as any found at a similar operation, the former served as little muffins that are moist and dense without a need for any additional butter at all.
Continuing its ‘naked’ smoking with pork products, the smoky pulled pork featuring a deep sapor completely devoid of sweetness or sauce, Ribs are without doubt a *must* at Big B’s and with the aforementioned issues of cutlery already discussed the decision of whether to order Baby Backs or Beef Ribs is entirely one of personal preference, both presenting competition for best in the city and something to look out for when festival season begins.
Truly going *hot* with Links, each snappy Sausage tinged in Jalapenos with one version also featuring cheese, those with low spice tolerance will be glad to quench their thirst with beer, tea or beverages from a Coke Remix machine, though considering the quality of desserts those with room left over would be well advised to squelch the fire with peach cobbler atop all butter pastry and a crown of ice cream or a plastic clamshell of Banana Pudding with not just ‘Nilla Wafers but also Bruleed fruit dialing up the texture.
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THREE AND A HALF STARS: Offering what may just be the most “authentic” Texas Style ‘cue in a hundred miles, the choice to import Oak a testament to spending a little extra to do things right, Big B’s Texas BBQ still needs a little time to dial in the recipes for sides and sauces, but if and when they do there is real potential to elevate the restaurant from good to great.
RECOMMENDED: Baby Back Ribs, Beef Ribs, Chicken, Banana Pudding, Peach Cobbler.
AVOID: Creamed Corn, Cole Slaw, Lean Brisket.
TIP: Those who don’t fancy Country Western may wish to consider noise-cancelling Headphones or Take-Out because Big B’s is playing it loud n’ Proud.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.