BIG PAUL’S – Hope Springs Eternal

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ELV will give you this: Big Paul’s smelled right (nice and smokey) and (according to Calvin Trillin) he’s the right color (from the glimpse we caught of him).

He’s also fairly large, so there’s truth in advertising there too.

One of our Facebook friends swore by the brisket, but we found it too lean for our tastes and a bit dry — although the Burger Maven loved it. It’s also served in a more chunky-than-sliced-style, but was plenty tender and there was a ton of it. (One thing you won’t complain about here are the portion sizes.)

The pork was more chopped than pulled, but was sweet and juicy and obviously cooked with care. The buns were fresh (unforgivably, not always the case in barbecue joints), and the sauces (both the jalapeno and regular), tomato-based and plenty peppery.

We even liked the coleslaw.

ELV just realized as he was writing this that Big Paul is the same cook he discovered way down in the south end of town (near the South Point Hotel and Casino), over four years ago. We figured this out by looking at this video of his operation:

He apparently left those obscure digs for a year in Africa, then returned to open a joint on West Flamingo — where he was equally incognito. Let’s hope his new location will bring him many a happily-sated and smoked customer. The dude can cook.

ELV’s lunch for two came to $27, including a $5 tip.


3025 E. Desert Inn Road

Las Vegas, NV


7 thoughts on “BIG PAUL’S – Hope Springs Eternal

  1. There are two food groups what are awful bad in Vegas, BBQ and Tex Mex….hope this place can change my mind but I highly doubt it….

  2. Hey Choad. Would you happen to have any good classic or unusual sausage recipes for a fellow foodie? Cooking sausage, not dry stuff like salami and shit. There’s all kinds all google but hard to filter through 350,000,000 Nothing says lovin like getting real tanked and making sausages for yo peeps.

  3. I liked that location down here on Silverado Ranch when it was K’s BBQ. When this guy took it over and it became Cajun BBQ it seemed like he was trying to have the sauce make the BBQ instead of complementing it. Jalapeno BBQ sauce is a novelty – a couple bites and it burns your ability to taste good BBQ. K’s was the first BBQ place in Vegas that I found was close to what I was used to growing up around Houston.

    Now that Dickey’s on LV Blvd in front of the Premium Outlets on the southside opened up a couple years ago, I no longer go straight from the Houston airport to a BBQ joint before meeting the family for Christmas each year. I still have to eat my fill of TexMex because no matter what I try, and what people recommend, nobody’s quite hit it here yet.

  4. Where is the smoke ring on the pork and brisket? Doesn’t look like real bbq to me.

  5. ELV responds: A smoke ring is not necessarily a sign of good or heavy smoking. Smoke rings develop because of gases in the heat source interact with the pigment of the meat. A smoke ring can be a sign of a lot of smoking, but well-smoked meats may or may not develop one. We found the brisket above plenty smoky…the pork less so.

  6. No smoke ring indicates it was not cooked right. Most likely cooked ahead and stored in refrigerator. Took it out and poured some smoke sauce on it. Saves alot of time. They use to do this at Salt Lick.

  7. Why the mention of Tex Mex? Besides Tex Mex is how bad/lazy people cook real Mexican food. Tex Mex = Jail House Slop, or at least it did when I was in San Antonio for a few months last year. Speaking of BBQ, Rudy’s in San Antonio….

    Will be visiting Big Paul soon.

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