Just opened: Braeswood BBQ
By Zoneil Maharaj
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After crushing it on the pop-up circuit for the last couple years, Braeswood BBQ now brings its authentic Tex-Mex barbecue to the Las Vegas Arts District. Located at 1504 S. Main Street, Braeswood BBQ is a tribute to chef Gerald Casas’ Tejano upbringing.
Named after the Houston neighborhood Gerald grew up in, Braeswood fuses true Texas barbecue with Mexican staples. “Tex-Mex, that’s my roots,” he says. “I tried to emulate the flavors from my grandmother’s cooking.”
The result is a menu that features Gerald’s signature “low and slow” prime grade smoked brisket and oak-smoked ribs alongside smoked carnitas, tacos, and unique inventions like pozole ramen — a nod to his time working at the now-shuttered Lucky Foo’s.
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A veteran chef, Gerald has worked at esteemed establishments throughout the Las Vegas Valley, including B&B Ristorante, Bouchon, and Green Valley Ranch, where he brought the BBQ program back to the hotel-casino’s buffet.
At Braeswood, guests will be able to order brisket and carnitas by the pound, along with half or full racks of ribs. The menu also includes a chicken dinner — a whole chicken brined in sweet tea for 24 hours, then smoked, then deep fried — and various combo platters.
“We’re constantly putting effort and care in everything we do,” Gerald says.
Braeswood’s brick-and-mortar has been in the works since last summer, transforming an empty shell to a quaint, roadhouse-style joint. He’s spent 10 months alone working on the pit and dialing in his product. He smokes his brisket for 11-14 hours and ribs for 5-7 until they’re tender and juicy. “It’s really elevated to that Texas-style barbecue,” he says.
The restaurant itself isn’t flashy or pretentious. Inside is a small space with an open kitchen and 12 counter seats. The back patio is where the real action is, with 32 seats and their custom smoker, nicknamed “Sancha.” They also plan to set up a small patio in front to hold 15 more guests.
“We wanted to create a welcoming, down-home vibe,” Gerald says.