Wildly popular Houston barbecue joint picked for prestigious Las Vegas food hall
The Blood Bros. are coming to Las Vegas. Brothers Robin and Terry Wong and pitmaster Quy Hoang will open a new location of Blood Bros. BBQ as one of 16 stalls at Famous Food Street Eats, a new food hall at the Resorts World Las Vegas, a new, 88-acre, three hotel complex opening this summer.
Since it opened in 2018, Blood Bros. has received national recognition for its Asian-influenced take on classic Texas barbecue. Named the best new restaurant in the 2019 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards, the Bellaire barbecue joint also made Bon Appétit list of the best new restaurants of 2019 and Texas Monthly’s 2019 list of the state’s 25 best new barbecue joints.
The connection between the acclaimed barbecue restaurant and the $4.3 billion dollar Vegas resort runs through chef Chris Cosentino, chef-owner of Rosalie Italian Soul in downtown’s C. Baldwin hotel. As part of the Southern Smoke Festival in 2019, chef Chris Shepherd invited all of the participants, including Cosentino and his business partner Oliver Wharton, to have lunch at Blood Bros. Wharton’s company A Perfect Bite worked with Resorts World owners Genting Berhad to curate the food hall.
“I guess there was a few barbecue joints they were scoping out, Robin Wong tells CultureMap. “Ours was the top pick.”
After being presented with the opportunity and negotiating the terms, including the ability to visit the property for quality control, they agreed to the deal.
“It’s a great opportunity, but if we weren’t comfortable, we weren’t going to do it,” Wong says. “We weren’t going to sacrifice our brand that we worked so hard for with people we didn’t trust . . . We saw that they did care, and they want to do everything they can to make the product right.”
The hotel has provided Hoang with one of the smokers that will be installed at the restaurant so that he can familiarize himself with it. Soon, the barbecue stand’s future pitmasters will come to Houston for training. In addition, Hoang will travel to Vegas for the opening to get everything dialed in and to ensure all of the restaurant’s signature sides are being made properly.
At opening, the menu will focus on the Texas barbecue trinity of brisket, pork ribs, and sausage. To give patrons a little of Blood Bros. signature spices, the stand will serve the restaurant’s gochujang pork ribs and togarashi-spiced turkey.
“We want to focus on good Texas barbecue, pretty much what got us started,” Hoang says. “We didn’t start off with all the crazy stuff. Down the line, maybe we can add a couple things.”
Opening at the food hall puts Blood Bros. in some pretty prestigious company. Other concepts include: Streetbird Las Vegas, a fried chicken concept from celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson; Kuru Kuru Pa Yakitori, a Japanese restaurant from superstar DJ and producer Steve Aoki and his restaurateur brother; Ah Chun Shandong Dumpling, a Hong Kong stand recognized with a Michelin Bib Gourmand designation; and Pepita’s Kitchen, a stand in Manilla once visited by Anthony Bourdain, according to a release.
“It’s exciting. The ones they brought from Singapore are pretty hardcore,” Hoang says.
“You know we’re not chefs. We’re backyard guys,” Wong adds. “It’s definitely an honor to be included with those guys.”
Also exciting is what this project could mean for Blood Bros. if it takes off. Resorts World has properties through the U.S. and Asia — all of which could potentially house Blood Bros. outposts.
“There’s definitely some opportunities we hope we can take advantage of and really make Blood Bros a global brand,” Wong says. “That would blow us all out of the water.”