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Last Update: Jul 4th, 2022
Orleans Big Als

Big Al's Oyster Bar

4500 West Tropicana
Las Vegas NV, 89103
+1 702 365 7111
Overall Rating
2.1
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review
06/28/2022

Details

Parking: Free Hotel Parking
CC: Yes
Outside Dining: No

Critic's Review

The Orleans sounds like a place that should have good New Orleans food, right? Today I was going to find out.

Big Al's is located in restaurant row right next to TGI Fridays. Why is there a TGIF in a New Orleans inspired casino? I can't answer that.

I arrived at 2:45 and the lunch special ends at 3pm. The place was still fairly occupied so wasn't getting a big comfortable table for myself, and there were too many people at the bar to want to sit there in a chair that didn't look all that comfortable.

Big Als Bar

There's a small dining room in the back; this place seemed bigger in the Hotel description.

Big Als Back Room

One thing I noticed about the menu is that they've changed their food. Big Al's is taking a step backwards by dumbing down their ingredients. A year ago, they were using authentic ingredients in their gumbo; now they've replaced the Tasso and Andouille with Portuguese sausage.

Big Als Gumbo Description

Had they discovered a new way to make gumbo, or were they just cheaping out by using less expensive ingredients? Maybe they got a deal on a load of portuguese sausage? Costco sells the stuff. I ordered the Gumbo because that's always what I order in a place like this.

Bread comes with the deal; it was toasted and just had too airy to be useful with butter. They did taste better than the rolls at Sunset Station Oyster bar.

Big Als Bread

At least the packets were soft so the butter could be spread. I hate when they deliver frozen butter.

Big Als Bread Buttered

If you sit at the bar you can watch the dude cook the food. Sometimes it's best not to see them make the sausage.

Big Als Cook

When the gumbo was put in front of me, I was initially puzzled. Gumbo is supposed to be thick, but this was downright lumpy.

Big Als Gumbo

I ate some of the stuff off of the top; but this really wasn't a soup. The lumps turned out to be rice. Usually a scoop of rice is put on top of the gumbo so you can scrape it off if you only want a small amount of rice. This rice was fully incorporated.

Big Als Gumbo 2

I could hardly taste the gumbo there was so much rice; what I can tell you is that the sausage wasn't very good and there was no spice at all (also no hot sauce was offered or available).

Big Als Gumbo Close

As I struggled to scrape stuff off the top, the truth was discovered; This was really just a bowl of rice with some stuff ladled over it. Not really a soup. This is what I left on the plate. I didn't want to eat the rest of this.

Big Als Rice Bowl

I had to wait for my check as my server had disappeared. It's always great to not be able to get your check and leave after you've have a bad meal.

The place empties out after 3; Just a handful of people in the place at 3:30.

Big Als Inside

Conclusion

The reviews of Big Al's kept me from coming here sooner, but it appears they've taken a turn for the worse. Older pictures show that they used to separate the rice and the gumbo was actually a liquid; so this garbage they're serving now is new. Plan your next visit accordingly.

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Sharon
Reply
Finally some truth!

Next: Chayo Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar