LAF says, right there on the front page, that June 3rd is National Chocolate Macaroon Day, but there’s often more than one food holiday per day. Like today, June 3rd, which is also National Donut Day. In honor of the fried ring pastry, the Las Vegas Review-Journal presents ten Sin City donut shops, none of which are in the Dunkin’-Horton mold. Note that Donut Bar, a new arrival from San Diego, is giving away a free birthday cake donut today to all who show up! We’re kinda liking the looks of that strawberry shortcake donut, with fresh berries and whipped cream, at Glaze Doughnuts as well.
We learned last spring that a Shake Shack would be coming to Scottsdale AZ in 2016. It hasn’t yet opened but the latest word is that three Shake Shacks will be opening in the region in 2016. That Scottsdale location, in Fashion Square, along with a Phoenix Shake Shack to be planted in Uptown Plaza, should be operating by this spring. A third location will begin serving sometime this year in Phoenix’s Kierland Commons. The Arizona-only concrete, named the Camel Shack, will feature vanilla custard, salted caramel sauce, and banana cream pie made by The Bakery Phx of Phoenix. Shake Shack has been rapidly expanding in the east but these Phoenix stores will join the ones in Las Vegas and Austin as the only western U.S. Shake Shacks to date.
The inventor of the Buffalo wing, Anchor Bar, opened a branch on The Strip in Las Vegas, in the Venetian. So how do these wings stack up against the original? Writing for Las Vegas Weekly, Brock Radke says “stick to mild, medium or hot sauces, and you’ll find simple wing happiness. They’re plenty meaty and wonderfully crispy, and not at all dried out like what might happen at your neighborhood bar.” You can also go Full Buffalo and get yourself a beef-on-weck while you’re at it (that’s roast beef on a salt-and-caraway spangled roll), which must be a rare sight west of the Rockies.
“Before God was God and boulders were boulders, the Basques were already Basques.” That Basque saying refers to the Basque people’s very long history, said to predate the arrival of the people who became most of today’s European population. The descendants of Basques who came to this country primarily in the 19th century have a strong cultural identity, which is celebrated each year in Elko, Nevada at the National Basque Festival. This year’s festival runs from July 3rd through 5th. One thing you can count on: there will be plenty of robust Basque cuisine to sample. Continue reading
A couple of decades ago it seemed as if every American chef with a name and a reputation to promote set up shop in Las Vegas, NV. A more recent trend has taken that idea to the country’s regional food specialists. As difficult as it once would have been to imagine, you can now find branches of Buffalo’s Anchor Bar and New York’s Di Fara pizzeria in Sin City! Do a little digging and you’ll also find Michigan pasties, Detroit-style pizza, and even the towering pastrami on rye sandwiches of Manhattan’s famed Carnegie Deli. Read more about this new twist on the Vegas food scene in Larry Olmsted’s piece in Forbes.
Anchor Bar, Buffalo, NY’s self-proclaimed inventor of the Buffalo wing, will open an outpost next month in Las Vegas, at The Venetian in the Grand Canal Shoppes. They’ll be offering counter service, and they’re replacing a Nathan’s, so it sounds like they are aiming for more of a fast-food operation than the tavern setting of the Buffalo original. And, no, despite what the writer of this story says, they do not dust the wings with cayenne.
Take a former USC quarterback who has completed his two years of missionary work for the LDS church, and place him in a pizzeria in a wealthy suburb of Las Vegas. This does not sound like a promising formula for pizza greatness. Yet that is exactly what owner Brad Otton has achieved at Settebello. Continue reading
The first branch of Graeter’s west of the Mississippi has recently opened in the Forum Food Court on the casino floor of Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Gamblers, or gamers as they like to call them here, will now have the chance to drown their sorrows in Graeter’s unique French Pot-method ice cream, made two-and-a-half gallons at a time. Apparently, every good place to eat in America will eventually have a branch in Sin City.
The Flores family has run Tucson’s legendary (since 1922) Sonoran restaurant El Charro since 1992. If you’ve ever enjoyed a chimichanga you can thank El Charro for inventing the dish (or so they say). The Flores family opened a restaurant in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas at the tail end of 2013. It’s called Hecho en Vegas and, while it is not a branch of El Charro, it features many of the Flores’ recipes, and certainly the Flores family’s way around the kitchen can’t help but inform their MGM Grand project. See more in the KVOA piece below:
KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona
“Everybody is going to tell you they taste like chicken. That’s a lie.” So says a local at the Bucket of Blood Saloon in Virginia City, NV, while waiting for the Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry (formerly known as the International Comstock Mountain Oyster Fry) to begin. Traditionalists like ‘em deep-fried but they might also be served with bordelaise sauce or as, gulp, sushi. We don’t recall Hoss or Little Joe riding into Virginia City for a mess of testicle sushi, but times have changed… Continue reading
First off, let us state up front that we are not vegans, nor have we ever been vegans (save for a seemingly endless five-day macrobiotic episode decades ago). So why do we recommend a vegan version of one of America’s naughtiest foods? More to the point, in our minds: why is there a vegan version of donuts? Are there really that many people who crave fried, sugared dough but avoid them because of the use of animal products? There must be, because here is Ronald’s Donuts of Las Vegas, maker of vegan donuts that put to shame those turned out by the big donut chains. Continue reading
When it comes to food for the visitor, Las Vegas is a funny place. All the attention goes to the casinos, for three things: the upscale restaurants run by nationally known chefs, the buffets, and the old-time bargains like 99-cent shrimp cocktails. People forget that Las Vegas is a big city and, like all big cities, there are plenty of superb places to eat around town. We guarantee that the 2 million folks living in the metropolitan area don’t limit their dining to The Strip. You just have to know where to go. Continue reading
A Morning Menu of Stories We Think You’ll Find Interesting
Viva La Local in Tucson This Sunday
Viva La Local is returning this Sunday to Rillito Raceway Park in Tucson, Arizona. The food festival debuted in spring 2014 and was such a big hit that organizers hope to make it a twice-yearly event. There will be over 80 farmers market vendors in attendance, 25 local restaurants, and several area wineries and breweries, along with music by Tucson bands. They are offering bike valet service and will store your farmers market purchases in a refrigerated truck (be sure to tell them not to refrigerate your tomatoes) while you enjoy the festival! Proceeds go to help support the Heirloom Farmers Market. Continue reading
For some reason we feel compelled to make this confession whenever we are about to recommend a restaurant for its hash: we like canned hash. OK, not “we”; one of us does (we won’t say which one, but we will say that his wife finds the tightly packed, greasy, cylindrical-shaped substance with an aroma uncomfortably close to dog food to be, how to put this delicately… vile). Hopefully, you’ll take that as an indication of a real love of hash, not a real lack of taste. Because if you trust us, we can direct you to a Las Vegas breakfast jackpot called Hash House, which really is a HASH house. Continue reading