Tag Archives: cheap

KOMEX FUSION: Gesundheit.

Note: I am on a bit of a Mexican food kick recently. Is this a problem? No? I thought so.

Fusion food gets a bad rap.  Well, good fusion food does.  Bad fusion food can go right to the garbage where it belongs.  I’m no expert on what makes Asian food authentic, but I know a good version of food when I see it.  Changing something just so you can say you changed it doesn’t make the food good or the ingredients cohesive.  The flavors still have to work well and you can’t jack up the price just because you put kimchi on a burger.  For those of you who want a menu full of delicious and familiar food options that are still new to you, welcome home to Komex.

komex korean fusion
racism.jpg

Komex is a super bare bones restaurant that looks like it might have opened a week ago.  It has a home cooking look and taste to it (in a good way) that is very hard to replicate.  You may get some less than homemade ingredients, but in a way… what could be more home cooking than that?  The savings are completely passed on to the customer, however, and this may be your cheapest meal in town during your visit.

It’s worth noting that fivethirtyeight.com did a bracket of the best burritos in the USA and included Komex in the competition.

BOOM FREE APPETIZER WITH THE MENUS.

komex korean fusion
I’m adequate!

Chips and salsa, the easy way.  Can’t complain here.

The menu is set up in a way that has all your classic Korean, Mexican and American food with fusion twists to them.  The specials menu is where a lot of the best stuff is, so make sure you check it out in addition to the staples.  This was a quick lunch with a friend, so we ordered a few things to share and a few to ourselves.

Value incarnate.

It’s hard not to order the fried wontons.  They’re nothing mindblowing and pretty basic, but at $1.50 for a plate of 5 they’re pretty much the cheapest appetizer you can get in any restaurant in town.  Hell, a restaurant I went to today charges $3 for a fried egg.  ONE EGG.  It’s cheap sweet and sour sauce served with them, but who cares.  Nom.

komex mexican fusion
MOAR TACOS

Bulgogi tacos are a thing and they have been sadly lacking in my world.  $2 a taco is a very fair price for such a thing that makes my life more than $2 worth of happy, and the bulgogi marinade goes extremely well with the salsas and toppings on the taco.  I also recommend the pork belly tacos, which are not even really fusion because everyone eats pork belly because IT’S AWESOME.

komex mexican fusion
EXHIBIT A FOR AWESOME

One of the specials I received word on was the PBBBLT which is a pork belly, bulgogi, bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich.  Bacon is technically pork belly already, but you know what?  I didn’t think of that at the time because I was too busy stuffing my face.  I attacked this thing like a starving man.  The toothpicks were almost ingested.  Yes, that’s toasted wonderbread and iceberg lettuce, two of the worst atrocities that have no business in a restaurant.  No, I don’t care.  Sometimes a sandwich just hits every nerve in your being and tells you that everything’s going to be okay.  And if it isn’t, GUESS WHAT, WAFFLE FRIES.  Of the sweet potato variety.  It’s like a hug from grandma, only grandma didn’t have spicy mayo on the side. (thanks for nothing, grandma)

This was basically the best possible version of a club sandwich and I totally recommend trying it on your visit (if it’s still on the specials).

All the above food was “the most expensive meal ever eaten at this restaurant” and we got out for $20 a person.  This should be in any local’s rotation and worth a trip from the strip for lunch.

Komex Fusion (two locations)

Buffalo & Flamingo
4155 S Buffalo Dr. #103,104
(702) 778-5566

Closed Mondays
Tue-Sat 11 am – 9 pm
Sun 11 am – 8 pm

633 N Decatur Blvd Suite H
Las Vegas, NV 89107
(702) 646-1612

Mon-Sat 11 am – 8 pm
Closed Sundays

GIORDANO’S: Tastes like home.

It’s not a casserole.

I can hear you snickering through the screen.  Chicago style pizza is NOT a casserole.  It’s not a lasagna, it’s not a joke.  IT’S OURS OKAY STOP MAKING FUN OF IT.  Jon Stewart famously said “it’s not only not better than New York Pizza… it’s not pizza.”

Listen, if I’m gonna grab a quick bite to eat and keep walking on the way to a hipster meetup, New York style pizza is great.  It’s thin, it’s tasty and easy to eat.  Chicago pizza is difficult.  It takes a while to cook, you kinda need a fork to eat it, it’s so filling that one of them can feed a whole family… but these are not necessarily bad things.  Chicago is a much more laid back city, one where sit down meals with your family are common and a 45 minute wait to get your food is a good time to talk and be with loved ones (as well as devour delicious sides).

You can rattle off 5 great pizza places in every city and all of them will be either authentic Italian or New York style pizza.  Very rarely will you find a real Chicago pizza outside of Illinois.  However, a new day has risen, my friends.  In the outdoor mall at Bally’s just off of Flamingo and Las Vegas BLVD, one of the mainstays of Chicago pizza has opened up a newcomer for the crown.

BEHOLD.

giordanos chicago pizza
Err, wait.

Let’s try again.

BEHOLD.

giordanos chicago pizza
Slightly better.

I won’t lie, I was underwhelmed at the outdoor seating offered here.  I was blown away that they’re open 7 days a week from the morning to 2 AM, mostly because I expected a place serving midwest style food to happily close at a reasonable 9-10 PM.  But the seating itself makes no sense in a volatile weather place such as Las Vegas.  The roof over the seating area isn’t solid, so when there’s wind or rain it blows right through.  There’s also dust everywhere, to the point I had to clean off my place when I sat down.  And on a cold night like the one I visited, the considerable 40 minute wait felt twice as long.  I remarked to our server what a bad decision they made to make the only seating outside and he told me everyone was saying the same thing. (MAKE NOTE OF THIS)

We quickly ordered a side of parmesan garlic fries and a small stuffed pizza with sausage and onions (sausage is a must with Chicago style pizza).  The fries were quick to come out, and we were happy to munch down on them to stay warm.

giordanos chicago pizza
The fanciest ranch dressing garnished dish ever.

Solid fries, though I’m sad they came with a side of ranch dressing.  The garlic was pretty well caramelized, to the point of getting stuck in your teeth when you tried to chew it.  If they fix the garlic, they’ll be pretty damn good fries.

After way too much talk about how cold it was and how we wish they had an indoor seating area, our pizza arrived.

BEHOLD AGAIN.

giordanos chicago pizza
CLICK FOR AMBIENT MUSIC

I don’t know how anyone can look at such an item and not be immediately filled with carnal thoughts.  It tasted as good as it looks, obviously.  There are places that sell Chicago style pizza frozen that can get most of it almost perfect, but the one thing that they can’t get right is the crust.  The crust in this pizza was fantastic; crumbly, tender but still tough and thick enough to hold together this huge slice of cheese, sauce and stuffed toppings.  Eaten with a knife and fork for true flair.  Two adult men were stuffed after 2 pieces each with 2 pieces left to take home afterwards.

giordanos chicago pizza
BUT HOW CAN YOU MAKE IT HOME?

The whole meal was less than $20 a person with tip, making it one of the best values on the strip.  With such prime real estate, you would expect this place to be significantly more expensive.  If only they had reasonable seating, I would come here a few times a month!  Alas, I left satisfied but ultimately sad that I would probably not come here too often to dine because of exposure to the elements.

Imagine my surprise a few days later when picking up a few carry out pizzas for a get together.

giordanos chicago pizza
WHAT
giordanos chicago pizza
THE FUCK

There’s an upstairs!  I’m a fucking moron!  There’s a huge bar and an absolutely beautiful interior!  The servers let me go on and on about what a terrible decision not having an indoors was!  It took me about 10 minutes for me to be able to get my foot out of my mouth when I realized this.

After this discovery, I see no reason not to rate this one of the absolute best restaurants for the money on the strip.  Open until 2 AM, I think this is a must visit for anyone who likes Chicago pizza and a good spot for simply anyone who likes food.  I’ll be back a lot.

Giordano’s

Inside Bally’s outdoor mall area.

11AM – 2AM daily

Carryout available.

CHILE VERDE MEXICAN GRILL: Fuel both your car and yourself.

There are a few jokes that are sure to get laughs, and a lot of them include making fun of the food at gas stations.  This is not one of those gas stations.

The man who runs Chile Verde (and the woman who I presume is his wife) at the Choice Sinclair gas station in the southwest of Las Vegas is probably one of the most hardworking people I’ve ever seen in a restaurant.  He’s there every moment of the day that the restaurant is open.  Taking orders, cleaning up, preparing food.  From 9 AM to 5 PM, 6 days a week.  This is the Terminator of mexican food.  He can’t be bargained with.  He can’t be reasoned with.  He doesn’t feel hungry.  Or sleepy.  Or sweaty.  And he absolutely WILL NOT STOP… until you are full.

chile verde mexican tacos
OH JESUS HE SPOTTED ME HELP

It has a fairly standard, somewhat too big a menu for such a small operation.  It’s all extremely well done, but the tacos are so good I think it’s a shame to go for anything else.  It’s the only place I’ve been to that rivals quality such as Taco Y Taco, but for a somehow even smaller price.  And the portions?

chile verde tacos mexican
FUHGEDDABOUTIT
chile verde mexican tacos
My hands are huge. I can palm a basketball.

Make sure you ask for their green sauce on the side.  They’ll give you a giant squeeze bottle of liquid gold.  I went for a similar order to what I had at Taco Y Taco; carnitas, carne asada, and adobada and they absolutely did not disappoint.  Because they were so stuffed with meat, they were definitely extremely messy eating at the counter but there’s something so viscerally satisfying about licking your fingers clean over such a meal.

It’s really hard to describe what exactly makes these tacos special.  It’s one of those situations where you just have to taste them to believe it.  But trust me, these are the kind of taco that dreams are made of.

Those 3 tacos were $8.25 altogether, which is worryingly cheap.  The food terminator wants me to tell you to come with him if you want to eat.

 

 

Chile Verde Mexican Grill

Inside the Choice Sinclair Gas Station

8095 S Rainbow Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89113
Open Monday-Sunday 9 AM to 5 PM

SOHO SUSHI BOWLRRITO: I’m getting too old for this shit.

Las Vegas is often called Los Angeles’s playground due to its proximity and how often the denizens of LA tend to jump back and forth on a weekend or whenever it becomes convenient.  As a result, the culture is pretty similar between the two cities and we tend to receive a lot of the trends that are working their way through LA.  Escape rooms are one such example, where you find your way out of a locked room that you paid to get into (what a genius idea that one was).  But we also get a lot of food trends too, and the one sweeping the city right now is sushi burritos.

curry
TED YOU SON OF A BITCH

I almost titled this review “get off my lawn” because I frankly feel old when someone brings up a new and scary trend to me, but sushi burritos just make absolutely no sense to me.  John Curtas at Eating Las Vegas already covered this one, but we share an opinion on this.

Good sushi is supposed to be about the fish.  Really high quality fish seasoned with minimal ingredients made by expert hands delivered at the absolute peak moment to maximize enjoyment by the diner.  Sushi burritos are just elaborate hand rolls made with so many ingredients that it becomes absolutely impossible to taste the difference in the very subtle flavors of raw fish.

However, I would like to make a confession.  I like poke bowls.

No, you can’t really taste the extreme quality of the fish.  Yes, pretty much all of them are exactly the same.  It’s a seafood themed Chipotle (which I absolutely love).  But god dammit, it’s satisfying and tasty and pretty damn cheap.  They’re not going to give them a michelin star anytime soon, but I don’t think time travelers are going to come stop me from saying that I LIKE POKE BOWLS.

soho sushi burrito
BEHOLD MY SHAME

And now we come to Soho Sushi Bowlrrito (who needs to find a catchier name).  I’ve been to a few Poke bowl places in LA and a few here, and Soho might actually be my favorite location I’ve found.  The quality of ingredients is very very similar across the board, so it comes down to the little things.  First, they’re available for delivery on a bunch of different services.  Second, they’re absurdly cheap at $10 for a double salmon bowl.  That’s really hard to beat for a tasty bowl of semi healthy food.

I don’t know how long the fad of sushi burritos and poke bowls is going to last.  I’m not sure there needs to be one on every block.  But as long as they don’t take themselves too seriously, I’m fine with the poke bowls at least sticking around for a while.  At least you can taste the fish.

And Soho does them pretty well.

Soho Sushi Bowlrrito

6040 W Badura Ave

Open daily 10:30 AM to 9 PM

 

TACO Y TACO: Taco… why taco?

I am as white as they come.

Growing up in the rural midwest, my experiences with real Mexican food started late.  Those of you in SoCal (as the kids call it) will laugh at my inexperience with legit tacos.  I’ve only had the chance to get LA tacos on a few occasions and was absolutely blown away at how cheap and good they are.  That is why I am so happy Vegas has started to get some great options, the best of which seems to be Taco Y Taco.

taco y taco
With a kitchen as open as my mind.

This place is streamlined for high volume like you wouldn’t believe.  3 separate lines for tacos/vampiro/tostadas, each one with different meats.  I had to visit all 3 lines and 3 different people, which is kind of weird when I was the only person there at the time, but it took less than 90 seconds to get all the food.  There’s a huge salsa/sauce bar in the middle of the restaurant, and one man was very angry he was unable to take salsa home with him for free.

taco y taco
Actual candid photograph of the incident.

After having an insanely good vampiro (open faced taco on a crispy tortilla with cheese sauce) in my last LA trip I decided to get another one here and see how it measured up.  I ended up with a carne asada vampiro and cochinita pibil, al pastor, and carnitas tacos.

taco y taco
FEAST YOUR, UH, EVERYTHING
taco y taco
Vampiro sandwich.

I decided to only grab some extra limes from the salsa bar to see how they dress it when they ask “with everything?” and I respond with a reverent nod.  The answer:

taco y taco
DRAMATIZED RECREATION

Whereas the LA tacos I had came with basically just meat and tortilla and you were expected to sprinkle on your extras, the array of salsas and toppings for these tacos were such that they were an absolutely explosion of flavor in your mouth.  Tangy, acidic, crunchy onions and peppery cilantro.  The pork marinade and spices shone through extremely well and everything mixed together into this absolutely incredible few bites of happiness.

All of the above food and a drink came out to only $14, which for the size of the tacos (folding them up resulted in some of the filling to spill out, a problem rectified by me eating it anyway) is super reasonable.  Most mere humans would be completely satisfied by this amount of food.  The vampiro taco, with its two tortilla sandwich appearance, was incredibly messy to eat but even at $4 was a remarkable deal since the amount of filling seemed to be 2 or 3 times as much as each taco had.  The cheese seemed to be just melted cheese rather than a coherent sauce and the carne asada was clearly the weakest of the 4 meats I decided to try, but it was still delicious.

I feel like carne asada falls into the trap of being the “safe choice” for gringos at taco places and they don’t want to do too much to it because they know it’s going to sell extremely well no matter what, so I was disappointed that I chose that meat for the vampiro because I felt like it handicapped it.

I don’t like bias.  I rectified it.

taco y taco
THE BIAS KILLER

Pibil vampiro numero uno.

Go here yesterday.

Taco Y Taco

9470 S Eastern Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89123

3430 E Tropicana Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89121

Open til 10PM on weekdays, 12AM or 2 AM on weekends depending on location.

VIVA LAS AREPAS: Viva, uh, this place.

What the hell is an Arepa?

I’m still not quite sure, but I can say it’s pretty damn delicious.  I’d never heard of this Venezuelan treat until just before setting foot inside this place.  It’s just north of the Stratosphere on the BLVD and most Latin-American restaurants in this area are dingy places that make you want to call the health department.

What a surprise this was.  A glorious, very welcome surprise.

I don’t know what that anthropomorphized sphere is supposed to be but whatever she’s selling, I’m buying.

The place is really clean inside, alarmingly so.  Tons of people working in the back which makes sense because it was fairly busy for the time we showed up.  We ordered a ton of stuff in an attempt to find the best food in the house but I really had no idea what I was ordering when I did so.  Just a tip: ask for help.  I’m sure they do it constantly but they know what the good stuff is.

Like a Venezuelan Chipotle.

Turns out an Arepa is basically a crispy english muffin stuffed with meat, veggies and sauce.  They also have some empanadas that were really fantastic, but the sheer variety of Arepas available make sure everyone is going to be happy.  We got shredded beef, shredded pork and kind of a Venezuelan chicken salad with avocado and cilantro.

They’re not reinventing the wheel, but this is some next level comfort food.  This is basically halfway between a taco and a big ol sub sandwich.  The Arepa crunches with every bite despite the soft juicy filling and they do not skimp on the meat or toppings.  Each one is about five bucks each and we had serious trouble finishing the 5 we ordered between the two of us.  Will definitely go back and get two at most next time, maybe just one if I’m getting an empanada (pfft yeah right).

The fried plantains were just fine and the fried thing on the left in the picture below was kind of a sad dessert thing that we don’t need to discuss.  The hot sauces available, however, were really great and I could add a lot and had a nice burn going without it ruining the meal.

I instantly regret this decision.

This mountain of food filled me and my friend up for the rest of the day.  This easily could’ve fed 3-4 people for less than $40.  If you’re walking the strip and want something new, Viva Las Arepas might just be the place to be.

1616 South Las Vegas Blvd. #120

Las Vegas, Nevada 89104

Monday-Sunday  8:00am to 12:00am

SETTEBELLO: Shut up and eat this pizza.

Pizza is something that people hold sacred, partly because people who have visited New York can get snooty and act like they’ve had the “real stuff” after paying $2 for a couple slices and partly because anyone can throw canned tomato sauce on some dough and it still tastes alright.  I’m from Illinois and we definitely do enjoy our deep dish (IT’S NOT A CASSEROLE IT’S A FAMILY TRADITION) but we’re all drunk children compared to the gods making real Neapolitan pizza like they make at Settebello.

 

Can I do a fake Italian accent? FUHGEDDABOUTIT!

Settebello is in The District, a little outdoor shopping center just across from Green Valley Ranch, the only casino directly in the Henderson area.  It’s actually a beautiful little spot and definitely not what you’d expect to be right next to a casino.  I have a friend who lives in an apartment nearby and I can say with utmost confidence I would eat at Settebello almost every day if I lived there.

They’re a very traditional Italian pizzeria, with a few basic antipasti and their woodfire pizza oven.  The floor is sprinkled with flour and you can tell how many pizzas they must churn out a day.

Right after I asked him if he wanted a picture taken, I told him to “act like he’s doing something.” THIS PICTURE IS FULL OF LIES.

Settebello offers a pretty extensive Italian microbrew menu and they actually try to pair their favorite beers with their favorite pizzas, so if you feel like trying a few brewskis feel free to ask your server for the beer list.  A few times, they’ve even done a beer and pizza tasting with the brewery owners.

Italian food is all about simple ingredients used well and shown in their best light and so the best way to figure out if a place is good is to order the simple stuff.  If they mess it up, it’s not a place I will give my business.  One of my favorite dishes to test this out is a caprese salad, and I have to say that way more places botch it than I might want to admit.  Settebello nails it, with perfect balance of proportions.  You can get some of everything in each bite and they don’t drown it in oil or vinegar.  You don’t end up with 10 uneaten rounds of tomatoes or a pile of cheese at the end.  And they bring out extra balsamic just in case you need it.  If I were skinny, this would be all I need to be happy.

It almost makes me want to be skinny.

We also decided we need to try the meatballs which aren’t always on the menu.  Slightly dry in the middle but the sauce was simple and delicious.  The flatbread was fine but seems like too much.  I would be fine with just the meatballs but some people need to have something to dip into the sauce I guess.

Before you ask, yes, I burned myself on the cast iron.

Lastly, there’s nothing I can say about the pizza except it’s almost perfect.  We ordered two, one being the Margherita because I feel like it’s the best way to judge if a pizza place is up to snuff and one my buddy Gabe ordered from the specials list.  It featured a jalapeno pear marmalade which I chastised him for.

Holy.

Crap.

I can say hands down that these were probably the two best pizzas I have ever had.  Perfect pizza crust is hard to do and I won’t claim it was flawless here.  It didn’t stand up as well as it could’ve but the outside was nice and crispy, it was very light and didn’t overpower the toppings at all.  The balance of the sauce and the cheese was phenomenal and I love how they left it on long enough for the little blisters to form on the edge.  A real sign of a properly cooked pizza.

The real star, however, was the jalapeno pear marmalade.  It completely blew me away.  It sounds weird at first, but it added a subtle spicy sweetness to the whole pizza that balanced incredibly with the acidic tomato sauce and the great mozzarella they use.  The red onions had some great texture.  I usually always stick with the Margherita because it’s so simple and perfect but I think I have a new favorite.

It’s hard to imagine there being better pizza anywhere.

Apps will run you less than $10 and the pizzas are perfect size for one person and will run you twelve bucks.

Settebello is THE pizza place to go to in town.  I’ve heard a million people offer up just as many places that offer “the best” but none even really hold a candle to this.  Come for the beer, the pizza, the meatballs, whatever you want.  Just come here.

Locations: The District at Green Valley Ranch, 140 S Green Valley Pkwy, Henderson, NV 89012

Phone: (702) 222-3556

9350 W Sahara Ave #170, Las Vegas, NV 89117

(702) 901-4877)

Hours: Open daily · 11:00 am – 10:00 pm

TOFU HUT KOREAN BBQ: Seriously, it’s mostly meat.

It’s usually good news when you have to wait half an hour to get seated at 11 PM on a weekday.  This is one of those cases.

Tofu Hut is an amazing value Korean BBQ place just west of the strip on the edge of what I call Asiatown.  There are a ton of Korean BBQ places but few of them are cheap and some of them have not great quality food.  Tofu Hut somehow has both of those things.

BUT NOT TOFU LOL

They stop seating just after 1 AM but they’re open 7 days a week.  So if you feel like gorging yourself around midnight this is one of the better places to go.  They have a sign-in sheet in the waiting area that is usually 4-5 groups deep since they have a limited number of cooking tables inside, but trust me: It’s worth it.

We get seated, give a few selections off of their menu and a flurry of appetizers arrive.  Kimchi, pickles, potato pancake, fishcakes, noodles and a few others which are delicious though unidentifiable to my caucasian brain.  All of them are solid and sate my intense hunger until the meat actually arrives.

Well that was delicious, check please!

A salad is also always brought out and honestly it’s one of the better simple salads I’ve ever had.  A very light and tasty vinaigrette over tiny shreds of lettuce.  Definitely nice with the fatty and spicy meat and sauce to come.

One thing that makes this place really separate from the other Korean BBQ places (other than the price) is the quality of their short ribs.  Typically korean short ribs (kalbi) are not a great cut of meat with little bones with lots of gristle on them.  This place serves you basically a big piece of steak instead and it’s definitely the best kalbi I can remember having.  Any carnivore would approve.  We also ordered marinated sliced pork, a steamed egg (weird name for a great dish, definitely order it), and marinated sliced ribeye.

The unholy triumvirate (plus salad).

The actual cooking is up to you and though I don’t have a problem with that I’m sure some will.  This is pretty typical for a Korean BBQ place and helps keep the price down, though to be honest I wouldn’t want them cooking it here because the biggest problem with this place is that the service is seriously lacking.  Drink refills, food orders, and table cleanups happen pretty slowly and it probably contributes to it taking so long to get a table.  But at a certain point, the food is so good– I DON’T CARE GIVE ME THE TONGS.

Probably worth mentioning that this place is all you can eat.  Yeah.

Imagine this picture 6 times in a row and that’s basically what this meal was like.

Tofu Hut has a pointless name and not great service but is definitely a mainstay in my evening eating.  It’s definitely one of the more crave-able late night meals in town and is so insanely cheap at $20 per person after tax and tip that you can justify going a few times a week.  Just make sure you’re prepared for a short wait to do so.

Address: 3920 Spring Mountain Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89102

Phone: (702) 257-0072

Hours: Open daily · 11:00 am – 2:00 am

POP’S CHEESESTEAKS: Hop on Pop.

It’s a little disappointing that there aren’t more local places in town dedicated to good, regional American fare.  There are a lot of great ethnic restaurants in town but any places dabbling in American classics are generally in casinos and charge an arm and a leg.  One favorite, however, has a nice mainstay that very few seem to be aware of and it’s a place that knows its exact clientele: Pop’s Cheesesteaks.

What they lack in walls they make up for in anachronistic murals.

Pop’s is a place open 24/7 that serves cheesesteaks and fried things.  This is a good thing.  You can’t have a place like this that’s only open till 10 PM in a town where most nights out end when the sun is coming up.  In winter.  This place will never earn a Michelin star but for the price you get something freshly made right in front of you with classic ingredients made with love (and grunts) from the men working the grill.  This is a favorite hangout by the media team (SUP BJ) who work at the World Series of Poker and for good reason.  Good food doesn’t mean fine dining or ethnic or whatever.  Good food means it satisfies you and has you excited to come back.  I can’t speak to how this fares against the real Philly steak places but if you want something greasy and delicious at 3 AM, there aren’t many better places.

The only problem with this picture is the handwritten menu looks dangerously close to Comic Sans.

Specifically, I went for the cheesesteak with Whiz, peppers and onions and my compatriot opted for a chicken cheesesteak and some Whiz fries.  The fries are a little thick and nothing crazy but there’s something satisfying and nostalgic about gooey Cheese Whiz.  The chicken is more than just a health nut’s option, it’s actually just as good as the beef and probably a little lighter.

Two 3AM gutbombs coming right up.

All told, this isn’t a place to write home about. However, if you have a car and are coming from a night of partying, staying outside in the brisk desert air and eating some quality cheesesteaks is a good experience and a good one to cap off a night in Vegas.  All the above food and a few drinks were enjoyed for $25.

Address: 501 S Decatur Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89107

Phone: (702) 878-6444

Hours: 24/7

ROLLIN’ SMOKE BBQ: Rollin’ me out of the door.

Once upon a time about three years ago, there was basically not a single good BBQ restaurant in town.  People from the south would constantly come visit and want to get some ribs or some good brisket and be greeted with oven cooked ribs and dry, overcooked beef.  Enter two brothers from Arkansas who saw there was a huge vacuum for BBQ and they found a small shack on strip club row to make their fortune.

And we all benefit as a result!  Welcome to Rollin Smoke, the best place for BBQ in town.

Pronounced “Burbkuh”

When you walk in, the first thing you see is an entire wall painted with their menu.  They have quite the selection but most of their menu is a bunch of combinations you can pick that bring the price down slightly.  I wish they would just have a list of meat and a list of sides and let you pick what you want, but whatever.  I’ve had most of the standard BBQ meats they have for sale so I opted for the special pulled pork sandwich.  In my humble opinion, the fried onion strings they have are the best side in the house and go extremely well with the soft moist meat.  I really enjoyed the sandwich, since instead of just being pulled pork on a bun it actually came with toppings like a really zesty coleslaw and their excellent housemade vinegar based sauce.  Just a personal preference but I don’t understand why people like rich sweet sauces on BBQ when the meat already is very heavy.  I like light vinegar based sauces to help cut through some of that richness.

I have no words.

I was here for our biweekly food meetup and most other people opted for either the 2 or 3 meat platter where you get to pick from a variety of different choices.  Ribs, pulled pork and brisket are usually the most popular choices but their hot links are also really delicious.

Three times the meat, three times the happy.

This is a simple restaurant so there isn’t a whole lot of menu advice I can give you.  If you like BBQ, you’ll like this place.  3 meat choices, a side and a drink will run you less than $20 with all said and done.  Not a bad budget spot for lunch or dinner.

(psst: For BBQ aficionados, make sure you ask em for burnt ends.  They’ll gladly make your meat choices extra awesome if they still have them available)

(double psst: if you don’t know what burnt ends are, google it)

Address: 3185 S Highland Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Phone: (702) 836-3621

Hours: Open Monday – Saturday to 8pm and later on weekends.