Chicken legs, Free vodka and Topless Bookies ; 30 Vegas Food Bargains

chicken legs

Chicken Legs, Free Vodka and Topless Bookies
By Anthony Curtis
The Las Vegas Advisor

After a busy 2014 that saw the openings of SLS, the Cromwell, Delano, and the Linq promenade and High Roller observation wheel, things will slow down a bit on and around the Strip in 2015. Check that: Things will slow down a lot. Construction on such big projects as the Park and the associated MGM Resorts International/AEG arena, as well as the massive Resorts World Las Vegas at center Strip, will continue, but the closest thing to a casino opening scheduled for 2015 is the piece-by-piece unveiling of the reworked Casino Royale. Part of that will be our very first White Castle, which I guess counts as pretty big news. In the meantime, the Las Vegas deal machine will continue to roll.
Let’s start 2015 with good news in candy. A new Ethel M Chocolates kiosk has opened on the west side in Tivoli Village. It’s noteworthy because the only other Ethel M outlet, aside from the Henderson factory and airport locations that you can’t get to without a plane ticket, is Downtown at the California, where there happens to be a good value play. Many of the assortments are $34, but you get a 15 percent discount if you spend at least $35. Throw in two candy bars, and it comes out to the same $34 with the added bonus. As of now, the Tivoli Village kiosk is scheduled to operate only through Valentine’s Day.
Across the street from Tivoli is the Suncoast, which recently debuted a new sports bar called The Game. I could tell you all about the “more than 25 TVs” (though I counted only 23), but what I dig about this place are the first-I’ve-ever-seen chicken legs, as opposed to wings or fingers. Five big legs to an order ($6.99) come with a choice of two dipping sauces. If you’re still hungry, grab a foot-long hot dog for $1.75 from the cart in the adjacent sportsbook.
Here’s a cool parlay: Buy a bottle of a new California-distilled brand called Jackpot Vodka and get a $25 casino-redemption credit at the Palms. Each bottle has a unique five-character code on the cap, which can be redeemed online for a minimum resort credit of $25. With a suggested retail price of $24.99, assuming you redeem your Palms credit, it’s like getting the booze for free.
Also on the drinking scene, The Jackpot Bar at Slots A Fun has an unadvertised happy hour from 3 to 5 p.m. daily, with all draft beers $1.08.
Lastly, the Hustler Club recently announced it’s applying for a license to run a sportsbook. Topless bookies sounds like a long shot to me, but sports and strip clubs seem to go together, judging from nearby Crazy Horse III’s cool sports lounge that continues to be the best place in town to watch UFC pay-per-view events for free (with complimentary pizza).
Anthony Curtis is the publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor.


Cheap Eats 2014

Our food team shares more than 30 great-tasting bargains
By Grace Bascos and Al Mancini

at the Goodwich


The next big thing to occupy the kiosk outside of Dino’s Downtown, the Goodwich puts lots of heart and soul between two slices of bread. Although there are sandwiches at varying price points, from $3 to $9, our favorite is the Reuben-ish at $9. Marble rye is piled high with corned beef made by chef Joshua Clark, along with house-made sauerkraut scented with fennel, Swiss cheese and the Goodwich’s own Thousand Island dressing. 1516 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 910-8681 (text-message orders),

The Bird Fold
at SkinnyFATS


Yes, it’s on the kids menu here at this hidden hipster spot, but three tacos for $5 is a good deal no matter what your age. And yes, they’re even grown-up size: Three soft flour tortillas are topped with seasoned chicken, lettuce and tomato. It’s definitely nothing fancy, but hits the spot for the right price. 6261 Dean Martin Dr., 979-9797,

Chicken Gumbo
at Weeziana Gumbo


It’s hard to believe a dingy food court across the street from the community college offers such awesome Louisiana cooking, but it does. The star of this counter-service spot is the gumbo. The chicken version features a dark roux packed with on-the-bone chicken, beef sausage, smoked turkey and kielbasa. 6475 W. Charleston Blvd., 822-4626,

Cali Burrito
at Desnudo Tacos


With this two-handed burrito, native SoCal chef Christian Dolias pays homage to the food he grew up eating and cooking. A large flour tortilla is stuffed with grilled, red-chili-marinated skirt steak, pico de gallo, crema, cheese and french fries. Go big and get your burrito wet (a.k.a. enchilada-style): smothered with red or green salsa and melted cheese. 3240 S. Arville St., 982-6435.

NYC Donut Holes
at Press in Four Seasons


The croissant-doughnut hybrid has been taken to the next level in the Four Seasons’ lounge, which, instead of going for the holey version, gives us the NYC donut holes. Adding to the hype, the flaky, sugar-coated delicacies aren’t available all the time, making appearances only after 6 p.m., and occasionally as whole NYC donuts at the coffee bar. We always want the things we can’t readily have. 632-5000,

Chile Verde Plate
at Chile Verde Express


Anytime a restaurant’s name is also a dish, it’s a good indicator of what you should order. Here, the namesake item is best experienced as a plate with refried beans, rice and fresh warm tortillas on the side. The chile verde itself is slow-simmered pork shoulder in a tomatillo sauce that has deep flavor and ample spice. Don’t be weirded out that Chile Verde Express is located in a gas station—such ambience was once referred to as “sketchy,” but is now considered “adventurous.” 8095 S. Rainbow Rd. (in Choice Gas Station), 260-7758.

Molinari Personal-Size Pizza
at Pizza Rock LV


Happy hour is made happier when there’s pizza, so from 3-6 p.m. weekdays and from 10 p.m. till close daily, Pizza Rock makes your night with individually sized pies. You can pick from the award-winning Cal Italia or the simple Frank’s True Italian, but our preference is the meat-laden Molinari, topped with salami, pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms and mozzarella. 201 N. Third St., 385-0838,
at Rockhouse

$3 each

If you’re going to eat half-size hot dogs, you may as well make up for the calories by loading them up with toppings. Rockhouse’s No. 5 combines the finest of ballpark foods with nacho toppings of cheese, guacamole, jalapeño and pico de gallo, while the No. 2 channels a sandwich, topped with bacon, lettuce and tomato. And don’t forget: “Mini hot dogs” means you can eat two! Grand Canal Shops in the Venetian, 731-9683,

The Big Bone Soup
at District One


The best soups are made from simmering bones and aromatics for long periods of time. District One isn’t kidding around with this heady broth, even serving it with a good cross section of the shank so that there’s plenty of bone marrow to be scooped out. It may seem a bit austere to just have a large bowl of broth and a giant bone, but once you get hit with the fragrant scent, along with a slurp of some marrow, you’ll realize you don’t need much else. 3400 S. Jones Blvd., Suite 8, 413-6868.

Schnitzel Sandwich
at Café Berlin


The delicious pork cutlet is hammered out thinly, then coated, breaded and cooked till it has a crispy crust. The sandwich version of this German dish can be had at lunch (with the schnitzel hanging over the edge of the baguette), and it even seems sort of healthy as it’s topped with lettuce, tomato, onions and sliced cucumbers. 4850 W. Sunset Rd., 875-4605,

Chicken Katsu Curry Over Rice
at Curry Zen


Japanese curry is a mildly spiced brown version of the dish. Takaya Zenbayashi makes his using a third-generation family recipe that includes 15 spices. You can enjoy it alone over white or brown rice, but for a heartier meal try it paired with a fried-chicken cutlet, or katsu. 5020 W. Spring Mountain Rd., 985-1192,

Beef Tartare and New England Lobster Roll
at American Fish Happy Hour


The Revive at Five happy-hour menu, available 5-7 p.m. daily, has eight Michael Mina creations for $5 each. Put together your own surf-and-turf by combining his tartare with crispy capers and whole-grain croutons with his spin on a lobster roll served on a parker house roll with Chesapeake Bay butter. In Aria, 590-8610.

Maxwell Street Polish
at Al’s Beef


Have you ever tried the Second City’s other encased-meat option? The Maxwell Street Polish, created in the late 1930s at a near-Southside spot now called Jim’s Grill, offers a grilled sausage (with great snap) topped with grilled onions instead of raw, along with mustard and tangy sport peppers, and it comes with fresh-cut, skin-on fries. 6840 W. Sahara Ave., 644-2333,

Bangers-and-Mash Pasty
at Cornish Pasty Company


Pasties are a dish from Cornwall, England—pockets of dough stuffed with a wide variety of ingredients traditionally consumed by tin miners. Cornish Pasty Company offers more than 30 varieties, some traditional, others very American. The bangers-and-mash version is as English as it gets, made with subtly spiced sage sausage, mashed potatoes and onions sautéed in red wine. 953 E. Sahara Ave., 862-4538,

Happy-Hour Oysters
at Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House

$1.50 each

Emeril Lagasse opened this place in 1995, and at his daily happy hour, the prices don’t seem to have changed that much. Belly up to the bar any day of the week from 2 to 6 p.m. and enjoy some oysters on the half shell. In the MGM Grand, 891-7374.

Sonora Crepe
at Crepe Expectations


There are a handful of spots in town to get good dessert crepes, but Crepe Expectations ups the ante by also offering great savory crepes. The Sonora is stuffed with carne asada, salsa, guacamole and jack cheese, making for a delicious lunch or dinner feast. 500 S. Eastern Ave., 583-4939,

The Original Tarantini Panzarotti
at Hank’s Philly Steaks


These fried pockets of dough stuffed with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese are a staple in South Jersey pizza places. They were introduced to the area by Pauline Tarantini in Camden in 1960. The family now wholesales them, and this Henderson spot is the place to get one. 467 E. Silverado Ranch Blvd., 778-8353,

Two-Piece Rotisserie Chicken with Two Sides
at the Commissary


Mexican-born celebrity chef Richard Sandoval is known for his Latin-influenced cooking. But the best thing at his new Downtown Grand spot is the rotisserie chicken, which has a crispy seasoned skin and meat that falls off the bone. You get your choice of sides, but don’t miss the crispy potato wedges that are marinated in the chicken jus before frying. In the Downtown Grand, 719-5311,

Edamame Dip
at Picnic


The Downtown Grand’s new rooftop pool will be opening to the public in the next few weeks. When you visit, make sure to order the edamame. Chef Todd Harrington and his staff offer the whole beans in a sweet sesame soy dressing, alongside fried pita bread and a beautifully light dip made by blending edamame, lemon juice, olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper. In the Downtown Grand, 719-5100,

The Gold Standard
at Haute Doggery


Sure, there are less-expensive hot dogs in town, but nobody dresses their wieners like the Linq’s new gourmet hot dog restaurant. This one comes topped with smoked bacon, cheddar, roast tomato, arugula and garlic aioli. And if that’s not good enough, there are more than 20 other toppings you can add, while still keeping the price below a Hamilton. at the Linq, 430-4435,

at Bronze Café


This humble sandwich counter at the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada has become a Downtown hot spot thanks, in part, to its large vegan and vegetarian selection. But its signature sandwich, which consists of house-made bacon jam, maple-glazed bacon, mixed greens, tomato, basil aioli, lemon vinaigrette and q-cumber on ciabatta, is enough to tempt even the most hardcore PETA members. 401 S. Maryland Pkwy., 202-3100.

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