7.17.2014

Chicken Fried Foie Gras

Chicken Fried Foie Gras at Comme Ça
A
Dude. Do you understand the concept of dirty food? Stuff that is so rich, so over the top, so decadent, that it can't be described any other way? This is the dirtiest slider ever invented or consumed, and it defies description. A sweet roll. A mound of crunchy, ridiculously guilt-inducing chicken-fried foie gras, pure pleasure in every way. Way, way, way too much black truffle gravy. Caramelized onions. Ho. Lee. Fuck. Dirty, y'all.

7.13.2014

Regular Al

Regular Al at Al's Beef
A+
So we're told this is the way to eat your Chicago-style Italian beef sandwich: with provolone cheese, plus the combination of hot giardiniera and sweet peppers, plus "dipped." What does that mean? It means this finely shaved roast beef, which is simmered in a savory gravy forever, not only goes straight from the gravy to your roll—bringing all kinds of delicious juices to the sandwich—but then the entire sandwich takes a quick bath into the gravy. Is it messy, a little bit soggy, and impossible to eat without getting a little Al all over you? Yes. Is it worth it. Oh hell yes. Not surprising to many of the Windy City transplants living in Las Vegas, this is the best Italian beef we've ever tasted. The meat is incredibly tender and delicious, a great dish on its own. Augmented with the sweet, spicy, vinegary blast from the peppers, it's just amazing. Of course, you don't have to do it up with the works like this. But this is perfection, guilty pleasure food we want to eat every day.

7.11.2014

Vegas Burger

Vegas Burger at Bobby's Burger Palace
A-
It's summer in Vegas. It's time for a burger. And it was time to return to Bobby Flay's new (to Vegas) burger joint to eat the Vegas Burger, a perfect patty topped with white American cheese, Fresno chilies and Lay's barbecue potato chips. It sounds a little ridiculous, but it's mighty tasty. The dominant factor in its awesomeness are the juicy, beautifully cooked and seasoned beef, and the double dose of cheese melted completely over the patty. BBP makes burgers you'd make at home if you knew what you were doing. It's as simple as that. And they keep the toppings minimal, allowing you to sauce your own burger with a variety of condiments available on your table. I smothered this sucker with green jalapeño sauce and some chipotle ketchup, spicy-sweet flavors that played well with the chilies. BBP isn't revolutionary, but it is one of the top burger joints on the Vegas Strip, a fun and delicious spot without the pretension and high prices of other celeb chef restaurants.

Tzatziki Burger

Tzatziki Burger
homemade
B-
It only recently occurred to us that a veggie burger patty—especially one with a bit of Indian spice like this one—is a perfect fit for cool, creamy tzatziki sauce. So we put these friends together on a potato bun with some greens, and boom, a sorta Greekish veggie burger that satisfies. It would have been better with some sort of crunchy, spicy pickled thing on top, but hey, it's a process.

Irish Club

Irish Club at Bennigan's
C
The allsandwich summer vacation continues in … wait for it … Iowa. Whatever, don't judge. The most famous Iowa sandwich is probably the deep fried pork loin sandwich, but our first taste off the plane in Des Moines was at Bennigan's, which I didn't believe was a real place until I ate this monster—turkey, roast beef and corned beef piled high on a pretzel bun with strips of bacon, lettuce, tomato and onion. There was a Russian dressing-like spread, too. It was a lot to handle, a meat load that ate more like a burger than a sandwich. But in the end, it was just something odd at a decidedly not odd chain restaurant. I'm also pretty sure the Bennigan's menu claims to have invented the Monte Cristo, which is some amazing bullshit.

6.30.2014

B.E.A.C.H.

B.E.A.C.H. Breakfast Sandwich at Kono's
B+
We wrapped up vacation week in Oahu with a killer breakfast sandwich that makes all kinds of sense. First, Kono's in Haliewa is known for stuffing hungry surfers, so of course they're making hearty grub that hits the spot for not a lot of money (this thing is $7). Second, it's called the B.E.A.C.H. because it's a crusty roll crammed with bacon, eggs, avocado, cheese and ham. But yes, we had to screw up the acronym by replacing the ham with sliced roasted turkey. Not sure whether we improved on the sandwich or not, but no one was complaining. The creamy hunks of avocado really makes this one, turning a piled-high breakfast sandwich into something special.


6.28.2014

Pineapple Burger

Pineapple Burger at Kua 'Aina
B+
Kua 'Aina burger has expanded in recent years, going from a roadside stand feeding surfers hearty sandwiches to a burgeoning chain with locations in Tokyo and London. We hit the new and improved spot in Haliewa along Oahu's North Shore, and it was a cozy, family-friendly spot serving up grass-fed deliciousness. All burgers are served on fresh-baked buns with lettuce, tomato and onion, and you get to customize from there. Of course, we had to go the pineapple route, adding crispy bacon as well, and finding success and textural variety in the sweet and smoky combination. But in retrospect, we should have gone bigger, stacking on melted cheese and avocado, too. This is a big, messy, wonderful burger, and it deserves to have as many toppings piled on as you can stand. Extra points for the juicy grilled meat and soft, tasty bun.

6.23.2014

Pho French Dip Banh Mi

Pho French Dip Banh Mi at The Pig and the Lady
A+
That's right, we took the allsandwich show to Hawaii. Try not to be jealous. Day one of our summer vacation was all about Honolulu Chinatown, and the amazing, not-to-be-missed Vietnamese-ish cuisine at The Pig and the Lady. What happens when you take the flavors of pho and mash them into a hybrid banh mi-French dip? Perfection, that's what, and an easy A+ to add to our list. This crispy, crunchy baguette is absolutely filled with juicy, unbelievably rich 12-hour brisket, great, thick slabs of beefy supremacy. There's a chimichurri-style sauce based in Thai basil, crisp bean sprouts and fresh cilantro leaves, too, and honestly, this would probably be an A+ sandwich all on its own. But it's not alone, oh no. There's a steaming cup of au jus waiting for dippage … but it's not jus, it's pho! See what they did there? This is the ideal, upgraded banh mi we've been searching for our entire sandwich loving lives. Thank you,  Pig. Thank you too, Lady. Yum.

6.16.2014

Banh Mi Ca Moi

Banh Mi Ca Moi at Dakao Sandwiches
B-
I love banh mi and I want to love them more, but I am having a hard time finding some next level shit. Chinatown's Dakao Sandwiches has been around a few years now but this was my first time trying it, and the results are the same as when I go to Lee's or Mr. Sandwich or Hue Thai: It's good, crackly bread with savory fillings and crisp vegetables, but not great. Not spectacular. That's what I want. This is the No. 4 on Dakao's small menu, crammed with sardines in an oniony, possibly tomatoey sauce, plus mayo, standard do chua of pickled carrot and daikon, cucumber (which also seemed slightly pickled), jalapeño and cilantro. The fishy filling was really good, briny and tangy and lovely against the bread. The veggies were just fine. The bread, of course, was a little dry and hard—same as all those other places. Good stuff, nothing to freak out about.

6.15.2014

Big Dipper Sandwich

The Big Dipper Sandwich at Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen & Bar
A-
The host of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives better bring some knockout sandwiches if he's going to open a restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip, and Guy Fieri does just that. This new eatery in the unfortunately renamed Quad hotel and casino boasts several over-the-top burgers—including the 2013 NYC Burger Bash-winning Mac-N-Cheese Bacon Burger—and four other classic sandwiches with Fieri's crazy flavor twists. We weren't expecting much more than a standard French dip from the Big Dipper, but it caught us by surprise with rich, meaty goodness. A monstrous portion of smoked, thinly shaved prime rib is crammed into a dense, crusty, lovely toasted garlic torpedo roll, topped with creamy horseradish sauce and pepper Jack cheese, and piled on with crispy onion straws. So much great flavor and texture is packed into this bad boy that you really don't need the jus, but it's there anyway. We sampled much of the menu here and this hearty creation was our favorite bite … so far.

Really Sloppy Joe

Really Sloppy Joe at Brooklyn Bowl
C
We love the ultra comfort food at the new Vegas Brooklyn Bowl, from the killer Southern fried chicken to the nostalgic fun of French bread pizzas. But this Sloppy Joe needs some work. The sweet meat mixture is right on the money, including finely ground beef and crisp bits of chopped bell pepper, but there's not enough of it on the sandwich. A Sloppy Joe needs to be overstuffed with meat. This one's got a ton of coleslaw—crunchy, sweet slaw—with the meat on top. The final straw is the sesame seed bun, which is light and airy, but also incredibly sweet. We love a bit of sweetness in a meat sandwich, something to play against the satisfying savory notes. But this sucker is just too sweet, with no balance.

6.03.2014

Club Sub

Club Sub at Jersey Mike's
B
Jersey Mike's has skittered between a mild disappointment and an overall solid sub sandwich joint. It seems you just have to know what to order. Take this Club Sub, for example: it's a common sense choice. Turkey, ham, provolone, bacon and mayo. Solid. Then let them add their house toppings of red onions, shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, vinegar, oil and spices, and you're good to go. This is the same hoagie or grinder or whatever-you-want-to-call-it you can find in thousands of sandwich shops across the country, with the same ingredients. But it's a good pick at Jersey Mike's, a tasty bite that reveals what this franchise really needs to upgrade its game—better bread.

6.01.2014

Mangalista Burger

Mangalista Burger at Comme Ça
A
Sorry, you'll probably never get to eat this. It was a one-night special during Comme Ça's springtime burger and beer nights on the patio at the Cosmopolitan, where for $20 you get one of Las Vegas' most amazing burgers, two beers, and $1.25 oysters if you choose to add a little more fun to your evening. It's one of the greatest deals on the Strip, and there might be a few more Wednesday nights left for this event, so check into it. But it's not likely they'll bring back the Mangalista Burger, since they're always cooking up new burger concoctions, and that's a shame. This deserves a permanent menu spot. The juicy, savory patty is ground from all sorts of different pig parts with tender, silky, swine-alicious results. There's also pickled slaw, thin slices of house-made mortadella, Saint Agur blue cheese, fried onions and a barbecue sauce made with smoked pork fat. Yes, you read that last one correctly. Flavors don't get any bigger than this sweet, smoky, rich sauce. If you can manage to get a bit of everything into a single bite, it's one of the most wonderfully over-the-top mouthfuls you'll ever experience.

5.26.2014

The Yankee

The Yankee at DB Brasserie
A+
Wow. This is probably the least surprising A+ rating ever on allsandwich, unless you're unaware that super chef Daniel Boulud kinda invented the super fancy upscale burger. His original DB Burger was a huge beef patty with foie gras and truffles. While that legendary sandwich is not (yet) on the menu at the new DB Brasserie in Las Vegas, there are three burger options awaiting you. We started with the most simple of the three, the Yankee, a 7-ounce patty with iceberg lettuce, tomato and sweet Vidalia onion on a sesame seed bun. In a word, it's perfect. Sure, we added aged white cheddar, because why not? But the thing is just pristine. The bun is soft yet sturdy, with the sesame seeds offering only a slight trace of sweetness. That bottom bun is spongy enough to absorb the meat juice that'll flow when you bite into this masterpiece, and it's gonna happen; This is one of the juiciest burgers we've ever chomped. The meat is silky smooth, fatty enough and yet supremely beefy, and thick enough that there's no possible distraction. Too many fancy burgers lose focus on the meat by piling on wild and extreme toppings. The Yankee is everything a burger is supposed to be and nothing more, just great stuff executed with care and precision. Fries, pickle, maybe a little mustard or ketchup if you like, but just know you're having the ideal American meal (from a French chef, of course). Is this the best burger in Las Vegas? Until we try DB's Frenchie and Piggie burgers, we think so.

Sandwich Sundays Presents: Ham Salami Croissant

Ham Salami Croissant
homemade
B
What are the chances your average ordinary supermarket croissants are going to be flaky, buttery and delicious? Not good, right? These were, somehow, so we slathered them with mustard and stacked smoked honey ham, dry salami, provolone cheese, iceberg lettuce leaves and sliced roma tomatoes between the crispy goodness and straight went to town. Sometimes noisy sandwiches are fun.

5.17.2014

Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich

Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich at Arby's
F
Sometimes a limited time is not short enough. In attempting to create an upgraded barbecue sandwich—let's not forget these bastards already have already have the Arby-Q—using "real smoke from real fire," Arby's has forgotten, or perhaps never really understood, what makes a barbecue sandwich so fantastic. You can slather sweet sauce or smoky flavoring on anything. We crave barbecue on a bun because it's a bountiful stack of juicy, savory meat. The Arby's smokehouse brisket sandwich comes with a tiny portion of beef. It sure smells smoky, but somehow doesn't taste like much of anything. There's gouda cheese, mayo, barbecue sauce and fried onions added, all feeble attempts to make this disaster taste good. Wait, did I just type that there's mayo? On a barbecue brisket sandwich? Clowns.

5.11.2014

Smokehouse Turkey Panini

Smokehouse Turkey Panini at Panera Bread
C+
I love a nice, crispy sandwich filled with fresh vegetables, and yet every time I find myself at Panera, I gravitate toward the least healthy items on the menu—melty, meaty stuff like this panini. It's a decent bite, and thankfully not as greasy as it could be. Three-cheese bread doesn't have as much savory flavor as you'd suspect, but there's plenty of guilt-inducing yumminess inside as this warm, pressed sandwich, filled with cheddar cheese, bacon and turkey breast. Sundried tomato ale mustard sounds like it'll have a monstrous kick, but either there isn't much there or it's just as bland as the bread. Considering the bacon and turkey are both smoked, there's a surprising lack of smokiness to the final bite. Still, none of this is surprising. You get a hot sandwich at Panera Bread and you know what to expect.

5.03.2014

Hanger Steak

Hanger Steak at Echo & Rig
A
Echo & Rig Steakhouse strikes again. This place has done nothing but impress us, especially with its sumptuous sandwich offerings. Here, they've found the perfect roll—lightly crisp on the outside, fluffy yet firm on the inside—to stabilize the rich, earthy flavors of this steak sandwich, anchored by rare, fatty, flavorful hanger steak. If you're getting a good cut and you know how to cook it, this might be the best hunk of cow for a steak sandwich. It's juicy, charred on the outside, and as beefy as it gets. Adding a little spice are roasted Anaheim chiles, with some steakhouse-style richness added on in the form of sautéed spinach. Cutting through the decadence is a bit of preserved lemon and a tangy chimichurri sauce. Serious flavor overload.

4.26.2014

NY Style Egg Sandwich

NY Style Egg Sandwich at La Cave
B
Simple and spicy, this breakfast sandwich is a key component of the lovely "butler style" brunch at La Cave, the wine-centric restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas. I don't know if New York-style egg sandwiches typically have great, juicy slabs of fatty, well-spiced chorizo—made in house at La Cave—or are normally assembled on soft, baguette-like rolls, but who cares? The combo of eggs, sausage and a slightly smoky aioli is greater than the sum of its parts. When a platter of these things is passed around La Cave's patio, it's a bite that's impossible to pass on.

4.14.2014

Sandwich Sundays Presents: Italian on Everything

Italian on Everything
homemade
B+
It's called Everything because it's a sub roll bedazzled with all the savory specks you usually find on an everything bagel. It's called Italian because this is a pretty faithful rendition of your standard Italian grinder: ham, capacola, mortadella and provolone, with a little parmesan arugula salad instead of the expected lettuce and tomato in oil and vinegar. So there you have it. And it was mighty tasty. That's what Sandwich Sundays are for.