Corned Beef

Corned Beef Sandwich at Del Mar Deli
I figured a sandwich at this casino deli would be pretty good, because the homies at Bagel Cafe used to run this little quick food outlet. But they don't anymore; now the South Point Casino handles it. They probably haven't changed much, and why would they? This corned beef has the perfect lean-to-fat ratio, and it tastes great. Problem is the bread. Call it rye if you want, but it doesn't taste like it. It's too soft, not really chewy, and just cannot handle this massive meat mountain. Also, I appreciate that Del Mar has quick mustard dispensers for you to add your own, but get a legit deli mustard option. Can't do corned beef without it.


Slap & Tickle

Slap & Tickle at The Beat Coffeehouse
I love sandwiches at The Beat, but very few sandwich spots are batting a thousand. There's almost always gonna be something on the menu where things get a bit slippery. The idea behind the Slap & Tickle is a good one, mixing sweet and salty and spicy. But the execution isn't there.

It's got organic peanut butter and homemade jam -- I believe it was strawberry in this case -- with smoked bacon on pan de mie. That'd be fancy French for completely unfancy white bread. I feel like there may have been jalapeno on the sandwich as well, but I could be wrong. Using such an ordinary bread is the first mistake. The second is the bacon. It wasn't crispy. Droopy, soggy strips of swine, even if there are some smokey, savory flavors, will never cut the mustard on a sandwich, particularly not when the other ingredients are sweet and gooey. Also, too much jam and not enough peanut butter. If you're gonna go crazy with a peanut butter bacon sandwich, you've got a pick a team: PB or piggy. Let one dominate and the other complement. This sucker can't make up its mind.


Bleu Cheese Burger

The Bleu Cheese Burger at Munch Bar
This is one big, bold burger. It's supposed to be, as it's served by Munch Bar in Caesars Palace, a quick and casual spot designed to feed the clubbers and casino folk at lunch, dinner and late night hours. The thick, juicy beef patty is pretty delicious, augmented by a mound of creamy bleu cheese, big strips of smoked bacon and sauteed mushrooms. The bun is just as huge, one of those wonderful pieces of bread that is both light and heavy at the same time, sturdy enough to stand up to all the burgerness you can handle. Overall, an above average burger with generous toppings, and too big to finish.


Teriyaki Turkey Burger

Teriyaki Turkey Burger at Carl's Jr.
Carl's Jr. food is terrible, but you gotta give it up for some of its recent commercials. No, not the Paris Hilton car wash one. That's terrible, too. I'm talking about the one where Carl's lays it down with "This is what we do, and that's the way it is." It's funny, it's bold (enough) and it's memorable, and if you have a problem with it, you're kinduva bitch-ass.

It's just too bad that Carl can't seem to make edible sandwiches. Their latest creation is a batch of shitty turkey burgers. Fully expecting a flavorless mystery-birdmeat disc, I ordered the burger that had the most crazy shit on it in: the Teriyaki turkey burg. It's drenched in sugary teriyaki glaze with Swiss cheese, onion, tomato, lettuce and a slice of grilled pineapple, all stacked on a honey-wheat bun. Motherfuckin' UGH. Couldn't eat it all. Usually you wouldn't complain about the meat in your burger being too big, but the cardbird patty is giant, mealy and has no taste to speak of. The sauce might as well have been maple syrup. Swiss cheese? Why?

You may have noticed that allsandwich is seeing quite a few less fast food entries these days. Shit like this is why. But go watch that Carl's commercial again, it's pretty cool. I like the part where Olivia Munn and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are jetskiing.

Viva Las Vegas

Viva Las Vegas at Canter's Deli
Canter's Deli is officially back, at least in my mind, to its original status. That status was a classic California deli, a landmark, that had opened a version on the Las Vegas Strip. When it first arrived at TI, it was pretty exciting. I don't know what happened between then and about a year ago, but that's when I returned for another taste of pastrami to find that all was right in the world again. And I've been back, and things are still right. Way right.

I can't pick a top pastrami in Vegas. The choices are this joint, Carnegie Deli (which is one casino over at The Mirage) or Bagel Cafe. But this creation, the Viva Las Vegas, is officially my favorite sandwich at Canter's. There's plenty of that spicy, juicy pastrami, and an equally tremendous stack of corned beef. Tasted separately, there is a distinct difference as the corned beef is more dense, beefy and salty, while the pastrami is, of course, peppery. But together in one mighty mouthful, everything swirls together in a decadent way. These are the two deli meats that the L.A. Canter's built its reputation on, so it's not a surprise that this sandwich is a winner. Also on these terrific slices of rye, there is some Swiss cheese, just enough creamy coleslaw to cut through the salt, and a barely there dab of Russian dressing. I recommend you add a significant wipe of whole grain, spicy Beaver brand mustard, which will overpower the kinda sweet dressing and legitimize this sandwich as a true deli masterpiece. Just cuz it's on the Strip doesn't mean it ain't real.