Ham & Cheese Croissant

Ham & Cheese Croissant at Sambalatte
Once again we're back at one of suburban Vegas' finest coffee spots, eating food. I never plan to eat a sandwich at a coffee shop due to the risk of eating something that might have been made days ago, but Sambalatte keeps things relatively fresh. The croissant is wonderful, a warmed-up, flaky, buttery bite of splendid sweet-and-savory pleasure. There's nothing more to this sandwich than average slices of swine and melty Swiss, a fine combination. Not bad.


Cheez Whiz Steak

Cheez Whiz Steak at Pop's
Pop's serves the quintessential cheesesteak in Vegas. It's undeniable. Anybody who has been in Vegas for long knows the funny little A-frame building on Decatur Boulevard that was once an original Weinerschnitzel -- the structure is nearly 50 years old now -- is the absolute top spot for a cheesesteak, the closest point to Philadelphia in Sin City.

We only eat the whiz steak at Pop's. So what you're looking at is a fluffy-soft, 9-inch roll baked by the Amoroso company in Philadelphia, completely packed with paper-thin slices of grilled sirloin, sauteed onions, bell peppers and mushrooms, and a generous slathering of original Kraft-brand Cheez Whiz. It's the perfect combination of tangy cheesishness, crispy veggies and savory, satisfying meat. It's huge, and it's about 10 bucks. The best part is eating it outside on the patio at Pop's, where you would never know you're in Vegas.


Double Croissan'Wich

Double Croissan'Wich with sausage and bacon at Burger King
I'm not sure why I eventually end up having fast food breakfast at Burger King. Every few months, strange conditions arise, and I'm eating a fucking croissan'wich. Of course, this has to stop. BK has proven to me that it is willing to go to all sorts of trouble to set new, lower breakfast standards. This sounds like an abusive relationship.

The Double Croissan'Wich: Because a 570-calorie sandwich is a great way to start the day. Same soggy wet cardboard scrambled eggs, only now there's flavorless sausage AND bacon along with melted fake cheese. The only thing BK breakfast has ever had going for it is the mouth-coating butteryness of its half-ass croissants. Have you ever even had a real breakfast sandwich on a real croissant? It's pretty awesome, the whole sweet-savory thing. BK will never get there.


BBQ Pork Sliders

BBQ Pork Sliders at Bottles & Burgers
Kudos to the folks at Bottles & Burgers for their courage. They've opened yet another Vegas burger joint, they've done it in the struggling Tivoli Village shopping center, and they've gone above and beyond to make it interesting. Of course, a pulled pork slider sandwich is nothing new, but these are pretty damn good. The meat is tender and flavorful but not too soft, the apricot barbecue sauce is not too sweet, the chiptole coleslaw has a delicious zesty, creamy kick, and the baby brioche bun is wonderful. There's event a sweet pickle chip on top, just for fun. Of the several sandwiches we tasted in our first visit to Bottles & Burgers, these baby barbecue bites were the standouts.


Baby Dragon

Baby Dragon at Fukuburger Truck
One of Vegas' favorite food trucks, Fukuburger recently opened a restaurant in Los Angeles. We haven't made the trip to Cali yet to see if their Hollywood burgers are as good as the ones off the truck, but clearly the cuisine here in Vegas isn't suffering. At all.

When Chef Mags comes up with something crazy for the daily special, you'd be wise to check it out. Hopefully this masterpiece will make the permanent menu some day, as it's one of the best burgers we've ever had the privilege to devour. This was the Chinese New Year special, hence the funny name. The key to this burger is that they took the standard Fuku patty, already legendary for its bold Asian flavors and tendency to be perfectly cooked, and pepper crusted that bad boy. So the Baby Dragon already comes out with a Sichuan peppercorn crust, then adds applewood-smoked bacon, smoked gouda cheese, and an insane wasabi-hoisin-serrano chile sauce. It's just spicy enough, beautifully balanced by the sweetness from the hoisin and the creamy cheese.

Fukuburger's experiments with umamification continue. Chalk up another victory.