Banh Mi Thit Cha

Banh Mi Thit Cha at Pho Thanh Huong
This may not be the best banh mi sandwich I've ever eaten, but in Las Vegas, I don't think there's a better place to eat banh mi, a more consistent French-Vietnamese sandwich factory in this town, than Pho Thanh Huong. It's just off the Strip, within a few steps of UNLV, which is incredibly good news for the broke-ass college students of Las Vegas. Because not only are they baking their own crackly-fresh baguettes, not only are they stuffing in larger portions of meat and pickled veggies, but the real clincher is: these babies are about four bucks each. Makes you wanna go back to school, almost. Along with the traditional crisp vegetable and herb fillings, this one has roasted pork roll, pate, and lightly cured Vietnamese ham. Yep, it's a porkathon. Go get a couple.

Cheeseburger Bite

Cheeseburger Bite at 7-11
I'm really sorry, you guys. Sometimes things get so bad, you don't know where the bottom is. Well, this it. If you're going to eat something that literally looks like a piece of shit, you get what you deserve.

Tortas Sampler

Tortas Sampler at T&T
Available only on the lunch menu at Luxor's Mexican joint Tacos & Tequila, these tasty friends are just too good to limit yourself to just one flavor. I would usually never review three sandwiches at once, but these tortas are equally delicious, mostly because of the soft, spongy, sweet, perfectly absorbent bolillo rolls. This light, lovely cloud of a bread is the quintessential component in these sandwiches, which are surprisingly authentic considering this is the Vegas Strip. They have been made a bit more friendly by this outgoing kitchen, but the flavors are staying in the spirit of tradition. From the left, you've got carne asada (tender and juicy with a bit of sour funk), carnitas (succulence personified) and shredded chicken (moist and slightly spicy), plus each also has lettuce and tomato, fresh pico de gallo, and a thin layer of soft, long-simmered bean puree for extra texture. If you happen to find yourself in the Luxor at lunchtime, allow me to introduce option numero uno.


BLTA Mini Scraper

The BLTA Mini Scraper
This is a random-ass, whatever we've got in the kitchen kinda piece. A chunk of Albertsons starchy-yet-delicious French bread, slabbed out. Smashed avocado smothered across the bottom. Five pieces of bacon that turned out a little too crispy, a couple nice crisp iceberg lettuce leaves, and thick slices of yellow heirloom tomato. Mustard, of course. All done. It's too tall to bite due to the bread density, and it barely stands up by itself long enough to snap a pic. But if you can get your mouth around it, satisfying.  Even though it looks weird.

Chili Cheese Fritos Coney

Chili Cheese Fritos Coney at Sonic
Not sure why I was compelled to order this when I really just wanted a root beer float, but once I clarified that this was, in fact, not a foot-long, I was game. Because look, Fritos with chili and cheese is a good combination. On a mediocre-at-best Sonic hot dog, still pretty good. There are diced onions and mustard on this baby, but the magic that makes it special is recognizing these are chili cheese-flavored Fritos. So, yeah. It's meaty and crunchy and salty and chili-y, so it's enjoyable on a very primal level.

Torta Ahogada

Torta Ahogada at El Birotazo
A tiny eastside taco shop in Las Vegas. You would never find this place, in a million years, and if you drove past it, you wouldn't consider stopping in for a torta. This is the kind of sandwich in the kind of restaurant someone has to tell you about, and that's what happened. And now I'm telling (writing) you about it, and you're going to go try it. For simplification, let's call this the Guadalajaran version of the French dip, only with pork, and WAY BETTER. The roll is dense and crusty. The meat, piled on top of a thin layer of refried, mashed beans, is carnita-syle pork, roasted to succulent perfection. And there's quite a bit of it. That glossy orange sauce it's swimming in? Drenched in? Totally saturated in, so that the sponge-like roll is absorbing every drop of that sweet-and-earthy spiced tomato salsa? It's fantastic. What you can't see is in that silver bowl in the back: spicy chile de arbol, another smooth salsa rich and thick and hot as hell, with raw white onion shards hanging out. For fun. You need to pile that stuff on each bite of porky wonder to get the full effect. That's what this sandwich should be called: The Full Effect.