Pho-Licious Q

Pho-Licious Q at Wa Da Pho
Now this is what we want out of a food truck—fun, imaginative eats with big, powerful flavors. Las Vegas' Wa Da Pho truck offers a unique twist on Asian fusion, including this juicy, scrumptious sandwich that borrows its massive deliciousness from traditional Vietnamese beef noodle soup. The truck serves actual pho, too, which sounds like an ambitious attempt for street food. But who are we to judge, especially when they pull off a sandwich this great? A spongy pretzel bun is stuffed with thinly sliced beef brisket, basically the same meat you attack with chopsticks as soon as a steaming bowl of pho is dropped in front of your face. Think of a French dip, Vietnamese style. The extras are cabbage and cilantro, a bit of Thai-influenced papaya slaw, and a creamy special sauce with a little richness to bring the bite out of that beef. It's not easy to drop a completely fresh sandwich on us, one we've never experienced before. Wa Da Pho did it with delicious style.


Super Sub

Super Sub at Jersey Mike's Subs
Jersey Mike's feels like the underachieving slacker of sandwich franchises. I'll take it any day of the week over big boys Port of Subs or Subway, but even though eating a sandwich here is never disappointing, it never really satisfies, either. Perhaps that's due to the absolutely mediocre bread, which has decent texture but no flavor to speak of. The Super Sub, with provolone cheese, ham, prosciutto and capacola, should pack enough savory goodness to offset the bread's blandness, but it doesn't really get there. The overall product quality just isn't what it should be. The produce, however, was fresh and crisp, lettuce, tomato and red onion, and Jersey Mike's is always beyond generous with condiments, oil and vinegar. I added hot cherry pepper relish to spark this bitch up, and it was a decent bite. I guess that's all you can expect from a shop like this.


French Fry Burger

French Fry Burger at Burger King
I don't know who should be more embarrassed—Burger King, for putting this on their menu, or me, for buying it. It only cost a dollar, so maybe it's on them. But I didn't just buy it, I ate it. So I guess I'm the loser. Does it look tiny? Because it is. Any other restaurant in the world would call this a slider. Dry bun, drippy ketchup and mayo, shitty baby patty, lettuce flakes, and four or five crispy fries. They were crispy. I'll give you that, Burger King. Despite the classic American flavor of burgers and fries together, this sucker should have been aborted.



Torta at Los Chilangos
We sampled the grub from Los Chilangos, a food truck and caterer operating in the Seattle area, at the spectacular Sunday farmers' market in Ballard. The true treasure on the menu was the chupacabra quesadilla, combining chorizo and carne asada into a savory, fatty blast of meat bliss. If we would have wisely ordered that on our torta, it'd be an A+  sandwich with ease. But the vegetarian version is beyond solid, a pillowy, slightly toasted sourdough roll filled with hearty black beans, salty, gooey cheese, shredded lettuce, cilantro, onions, and spicy salsa verde. There was definitely a dose of fresh jalapeƱo in that salsa, giving it an extra kick that cut through the rich layer of cheese and beans. It's the perfect thing to cradle and devour while walking through one of the best street markets we've ever experienced.

Flagship Sandwich

Flagship Sandwich at Beecher's
Pardon the already munched photo, but it's hard not to chomp on a deadly-delicious grilled cheese once it's in your hot little hands. The famous Beecher's at Pike Place Market is always packed, and worth the wait, no matter if you're getting one of these, a dungeness crab sandwich, the killer mac and cheese or just stocking up on other cheesy goodness. The Flagship is layered with Beecher's eponymous signature cheese, a cow's milk cheese with a nice nutty flavor, plus their ridiculously creamy Just Jack cheese. It's quite the combination, melted or not. Fresh basil, tomato, and a smooth spread round things out, all panini-pressed between toasty sourdough. First rule of a great grilled cheese is using great cheese, pretty easy to come by at Beecher's.

Beer Steamed Hot Dog

Beer Steamed Hot Dog at the Orleans Casino Sportsbook
The $1.50 hot dog served from a street-style cart right behind the sportsbook at the aging, locals-oriented Orleans Casino is still one of the best dogs in Las Vegas, an all-beef meat tube that's alway been cooked by steaming over bubbling beer. The price used to be 75 cents, including all the condiments you wanna splash on top, but inflation is a bitch, I suppose. Still, it's a good deal, and you find similar ones at other Boyd Gaming-owned casinos that once operated under the Coast Casinos banner. But for some reason, the Orleans dog just tastes better. Maybe it's because this casino is a little grimy and worn, and it feels like the kind of place where lunch or dinner should be a quick wiener between hands or slot machine pulls.



Meatball at Port of Subs
I wanted to remember this sandwich, and how I used to eat (sometimes two of) them in high school for lunch. How did I do that? There's something about the contrast of the thick, bittersweet tomato paste that passes for marinara-ish sauce to the pale, tasteless whiteness of the sub roll that feels like a murder scene. Don't you think? Also, it's impossible to eat this without making a mess, as halved spheres of forcemeat squish around within the soft roll, lubed by the paste, sliding down sheets of slick, miraculously unmelted provolone and plopping on the paper below. Yes, I did ask for banana peppers. I was trying to make it work. But alas, I'm not in high school anymore, and this is not a suitable sandwich.