Peppermill Pastrami Burger

Peppermill Pastrami Burger at Peppermill
Does this not look amazing? The more I eat at Peppermill, the more I want to eat at Peppermill. Come on! Look at those onion rings! As soon as you put the top bun on this mofo and bite away, you'll get a meaty dose of a half-pound burger, melted Swiss, super-lean griddled pastrami, and a drizzle of mayo-mustard sauce. The toasty buttered buns make it all the sweeter. There's lettuce, onion, tomato and pickle on the side for your own add-on glory. Diner food is supposed to be simple satisfaction, nothing more, nothing less. Peppermill gets it. 


Pretzel Pub Chicken

Pretzel Pub Chicken at Wendy's
Okay, Wendy's is on to something here. Capitalizing on that early 2012 food trend known as pretzel bread, the fast food giant has created a chicken sandwich that almost doesn't taste or look like fast food. The pretzel bun itself is actually a bit of a drawback … though it offers a unique, chewy texture, it doesn't have a lot of fresh pretzely flavor. Still, it scores significant presentation points, and the rest of the ingredients here seem upgraded: A slightly crispy breaded chicken breast filet, nicely spiced but not spicy; spring mix instead of plain green lettuce; tomato; muenster cheese; and "smoky honey mustard," which is not smoky but plenty sweet and gooey. Less sauce would have made this sandwich better. Overall, a pleasant surprise from the pigtailed one.


Roasted Turkey, Ham and Coppa

Roasted Turkey, Ham and Coppa at 'Wichcraft
So the great sandwich shop in the back of MGM Grand, 'Wichcraft, has dropped a new menu since I last visited. The good news is they kept their amazing breakfast sandwiches. The bad news is there are fewer sandwiches in general, making room for more salads. Bleck. Salad. Some of the bigger, meatier sandwich options are gone, replaced by a few more panini choices. We can live with the change, though we will miss some of those flavors. One of the new additions is this chewy ciabatta filled with thick slabs of roasted turkey and great country-style ham, plus coppa (a salty, somewhat light salami), white cheddar cheese, a relish of green olives, red peppers and pickled red onion, and a creamy aioli. The meat is plentiful and fantastic, and the briny, bright relish is a great if unspicy contrast to the richness of the two porks. It's another winner from this spot, even if we might not make it back as often as we used to.


Fresh Morning Sandwich

Fresh Morning Sandwich at SkinnyFats
I wanted to rank this incredibly bland breakfast sandwich—composed of egg whites, sauteed spinach (sauteed in other spinach?), turkey bacon (pure tasteless evil), tomato and agave ketchup on a honey wheat kaiser roll—a full letter grade lower, but the fact is, it's my fault. The menu at this trendy new eatery is divided into healthy alternatives, which is where this bitch lives, and "happy" items, which roughly translates into things that actually taste like food. So the "happy" version of this sandwich has scrambled eggs (Glory! There's probably salt and pepper in them, too!), real bacon, tomato, avocado and a spicy mayo spread, and it's on a brioche roll (which has butter!). So I could have ordered that thing instead of this thing. The healthy breakfast sandwich isn't the worst bite ever; all the ingredients are fresh and it's well-assembled. They just forgot the flavor. That's my favorite part.


Cuban Sandwich

Cuban Sandwich at Lulu's Bread & Breakfast
At last. At last! There are very few Cuban restaurants in Las Vegas, which means a killer version of the classic Cuban toasted ham and cheese sandwich is almost impossible to find. What you have instead instead is whitewashed (and white breaded) deli shops doing a lightweight Americanized version, which comes up short 99 percent of the time. But not at Lulu's. This bakery, breakfast and lunch joint is fast becoming one of our favorite sandwich spots in town because they just do everything right. Their sandwich lineup changes with the seasons and fall has bestowed upon us the best Cuban we've ever tasted in Vegas. The bread is thick country white, but it's panini-pressed to create the hefty crunch and flavorful chew that must occur in any respectable Cuban. Inside, Swiss half-melts luxuriously around ample portions of pickles and yellow mustard, masterfully avoiding any sort of cheese goo effect. Thick slices of ham and generous mounds of roasted, shredded pork offer a meatier mouthful even that what appears. It's simple savory perfection. Thank god for Lulu's.


Double Chili Cheeseburger

Double Chili Cheeseburger at Original Tommy's
Nope. No, no no. Not a chance. The plus on this grade is because the bun was fresh and the vegetables were crisp, but they were smothered in beef grease and the dirt-flavored brownsauce characterized as "chili." I remember stopping around Barstow on family road trips to eat at Tommy's as a sort of joke, or a dare, really, as in "Can we make it all the way to LA without having to stop and use the bathroom after eating a chili burger?" You can see why. But you know what? It's not funny. Not at all.

Le Burger

Le Burger at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon
If ever there was an obvious A+ sandwich, here ya go. As you can tell by this photo, this baby burger was not consumed inside L'Atelier, hands down of the best restaurants in Las Vegas (and beyond). Food & Wine magazine's annual All-Star Weekend brought many mega-events to the Strip this month, including a burger contest featuring restaurants of the MGM Grand judged by Mr. Robuchon himself, among other celeb chefs. All eight of the burgers were delish, but it's tough to beat this tiny masterpiece. It's very small, and each of the ingredients are basically the best, most fresh version of standard burger accoutrement ... except for that unbelievable, perfectly seared slab of foie gras perched atop the juicy mini-patty. Yeah, kinda hard to hang with that. The problem now is we can pretty much never eat another slider again.


Turkey Club

Turkey Club at Grand Cafe
Should I stop writing about club sandwiches? There's really not a lot to say about a club sandwich if it's made with honor and decency, as is the case with this triple-stacked thang at the Red Rock Resort's totally honorable, decent coffee shop. Plenty of bird, nice, thick strips of pig, fresh veggies. It's all good. Does that make it boring? Hmm. Sounds really good right now, actually.


Waffle Sandwich

Waffle Sandwich at Bread & Butter
Is this even a sandwich? Waffles are not bread, but these waffles are sweet and light, and would be nice and crispy if they weren't saturated in old-school white sausage gravy and a pre-drizzle of maple syrup. Layered in between them are ham (or you can order yours with turkey), scrambled eggs and melty cheddar cheese, basically everything you need to make an ideal breakfast sandwich. Just because you need a knife and fork to take it down doesn't mean it's not a sandwich, right?