The Frenchie at Aces & Ales
Everybody loves greasy bar food, and a bar with a special menu section for crazy grilled cheese sandwiches sounds like a wonderful idea. It is. But you still have to execute. A tasty grilled cheese requires thoughtful effort. Adding wacky ingredients is fun but seldom results in delicious success. Such is the case with the Frenchie, which playfully pairs American and cheddar cheeses with bacon and French fries. The rich, buttery toastyness of the bread overwhelms and the only other thing you can taste is the bacon. These cheeses are bland and melt together into a globby, greasy mess, and the fries offer nothing other than more mushy, soggy texture. That's not what you want to add to a grilled cheese. It needs something crunchy and/or crispy, something bright and maybe acidic to cut through the tempting richness of tons of melted cheese. Next time we're feeling cheesy at this otherwise impressive bar, it'll be time to try the Moondog: provolone, salami, pepperoni, olives and jalapeƱos. 


The Reuben

The Reuben at The Spread
Could there be a more fitting first bite of a new Vegas casino than a classic sandwich from its sports book deli? I think not. The Downtown Grand is a true boutique hotel, it couldn't possibly be in a more hip location, and it's got terrific Vegas bones—this joint used to be the Lady Luck. The new operators have squished a whole lotta stuff into a relatively small space, including the sleek, cozy little book with this tiny deli counter connected. It's called The Spread and the menu's got all the basics … except pastrami. How come no pastrami? The Spread almost makes up for that misstep with this meaty, creamy, tangy Reuben. Deli lovers might prefer a more substantial meat pile within these thick, nicely grilled slabs of rye, but the corned beef that is there is solidly savory. Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and sweet Russian dressing and we're good to go. This is a nice first impression of the DTG; now let's go check out the lobster roll and the Cubano at the coffee shop.


Woodfired Chicken Arepa

Woodfired Chicken Arepa at Viva Las Arepas
There are those who would say a Venezuelan arepa is not a sandwich because its "bread" is not bread but a split cake of corn masa stuffed with delicious ingredients. My response would be that it's simply a different version of bread, flour and water cooked in a different matter, so shut yer yapper. Once you get a bite of this thing, you can call it whatever you want, because it's undeniably fantastic. Viva Las Arepas makes some killer hickory and charcoal roasted chicken, imparting luscious, slightly smoky flavor into your everyday boring bird for lip-smacking results. One of the most popular arepas on the ridiculously cheap menu stuffs this shredded chicken into the crisp, griddled masa with lettuce, tomato and onion, with optional cheese. Blow the flavors into overdrive by squirting on the house hot sauce and/or avocado crema. Is this the best $5 sandwich in all of Las Vegas? Find me a better one.

Denver Po' Boy

Denver Po' Boy at Roadrunner Saloon
I feel like I should grade this sandwich on a curve because it's something of a halfway effort: It's on the football game day menu only, a $6 special, so should it count? I'm not sure. It's a pretty hearty meal for $6, but there's not much flavor to speak of. Tender shrimpies fried crisp bring some pretty nice texture, but they're woefully under-seasoned. That's all there is to it. The rest is lettuce, tomato, and a very big, very dry toasted bun. This sandwich is in serious need of moisture. And some salt would be nice.