Italian B.M.T.

Italian B.M.T. at Subway
Oh, Subway. These guys really are magicians. Their ability to take what should be simple and delicious and transform it into a cardboard-coated, flavorless shitlog is, in a really terrible way, astounding. I figured the Italian sub is the best shot at detecting any taste among Subway's offerings, and augmented the salami, pepperoni and Black Forest ham—wait, Black Forest ham is Italian? Pretty sure it's German—with provolone, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers and olives. I told them to get crazy with the oil, vinegar and seasonings. No matter what you add on, it always tastes like Subway. There's no escaping it.


Chicago Dog

Chicago Dog at Al's Beef
Perhaps it makes sense that the Chicago dog at Al's Beef is almost awesome, because they are more focused here on their namesake Italian beef sandwiches (to be all sandwiched soon). Still, this is a better than solid rendition of the classic, complete with all the necessary components: poppy seed bun, snappy beef frank, yellow mustard, nuclear green relish, onion, tomato, pickle spear and sport pepper. The bun is incredibly soft, steamed to pillowy perfection. The dog itself is delicious. Everything together is just a bit mushy, as the veggies don't have enough crispness to balance everything out. But there's sweet, sour and savory, and it's good enough to have another … after one of those beef sandwiches.


Griled Pub Cheese

Grilled Pub Cheese
Experiments can go awry. I didn't realize this pub cheese in a plastic tub is actually Pub Cheese, as in, the brand is called Pub Cheese. But it is. No matter the brand, trying to make a legit grilled cheese with spreadable cheese product is a challenging endeavor. This is cheddar and horseradish flavored Pub Cheese, so it tastes good. But I'm still not sure if it officially melted. It doesn't look like it melted, but it feels like it did. It's hot. Overall, the results are just odd … the two main reasons this is not a real grilled cheese are the lack of gooey meltiness and the use of whole grain bread. Ah well, back to the drawing board.


I Love Bacon

I Love Bacon Burger at I Love Burgers
Jack in the Box has launched a new burger with a blended patty of beef and bacon. Rather than subject myself to that masterpiece, I thought I'd revisit a bacon patty burger that we Vegas eaters have had all along. This version is available at one of the unsung gourmet burger joints in Las Vegas, I Love Burgers, which has locations at Palazzo at Town Square. The I Love Bacon burger is made with ground brisket and bacon, and of course it's topped with bacon strips and maple-flavored aioli to complete the overindulgence. Lettuce, tomato, crispy onions and smoked gouda round it all out, built on another sweet, puffy bun that all fancy burger joints are using these days. There is substantial smoky, porky flavors in the patty, and it's as juicy as you'd expect, but the best part is the texture. All that extra fat forms a crispy, almost crunchy edge when smashed onto the grill, creating an uncommon bite among burgers. It's definitely greasy, but mostly worth it; if you're ready to feel about yourself, this might be the burger for you.


Turkey Cognac

Turkey Cognac Sandwich
If you use only the best ingredients, you don't need very many to create a terrifically satisfying sandwich. Start with the bread. These slabs are sliced from a country white loaf baked 12 hours earlier by the wonderful folks at Lulu's Bread & Breakfast, beautifully soft, chewy and delicious inside—just perfect texture—and crusty and crispy around the outside. Anything between two shingles of this stuff is going to be lovely. I plastered them with homemade cognac mustard, loaded with vinegar tang and brown and yellow mustard seeds, and layered on baby greens and lemon-rosemary turkey breast from the local Whole Foods deli case. Nothing beats great fresh bread. Nothing.

Manhattan Burger

Manhattan Burger at Mr. Mamas Cafe
Is it still a patty melt if there's bacon on it? Let's go with "yes," even though at Mr. Mamas they call it the Manhattan Burger. This greasy spoon serves up some greasy-good grub, including this thick, salty beef patty pressed between incredibly buttery toasted sourdough, lots of melty cheddar (or the cheese of your choke) and thick slabs of bacon. This is the kind of sandwich that's going to stick with you all day, coating your existence in butter and beef grease. I mean that in a good way.