Foods You Can’t Get in Las Vegas, Vol. 2

Astute readers will recall my earlier post on this subject, in which I bemoaned the absence of scrapple, Taylor Pork Roll, and real Cincinnati Chili in Las Vegas.

But thanks to a tip from one Jerry, I did indeed find Scrapple at Smith’s here in Las Vegas (at the Windmill/215 location).  Unfortunately you can only buy the scrapple frozen.  This makes neat slicing difficult, as the freezing/thawing destroys the pate-like texture you really want.  So what if the result (shown here with poached eggs over some killer Farmer’s Market baby potatoes) looks like a dog’s dinner–the maple syrup-slathered scrapple is a crispy slice of sweet porky heaven:

Sorry commenter Max, I found no Taylor Pork Roll at Smith’s–haven’t tried a more thorough search but remain optimistic and open to suggestions from readers.

Scott Noonan helpfully suggested yet another food you can’t get in Las Vegas, the horseshoe sandwich, a peculiar local favorite of Springfield, IL.  Sorry Scott–this train wreck of meat, bread, cheese and fries looks like a dog’s dinner best left to the dog.  I doubt we will be seeing a clever re-interpretation at First Food and Bar anytime soon.

Today’s addition to the list is a Key West staple, the conch fritter:

Now I haven’t actually searched for these in Las Vegas, but would be shocked to find them available.  But maybe there’s a  Bahamian hole-in-the-wall lurking off Sahara somewhere.

The only conch I’ve seen in Las Vegas is the wonderfully trippy architectural oddity La Concha, which was mercifully saved by the folks at the Neon Museum…

The fritters above are courtesy of Turtle Kraal’s in Key West, a local spot that has gone through some revamps and changes over time.  When we visited, they had recently hired a new chef from Boston, who sadly goes unmentioned on their site, so I can’t give him a proper shout-out.  My local hosts, both long-time conchs (that’s Key West natives to the rest of us), proclaimed these conch fritters the best they had ever tasted.  The conch chowder was excellent as well…if your travels take you to the Keys, Turtle Kraal’s is a great casual choice for lunch with a view.

Okay faithful readers, feel free to prove me wrong, or stump us with more Foods You Can’t Get in Las Vegas.  Happy Hunting!

Michael Manley is a professional musician, food nut, writer and technological retard who lives and works in Las Vegas.  He posts on Twitter as TLV_Michael.

Published in: on March 28, 2010 at 3:06 pm  Comments (10)  

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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. You also can’t get a killer Pastrami Dip like at Alhambra, CA based The Hat, flautas like at Los Angeles’ Olvera Street, or the best carne asada burrito and lethal red salsa from East LA’s King Taco!

  2. Did you say, “Pastrami Dip”? What is that, like a French Dip but with Pastrami instead of Roast Beef? I think I may be a fan! Any sandwich dipped in beef juice is a good sandwich in my book!

  3. I’ve never had fresh scrapple so didn’t know what I was missing.

    We’ve been having trouble finding calamansi lately if anyone knows of a place.

  4. Michael Manley knows food.

  5. Thanks for the props Todd!

    Jill…have you tried the International Marketplace @ Decatur and Trop for calamansi?

    Pastrami Dip…intriguing.

  6. Been to Turtle Kraal many times and enjoyed conch fritters all over the Key’s and in the Bahama’s. The best I ever had are at a hole in the wall called Alabama Jack’s on Card Sound Road in the Key’s. It’s off the beaten path but well worth it. Try it when you get a chance.

  7. International Marketplace is a thought. But if three Filipino (it’s a staple in the Philippines) markets I’ve been to don’t have it, but used to, then my hopes for IM are not high. I’ll pop in next time I’m in the area though.

  8. thanks for the top Dorian, and good luck ditto with the calamansi search (what do you do with that anyway?)

  9. The missus is Filipino. Most commonly we mix the juice with soy sauce and a chopped thai chili and use it as a dipping sauce for fish and a few other things (fried tofu). They also squeeze it at the table on top of pancet. Same thing for some of the sour soups.

    Most Filipino restaurants in town will have a bottle of lemon juice around somewhere to be used as a substitute.

    It’s not the best substitute.

  10. Pancet:

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