Tuesday Trail Mix–Ugly Food, and other leftovers…

It ain’t pretty, but it sure tastes good

The thing that makes a blog a blog is recency and frequency, as the statisticians might say.  While I’m prone to over-preened, Flaubertian bouquets of prose in which every adjective and period is agonized over, that fancy crap doesn’t crank itself out every day.  So I accept that if I want to post more often, some of my posts aren’t going to be, well, pretty.

Speaking of not pretty, I am out of scrapple. But it was another disgusting-looking pig product with which I became smitten this week–the sausage gravy and biscuits at First Food and Bar, recently sampled after TLV’s own Mike Dobranski emceed a slider eating contest at First’s late-night “Size Matters” launch party.

“Size Matters” features, yes, The Big Dobranski, named for Mike D himself.  Sigh.  I’m afraid I cannot compete with Mike D when it comes to consuming foods larger than my head.  Although I may edge him out in a scrapple eating contest, since Mike shuns scrapple the way Superman avoids Kryptonite.

But I digress.  The “Size Matters” launch was a success, and featured free chicken and waffles.  I must say First’s chef Sammy D really outdid himself–the fried chicken was good enough to make a Real Housewife of Atlanta cry tears of joy, maybe the best I’ve ever had.  Pairing this with a tasty waffle and smothering the whole plate with an amazing bourbon-tinged maple syrup would suffice for most chefs, but not Sammy D.  No, he has to make the whole thing go to 11 by pairing it with a biscuit worthy of the Loveless Cafe which is then slathered with the aforementioned revolting-looking yet delicious sausage gravy.  The whole is an awe-inspiring gut-bomb that hit  the four major food groups:  Starch, Sugar, Fried and Pig.  At $17 bucks, I’m betting the half-chicken portion size is enough for two, making this not only delicious but an awesome deal.  Can’t wait to go back for it.

Speaking of chicken, I’ve had two other chicken dishes in Las Vegas that were astounding–the justly famous roast chicken at Bouchon, and a simply pan fried deboned half chicken at Brasserie Puck. More on Puck soon.  Maybe chicken is the new sushi…?

Happy Meal

Friday found me at Happy Hour at Todd’s Unique Dining, sampling the spicy tuna tartare, and unable to resist the goat cheese wontons.  Mike D and his lovely wife Kerry joined me at the bar, so I had a taste of the kung-pao scallop and Asian dumpling as well.  Revealing Chef Todd Clore’s love and mastery of Asian flavors, these dishes showed why Todd’s has, in a few short years, become a local institution in Las Vegas.  The tuna was set on a crispy/soft rice cake, which was a nice change from the standard fried wonton.  I was skeptical of the jalapeno slice on top, but it worked well and didn’t overwhelm the fish with spice.  Todd has a real gift for balancing heat in his dishes…

Easy parking, great vibe, bargain prices for extremely high quality and sophisticated treats–what’s not to love?  Todd’s splits it’s happy hour in two–enjoy from 4:30 to 6:00pm and from 8:30 to 10:00pm.

No ‘Match’ for Tapas

Alas, I can sample the pleasures of Todd’s only on my day off–Friday–as I work every other night of the week.  So late night spots with great food and a minimum of obnoxious drunk tourists or video poker machines are my Holy Grail.  Which is why I was stoked when Match opened on Silverado Ranch and Maryland Parkway (no website, that I can find…either I’m computer-retarded, or they are).  Granted, on the first night Mike D. and I stopped in we encountered some bumps, and I took out a rear tire when leaving the parking lot (no I’m not a bad driver, I’m a recovering New Yorker…)

Anyway, I arranged, for the second time, a post-work gathering at Match and, for the second time, found them closing shop at 5 minutes to 11pm (the sign on the door, idealistically shouts “open from 5pm to 2am).  I know launching a restaurant is slow going, but when you brand your spot as a late night industry hang, for God’s sake keep the doors open at least until midnight.  The only thing  I know about running a restaurant I learned from reading Kitchen Confidential and watching Rocco Dispirito flame out on NBC’s The Restaurant. But I know this, Match: if you are in a suburban area/strip mall, where every other place besides the “Nevada Style Pubs” are closing at 10, why close your doors at the exact hour in which you can corner the market?  Besides that, who the hell wants tapas and cocktails at 6?  After much furious texting, my party relocated to PT’s, a “Nevada Style Pub” which has nothing to recommend it.

So I’m assuming Match is on life support, or on the phone to Dr. Kevorkian.  A shame, since the neighborhood really needed it.  In any case, I can’t really risk a third ‘we’re closing early cause we had 2 covers all night’ evening, so I likely won’t be back.  But perhaps you, faithful readers, will rally to support it and make it thrive.   I would like to be proven wrong…

Don’t forget to set your DVD’s for another inspired and insane adventure with Chef Homaru Cantu and his Moto team on Planet Green’s Future Food tonight…

Well foodies it’s time to serenade the prancing cubs at Lion King. Until next time…

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 April 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

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