The Big Mac Blog

Eating Las Vegas

This dark, narrow hallway on the third floor at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas is the entrance to the well known, but not advertised, Secret Pizza.
This dark, narrow hallway on the third floor at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas is the entrance to the well known, but not advertised, Secret Pizza. Star-Telegram

LAS VEGAS Rather than try to lose weight, my body is currently undergoing an ambitious expansion phase. This growth spurt was aided greatly by a recent trip to Las Vegas to cover the Pacquiao/Mayweather fight. If you are planning to hit The Strip, prepare to overspend on well, everything ... especially food.

Here are The Big Mac Blog’s Vegas Tips to Get Fat. Beware - reading this will likely cause you to gain 5 to 8 pounds.

PINK’S HOT DOGS

It has a picture of Kim Kardashian on the wall, who allegedly was here to open the new location, so it can’t be all bad. The original is in Los Angeles but this hot dog place offers a wide array of overly-expensive but dangerously good hot dogs. This place offers an extensive menu with a variety of hot dog possibilities, as well as burgers and other garbage you soon regret.

I tried the nacho cheese chili dog, which is a bit not good. The chili was -ish, and the cheese was worse. I paid dearly for this decision. But the winner was the mushroom swiss dog was brilliance. This is a dynamite dog that is well worth the calories.

RAMSAY’S BURGR

Located inside The Planet Hollywood, this place epitomizes over-priced Vegas; $15 for a burger is ridiculous. The line on Wednesday night at 10 p.m. was 45 minutes just to sit at the bar, by myself. (Please note I demand four empty seats on both sides when I sit at a bar). The next day at noon, there was no line.

Yes, this place is expensive but it is a good burger.

This is a chic variety burger place and I ordered the Farm Burger - which includes duck breast bacon, English sharp cheddar cheese, and a fried egg. The bun with the meat and the cheese and the bacon is a solid combination. Do not order it middle rare; I made that mistake and it was too red.

The options for the fries are cute, and criminally good; the Sweet Potato fries are dusted with powedered sugar, which is as good as it sounds.

Ramsay’s Burgr averages about $25 per person, but it well worth the wait, and the cash.

MON AMI GABI

This Parisian style French bistro is located in the Paris Hotel. Weird, huh? The atmosphere here is lively, and seating is available along The Strip that makes for good people watching. I simply went with the appetizers, and ordered the Housemade Country Pate. Solid choice, if pate is your thing. It’s thick, and flavorful. Kicking myself for not ordering the French Onion Soup.

SECRET PIZZA

This locale is a clever bit of marketing involved with this tiny spot in the Cosmopolitan Hotel. There is no signage for this place inside the hotel at all; it is entirely a word-of-mouth venture, and it works. Located on the third floor of the hotel near the pool tables, the New York style pizzeria is down a narrow, dark hallway. It’s a small kitchen with a small number of bar style seating.

This restaurant offers a small selection of pizzas - go with the sausage - and it can be ordered in single slices. The pizza requires some blotting with a napkin to reduce the oil, but this is a good grab and go place.

SHAKE SHACK

Established in New York, this place offers a more affordable – and perhaps even a better burger – than Ramsay’s place down The Strip. They don’t do the tricked up burger, and nothing on this burger ‘n’ fries menus is too cute, but it is good. This is a superior burger than In and Out, with a good shakes as well. There is a location in Dallas, meaning you need to hit this.

AMERICA

Located inside the New York New York Hotel, this small café features the now slightly over-it “cronut”. It’s a combination donut and croissant. I gained three pounds just writing that. Heidi Klum endorses it, because when you look at this supermodel you immediately think she plows through two or three cronuts per morning.

CHINA POBLANO

The rare combination of Chinese cuisine with Mexican food scores a major hit. This is another third-floor restaurant located on the third floor of the Cosmopolitan Hotel.

The menu is extensive, and I started with the carnitas taco, which features some pork rinds and spicy salsa. This is outstanding.

Also included on this visit was the quail egg dim sum. It features shrimp, pork, peanuts and a poached quail egg on top. This is not a usual taste, but the combination is a solid blend. This is a place I would hit again and again.

FAT BURGER

Overrated. Period. Don’t do it. Don’t bother. Still bitter about this.

After re-reading this, I don’t know how I’m not dead.

Mac Engel, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @macengelprof

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