Desert Companion
 
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OCTOBER 2014
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Oct. 25, 9a-3p. The premise is simple: Get outside and meet community groups, non-profits, government organizations, retailers, outfitters and...   
Oct 25. Nevada State Museum. Historians Larry Gragg, Eugene Moehring and Michael Green hold forth on the fabled home of the Rat Pack, that...   
Oct. 25, 3:30-8:30p. Are you ready to run for your life? Lace up your sneakers and try to survive the post-apocalyptic world. Outsmart dozens of...   
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chicken

DEALICIOUS WINGS

Chicken wings: nature’s bar food. In the Vegas spirit of frenzied invention, you can get ’em brined, smoked, spiced, and there’s a probably a chef coating them in Sriracha Pop Rocks as I write this. Fine. Bedazzle the hell outta those yummy flappers, but let’s not forget a core principle: respect the meat. Three valley eateries get it. Chummy Hendo beerhole Johnny Mac’s (842 S. Boulder Highway, 702-564-2121, johnnymacswings.com) serves ’em by the pound — one for $10.25, up to 10 pounds for $49.95. Their milds and hots make a respectable showing, but their watermelon wings are a surprising treat, with a subtly fruity frisson that also (bonus!) tastes like chicken. The $8 “Spicy Korean Style” wings at KoMex Fusion (4155 S. Buffalo Drive #103, 702-778-5566, komexexpress.com) are well-prepared, wuss-friendly (*sheepishly raises hand*) and afterburn with a pleasing, lip-tingling heat. But leave it to perennial sleeper hit Fat Choy (595 E. Sahara Ave., 702-794-3464, fatchoylv.com) to boast the most winning wings of this chicken crawl. No zany Mortal Kombat flavor combos here, just your Buffalo-style ladder of mild/medium/hot that delivers a steady, spice-induced dopamine high. But execution is the real buzz here: Fat Choy’s wings ($7) present a perfect yin-yang of crispy and tender, chewy and moist, won’t-stop and can’t-stop, making these classic wings truly take flight. — AK

 

DEALICIOUS HUMMUS

HummusHummus is to vegetarians what ground chuck is to omnivores: a multitasking staple that inserts a savory layer of protein into any dish. Being a veggiephile, I frequently partake of chickpea-tahini concoctions, and I’ll say this: You can keep your roasted red pepper and artichoke-Sriracha whatever; I like my hummus straight up. The intrigue is in the conversation between the half-dozen simple ingredients at play. For instance, White Cross Market deli’s hummus, handmade by owner Jimmy Shoshani’s Iranian mama, is screaming, “This lemon overdose is meant tobrighten my garbanzo-heavy base!” But at $5.99 for a 12-ounce container, who cares? (1700 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-382-3382, whitecrossmarket.com) If the base proportions must be off, I prefer they tilt to the tahini side, as at Parsley Mediterranean Grill, whose $5.99 hummus owes its unction to slightly overbearing sesame seed butter with a pronounced paprika accent. (6420 S. Pecos Road, 702-489-3189, parsleyfmg.com) But it’s best when chickpeas and sesame seeds disappear into an equitable discourse of lemon, garlic, cumin and olive oil. That’s the case at Amena Café & Bakery, which serves up a pound of its Nazareth-style hummus for $6.99. With fresh-baked pita bread and ramekins of pickled vegetables on the side, this one gets the last word. (2101 S. Decatur Blvd., 702-289-1010, amenacafe.com) — HK

 

DEALICIOUS BURGER

Smash Burger

Conservative estimate, I’ve probably eaten 2,500 burgers in my (no doubt considerably shortened) life. So, as we survey a few boutique burger chains — which, for this exercise, we define as fast-foodish chains existing between the luxe-burger joints of the spendy class and the mass patties of the hoi polloi — I have this to say: Get your buns in gear, Five Guys cheeseburger ($6.59, fiveguys.com). Sure, your weighty, double-patty mouthful thrills my inner carnivore. Lotta meat there, and quality stuff. But you don’t bring quite enough char or robust beefiness; remember, hype isn’t a seasoning. But big feelz for Smashburger’s Smash Classic ($5.99, smashburger.com). It tasted fresher, the in-mouth interplay of ingredients more varied and satisfying — though it could pump up the beef flavor, too. No such worries with The Farmer’s Burger at Farmer Boys ($6.39, farmerboys.com). It may not live up to the company’s winking
hyperbole — “The World’s Greatest Hamburger” — but there’s a nice, high char on this two-patty belly-buster, which neatly complements the bacon. (Though I did have to dislodge an unappetizingly large lump of avocado.) If you’re not up for Burger Bar or down for Burger King, plow down a Farmer.
— SD


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Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf LAKE MEAD & TENAYA
7291 W Lake Mead
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PALMS CASINO
4321 W Flamingo Rd
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UNLV
4550 W Maryland Pkwy Suite A
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CARNIVALE
3377 Las Vegas Blvd
The Venetian Food Court
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THE LAKES
9091 W Sahara Ave
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THE DISTRICT
2220 Village Walk Dr Suite 140
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MIRACLE MILE
3663 Las Vegas Blvd S Suite 45
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CANYON POINT
10834 W Charleston Blvd Suite 200
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TOWN CENTER
3645 S Town Center Dr Suite 101
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PATRICK
6115 S Rainbow Blvd Suite 101
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PALAZZO
3265 Las Vegas Blvd, Suite 1600
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TOWN SQUARE
6599 Las Vegas Blvd, South #P-8149
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BRIDGE
3377 Las Vegas Blvd
The Venetian
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BOULDER CITY
Boulder Dam Credit Union
530 Avenue G
Boulder City NV
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PEBBLE
1500 N. Green Valley Pkwy Suite 240
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SAHARA & EASTERN
2675 S. Eastern Ave Suite 400
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MCCARRAN MARKETPLACE
5905 S Eastern Ave Suite 108
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NORTH MESA PLAZA
1829 W. Craig Road Unit 3
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CANNERY CORNER
2546 E. Craig Road Suite 135
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WESTLAND FAIR
1121 S. Decatur Blvd
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2376 East Red Cliffs Drive #502
St. George, UT 84790
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