Orange man with unsophisticated palate makes the most of Vegas trip

the Motley Que Sandwich

Las Vegas is know as the entertainment capital of the world. From world-class casinos, sophisticated shows, exotic pool parties, shopping, sights, sounds and some of the best food on the planet.

Of course there are the $1,000 steak rooms on each property like the ones you see on “Life Styles of the Rich and Famous,” yet there are plenty of options to choose from that are affordable yet make for the most incredible tasting experience you have ever had.

I have visited Vegas twice a year for the last seven or eight years, yet I am still by no means a Sin City aficionado. There’s just that much to do and see. I have, however, found several neat, delicious and moderately priced food joints that I must visit each trip.

Hash a Go Go is by far the best breakfast I’ve ever had. With a dozen or so sprinkled around the nation, there are three locations in Vegas, including one in the Rio Hotel and one located on the heart of the Vegas Strip in the new property, The Linq.

If you ask your casino concierge where to eat breakfast, they will tell you Hash. Described as “twisted farm food,” Hash a Go Go has been featured on all the reality food shows including “Man vs. Food,” and it has something for everyone.

House has farm scrambles and the biggest flapjack (I call them pancakes) I’ve seen. My go-to favorite is The Tractor Driver Combo, which is two eggs with bacon, sausage or potatoes with one signature flapjack. I chose scrambled eggs, bacon and the flapjack which is much bigger than a basketball.

They also have a breakfast legend — Amish style bread dipped in a banana cinnamon cream with pecan maple syrup.

They are also open for lunch; I’ve never eaten it but did see on the menu “Famous One Pound Burgers” featuring two patties with stuffing in between on a fresh bun with lettuce, tomato and red onion.

Speaking of great burgers, I never thought I would have such a tasty one at a Mexican restaurant, but Food Network star Guy Fieri, host of “Diners, Drive-ins & Dives,” has two places in Vegas, one being the El Burro Borracho inside the Rio. The Mexican-inspired restaurant concept has three signature burgers — El Gringo, El Hombre and Caliente Chorizo Loco.

I sided with the El Gringo, which is a ground beef burger with Mexicana mac ‘n’ cheese, cheddar cheese, apple-wood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, burro sauce and crispy tortillas on a garlic buttered, toasted torta bun (hold the veggies).

Unbelievable. Meat cooked perfectly and the Mexicana mac ‘n’ cheese was the chart topper. They also have signature salsas and Guy’s Guacamole (mashed-up ripe California avocados, serrano chile, sweet onion, radish, lime and cilantro served with crispy tortilla chips).

It was my first time at El Burro Borracho, which opened in February. I also visited Fieri’s first Vegas restaurant, Guy Fiere’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar inside The Linq on the Strip.

Of course, I had to eat there as well, but this one you can expect a wait (not that long). Crowds line up early and often to get in the 6,500-square-foot eatery that has a large outdoor patio on the Strip and, according to the manager, the cooking space encompasses a metal, tile and wood theme that closely resembles Fieri’s kitchen at home.

If you are in need of an adult beverage, the liquid menu has 16 craft beers, in addition to the Sonoma County wine selection and a frozen-tap system shot bar, creating a one-of-a kind experience for guests. Instead of having shots strained or mixed with ice, which then run the risk of getting diluted, the frozen-tap system dispenses eight different shots straight out of iced dispensers. Their Bloody Mary is also considered one of the best in town.

I chose the Motley Que Sandwich (only $20). It’s been featured on Fieri’s TV show “Diners, Drive-ins & Dives,” so I had to have it. You get pulled pork shoulder smothered in Guy’s bourbon brown sugar barbecue sauce, stacked with citrus slaw, pickle chips, aged cheddar cheese, onion straws and donkey sauce on a toasted pretzel hoagie. No slaw for me, and no, I didn’t want to know what was in the donkey sauce, but it was pure bliss. Like seeing a unicorn in person.

Despite really only liking pepperoni pizza, a can of SpaghettiOs or fettuccine alfredo, I braved the world of Italian food at Giada inside The Cromwell on the Strip. Chef Giada De Laurentiis (another popular face on Food Network) is having great success in her first Vegas restaurant, which has already won a plethora of awards. Plus, you get at great view of the Bellagio fountains.

Her place is described as “Italian cuisine with refreshing Californian influences.” The menu includes lemon spaghetti, chicken cacciatore, marsala herb chicken meatballs, rosemary focaccia and lemon flatbread, and vegetable Bolognese rigatoni.

I was clueless about most of the items on the menu but saw the Orzo Meatballs and had to try them. “Delizioso,” as they say in Italy. With parmesan pomodoro, the meatballs were so tender, they fell apart as you touched them with a fork. Yes, they had some fennel (yuck), but I didn’t care.

I finished the meal off with Giada’s signature Mortadella pizza Bianca, a perfect sized appetizer pizza.

As far as Vegas shows, I checked out Penn & Teller inside the Rio. The duo have been there 12 years, making them one of the longest running shows in Vegas history, and they’ve outsold every resident magician on the Strip. Plus, I got to meet both of them and take a selfie.

I was also granted access to the roof of the Rio, some 56 stories high. Amidst the swirling 35 mph wind, I took a selfie with the skyline of Vegas. Not bad for a young man from Orange.

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