State of the Farmers Market, and Vegas’ Brunchification Continues

THE COUNTDOWN HAS begun for the March 9 launch of the Downtown 3rd Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. every Friday on Third Street between Stewart and Ogden avenues in the Downtown Transportation Center, a huge complex with a shiny copper ceiling and lots of free parking.

Kerry Clasby, the “Intuitive Forager,” has teamed up with former Bellagio food and beverage exec Cheryl Baker MacPherson to source regional produce and specialty items for the market. California Family Farms anchors the market with local farmers and food kiosks in the center and food trucks parked outside.

Purveyors include Brett Ottolenghi of Artisanal Foods (2275 E. Sunset Road), who will sell a selection of boutique cheeses; Chris Herron of Henderson’s Bread & Butter (10940 S. Eastern Ave.); and Bon Breads, a custom bakery with a retail shop in Town Square that also does pretzel rolls and ciabatta for many of our best chefs. See Page 70 for more on Clasby.

Speaking of great farmers markets and food courts, I recently found myself at foodie ground zero: San Francisco’s Ferry Building, where I had my fantasy sandwich at Prather Ranch Meats. The ranch, in California’s Siskiyou County, raises organic cattle on its 40,000 acres. The smoked-beef sandwich, paper-thin slices on a rustic Acme Bread roll, is served hot with grilled onions, provolone and creamy horseradish sauce—sheer heaven. The only sandwich I’d put up against it is the Sloppy Joe-style brisket with Russian dressing once served at Las Vegas’ now-shuttered Strip Sandwich Shop.

StripSteak, meanwhile, continues to be one of the best—and most original—steak houses on the Strip (in Mandalay Bay, 632-7777). Michael Mina poaches the steaks in an oil bath before finishing them on a hardwood-burning grill, and they are uncommonly tender and delicious.

A steak-loving friend was recently staying at Mandalay Bay. We had an amazing American wagyu filet mignon, terrific green beans with pancetta and too many of the complimentary trio of fries with an accompanying trio of sauces, before we asked the server remove them. I also have to give a nod to sommelier Steve Hua, who selected one of the better wines of the year, Malhadinha, a red blend from Portugal.

Finally, Postrio is getting on the weekend brunch bandwagon (11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, in the Venetian), a genre growing in popularity. Items including warm brioche doughnuts with house-made strawberry jam, scrambled egg and bacon pizza from the restaurant’s wood oven, and bagels with their own smoked salmon should rock your world.

Hungry, yet? Follow Max Jacobson’s latest epicurean observations, reviews and tips at

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Mango-Chili Shake, KGB Burger

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Mango-Chili Shake, KGB Burger

By Grace Bascos

The Rock ’n’ Roll Chef, Kerry Simon, recently launched a burger and shake of the month special, and guests can enjoy these creations together for $18. There are a few days left in February for the chicken tandoori burger, bursting with Indian-influenced spices, but the standout of the pairing is the mango-chili shake, which plays into these South Asian flavors. The hand-dipped milkshake is made with fresh mango ice cream and sweet jalapeño syrup, topped with whipped cream and a candied jalapeño. Prepare for each sip to start out sweet and fruity and end with some nice heat.