Diner's Notebook

A deli dilemma, West Sahara’s Thai-way, and introducing Biscuits 2 Burgers

My apologies to Bagel Café and Weiss Deli on Green Valley Parkway, two places that do an acceptable job at Jewish deli fare, but Las Vegas simply isn’t the deli town of my dreams.

The Carnegie Deli at The Mirage pales before the original in the Big Apple, and now comes word that Canter’s Deli at Treasure Island is being shuttered and, by the time you read this, replaced by … a hot dog stand. Where, oh where, is a person to get hot corned beef or pastrami worth its salt on the Strip?

It is cold comfort the hot dog stand will be called Little Richie’s Chicago Style Beef & Dogs. The menu will have that gut bomb known as the Italian beef sandwich, a treat for Windy City natives that rises and falls on the quality of the giardiniere—pickled vegetable relish that is a must for an authentic Italian beef. I like a Chicago dog as well as the next guy, but hey, I like my pastrami even more.

West Sahara Avenue is getting to be a real Thai Restaurant Row. It already has the very good Weera Thai, and now there’s Mega Ramen & Thai Noodle (4251 W. Sahara Ave. 754-4999), a Thai-Japanese fusion joint decorated with Japanese cloth banners and Thai art. Food is prepared by a trio of Thai women chefs, one of whom lived in Japan.

I especially liked the pork larb, rad na noodles and stew pork noodle soup on the Thai menu. And from their Japanese menu, you can’t go wrong with the yakisoba or shoyu ramen. Be sure to order some steamed buns as well, called pao pao in Thai. They are filled with your choice of pork, custard or sweet red bean paste.

Over on West Tropicana Avenue, amiable New Jersey native Joseph Giancaspro, a.k.a. the Custom Cook, has finally committed himself to a brick-and-mortar restaurant from which he can continue his catering business, and also serve a la carte breakfast, lunch and specialty meals. It’s called Biscuits 2 Burgers (9700 W. Tropicana Ave., 570-6877), and it’s open daily, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

Chef Joe makes everything from scratch, including challah French toast served with pure maple syrup, piping-hot biscuits that he’ll fill with a variety of breakfast foods, and various and sundry burgers, all 8-ounce Angus beef patties. Make sure to get some of his fresh OJ, squeezed to order in a high-tech contraption next to the front podium.

Finally, Grand Lux Cafe (414-3888) at the Venetian has rolled out its fall menu, arguably the largest in town (outside some of our Chinese restaurants). A few new dishes to try are eggplant Parmesan fritters, gnocchi with asparagus and mushrooms, and homemade pierogies with a number of tasty fillings.

Hungry, yet?

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