Talking Turkey and Spice, Greek Deals and Lavo’s Proper Brunch


Chuck Frommer has built a large local following at his Northside shop, John Mull’s Meats, and on Saturday the lines at Road Kill Grill, a food stand outside his retail store (3730 Thom Blvd., 645-1200), can be staggeringly long. Frommer sells a huge variety of product, such as terrific beef jerky and lean elk sausage. But during the holiday season, he does smoked turkey, whole birds scented with applewood, hickory and red oak.

I used to mail-order smoked turkeys from Greenberg’s in Tyler, Texas, but there are shipping charges, and a Greenberg’s turkey, while powerfully smoky, is also a saltier bird than Frommer’s, which are sold in three sizes, 12-14 pounds ($40), 16-20 pounds ($50) and the big Kahunas at 24-plus pounds ($65). There is still time to get one for a blowout Christmas dinner.

Meanwhile, if you’re planning a home-cooked dinner, you’ll want to know about The Spice Outlet (6960 W. Warm Springs Rd., 534-7883), which opened in mid-November. The store reminds me of a national chain of spice shops called Penzeys, and sells more than 200 spices, spice blends and seasoning mixes, as well as extracts, oils and gravies. There is powdered habanero and whole Pequin chilies, Jamaican-style jerk seasoning, even barrel-aged vanilla extract. Samples are available on request.

Estiatorio Milos (in the Cosmopolitan, 698-7000), our top Greek restaurant, is pricey during the evening. But now it’s offering a trio of three-course affairs, all great deals. The evening Sunset and late-night Moonlight menus are $49, but the Pre Event menu is only $29.50, and offers the Milos Special—a fried eggplant and zucchini tower with kefalograviera cheese in the center, or a Greek salad—fresh lavraki (Mediterranean sea bass) or lamb chops, and a choice of dessert.

Finally, I stopped in for Proper Brunch at Lavo, the Italian restaurant and nightclub in the Palazzo (791-1800, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sunday) to sample the wares of chef Massimiliano Campanari, who most people on the Strip know as Max. Dishes such as his 16-ounce Kobe meatball and classic veal-chop Parmigiana leave little doubt that he can cook his native dishes, but who knew his American brunch favorites were done so well?

From the griddle, there are perfect pancakes and a delicious almond-crusted French toast, and for a more indulgent experience, the lobster Benedict pairs an entire pound of lobster meat with poached eggs and Champagne vinaigrette. The bartender makes one of the Strip’s best Bloody Caesars (Canadians love it). A complimentary pastry basket starts you off. The everything bagels—tiny, crunchy and completely addictive—are made in-house.

Hungry, yet?