Leave it to doctors to ruin everything fun.
Remember the old (and admittedly overused) expression that “everything goes better with bacon”? Well, in October, the World Health Organization decided to rain on your breakfast by declaring bacon—along with sausage, hot dogs and other cured meats—a cancer risk (colorectal cancer to be exact). In fact, they’ve put these products in the same category as asbestos and cigarette smoke. So as we prepare to turn over our proverbial new leaves for 2016, maybe we should think about cutting back on the salty, fatty, smoky pork products. But may I suggest we send them out in style—with a giant end-of-the-year piggy blowout. Here’s where I’d start.
Is it bacon? Is it candy? Who cares when it blends salty, sugary and spicy all in one snack? Chef David Mangual, who smokes his meats in house, coats his bacon with sugar. Then, for a bit of kick, he serves it over a bed of jalapeño and apple coleslaw. The trick is, you can only get it during happy hour, which runs 9 to 11 p.m. Sun-Thu. $4, Double Barrel Roadhouse in Monte Carlo, 702-222-7735, MonteCarlo.com.
Wood-Grilled Thick-Cut Bacon
The immensely popular Andiron scored another feather in its cap with the recent introduction of its Sunday brunch. And Michelin Bib Gourmand-winning chef Jeffrey Mauro isn’t skimping on the pork. There are actually two types of bacon on the menu: a crispy apple-smoked variety ($10) and this one, which is glazed with maple syrup and chili powder for a blend of sweet and heat. And they sit just below the house-made pork sausage ($6) on the menu. Sure, each of the three is intended as a side dish. But this is your last hurrah, right? $6, Andiron Steak & Sea in Downtown Summerlin, 702-685-8002, AndironSteak.com.
Deluxe Chili Cheese Dog
So if bacon is about to be off limits and hot dogs are bound to join them, you might as well get them both in a single sandwich. Just to really aggravate your cardiologist, this bacon-topped bad boy also comes loaded with chili, cheddar cheese, onions and jalapeños. A final bonus, the menu has a nice selection of sausages as well, not to mention some great beers. $5.49, Great Links Brewhouse & Grill, 6010 W. Craig Rd., Suite 110, 702-877-3647, GreatLinksBrewhouseAndGrill.com.
It starts with a whole pork butt that has been brushed with a mixture of pickle juice, yellow mustard and white vinegar. The meat is then tossed in a blend of kosher salt, dry spices and brown sugar, placed on a rack and left uncovered in the walk-in cooler overnight. The next day, chefs smoke the pork over peach wood for 12 hours, before adding it to the restaurants’ “dirty” mac and cheese ($7.50) or serving it as a pulled pork sandwich ($13). Made L.V. in Tivoli Village, 702-722-2000, Made-LV.com.
Hot Link Sandwich
Sorry, but if you’re gonna have a sausage fest (yeah, I said it), you simply can’t do it without a good hot link from a solid barbecue joint. And Rollin’ Smoke ranks among the best in town. As a traditionalist, I would stick with the original location. But you can send the year out with just as meaty a time at Pawn Plaza. $9, Rollin’ Smoke BBQ, 3185 S. Highland Dr., 702-836-3621, RollinSmokeBarbecue.com.