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Surveying the Las Vegas dining scene, Topgolf executive chef Chris Vaughn can easily see where many people aren’t getting full enjoyment from their meals.
“Lunch. Hopefully we can create some new habits for people,” the veteran chef exclaims as he sets out dishes along the second-floor tee line.
Vaughn—famous for his stints at the Hard Rock, Palms and The Cosmopolitan—took command of the kitchen at Topgolf Las Vegas when it opened in summer 2016, hoping to reimagine the menu beyond basic bar foods.
By all accounts he’s succeeded, turning the driving range–slash–entertainment complex into a sporting and dining destination, where locals and tourists flock nightly for dinner, live concerts and, of course, tee time.
Now, having established Topgolf as a player in town, Vaughn is eyeing a new twist on the traditional lunch menu, unveiling the “Power Lunch,” a three-tier, six-dish menu designed to get diners in and out within 45 minutes without making them feel rushed.
The menu even comes with a promise to diners: “Lunch to your table within 15 minutes.” (Available when dining in the Birdie Bar or The Toyota Yard.)
“Being the flagship, we have three kitchens, so we have a little more space than other [venues],” Vaughn explains. “You can get in and out.”
Three of the offerings—a Kalbi Short Rib Bowl, Orecchiette Bolognese and Heritage Turkey Burger—are exclusive to the Power Lunch. The remaining three—the Sourdough Grilled Cheese, Pulled Pork Sandwich and Crispy Seabass Sandwich—are reinvented from the Topgolf menu.
So what’s the chef’s recommendation?
“The short rib bowl or the turkey burger,” Vaughn says. “[The burger is] hand-ground white and dark meat, seasoned with grilled mushrooms and Swiss cheese.”
Topgolf’s Power Lunch is customizable with four side dishes, so guests can, for example, be traditional and order tomato soup with their grilled cheese, or get wild and mix it with fruit salad, herb fries or a Romaine and Tuscan Kale Caesar salad.
There’s also a choice of cookie or brownie for dessert.
“We try to cover all types of cravings on a small menu,” Vaughn explains. “We’re catering to a lot of the locals, so we wanted to create that flexibility in the neighborhood.”
And what better neighborhood to launch Power Lunch? Topgolf, on Koval Lane just north of MGM Grand, is surrounded by hotels and within five minutes of the UNLV campus. Its open-air design and driving range views are arguably better than a busy fast-food counter, the dashboard of a car or a computer screen—lunchtime views that are, unfortunately, all too familiar.
“There’s a vibe to this place and a lot of choices where you can sit in the building,” Vaughn says, pointing out that guests can eat anywhere throughout the venue when dining from the regular menu.
And the best part? Free parking.
Power Lunch at Topgolf Las Vegas is served 10 a.m.–3 p.m., Mon.–Fri.