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August 27, 2014

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Where to eat: 10 of Las Vegas’ best bets for brunch

Our critics point you to this weekend’s best spreads

It just might be the perfect meal — a sweet, savory, comforting spread that runs the gamut from cheesy quiches to massive flapjacks. Brunch is a weekend institution in Las Vegas, but there’s more to choose from than casino buffets. Whether you’re looking for luxurious classics (with free-flowing Champagne) or whimsical updates, there’s a weekend special to accommodate every appetite.

    • Bar+Bistro
      Photo by Justin Massongill

      The Hangover Helper

      Bar + Bistro: This cozy space has held several restaurants over the past 10 years, none within a bouquerones’ width of what chef Beni Velazquez is doing with his modern tapas menu.

      A groovy new bar has added some urban cool to the space, and Velazquez’s Hangover Brunch keeps the joint jumpin' with a cangrejo Benedict mofongo (lump crabmeat with plantain-garlic mash, topped with a fried quail egg), house-made black currant scones and a brioche/flan French toast that will soothe your hunger and headache simultaneously.

      For those who want to keep the party going, “recovery libations” — sangria, mojitos, Bloody Marys and mimosas — are $5 apiece.

      If You Go:At the Arts Factory, 107 Charleston Blvd., 202-6060. Brunch served 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, dishes priced individually. — John Curtas

    • Border Grill
      Photo by Hepi Mita

      Mexico by morning

      Border Grill: Craving poolside brunch without the heat? Border Grill serves it up on a cooled and covered open-air deck.

      The all-you-can-eat brainchild of executive chef Michael Minor offers myriad tapas, a large majority of which are, not surprisingly, nouveau Mexican. Favorites include guava empanadas — guava jam and cream cheese perfectly melded in a puff pastry — and biscuits and sausage gravy, awash in chipotle smokiness and intensely addictive. And the best may be yet to come. Minor has begun unleashing new dishes upon regulars, and while we can’t spill all the details, let’s just say you should ask for the PB&J — that’s J for jalapeño — bacon and egg biscuits on your next visit.

      If You Go: At Mandalay Bay, 642-7403. Brunch served 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday & Sunday, $25. — Jim Begley

    • Sterling Brunch
      Photo by Hepi Mita

      The lap of luxury

      Sterling Brunch at Bally’s Steakhouse: An oasis of opulence in otherwise unassuming environs, this longtime Strip standard offers a pampered glimpse into old-school Vegas. The experience begins at the door, where tuxedoed GM Ilario Pesco greets and ushers you to your table and its endless supply of Perrier Jouët. (Seriously, they pour Champagne the way most places refill water.)

      Lobster, caviar and an outstanding lamb chop are entree highlights, but be sure to leave room for the bananas Foster crêpes. Sure, it’s expensive, but isn’t going over the top what luxury’s all about?

      If You Go: At Bally’s, 967-7999. Brunch served 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sunday, $85. — JB

    • Cathay House
      Photo by Beverly Poppe

      Dim Sum Every Day

      Cathay House: Did you know you can now get Cathay House grub inside the coffee shop at the Palms? It’s true and it’s tasty, but for the classic dim sum brunch experience, head over to the original location in Chinatown. The dining room is a little funky and the service is rapid-fire, so be ready to choose your favorites from the roving carts full of steamed barbecue pork buns, shrimp dumplings, sweet sesame balls and stuffed crab claws.

      Who needs eggs over easy when you can brunch it up with crunchy, salty, whole fried prawns coated in garlic and chiles?

      If You Go:5300 Spring Mountain Road, 876-3838. Brunch served 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. daily, dishes priced individually. — Brock Radke

    • Brunch
      Photo by Beverly Poppe

      France in 60 minutes

      Bouchon: Francophiles and foodies swoon over Thomas Keller’s artisan pastries, and it takes herculean willpower to keep from filling up on the sticky buns, croissant and pain au chocolat brought forth in the pastry basket. If you’re still hungry, you’ll be rewarded with a brioche/bread pudding French toast that might be the last word in this iconic brunch staple.

      Carnivores crave the textbook croque madame (a croque monsieur with a fried egg), boudin blanc (house-made pork sausage) or chicken and wafflesthat prove even world-class French chefs can achieve excellence when slumming it.

      If You Go: At the Venetian, 414-6200. Brunch served 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, dishes priced individually. — JC

    • Brunch
      Photo by Beverly Poppe

      Not-so-deadly sin

      First Food & Bar: For chef Sammy D, temperance is not a virtue — in fact, he’s doing his part to maintain our status as Sin City with his Sunday DJ Brunch. Lust? How about being served by servers dressed as Catholic schoolgirls?

      Gluttony? Portions are massive in both size and flavor, with standouts such as Wide Load Oversized Lemon Poppy Flapjacks ($19) and a decadent cinnamon bun French toast ($17) served with tableside flambé bananas Foster.

      Sloth? The Bloody Mary ($10) cart is driven right to the table. As for wrath, well, that depends how loud you like your music.

      If You Go: At Palazzo, 607-3478. Brunch served 8 a.m.-2 p.m., Sunday, dishes priced individually. — JB

    • Brunch
      Photo by Beverly Poppe

      The people’s champion

      Hash House A Go Go: Everybody loves the big, bold brunch offerings here. You know it’s true ’cuz there are three locations, with a fourth slated for the Plaza downtown this fall.

      These aren’t the fanciful eats you’ll find at most Strip brunches; they’re delicious, gigantic and tons of fun — waffles with whole strips (not just bits) of bacon baked inside, massive farm scrambles with crispy potatoes and homemade biscuits on the side and super spicy Bloodies anchoring a morning full bar. Don’t miss the twisted versions of eggs Benedict, especially the 18-ounce hammered and breaded pork tenderloin with tomato, spinach and bbq cream sauce.

      If You Go: 6800 W. Sahara Ave., 804-4646; at Imperial Palace, 254-4646; at M Resort, 797-1500. Brunch served 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday & Sunday, dishes priced individually. — BR

    • Marche Bacchus
      Photo by Beverly Poppe

      A meal with a view

      Marche Bacchus: Even if they only served Spam in the can, the outdoor setting and wine service would make this a must for outstanding brunch hunters. Luckily, new chef Joe Swan can keep even the fussiest epicures happy with specials such as pork belly Benedict, light and eggy quiches and a variety of Franco/Mediterranean tricks he learned at the stoves of Alex.

      Those who want to kick it old-school order oeufs en meurette (poached eggs in a rustic red wine/mushroom sauce) or a goat cheese omelet that goes perfectly with a selection from the best wine bar in town.

      If You Go: 2620 Regatta Drive, 804-8008. Brunch served 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, dishes priced individually. — JC

    • Brunch
      Photo by Beverly Poppe

      So very Vegas

      Simon: If you’ve lived here long enough, the clamor of slot machines becomes background noise. When that happens, sidle over to Simon for a jolting reminder you’re still in Las Vegas. The dining room looks directly upon the pool, replete with bikini-clad, stiletto adorned model types. Not your usual brunchside scenery.

      Add to the mix the pajama-party setting, our own celebrity chef Kerry Simon and his takes on American classics such as chicken and waffles and chicken-fried steak — the man knows how to fry — and you’ll know you’re not in Kansas anymore.

      If You Go: At Palms Place, 944-3292. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, $39.50. — JB

    • Brunch
      Photo by Beverly Poppe

      A world away

      Mozen: An expedition to the bistro tucked away on Mandarin Oriental’s third floor is well worth the trek — chef Vivek Rawat’s brunch is one of the city’s best. Entrees rotate regularly, but any of his native Indian dishes or outstanding Asian offerings come highly recommended.

      The buffet includes endless, excellent nigiri and sashimi offerings, along with the rare fresh dragon fruit. The most unexpected treat? Tray-passed appetizers get delivered throughout the meal. If you’re lucky enough to get offered the mustard chicken tikka, grab two. You won’t regret it.

      If You Go: At Mandarin Oriental, 888-881-9367. Brunch served noon – 2:30 p.m. Sunday, $58 (includes entree & buffet). — JB

    This first appeared in the current issue of Las Vegas Weekly, a sister publication of the Sun.

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