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Mar 4, 2009 08:27 PM

Las Vegas Local Love + Deals

Today's message is inspired by this economic woe. I hate to talk about it because I think talking about it makes it worse, but I know that local restaurants are suffering a bit and everyone likes a good deal, economic woe or not, so I wanted to start a post praising local restaurants that we should help get through this tough spot and restaurants that are running deals we should all know about. I have 3 right now:

1. Hedary's Mediterranean (7365 W. Sahara): As a recent transplant, my husband and I have been on the search for good falafel, solid Mediterranean. Yes, I know, everyone says go to Paymon's, but the joints are so big, and the menu so big, you get a little uneasy (Should I really be eating spaghetti at the same place I eat falafel?), and then I think it is a little pricey. Anyways, Hedary's has the best falafel by far that I have had in Vegas. They include fava beans in the mix, and they bring out pitas all puffed up from the stone. The Greek Salad is HUGE with enough oil and tasty vinegar and feta for 3 salads. If you are a vegetarian, you will find plenty to love. Plus, it is all very affordable. My husband and I split the falafel appetizer and a greek salad, and we are stuffed. When we were there the other night a couple came in from the Strip, they used to live in Fort Worth and said the Hedary's there was there favorite restaurant; they were thrilled to be at the one here in Vegas.

2. Tofu Hut (3920 Spring Mountain Rd): After 11pm, they have all you can eat Korean BBQ starting at $11.99. Heck, even our favorite spare ribs are $16.99, and did I mention all you can eat!

3. Memphis BBQ : We go to the location at 1401 S. Rainbow Blvd, and while the BBQ might not be blow your mind good, it is solid, and my husband likes the St. Louis ribs. BUT, the real story here is that on Sunday they have all you can eat fried chicken (moist and delicious, not overly crusty) with FIVE all you can eat sides for $11.99! As for sides, the baked beans have SEVEN different beans with a bit of sweetness; the baked sweet potatoes are delicious, and the fried okra is the BEST I have ever had not counting at a close relatives' house (I am from Georgia). I think I ate 3 cups full.

That is all I have for now. We are off to try Food Express at the new Palace Station location. After 2 bad experiences at Ping Pang Pong, we are looking for a new, late night Chinese, casino experience. Not sure why the need, as there are options on Spring Mountain, but it gives us an excuse to try something new.

Please share your thoughts!

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  1. Thanks for starting a cool idea for a thread. I hope you get support for it among locals.

    Have you tried Amena Bakery and Deli for felafel? I think it's definitely better than Hedary's. The offerings are a little hit and miss but the owner, Amir, and his staff are extremely accommodating. It's at 2101 S Decatur Blvd (right near Trader Joe's).

    Like you, I hope that locals and tourists alike will support local restaurants that try to make their places more affordable.

    las vegas, nv, las vegas, nv

    2 Replies
    1. re: Dave Feldman

      Thank you for responding, Dave. Amena is great too. I especially love to buy bags of their pitas: so fresh and soft. I should definitely do a head to head comparison of the falafels. I did really like them at Amena too.

      1. re: missyang

        My guess is that Westie will check in. He would be sure to remind us of, which has useful coupons, many without major restrictions. These include popular restaurants such as Hash House a Go Go, Origin India, Rosemarie's, etc. Toward the end of the month, it's common to be able to buy a $25 off coupon for as little as three bucks.

    2. if you are a fan of chinese BBQ pork or duck... Sam WOO on spring mountain is fabulous.
      i make a trip there every so often to get the BBQ pork by the pound and to buy a whole BBQ duck. they do a wonderful job with the pork its got this tremendous seasoning on it that smells of anise. its fragrant and yummy on steamed white rice.
      i buy it by the whole piece and take it home. i tell them not to chop it up because i like to cut the pieces myself as i use it.

      dont forget to ask for the sauce that goes with it. its SOOO good.
      the first day i get it home i have to really be careful that i dont over eat becuase its so tsty i dont want to stop.
      if you go make sure you get the steamed white rice they have there too because its a TOP quality brand they use and its VERY tasty as white rice goes.

      the duck is wonderful crispy goodness....make sure you get the sauce for that as well.
      i buy the whole duck and take it home. i dont like them to cut it for me.
      you can buy halfs as well.

      i have never gotten round to trying anything else from them because the BBQ is so good.
      AND ... the pork freezes very well too. i just finished the last of it tonight from a trip over there 2 months ago and the pork was a tender and delecious as it was the day i got it.

      Sam Woo is a real treasure.

      1. I agree, this is a wonderful idea for a thread. I hope people keep it going.

        My contribution is Rincon Criollo for cuban food. It's on Las Vegas Blvd near Charleston. It's like eating at someone's home in Havana: modest, no liquor but delicious.

        Speaking of Food Express at Palace Station, how is it? As good as it was when it operated on Decatur?

        1. This is not an endorsement, but there is a new site that has all kinds of deals, many of which cater to locals. Dining is only part of the mix, although the URL here does direct you to the dining-oriented stuff:

          2 Replies
          1. re: Dave Feldman

            Great thread ! another blog worth looking at is:


            i call it my, "local blog for the working class" - I especially like reading about the various food festivals in the vegas valley. As much as i like the higher end places on the Strip, I try my best to support the local businesses. I just commented on this on another site - it's depressing to go into a restaurant at 7-9 pm and see it empty - and i can assure you it's not due to the quality/price of the food ( welllllllll, sometimes a factor. )

            the bottom line is discretionary funds are at a minimum for many in the Vegas Valley and as i see restaurants close ( I was saddened to see Orleans Connection - a cajun place located on Eastern, closed - based on the look inside, my guess it's closed for good ) I wonder when the tides will turn.

            That being said - my current local favs, meaning, even though i try to visit 5-10 new places / month, i still return to the following places a couple times a month:

            China MaMa - decent dumplings but the fish fillet in hot chili sauce - THE BEST !

            Orchids Garden - My girl needs her dim sum fix every other week - this is her fav place

            Hot n Juicy Crawfish - again, another fix for my girl - if she had her way, this would be a weekly fix !

            JR's Place - I luv da meatballs !! I gotta hit Rao's soon again to compare - i think JR's are better but i've only hit Rao's once so a return visit is in order before i cast my final vote .

            Envy Steakhouse - yeah, it tends to cater to the tourists/ conventioners given it's location but i like the place and with the previously mentioned deals i hit this place 1/ month.

            Red Apple Grill - how can you not like a bbq joint that is housed in a gas station. the owner's a character and 2 for 1 sammie specials ( try the hot link sammie ) with some bacon potato salad or the garlic overload spinach - it's good, it ain't great, but it's good enough for me !

            Mix Zone Thai - It ain't the best thai in town, we all know that, but this place is worthy of local love !

            MAple Tree - still my fav breakfast spot - my problem is getting up in time to hit the place !!

            I've got so many other local spots that i enjoy but i've rambled enough

            Happy Eating !!

            1. re: kjs

              I have just returned home after a short stay in LV. Renting a car is so convenient and makes exploring areas outside the Strip much easier and less expensive than taxis.

              I do have to thank those who recommended the "locals" spots to eat. After one buffet, I wanted to a nice sit-down place without all the tourists. I managed to squeeze in breakfast at The Maple Tree and had their strawberry-stuffed French Toast.

              I also had dinner at China Mama and took the waitress' suggestions of what to order. Everything was quite tasty, especially the dumplings.

              I'll be sure to revisit these two places again on my next trip.

          2. Fun post! My dad lives in LV and I love to escape the Minnesota winter to visit when I can. We love to hit up the local joints so this is a GREAT crop of new ideas for us. What are some other must-hit spots? I'll be out there in two weeks. Also, my dad is raring to bum around on his Harley (he's a retired kindergarten teacher :) so we could add places to the list that would be fun to visit on the bike.

            We adore Lotus of Siam, some Mexican joint with a blaring jukebox that we always drive around for an hour before we find it, juicy bar burgers...we're up for anything! (Anything except $300 tasting menus on the Strip, that is!!) Thanks a bunch!

            3 Replies
            1. re: Monkusarelius

              I just got back from Vegas and this time we ventured north of downtown in search for some good Tacos and other Mexican fare.
              On Lake Mead Blvd, we found La Bonita, a local grocery chain with a Taqueria as well.
              Brilliant food, inexpensive to boot.
              Check out some images here:


              1. re: worldwidestuff

                We gave some love and money to a few locals places on our 4/15-29 trip, but remained frugal by using coupons. In alpha order:

                Bonjour Euro Bakers on Rainbow. This is one of only two locals places we visited on this trip where we did not use coupons. Since we were staying on the east side of town we only got to visit once, but our mille-feuille and Marquis were as good as I remembered. 4.5 Forks out of a possible 5, $7.25

                Brooklyn Bagel - located on Green Valley Ranch Parkway. We chose toasted blueberry bagels with cream cheese. The bagels were okay though I would be surprised if anyone from NY would have been pleased. $5.37, Entertainment book coupon, 2 Forks

                Chef Fleming's Bake Shop. Thanks to honeychan's post, I discovered this bakery at the beginning of Water Street in Henderson. There were no other customers the morning I stopped in, but the display case was full of temptations. I settled on two cheese Danish pastries which were very good. No coupon used. $3.77, 3 Forks

                China Mama - we were welcomed by our waitress and seated in a booth. I had several notes culled from yelp, this board and a recent published review, but solicited the waitress’ input. We ended up sharing orders of P28 – green onion pancake, P 23- steamed juicy pork buns, H96 - eggplant in garlic spicy sauce plus rice and tea. Everything was delicious, but the pork buns were a revelation. $15.11, KSHP, 4 Forks

                50's Diner on Jones Blvd. The restaurant is decorated in all things 50 including photos, model cars, album covers and two large murals. We each ordered stuffed French toast – mine with cinnamon apples and my wife's with blueberries. The food and service were very good and I look forward to our return. $8.43, KSHP, 4 Forks

                Greek Bistro on Marks Street in Henderson. My wife ordered the chicken souvlaki plate while I requested the gyro plate. Each entrée included warm pita, a salad, rice pilaf and tzadsiki. My wife’s chicken was juicy and my gyro meat proved to be both ample and moist, but the side salad and pilaf were disappointing. I tendered a 2/1 coupon from the Entertainment book, but we were told they stopped accepting the coupons in February, but would accept ours. $23.15, 2.5 Forks

                Lelysee Bakery on Jones Blvd. We chose 4 desserts to take back to our room – purple taro cake, black forest cake, egg custard and cappuccino mousse. It is hard to believe but over the course of the following 3-4 days we shared each one and all were unexceptional. $3.50, KSHP, 1 Fork

                Maple Tree Country Kitchen on W. Spring Mountain Road. Our orders were the same as in September when we first visited this restaurant. My wife chose strawberry cream cheese stuffed French toast topped with fresh strawberries and real maple syrup. I chose the New England Benny, a pair of crab cakes served on top of English muffins halves and topped with poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce for me. Both dishes were as good as on our first visit. $16.39, Entertainment, 4.5 Forks

                Mezzo Bistro Italiano on N. Rancho. We first dined at this small southern Italian restaurant in December, but had also dined at the chef/owner's former restaurant, Marc's Italian Steakhouse. We started off with a family- sized serving of pasta fagioli which was good, but would have benefited from the addition of more spices. Our entrees were eggplant parmesan, a family recipe, prepared without breading, was ample and delicious. I used a $25 certificate purchased at a discount from a local radio station. $29.46, 3 Forks

                Origin India on Paradise - we were warmly greeted by Raja, the owner/manager, and his excellent wait staff. Raja told us the chef would like to treat us to a sample of their soon to be released new menu. We started off with the usual papadum accompanied by tamarind and mint sauces which have always been very good. This was followed by panipuri, a popular street snack comprised of a round hollow “puri” fried crisp and filled with bits of meat, potato and greens balanced on a thin shot glass filled with tamarind, spices and sparkling water. This appetizer is designed to increase one’s appetite as if Westie’s needs stimulation.

                Our next surprise was a tandoori sampler of lamb, chicken and shrimp with fresh sprouts. It was an amazing appetizer in terms of beauty, tenderness and flavor. We were asked how spicy would we like our entrees, I prefer spicy and my wife likes medium so we compromised and requested medium. – go figure.

                In between courses we received a spoonful of a delicious mango sorbet that was flavorful without being overly sweet. We again were the recipient of Raja’s generosity when his bartender presented us with glasses of ginger ale made from fresh ginger and lime mixed with sparkling water. These proved to be an amazing complement to our entrees of chicken makahani (butter chicken) and lamb Rajwari. We have ordered both dishes in the past and, as usual, each was delicious. Our entrees included black lentils, naan, basmati rice and a small salad.

                On exiting we went to the bar to complement the bartender and he gave us a small sample of his black cherry martini – wow! Should I ever end up on death row, this will probably be the last meal I request. I used a $25 certificated purchased at a discount from a local radio station. $24.95, 5 Forks

                Original Sunrise Cafe on Eastern Avenue. This a bright and cheery restaurant serves both breakfast and lunch. We both decided on eggs Benedict served open faced on our choice of bagels. Each was accompanied by a choice of either fresh fruit or hash browns. I thought this was a nice touch with both of us choosing the fresh fruit (melon and grapes). The eggs were a little more well done than is our preference (runny), but the Hollandaise sauce was a winner. $10.15, KSHP, 3.5 Forks

                RE Tapas on Silverado Ranch. This was our third visit and business has noticeably declined over the year. We started with stuffed dates (perfect, 4.5 Forks) and pequilla rellenos (good, 2.5 Forks). Our second order was crabbie paddies (dry, 2.5 Forks) and grilled mahi mahi (bland,1.5 Forks). $15.78,, 2.5 Forks

                1. re: westie

                  Wow, a rare 5-forker from Westie! That ginger/lime drink sounds great.

                  Is the Lelysee Bakery Filipino?