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vegas mexican and other off-strip must-eats?

visiting vegas (from new york city) for the first time in ages next week... will have a car and am not really interested in the fancypants strip restaurants. i've been reading about the following mexican restaurants: quinta belina, el sombrero, doña maria's, and rigos tacos #8. can anyone suggest which one's the best? or is there a better one? i was thinking quinta belina because the review i read said they have great mole, but was surprised to find no mention of it on chowhound...
was also thinking to try lotus of siam and either big mama's rib shack or memphis championship BBQ... any other suggestions would be appreciated! thank you!

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  1. I was not all that impressed with dona maria's, although everyone seems to like it. Never heard of quinta belina, where is it????

    2 Replies
    1. re: janetofreno

      the address appears to be:
      8665 West Flamingo Road, Flamingo At Durango, Desert Breeze Plaza
      Las Vegas, NV 89147

      i read about it here:
      the article is from 2004 -- maybe it's closed?

      1. re: hungry_united

        OK, my offfice is at the corner of Flamingo and Durango and I have never seen this place. So yes, I suspect it is closed.....But I will cruise the strip mall there one more time just to make sure...

    2. I second your question, my friend. I will visit Vegas for the first time in a few weeks, and can't wait... Too add a bit, does anyone know if any great vegetarian-friendly restaurants exist in Vegas?

      1 Reply
      1. re: LibbyD

        We're here now, and ate at an Indian place called Origin India last night. It was pretty good, a little pricey. Lots of vegetarian options and nice decor.

      2. The Mexican restaurant you must try in Vegas that's off the strip (and really all the good mexican restaurants are off the strip), is LaMadonna. Trust me...and the Chile Relleno is phenomenal. This comes with a caveat. If you like rice and refried beans and too much cheese, then don't go to La Madonna. If you like authentic Mexican foods...sometimes with a little twist it's a must try.

        6115 Fort Apache Road #112
        LV, NV 89148

        1. Rosemary's should be your first choice for non-Mex, off-strip dining. Go for lunch (their prix fixe is one of the best deals in town) and I bet you go back for dinner. I know I would... one of my fave places anywhere and easily deserving of multiple visits in one trip. The menu is that compelling, and the service cannot be beat.

          1. Our upcoming LV visit--after some CH research--will include Cathay House for dim sum, Aburiya Raku for Japanese small plates/pub and Sen for sushi.

            Our last LV visit included Rosemary's (you can get $100 gift cards for $80 @ Costco) and Lotus of Siam. I enjoyed both, but would class Rosemary's as a solid, upscalish neighbourhood restaurant and less a destination spot--but that's my $0.02.

            2 Replies
            1. re: OCAnn

              That is a great tip about the Costco cards. Is this only at the Las Vegas Costco, or anywhere out of state?

            2. I'm wondering who has the best southern barbecue in Las Vegas (or en route to Arizona).
              I've seen the websites for Memphis (3 locations), CJ's Texas, Buzz, etc. I realize they all have different styles based on region of origin, but which is the best (e.g. most memorable, most perfect, most to-die-for)? Thanks. (I guess Texas is closest to Nevada so maybe that style would be our first choice?)

              5 Replies
              1. re: Food Tourist

                If you want good "to-die-for" BBQ, may I suggest that you stay away from Las Vegas and head to Texas instead. Hell, I know a couple of places in Los Angeles that are far FAR better que than anything in Vegas.

                Seriously... BBQ is this town is miserable.

                1. re: shamu613

                  Really? That's too bad. I figured that since there were tons of competing pits in Vegas, they'd have at least one decent place. We have generally miserable bbq here in Toronto, so I was hoping geographical proximity had an advantage.

                  1. re: Food Tourist

                    Buzz BBQ in the northwest (95 @ Craig) qualifies as "decent", but nowhere near "to-die-for". My wife really likes their links. Ribs are OK, brisket tends to be dry.

                    Buzz BBQ
                    7121 W Craig Rd Ste 101, Las Vegas, NV 89129

                    1. re: Steve Green

                      The best BBQ I've had in Las Vegas is at the Wednesday farmers market at Trent State Park. There is always a line for the BBQ. Go for the brisket.

                      1. re: Eric

                        Eric, If you're talking about Walter's Louisiana Cajun BBQ (which seems to be the only 'Q listed on the LV Farmers Market website) -- all I can say is, I sure hope they've improved greatly since I tried them. They were at one of Vegas's so-called farmers markets when we first moved to town in '01, and I had a sample of their shoe leather, er, brisket. So tough, it wasn't even chewable. Gray meat with no smoke ring or flavor whatsoever.

                        That long line doesn't mean much, as I wouldn't count on Summerlin residents to know good BBQ anyway.

              2. Any opinions on Carnegie Deli in The Mirage, Canter's Deli in TI-Treasure Island, Capriotti's off strip (subs), and other sandwich places?

                6 Replies
                1. re: Food Tourist

                  I haven't been impressed with Carnegie or Canter's.

                  Carnegie's main claim to fame seems to be the enormous size of its sandwiches. Quality is another matter. Both the warm corned beef and warm pastrami lacked flavor and were on the dry side (a common failing these days, but that's a rant for another time and place). Since I sometimes stay at the Mirage, I've kept trying, but without much luck. Equally disappointing were the fried matzoh, cheese blintzes and potato latkes. Nothing was terrible, but neither was anything good; "mediocre" is an apt description.

                  Canter's is a little better. Their warm pastrami has at least a little juice and a decent amount of flavor - not enough to be memorable, but good enough to satisfy a delicatessen craving. On the other hand, chopped liver was bland, and cheese blintzes weren't worth eating.

                  I've also tried Stage Deli (forget it) and Zoozacrackers (forget it, with the exception of the artery clogging Zoozaburger -- hamburger, pastrami, Swiss cheese, cole slaw, dressing).

                  1. re: Larry

                    Thanks for the "mediocre" warning -- I'm not going all the way to Vegas for 3 days to eat mediocre! We have a couple of reasonably good delis in Toronto that I'll make the trek to instead.

                    Capriotti's supposedly roasts their own meats...I'm hoping someone will chime in about them.

                    1. re: Food Tourist

                      Capriotti's is top notch. The Bobbie is probably at the top of the heap - yes, it's roasted turkey, some cranberry, some dressing - thanksgiving in a roll ! Personally, i opt out on the cranberry, add extra mayo. a nice shake of salt and some swiss cheese - it's ALL GOOD !

                      That being said, if i was coming into town, wouldn't call it a destination but if you plan on any off strip tourism ( red rocks, hoover dam, mt charleston, etc ) i strongly encourage you to pack a capriotii's sammie in the 'ol picnic basket ! but be careful, it's toasty out here so don't let the mayo-infused sammies sit too long.

                      Happy Eating !

                      Btw - for a nice sammie, if on the Strip - might i suggest the Lobster club at Postrio - good stuff !

                      1. re: kjs

                        I wonder if Postrio will let me order the Lobster Club sandwich for take-out only? Also, any reviews on 'Wichcraft at MGM Grand, Burger Bar, Bouchon Bakery sandwiches?

                        The picnic idea for Capriotti's is a winner! According to their website, they have over 20 locations...is there a "best" location?

                        1. re: Food Tourist

                          I've eaten at 'Witchcraft several times but have been unable to order anything but the meatloaf sandwich. It's darn good. Everytime, I say I am going to try something else but cave.

                          1. re: Food Tourist

                            "Best" location ? good question - i've eaten at sahara , flamingo, sunset, rainbow, blue diamond, etc - all were great ! i've also eaten at there delaware locations - also good !