Dad's Grilled Cheese in Las Vegas
I'm a sucker for restaurants that feature one specialty done well, so I was delighted when I had a chance to try Dad's Grilled Cheese, at 5525 South Decatur (between Russell and Tropicana).
Dad's features sandwiches that include some form of melted cheese."The Apprentice" is a simple grilled cheese (American or Cheddar) on grilled white bread, wheat bread, or Texas Toast, for a mere $2.49. But Dad's offers 13 other sandwiches, many of which involve meat. Perhaps the most popular sandwich is "The DJ," which combines Emmantaler and Gruyere cheeses with corned beef or pastrami, with sauerkraut on a grilled rye bread (in other words, a Reuben). All the sandwiches are under $5.
We had a chance to talk for quite awhile with the manager and chef, who seem genuinely interested in receiving feedback from customers. Everything seems fresher and elegant than you'd expect given its fast-food look. The sandwiches are not huge, so you have room for homemade tomato soup or fries or onion rings. But we were too full to try Dad's signature dessert, the Butter Boom: flavored cream cheese nestled within two slices of chocolate pound cake, grilled in butter and drenched in chocolate. Yowzers!
What a cool idea. I hope, despite its less than thrilling location, Dad's Grilled Cheese find its niche. Dad's is open from 10:30 - 7:30 Monday through Saturday.
Thanks so much for this review, Dave! The DJ sandwich sounds beyond delicous, as does that desert the Butter Boom. How did they taste?
Yes, the location sounds very unfortunate. (not really near anything) But, as i'm off to a used bookstore on Monday on Rainbow..I'll be passing Dad's. I'll give them a try then!
Stopped by Dad's Grilled Cheese today a little before noon and left with mixed feelings. I walked in and was the only customer there, although by the time I finished eating about 30 minutes later 4 other people came in.
I ordered the "Teacher", which was $3.75 and comes with fried egg, cheese and your choice of sausage, chirizo or bacon. I also ordered french fries and a soda. The bill came to just under $9.00, which sounded a little bit high to me. The cashier gave me my receipt and I noticed I'd been charged and extra $1.75 for the sausage. In the meanwhile, another fellow working there who appeared to be a manager was standing close by, so I mentioned to the cashier (and loud enough so the other fellow could hear) that I thought the sausage was supposed to be part of the sandwich already. He said no, and then I went and sat down at a table. Seconds later the manager went to the register and appeared to look at my order, but said nothing and went on about his business.
A few minutes later the manager dropped off my order at the table and I asked him what was supposed to be on the "Teacher". He mentioned egg, cheese, choice of meat etc and when he said that I asked him why I was charged extra for the sausage, and showed him my receipt. He apologized, but never offered a refund. He did offer to give me one of their desserts, the "Butter Boom" in it's place. I said ok, and the manager rattled off the different types of "Butter Booms", peanut butter, mint, coconut (which I can't stand) and one or two others. I said the mint would be fine, so moments later he brought out the Butter Boom. It looks like a piece of chocolate cake with hot chocolate covering the top and sprinkled with powdered sugar. After finishing my sandwich (more on that later), I took a big piece and put in it my mouth only to find out he had given me the coconut (which, as I mentioned, I can't stand). I would have said something but by this time he was busy helping the other people who had come in. Basically I ended up just eating around the coconut as best as I could.
As for the sandwich, it was fairly tasty and at first impression one might think, "Gee, it's so cheap too for only $3.75". However, I can go to Jack in the Box and get the Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich COMBO which includes a larger and also fairly good tasting sandwich of ham, bacon, egg and cheese, along with hash brown sticks and an orange juice for less than the price of the smaller "Teacher" sandwich alone. So in all honesty I can't really say like I felt I got a bargain after walking out of there. Perhaps if the sandwich was knock your socks off good I'd say otherwise, but the one I had was not much more than decent. One thing to mention, if you're thinking of eating anything remotely healthy this probably isn't the place to do it. The sandwich was rather greasy, but that's pretty much to be expected for a sandwich of that type.
All in all I left somewhat disappointed with the experience as a whole. The food was decent but nothing I'd go out of my way for, and then there were the previously mentioned problems with the service, although I will say they were friendly and I also realize the place is only a few weeks old and they are probably still working out the kinks, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and wish them well. I did overhear the manager telling a couple of the other customers that they hope to open a few more of these in other parts of town. as it is, I'll probably try this place again at some point, but I'm not in any hurry.
Somewhat related side note: Just down the road at Decatur and Sunset is a new Mexican place called Phat Phrank's, next to a gas station in a mini mall. It's a very basic little space without any fanfare. The people working there were all very friendly. The food was about on par with your basic Roberto's Tacos. I had a carnitas taco and a chicken taco (both soft), and they were ok, but both had WAY too much cilantro and cabbage on them. In fact they were so drowned in cabbage and cilantro I couldn't even see the meat. If I recall correctly the prices were about $2.50 for each taco. They had other items on the menu but I didn't try them. Again, it's not a place I'd go out of my way for, but if you've got an urge for cheap Mexican food and want something that's a step up from Taco Bell, this might fit the bill.
Thanks for the detailed review, Whisper. That's a very common problem with a new place, those little kinks they have to work out. I'm still going to hit them up either Sunday or Monday (they are open Sunday?) and give 'em a taste. With this crappy economy, it's tougher than normal for a small place to make it and thrive enough to expand.
On an aside, $2.50 for EACH taco?? Wow, that seems pricey!
You're welcome Honeychan. I hope Dad's does well and is able to expand.
Yes, in a way $2.50 for a taco sounds expensive. However let's compare it to one of Dad's "The Apprentice" sandwiches for a moment. "The Apprentice" is nothing more than some cheese melted between two slices of bread with a small pickle wedge on the side and sells for $2.49. The taco at Phat Phrank's is fairly good sized and has a decent portion of meat (carnitas, chicken and a few other choices) atop flour tortillas along with cilantro, cabbage, onion and salsa and sells for $2.50, which is about the going rate for similar tacos I've had at Roberto's, Fausto's and Rosarita's (my personal favorite taco in town as far as "order at the counter" places go here in Vegas).
Honestly if I was down to my last two and a half bucks and could only buy one or the other I'd get the carnitas taco over a grilled cheese sandwich in a heartbeat, but that's just me, lol.