Downtown guilty pleasures
OK - we're staying for 4 night, and three of those nights we are dining at great restaurants on The Strip. I'd like to go Downtown and have a junk-food kind of night....a really good hotdog? shrimp cocktail? maybe prime rib?
A burger and fries sitting at the counter at Binion’s Cafe is one of those classic “old school” vibes that are hard to find (impossible?) in Las vegas these days. They grind their own fresh on the premises.
Much of the menu at the Triple Seven microbrewery (Main Street Station) could classify under a "quality junk food" heading (they even have a sushi bar), and the quality of the beer has steadily improved over time.
Just about anything at Aloha Specialties (California Hotel) can work, large portions of Hawaiian fare that has to measure up because that is the prime marketing target for the Hotel. Consider Spam Musubi and Loco Moco as classic “junk food” items that will be done with love here.
Have never had prime rib at either place, but Magnolia’s Veranda (Four Queens) runs a nightly $9.95 special from 4-midnight, and it is an $8.95 special at Tony Roma’s (Fremont), for shorter hours – 4:30-6:30.
The classic downtown shrimp cocktail has now risen to $1.99, at DuPar’s (Golden Gate), but still not a bad deal. The pancakes there are terrific, if they classify in the “junk food” category.
Yes, you can go to Mermaid’s Casino and get deep fried Twinkies and Oreos. Don’t. Save your sweet tooth for an ice cream cone at Lappert’s (across form Aloha Specialties in the California), particularly anything infused with macadamia nuts. One of those cones is a nice walking around treat while strolling the Fremont area.
Luv It has withstood the test of time, and it is nice to know that folks still remember them despite the out of the way location. If you want to have a "junk food" evening that really isn't, you can stop first at "I Love Arepas", a cart at 1516 Las Vegas Boulevard, which is a short trek from Luv It. An arepa or two, and anything from Luv It, is a legit Chowhound excursion.
From what we have been told, DuPar's now manages the "shrimp bar and deli" concession at the Golden Gate, as part of the deal for opening their restaurant on the property.