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May 6, 2014 12:13 PM

4/28/14 Dining Report - Baguette Cafe, Del Mar Deli, Naked City Pizza on Arville, Sugar Factory Town Square

Baguette Cafe -

Highly praised by locals and viewed from the highway on my Monday to Wednesday commute the lone factor preventing me from visiting Olivier Brouillet’s “Baguette Café” to date was the weekday only hours, an understandable choice given the restaurant’s business-park locale but a pity for those living within the somewhat Un-Vegasy constraints of a 7:30a-5:00p Monday through Friday schedule. Small in size but airy in décor it was just after eight o’clock on a PTO Monday with family in town that our trio made way into the brightly lit room and with a few locals lingering over coffee as fresh baked goods stocked a small pastry case it was mere seconds before Olivier greeted us with a smile, our affirmation to his “first time?” inquiry leading to a full description of nearly every item ready or soon to emerge from the kitchen and our eventual order comprising the majority of them. Admittedly intrigued by the sandwiches but preferring to focus on pastry it was with mild disappointment that Illy was the only brew offered as I find their over-roasted beans poorly suited for much but with this small quibble aside the glut soon to arrive would by-and-large impress, the simple croissant on par with those of Paris as shattering layers gave way to echoing caverns of butter while four items laced with high quality chocolate each proved superlative – the crispy rimmed cookie near-molten at its core and the torte rich in taste but ethereal in texture. Not quite as impressive or diverse as Bonjour Bakery or La Belle Terre but featuring a combination of great pastry and lovely service that sets it apart Baguette Café is every bit the local gem that many have claimed and although hours and coffee will prevent frequent visits I’ve no doubt I’ll find my way back eventually if not for a full meal at least for thing; an almond financier beyond my superlatives warranting any presumed hassles of location or time, even rush-hour on the 215.

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  1. Del Mar Deli -

    Owned and operated by the team behind Bagel Café and serving a limited menu of items baked at the flagship plus a number of selections made on the premises of The Southpoint it was largely by accident that I stumbled upon Del Mar Deli but rarely in the area and with the Sportsbook in plain view I gave way to temptation, a twelve dollar trio proving every bit as impressive as the items up north. Small in size and a bit drab in decor amidst the smoky locals casino it was to a short line of patrons and a smiling staff that I arrived at the Del Mar counter and watching the bakers work for a few minutes in order to determine what was fresh my order wrote itself – two items warm from the rack while the last was cut from a pan, wrapped, and saved for later…at least in theory. New York Jewish in concept but apparently insufficiently kosher in its offerings as I overheard a young rabbi and his wife discussing their sandwiches it was with a springy hot cinnamon roll beneath rapidly melting icing that my tasting began and moving next to a saucer-sized black and white with modestly sweet frosting atop a delicate crumb my taste buds swooned, the half shared with my mother and aunt equally well received along with a dense pecan bar dipped in chocolate shell atop a butter crust that barely made it past the slot machines en route to the car.

    1. Naked City Pizza on Arville -

      Using the term ‘divey’ as gently as one can it would be hard to describe Moondoggies on Arville in any other way, the space itself a brick box housing old televisions, two lifetime allotments of cigarette stains, a straight-out-of-the-80s soundtrack, and the sort of patrons already drunk enough to dance and sing by noon on a Monday – plus Chris Palmeri’s scratch made Naked City Pizza. Considered by locals and even Food Network celebrities to be a local gem and decked out with Buffalo sports décor telling the Chef’s roots it was to self seating and questionably hung over service that my family entered the makeshift dining room and presented with menus plus recommendations our order took form, a surprisingly ‘artisan’ quartet of items soon to roll out of the kitchen with plenty of grease but smooth pacing and just enough polish to make it work. Starting out with smile-inducing “Pizza Logs,” essentially an eggroll impregnated by a calzone, before testing out a pair of pies it was to the tunes of Tainted Love that the spicy chicken finger iteration arrived and teaming with blue cheese plus white sauce over a crispy semolina-spiked crust I immediately swooned, a ‘specialty’ pizza justifying its novelty while far outperforming the subsequent “Back Home Pie” which tasted good but suffered texturally under too many meaty toppings and red sauce muddled by cheese and grease. At this point duly impressed with later plans for dessert it was just as we were about to settle the tab that our server suggested the cannoli and describing them as ‘filled to order’ I couldn’t resist – a duo of crispy tubes stuffed with espresso-mascarpone proving twice as good as those at Carlo’s Bakery at nearly half the price as Duran Duran played on.

      7 Replies
      1. re: uhockey

        This sounds like a perfect candidate for one of the after golf lunches we will need in a months time. And LOVE the made to order cannoli too! Did you find the mascarpone to be a bit of a lead weight compared to the more traditional ricotta though?

        1. re: LVI

          Note that their sister location at 4608 Paradise (a little stroll south of the Hard Rock) is also open now, which is easier access for someone staying on the Strip, and a less-smoky environment. The menu includes some fresh pastas made in house that they do not have at the Arville shop.

          1. re: LVI

            I did not; they actually whipped it nicely and by-and-by it was similar in texture. Fact of the matter is that they absolutely outdo the absurdly overpriced Carlos' in all ways.

            There is now a second location, as well.

            The place is a freakin' riot.

              1. re: LVI

                A little bump for the sister location on Paradise, and some of their possibilities. Today's lunch was a well thought-out and executed braised rabbit, for $9.95. A mile to the west and the same dish would go for double that price point. It is nice to see this kind of cooking and pride becoming a part of the off-Strip scene.

                1. re: QAW

                  Dang. Nice. Do they have Televisions there?
                  Might call to see if they're showing the Kings game this weekend.

                  1. re: uhockey

                    Yes. Pretty low-key atmosphere, although that might actually be better on some nights.

        2. Sugar Factory -

          A locally born business having since expanded as far as New York I’d always been intrigued by the celebrity fascination with Sugar Factory but with an obviously overpriced menu and mixed reviews from persons I trust it was not until my visiting family purchased a Groupon that I finally decided to take the plunge, a late afternoon cocktail and dessert visit for three at the newest location in trendy Town Square. Sprawling in size with glitz, glitter, and glamour to spare as $30 lollipops lined the walls it was to the tunes of Britney followed by Daft Punk that we arrived to the semi-shrouded entrance and soon seated it would not be long before the first of several slick-talking servers stopped by, a ‘cool’ vibe clearly part of the training though not particularly well sold as a multitude of check-ins bordered on annoying. Undoubtedly a loud space, both literally and in the visual sense, it was to the tally of three plates plus two drinks that our $70 experience unfolded and with both drinks living up to the soda-sweet branding the desserts would mostly follow suit, the $13 slice of stuffed French Toast served with white chocolate alongside pure maple syrup doughy and underwhelming while a 3-scoop sundae and fruit-tinged carrot cake proved better, the former more than enough to share and the later a well balanced concoction of lightly sweetened frosting juxtaposing densely spiced cake. Certainly not a spot for subtlety and thereby de facto ‘celebrity’ suffice it to say my Sugar Factory curiosity is satisfied but with Serendipity offering up a better experience in a similar vein I can’t say I’ll be rushing back, though I won’t rule out an early morning breakfast at the 24/7 flagship sometime to see how they compare.

          1. I had no idea about the DelMar Deli-Bagel Cafe connection. I often stay at South Point and it never occurred to me to try it out for sandwiches, let alone bakery items.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Dave Feldman

              They're identical, though Bagel Cafe offers substantially larger offerings - particularly as relates to cooked items. Question becomes, why would a New Yorker visit either? ;-)

              1. re: uhockey

                That's why I haven't. But I did visit the Carnegie Deli once in the spirit of research, and have visited several off-Strip delis. It's hard to find a great "full-service" deli anywhere. Even in New York, places tend to be far better at either fish or meat. None that I know of has consistently great kitchen items.

                1. re: Dave Feldman

                  Weiss's Deli has the best nova, pastrami, rice pudding....bialys and challah baked on premises by Michael Weiss....worth the drive (near Sunset Station)

                  1. re: VegasGourmet

                    Are all their desserts done in-house?

            2. Like Dave, my wife and I usually stay at the South Point and often sharing (unlike Dave) a bagel in the morning at the Del Mar Deli. Their sandwiches, particularly the corned beef on rye, are very good. Desserts are mammoth sized, but I have found them pretty ordinary so we now abstain.