Just so you don’t think ELV’s gustatory grumblings are all about griottes, Gruyere and grenache (not to mention champagne, chanterelles and cerises…), here is an example of this weekend’s culinary adventures(?) so far.
As you can see, Chicago Hot Dogs on North Rancho Road is UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP, which, if experience is our guide in such things, means the food, ambiance, and service will change not a bit. (After all, the oeuvre of the Chicago hot dog allows for precious little in the way of creativity…)
You will also see an R-J “Best of…” sign in the window. Ignore it (as you always should). This place isn’t the best of anything.
But there are reasons to come here. The crowd is as relentlessly lowbrow as ever, and, as mentioned, the menu is unchanged…except that the Vienna dogs weren’t as hot (lukewarm was more like it); the fluorescent green relish wasn’t ladled on as copiously, and neither were the sport peppers or celery salt. But the buns were still nice and squishy and the faded Chicago memorabilia as faded and forlorn as it’s forever been.
Chicago Hot Dogs‘s hot dogs are hardly the best version of these classics in town. (ELV thinks the stand outside the Lowe’s on West Charleston is better, not to mention the one outside Costco* on MLK Blvd.) – but if you have a hankerin’ for a hot, and can’t get to The Weiner and Still Champion in Evanston, Illinois, these’ll do.
As for the burgers and chili….they came from BLT Burger in the Mirage. Fans of ELV know that BLT stands for Bistro Laurent Tourondel. Also, you know that LT is An Official Friend Of ELV — so any commentary on the deliciousness of the fare must be taken with a grain of fleur de sel.
That said, the burgers were as beefy and satisfying as ever, but the chili was a mess.
Not only did it have large (and we mean large) chunks of un-broken-up meat in the bottom of the to-go container (like three, ill-formed meatballs), but the spiciness we noticed from two earlier versions had been toned down. Perhaps the Culinary Union kitchen workers who cycle through this place (or the in-house, union chefs at the Mirage who do the same) weren’t paying attention. Regardless of who’s to blame, it was disappointing…
…as is the complete paucity of chili parlors around town. You know pickin’s are slim (from a chili-eating perspective) when you’re depending on a Frenchman to cook it for you.
Eating Las Vegas must ask the question: Is there nowhere to get a good bowl of chili con carne around here? Quelle horreur! Quelle horreur!
* Having spent twenty years establishing himself as a snob in all things culinary and non-, ELV must never admit to having actually entered, much less shopped in one of these hideous, frightening, big box stores.
CHICAGO HOT DOGS
1078 North Rancho Road
Las Vegas, NV 89106
In the Mirage Hotel and Casino
3400 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109