Eater's Digest: September/October

LAS VEGAS

'Black and Tan This' Liquid Nitrogen Sorbet (The Neapolitan of Las Vegas)
bass ale, guinness stout, bailey's
topped with sea-salted caramel drizzle, chocolate shavings, pretzel bits

'W.W.E.D.?' Spirited Shake (The Neapolitan of Las Vegas)
makers mark 46, peanut butter, banana and walnut liqueur in a chocolate shake
topped with maple bacon sprinkles

Stout, chocolate, and pretzel is a tried-and-true combination.

The person who made my Elvis shake over-topped it with bacon sprinkles. The bacon was chewy too.


Soft Pretzels and Provolone Fondue (Culinary Dropout)
with sea salt

Simple, but killer.



Miyagi-san's Grass-Fed Wagyu Burger (Bachi Burger)
chili mayo, fried egg, furikake, caramelized bacon, crispy onion rings, taiwanese sweet bun

Truffle Parmesan Fries (Bachi Burger)
parmesan reggiano, black truffle porcini cream, sun-dried tomato aioli

In celebrity chef Disneyland, I had my favourite meal at a nondescript off-Strip strip mall.

Bachi Burger's Taiwanese sweet bun is a paragon of burger buns.


Candy Store (Holsteins)
Pecan Pie Push Pop
Pumpkin Cheesecake Drumstick
Pear/Pomegranate Gummy
Confetti Cupcake
Mint Chocolate Marshmallow
Blue Raspberry Cotton Candy
Peanut Butter Cup
Cinnamon Nitro Meringues
Passion Fruit Macaron

WHAAAAAT?!??!!! How did I miss this? [grumbles]


NEW YORK CITY

Smoked Cashew Salsa (Empellón Taqueria)
smoked cashews, chipotle

It's more of a dipping sauce, like smoked cashews soaked in an ice cream base and then strained out. Served with pleasingly crisp house-made chips.


Beer and Bread Porridge (Acme)
with salted caramel ice cream

Pleasantly interesting.


Burger (The Toucan and the Lion)
applewood smoked bacon, cashew nut butter, chinese bao bun
with fried whiskey sour pickles, kaffir lime aioli

On paper, this entrée does not compute, but it is delicious.


'Barclays Gridlock' Ice Cream (Ample Hills Creamery)
coffee ice cream, chocolate flakes, salted peanuts, fudge brownies, chocolate-covered pretzels

Ample Hills may be my favourite creamery in America – both scrumptious and creative flavours.


$65 Five-Course Dessert Tasting Menu (Per Se)

"Service" (tip) is included in the price, but not tax.

On the night I visited, the menu featured fancy interpretations of: rainbow sherbet, peanut butter and jelly, coffee and doughnuts, and cookies and cream.

I had to borrow a dress shirt and dress shoes to try the menu, and the restaurant loaned me a dress jacket.


Guaco Taco (Brooklyn Taco Company)
chunky avocado, raw sweet corn, tomatoes, red onion, cheese, crema, hot sauce

I don't know why I expected something other than tortillas filled with guacamole.


Chocolate Chip Extravaganza Pudding (Sugar Sweet Sunshine)
butterscotch pudding, crumbled soft chocolate chip cookies, whipped cream

Diabetes in a cup.


MICHIGAN

Korean Slider (Green Dot Stables / Detroit)
peanut butter, kimchi

Beef, peanut butter, and kimchi combine well – who knew?

Nothing on the menu at Green Dot Stables (food or drink) costs more than $3 – inconceivable!


Dark Chocolate Gelato (Zingerman's Creamery / Ann Arbor)
scharffen berger cocoa

The best dark chocolate gelato I've ever eaten – dense and intense.


Chocolate Sourdough (Zingerman's Bakehouse / Ann Arbor)

It's just sourdough bread with chocolate chunks, but it's compulsively edible. I was fortunate enough to obtain a loaf fresh out of the oven. You can order it online, but…mail-order bread? I'm skeptical.


CHICAGO

Goat Cheese Cashew Caramel Gelato (Black Dog Gelato)

Doesn't skimp on goat cheese.


Ode to the Candy Bar (Mindy's Hot Chocolate)

Root Beer Float (For Grown Ups)
bulleit rye, root vanilla simple syrup, orange bitters, egg white

"Almond Joy"
coconut butter cake, toasted coconut cream, smoked almond brittle

"Milky Way"
heaven hill and milk chocolate nougat, thick caramel, milk chocolate fudge

"Peanut Butter Cup"
as a pie

"Skor"
tcho chocolate, salted toffee ice cream

I expected a dessert tasting menu like the one I had in New York City and instead received a plate of muddled hors d'essoeuvres.



Belly Dog (Belly Shack)
topped with egg noodles, pickled green papaya
with togarashi spiced fries, curry mayonnaise

Asian Pork Meatball Sandwich (Belly Shack)
stuffed with somen noodles, korean chili paste, mint

Belly Shack is described as Korean-Puerto Rican fusion. I'm not sure its food is that, but it's yummy, particularly the bread they use.


Martin Scorsese-Inspired Tasting Menu (iNG)

A gustatory experience.

"The candle that's been burning at your table is actually the sauce for this pasta."

[waiter snuffs candle, pours liquidised "candle" on pasta]


Clockwise from top left: Blowtorched "firecrackers," a chalk outline, cheese molded in the shape of a handgun, a rum cocktail with a beer ice cube in a handgun mug, a bourbon cocktail from a soap dispenser, cake in a petri dish with teardropped flavouring, cotton candy Kleenex.


The Good, the Bad, and the Happy Poutine (BadHappy Poutine Shop)
pork belly, beef cheek, truffle mayo, foie gras mousse and gravy, frites, curd, sunny egg

Didn't finish it. The ratio of curds to fries was like 17:1, and I couldn't detect truffle, foie gras, or beef cheek. It was basically a grossly imbalanced pork belly poutine. I had a far better pork belly poutine on a whim in Michigan (One Eyed Betty's / Ferndale).



Salmon Poke Taco (Big and Little's)

Soft Shell Crab Taco (Big and Little's)

Disappointing. The salmon poke is forgettable, and my soft shell crab taco was unwieldy and cloyingly sweet.


Biscuits (¡Bang Bang! Pie Shop)
with black pepper honey butter, strawberry balsamic jam, cherry chai jam, and other house-made butters and jams

Apple Crumble Pie (¡Bang Bang! Pie Shop)
topped with black pepper molasses caramel

I love ¡Bang Bang!'s biscuits so much, I want to take them behind a middle school and get them pregnant.

For me, their apple pie strikes a perfect balance of dough and filling.

#eatersdigest


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