Local Eats: Dirty Fork

Last year Dirty Fork opened in the restaurant space on Durango formerly occupied by Norm’s Diner. I didn’t visit Dirty Fork for a while after they opened as I mourned Norm’s leaving. Later I realized Norm’s was just down the street and moved on.

I was more than happy with the food and service at Dirty Fork after my first visit. That was repeated during my second and third visits. During each visit, I tried a different meal that fit perfectly for the day.

Brunch

Dirty Fork French Toast
YO!

I finally visited Dirty Fork when I was asked to join some friends for brunch. I was told that I need to try the Dirty Fork Breakfast Special. After reading the description this sounded like a meal that was perfect for the day.

The Hawaiian sweet bread French Toast was topped with egg, fried chicken, and syrup. This is the perfect hangover cure. The Hawaiian sweet bread French Toast, with egg in the center, was topped with fried chicken and syrup. This is the perfect hangover cure. This was my first time having chicken for breakfast/first meal and it was great.

I’ve always been turned off by fried chicken and waffles because of the large size of the chicken and waffles. The bite size pieces of chicken was a perfect topper to the light and sweet French Toast. I could eat individual flavors or have a bite with everything. Perfect!

I think I finally understand the sweet and savory thing for breakfast. I was so turned on by this dish that I’ve returned multiple times.

Lunch

Dirty Fork Burger
Dat burger!

My second visit to Dirty Fork was for lunch. The menu is creative and was a bit too confusing for my mood. I’m always up for a burger when a menu confuses me, so I tried the Dirty Fork Burger.

The burger comes with a choice of fries or salad. While the Breakfast Special filled me, this burger STUFFED me. Not only is the burger big but it’s delicious.

My burger was a perfectly cooked medium. The beef was flavorful and juicy but not to the point where it was oozing everywhere. I even enjoyed the super crispy fries, which I’d normally just leave on the plate.

Breakfast

Dirty Fork Breakfast
Simple and delicious!

After two great meals, I met a friend for breakfast at Dirty Fork. I wanted something simple so just ordered bacon, eggs, and coffee. The bacon was nice and crisp, which is how I like my bacon. The eggs were phenomenal. I’ll have to ask if there’s some magic recipe for the eggs the next time I visit. I believe they use Lavazza coffee which is neither amazing or bad.

I believe they use Lavazza coffee which is neither amazing or bad.

The menus (breakfast, lunch) are creative and have a unique assortment of dishes. I was upset when Norm’s moved out but I’m more than happy to have Dirty Fork in the neighborhood. I’ll be back shortly to try something new. Well, maybe something new.

Dirty Fork is at 3655 Durango. Visit DirtyForkLV.com for more information.

Lunching Outside At Bagatelle Beach

Bagatelle Beach Club At Tropicana Las Vegas
Bagatelle Beach Club

Eating and drinking outside? I’m in!

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to have lunch at the new Bagatelle Beach at Tropicana. This was the soft opening and a great way to kick off Cinco De Mayo weekend before losing every bet I made on the Kentucky Derby. Since this was the soft opening I was among the first guests.

Comparing Bagatelle Beach to Encore Beach Club is only fair in that they’re the same concept but there’s nothing at Tropicana that’s done on the same level as Wynn so it’s really not a fair comparison. Besides I was at Bagatelle Beach for lunch outside and not to scope out bikini babes. Note: Every person serving lunch was a dude, the bikini waitresses seem like they are only for pool customers.

Bagatelle Beach is set up with separate areas for people who want to party at the pool and people who just want to grab lunch. There dining tables set up in a shaded are that are fairly secluded and above the action of the beach club. There are also a few booths closer to the pools with coverings providing shade as you can see below.

Lunch area - Bagatelle Beach Tropicana Las Vegas

Le Diablo - Bagatelle Beach Tropicana Las Vegas

Lunch began with a cocktail called Le Diablo. I don’t normally drink tequila but I usually enjoy a drink with fresh berries and ginger beer so I figured I’d give it a whirl. Since I was so early the fresh blueberries hadn’t arrived so they used strawberry instead. Both drinks were tasty but the original concept of the drink was much better. I always recommend sticking with blueberries when they’re part of the recipe. Additionally, ginger beer is probably my favorite mixer for cocktails.

Lunch - Bagatelle Beach Tropicana Las Vegas

For lunch I had a chicken and turkey club on a croissant. The sandwich was good but nothing particularly special.  At $12 (maybe $14) this was priced similarly to most restaurant sandwiches on the strip. Combined with the al fresco dining and drinks this made for a fine base of food for the day. I wouldn’t be upset eating this sandwich again but I wouldn’t go out of my way for it.

Iced Coffee - Bagatelle Beach Tropicana Las Vegas

Since I had to drive after lunch I took it easy on the tasty boozy drinks and imbibed a few cups of iced coffee. I don’t look at a day/beach club as the kind of place that many people are ordering iced coffee so I was pleasantly surprised they had it available. While not the highlight of the day it was a nice way to close it.

Booth View - Bagatelle Beach Tropicana Las Vegas

I saw some friends dining out in the booths as I was winding down my lunch so I grabbed this sweet view of the entire Bagatelle Beach complex which comes complete with Hooters in the background.

Bagatelle Beach isn’t for everyone. The music is very loud since this is a day club and the DJ mix is today’s EDM (Deadmau5Calvin Harris) and hip hop (Lil WayneDoctor Dre). I enjoyed the music and thought it added to the vibe but it’s not for everyone.

I only visit the Tropicana a couple of times a year or so and this may be one of the few times I visit during 2013. The Tropicana isn’t a hotel many people I know visit so there’s rarely an excuse to stop by. Actually, most people I know don’t even stay on the south end of the strip unless they have a conference at Mandalay Bay.

I would return to Bagatelle Beach if someone else wanted to go there for lunch but probably wouldn’t go out of my way to return. I’ve already recommend Bagatelle Beach to a couple of people as a place to dine outdoors on that end of the Vegas strip.

Lunch was paid for by Bagatelle Beach but my thoughts and pictures are my own.

Beautiful Lunch At Red Rock Canyon (And Lots Of Pictures)

Recently I’ve decided to embrace my proximity to Red Rock Canyon. This is no small feat for this city guy. A couple weeks ago I grabbed a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee and a donut (yes, that’s lunch sometimes) and drove into the desert to clear my head and get away from things. I’ve only driven into Red Rock Canyon a couple times even though I’ve lived nearby for almost 2 years (2 years!).

About 5-10 minutes driving into the canyon area I found a scenic overlook. I don’t remember this being here before but it was a nice area. There are picnic tables (some covered) if you decide to actually bring your food out for a meal. There’s a helipad if you don’t have the patience to drive 30 minutes from the Vegas strip. Bike riders were the only people making use of the rest rooms. Last but not least there is no Verizon data access so there are no emails, texts, tweets or Facebook to disturb you from the tranquility of the desert and the rocks.

Nearby there’s a 13 mile scenic drive that will allow you to drive closer to the mountains where you’ll probably see some rams and burros. The drive costs $5 and has areas to pull off so you can take pictures. That seems like a good deal for $5 but I’m not sure I need that. Driving in the middle of nothing for 13 miles isn’t quite up my alley. While it’s still nice out (and not 115 degrees) I’ll continue my lunches at the scenic overlook. It’s calm, pretty and very different then what I’m used to. I dig it.

I took a bunch of pictures of the scenic overlook picnic area and the scenery. You’ll get to meet Big Red somewhere in this slideshow. Enjoy.