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Friday, December 11, 2015

Brunch Gone Crazy

Brunch Gone Crazy

Mesa Grill’s and tastyweekend mid-day menu explodes with the unique

Story by Bob Gourley

 

Popular Chef Bobby Flay has quite a presence in the valley. Not only is his name on Bobby’s Burger Palace at the City Center, but also his place Mesa Grill at Caesars has been rocking it for a long time now. Many flock to dinner for his upscale take on Southwestern cuisine but others aren’t as familiar with his slant on brunch. It is served both Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on a recent visit the restaurant was not nearly as crowded as dinner, which is a good thing if you want to eat well and spend the rest of your day enjoying the many activities in the area.

A basket of freshly baked breads arrives promptly at the table. They vary according to the time of year but recently there were fig scones, spicy muffins and assorted breads. Appetizer selections start things off nicely. There is sweet potato clam chowder with Littleneck clams and smoked chiles. A signature tamale is made with tiger shrimp and roasted garlic corn with a topping of cilantro sauce. A new take on nachos includes rough-cut tuna with mango, habanero hot sauce and avocado crèma. Smoked salmon is the highlight of a quesadilla with red onion and dill crème fraiche. Two quesadillas get high marks—one features smoked salmon with red onion and crème fraiche while another is made with crispy bacon, hash browns, a fried egg and spicy tomato salsa.

When it comes down to some serious eating, the list of entrees will make it difficult to choose. But you can do no wrong by ordering scrambled eggs chilaquiles. I have experienced this dish in many places but none has ever been as good as this one. Delicately scrambled eggs are delivered with roasted tomatillo sauce, white cheese and crème fraiche. The flavors balance perfectly. All egg dishes come with a choice of creamy grits or Southwestern home fries. The grits are silky with bits of corn interspersed throughout. The home fries have a substantial kick to them.

Hash is a dish many grew up with and this version is made with spicy chicken and sweet potatoes served with poached eggs and green chile hollandaise. Scrambled eggs get their own twist as they are mixed with green onions, jalapenos, goat cheese, apricot-mustard glazed ham and buttermilk biscuits. Another egg dish combines aged striploin steak with grilled red onions, roasted peppers and avocado relish. Not too many places serve a waffle made out of blue corn buttermilk, but the offering here is enhanced with blackberry bourbon syrup and vanilla crème fraiche. One of the side dishes is spicy mango-glazed bacon—if it doesn’t come with your entrée, order it separately. It is well worth it.

There is a trio of sandwiches including a green chile cheeseburger with queso sauce, roasted poblanos, pickled red onions and Southwestern fries. Spiced pork tenderloin is stacked up nicely on a creation with grilled red onion, arugula and ancho chile mayonnaise. The mesa burger will satisfy your need for beef as it is filled with double cheddar cheese, grilled Vidalia onions and spicy mustard.

For those seeking greens a couple of salads fit the bill. The sixteen spice chicken salad is constructed with goat cheese, green onion vinaigrette and a crisp blue corn tortilla. The barbecued lamb Cobb salad is creatively styled with avocado, tomato, Maytag blue cheese, eggs, bacon and buttermilk dressing.

Eggs and breakfast fixins have never been better. Mesa Grill sets the tone for innovation and good taste to top off the week.

 

Mesa Grill—Caesars Palace

3570 Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas

702-731-7731

www.caesars.com

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