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California Pizza Kitchen At The Park Surprises

California Pizza Kitchen at The Park surprised me in a good way last night. New outlets of chain restaurants aren’t always the most exciting restaurants to explore but I was curious about the new, exclusive menu being offered only at this location. CPK was the final restaurant at The Park (see more from the opening of The Park at Covers) that I wanted to try so I figured that I’d give it a whirl.

California Pizza Kitchen has multiple locations in Las Vegas (The Mirage, Downtown Summerlin, etc.) so there needed to be something to set this one apart. The new menu does that by offering burgers, steaks, unique appetizers like buffalo cauliflower and pizzas you can’t find at other locations.

CPKBurgerBest

We sampled different dishes and I was happy to see that there’s another moderately priced dining option at The Park. The CPK Classic Cheeseburger was only $14 and was made with Wagyu beef and has melted American cheese, Nueske’s Applewood-smoked bacon, caramelized onions, tomato, pickles, lettuce and housemade burger sauce on a toasted brioche bun. The accompanying fingerling potatoes were crisp and tasty.

The CPK Classic Cheeseburger was easily the best thing we had from the 6 or 7 dishes we tried. I wouldn’t call this the best burger in Las Vegas but it’s very good and probably what I would order in the future.

CPK.BuffCauliflower

Everyone we spoke with at the restaurant highly recommended that we try the buffalo cauliflower. Yes, I ate cauliflower. My mom would be proud. Kinda. The veggies were masked very well.

The cauliflower was deep-fried and had an excellent buffalo sauce. I think vegetarians I know would probably love this dish. The sauce was spicy and tangy and I’d eat this all day…if it was chicken.

CPKMeatballs

The turkey meatball appetizer was more up my ally. They’re made with turkey sausage and had a nice kick to them. Note to management if there was a happy hour deal with apps and booze discounts, I would probably destroy these every time I visited The Park.

CPKRibeye

So, a steak at California Pizza Kitchen? Let’s give it a whirl.

This is exactly what you’d expect from a $40 steak on the Vegas Strip. The meat was good but it wasn’t great. If you go in with the understanding that this isn’t a high-end steakhouse steak you’ll probably enjoy it.

An additional note on the steak, the grill temperatures were probably a bit too high as the first rib eye was charred but very undercooked from the medium we ordered. The second steak was closer. I’d give them a minute to figure this out before trying again.

Overall

Like I said, I was pleasantly surprised with the dishes that are only available at The Park location of California Pizza Kitchen. The non-pizza options are tasty and better than pizza I’ve had at any of the locations.

Between  Shake Shack, Bruxie, Beerhaus and California Pizza Kitchen, The Park has a good selection of moderately priced restaurants. You can see more pics from dinner in the slideshow below.

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Shake Shack Las Vegas Is What You’d Expect

Shake Shack Las Vegas

Shake Shack Las Vegas Is a bit more than a shack

Shake Shack Las Vegas just opened at New York-New York and the burgers are pretty much what you’d expect. The design and layout of the restaurant are very cool and I’ll get to that another day.

I just want to focus on the food today. Specifically the famous ShackBurger.

Shake Shack Las Vegas menu

Shake Shack Las Vegas menu is quite large

The buzz on Shake Shack opening in Vegas was heard all around the country. People that have visited Shake Shack in other parts of the country compare the burgers to In and Out Burger. A fair comparison as they’re both fast food burgers and use fresh high quality ingredients.

The Vegas Shake Shack Las Vegas location offers a much larger menu than a In and Out Burger or normal fast food or quick serve restaurant. So it’s important just to focus on the burgers (and shakes, the restaurant is called Shake Shack). Okay, on to the food.

Burger, Fries, Lemonade at Shake Shack Las Vegas

Burger, Fries, Lemonade at Shake Shack

Nothing fancy here. I wanted my first meal to cover the basics so I ordered a ShackBurger, fries and their Shack-Made lemonade to drink. Before discussing the ShackBurger I need to talk about the star of my meal – them fries.

The crinkle cut fries are thicker AND crispier than any fast food fries I’ve had before. After a little googling and I found out that these fries were brought back late last year because of customer demand. I also learned that each batch is double fried and that helps with the crispness. Here’s a close up of the light, crispy french fries. I’m not much of a fry guy but they were gone before the burger. That never happens.

Believe it or not, there is a burger hiding under the lettuce in the photo above. Here’s a better picture of the ShackBurger.

[Read more…]

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Shake Shack Las Vegas Opens Today

Shake Shack Las Vegas at New York New York

Shake Shack Las Vegas

It’s been a while since I’ve been excited about having a burger in Las Vegas. That changes today as the first Shake Shack opens on the west coast. Shake Shack Las Vegas opened today at New York-New York.

My expectations are in check. Shake Shack makes a fast food burger that compares to In N Out Burger. Here’s a preview from allsandwich.com that reiterates that thought.

Why get excited about a fast food burger? Because it’s new to me. I’ll check it out in the new year and post a review somewhere. Details of Shake Shack Las Vegas are below in the press release:

The highly anticipated Las Vegas Shack is perfectly situated on The Strip adjacent to The Park at the foot of the renowned New York-New York Hotel & Casino.

Founded by famed restaurateur Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG), Shake Shack is a critically acclaimed, modern day “roadside” burger stand known for its 100% all-natural Angus beef burgers, griddled-crisp flat-top dogs, fresh-made frozen custard, crinkle cut fries, craft beer and wine, and more.  A fun, lively, fine-casual restaurant with widespread appeal, over the past decade Shake Shack has earned a cult-like following around the world.

The Vegas Shack will feature an expansive outdoor patio prominently overlooking The Strip. Capturing the essence and origins of Shake Shack, which was born in New York City’s Madison Square Park in 2004, the restaurant will also neighbor a future park environment developed by MGM Resorts International. The Park, the first of its kind on the Las Vegas Strip, will feature dining pavilions and performance spaces complemented by areas for quiet relaxation.

“We’re thrilled to be opening on the Las Vegas Strip,” said Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti. “Being located right in front of the New York-New York and next to the future location of The Strip’s first-ever park is an unbelievable opportunity and creates a fun hangout and community-gathering place unlike anywhere else in Vegas.”

“We continue to deliver exclusive, fun and unique choices to our guests on New York-New York’s newly developed plaza. The arrival of Shake Shack is yet another extraordinary moment for our resort,” said New York-New York President and COO Cynthia Kiser Murphey. “The inclusion of Shake Shack will continue to elevate the high-energy activity in this area and will provide our guests with engaging experiences. Danny, Randy and team have created a fun and friendly restaurant with delicious food, great customer service and convenient strip-side accessibility. We cannot wait to see this one-of-a-kind, must-see destination in Las Vegas come to life.”

In addition to all the Shack favorites, the Las Vegas menu will celebrate the glitz and over-the-top energy of the city with exclusive menu items. The Las Vegas Shack’s location-specific frozen custard concretes include: All Shook Up (vanilla frozen custard and chocolate toffee bits blended with a slice of banana peanut butter cheesecake from local bakery Gimme Some Sugar) andJackpot (vanilla frozen custard, Belgian waffles, strawberry purée, marshmallow sauce and rainbow sprinkles). The Shack Attack (chocolate custard, fudge sauce and chocolate truffle cookie dough, Mast Brothers dark chocolate chunks and chocolate sprinkles), a classic Shack fan favorite that originated at Shake Shack’s flagship location in NYC’s Madison Square Park, will be available as well.  Diners can also enjoy the Shackapalooza, a colossal, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-style frozen custard dessert with premium mix-ins — meant for sharing.

Finally, beginning January 1, 2015 at all US Shacks (with the exception of JFK airport and ballparks) Shake Shack will feature a special off-the-menu item, the ShackMeister Burger™ — a 100% all-natural Angus beef cheeseburger with crispy ShackMeister Ale-marinated shallots and ShackSauce. The ShackMeister Burger will be available for a limited time.

The Vegas Shack will have an expanded beer and wine selection — both on tap. Guests can kick back with a ShackMeister Ale®, a beer designed to complement the ShackBurger that is brewed just for Shake Shack by Brooklyn Brewery. Beers from local breweries will include Bad Beat and Tenaya Creek among others.  All beers are available as a pint, pitcher, or custom Shake Shack “Roadie” (32 oz.). The wine list will feature a range of varietals including house wines Shack Red and Shack White — made exclusively for Shake Shack by Frog’s Leap in Napa Valley, California. For those seeking a non-alcoholic beverage, the menu will feature Shack-made lemonade, bottled Stumptown iced coffee, draught root beer from Abita Brewing Co. in Louisiana, fresh brewed iced tea and more. All beer and wine can be ordered via a special express line at the outdoor walk-up window.

As part of its community outreach efforts and mission to Stand For Something Good®, the Las Vegas Shack is partnering with First Friday Foundation Las Vegas, which advances local artists and inspires civic art in Las Vegas. Five percent of sales from the All Shook Up concrete will benefit First Friday Foundation Las Vegas, and Shake Shack team members will volunteer at the Foundation’s special events.

In keeping with Shake Shack’s commitment to green architecture and eco-friendly construction, the new location incorporates a variety of recycled and sustainable materials and features energy-efficient kitchen equipment and lighting.  Custom chairs and booths are constructed from lumber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, and stools have been upcycled from Pacific NW telephone poles. The Vegas Shack’s interior walls are made from Wyoming Snowfence reclaimed timber, and also clad in reclaimed barn siding from eastern US farming states. As in several Shake Shack locations, tabletops are made from reclaimed bowling alley lanes designed in Brooklyn, New York.

Shake Shack will be open from 11:00 AM until midnight, Sunday through Thursday and 11:00 AM until 2:00 AM Friday and Saturday.

For more information, please visit:
www.shakeshack.com | www.facebook.com/shakeshack | www.twitter.com/shakeshack

Photo: Shake Shack on Facebook

Copyright © 2017 Marc Meltzer & EDGe Vegas