By: Bob Gourley
The hype began when representatives from the SLS Hotel announced that the Los Angeles-based Griddle Café would be part of the new hotel. Since it opened several months ago, the crowds have been discovering what all of the commotion is about: big portions and creative entrees. On a recent Sunday it was the only restaurant open and things were definitely busy.
As you would expect, breakfast is their specialty and they serve it all day. The pancakes are legendary.
Huge platters, which will remind you of a vinyl recording but much tastier, are thin and fill the plate completely. A few examples include Black Magic. Oreo-filled cakes are topped with vanilla whipped cream and powdered sugar.
Sugar-baked bananas fill buttermilk batter with the Banananana ($12.95). They will keep you well fed for a day or maybe longer.
Room Service is one of the more-unique offerings. Champagne, chocolate and strawberry-filled pancakes are sitting under powdered sugar and vanilla cream.
To prove that they are not one dimensional, a strong list of French toast and waffle selections pass the test. The Strawberries and Cream Waffle ($12.95) is made with fresh fruit plus a big surprise that is memorable - a brown sugar sour cream topping. Powdered sugar is on top.
Unlike the pancakes, the waffles are a smaller size that is fine for those looking for a little less sugar. Devil's Daydream Bourbon French Toast will take you on a journey to the south with dark chocolate bread loaded with bittersweet chocolate chips that are dipped in Bulleit Bourbon mixture and then grilled. Whipped cream finishes things off nicely.
Egg specialties continue the creative trend. Poached y Papas Benedict is a new twist on a classic.
A slice of tender-baked ham and two poached eggs sit on top of potato skins with a lively hollandaise accented with a hint of citrus. Chicago Charlie Scramble ($14.95) is a combination of Italian sausage, potatoes, bacon, bell peppers, mozzarella cheese, garlic, basil and onions. Garlic bread is on the side.
Proving that they are not just about breakfast, a menu of soft tacos, burgers, sandwiches and salads are popular in the afternoon and evenings. Made-to-order tortilla chips, guacamole and avocado pico de gallo act as tasty starters.
Choices include TGC avocado, pineapple and strawberry pico de gallo plus jalapeno, tomato, lime, cilantro, avocado, onion and spices.
Ten different kinds of soft tacos satisfy a range of tastes. Wise Guy features chopped tomato, diced onions and spicy aioli sauce. The Lost Amigo editions are awash with chicken and turkey chorizo, cheddar cheese, pico de gallo and sour cream.
A unique burger (The Broken Heart) won't cause any pain and can be ordered with ground chuck, turkey or veggie patties. Artichoke hearts, scallions, parmesan cheese and spicy aioli take up space between the buns.
Hand-crafted cocktails and specialty beers are available along with Boozy Shakes with vodka.
The noise level can be elevated when the place is full, but it is such a unique space, you won't want to miss it.
The Griddle Café, SLS Hotel, 2535 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas. Open Sunday-Thursday 11am -4pm. 24 hours Friday and Saturday. (702) 761-7613 www.slslasvegas.com.