The 12th Annual Bite of Las Vegas sounds like a promising afternoon: 11 bands, 3 stages, 45 restaurants serving small tasting portions. But the full-day outdoor festival is sadly lacking teeth.
On the culinary side, Bite’s 45 restaurant participants present a bland picture of the Vegas restaurant scene. Rather than showcasing some of the city’s fabulous local haunts, the food is from Fuddruckers, Pizza Hut, Panda Express, Golden Spoon, Winchell’s and other chains – an open air mall food court. The $1-$5 price tag on snacks coming from restaurants that already serve food in that price range, is completely moot, and while the chance to sample low-priced nibbles from higher end eateries would be a tempting draw, paying chain prices for chain food is plain boring.
The music fares a bit better, with a line up that includes Lifehouse, Puddle of Mudd and Metro Station. Still, the bands are a homogeneous soup, all mellow soft rock akin to what you might hear on 94.1 FM. (Which makes sense, they are sponsoring the event.) Personally, it’s not my cup of tea. I’ve just never liked chamomile.
But considering the economy is screwing up everyone’s fun budget, Bite is a chance to catch a concert and a morsel of Mystere for cheap. The Mystere cast goes on the House of Blues main stage at 1:45 p.m. for an abridged performance. You can also get a taste of the local music scene, which hopefully has more flavor than the food: Hitting on Hannah, Modern Science, Verbatym and Kristina and Tuna Band will all take the stage throughout the afternoon. (Schedule: Biteoflv.com.) If you were hoping Bite might distract from the fact that we’re facing a Vegoose-less October, consider yourself out of luck. Better to light a memorial candle, put on a few CDs and dig into that $5 platter of Panda Express. You can get all three at the mall.