Mike Minor is the mad scientist of Vegas brunch. His never-ending cavalcade of sweet and savory small plates known as the Border Brunch menu has become so popular, it has been extended from Mandalay Bay’s Border Grill to the Santa Monica version of the restaurant. (And do we even need to remind you it won the most prestigious award possible, Best Brunch in the 2012 Weekly Awards?)
- Border Brunch
- Border Grill at Mandalay Bay, 632-7403.
- Brunch, Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
But the craziest thing is how this chef puts his creativity to the test every weekend, fashioning a secret dish from whatever fresh, seasonal ingredients are at his disposal, conceptualizing it that morning off the top of his head. He blasts out hints on the day’s special over his Twitter feed (@ChefMikeLV) to tantalize his followers. On my last Border Brunch excursion, it seemed as if the secret dish was made just for me.
Minor’s lobster pancake was fluffy perfection, just like the best pancake you recall from childhood, buttery and spongy and gone before you know it. But instead of cloying sweetness from something as simple as maple syrup, there were slight salty notes, briny chunks of ocean treasure built into the pancake itself. On top, a crisp-edged, runny-yolk fried egg and some more lovely lobster meat, all surrounded by tangy, smooth, roasted tomato and chile salsa. Ah, breakfast by the beach … even if the beach isn’t real. You may not be able to get this bite at your Border Brunch visit, but consider it proof that the chef’s secret special shouldn’t be missed.