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Dining

Truffles and Bacon Café tastes like a gem

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Beneath the bun, the TNB Café Signature Hamburger is loaded with rich macaroni and cheese to contrast the sweet, smoky bacon jam.
Photo: L.E. Baskow

One of the fun parts of the Valley’s vast suburban sprawl is the potential discovery of something interesting and new to you, even if it’s not new at all. Roam around the area near Sunset Park and the eastern tip of McCarran, for example, and you might come across Antiques at the Market, a 15-year-old swap meet-style browse-and-shop hidden in an industrial-area warehouse building. There are all kinds of crazy, old, cool things in here, from throwback vinyl to a collection of military headgear … and I’d never even heard of it.

In the past two months, browsers and shoppers have found something else, a surprise-within-a-surprise called Truffles and Bacon Café. This micro-eatery’s name may contain implications of foodie fadness, but it’s really just a friendly little lunch spot focused on smart soul food. At some restaurants, a burger with macaroni and cheese on it could be a desperate cry for attention from the Yelping, Instagramming masses. If it’s well-assembled and flat-out delicious, co-piloted by truffle oil tater tots or fresh-made Yukon Gold potato chips, well, that’s another story.

An assortment of bruschetta at Truffles and Bacon Café.

An assortment of bruschetta at Truffles and Bacon Café.

It’s hard not to order that beautiful behemoth, the TNB Café Signature Hamburger ($14), even though daily specials could include a killer Reuben or a different burger with New Mexico green chile and a layer of the Reuben’s house-made corned beef. But the main burger comes with a griddle-crisped disc of mac and cheese, savory-sweet bacon jam and sriracha ketchup on a toasty brioche bun, so yes, eat it. It’s one of the most memorable burgers I’ve ever tasted, and that’s saying something for an overactive Vegas eater. Put it on your list.

The person behind the food is Jacqueline Lim, a veteran self-taught chef and native of the Philippines. Her beautiful bacon jam would go great on anything, and you can also order it as bruschetta with mint and peas ($7.50) or take a small jar home. There are creative touches all over this small menu, from fresh baked scones to a smoked salmon and egg salad sandwich on rye with capers and pickled onions ($8). You can feast on the cheesy mac without the burger, or lighten up with a Cobb salad ($8) sparked with chipotle-ranch dressing and crunchy chicharones.

New discoveries are fun, but Truffles and Bacon Café will be just as much fun on your second visit. Probably more.

Truffles and Bacon Café 6665 S. Eastern Ave., 307-3960. Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, noon-4 p.m.

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Brock Radke is Las Vegas Weekly's food editor and author of the Strip-focused column The Incidental Tourist. He has written ...

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