As We See It

Exploring the “street food” of Fremont Street

If you can find a better Fremont Street snack than the deep fried Twinkie at Mermaids, eat it.

So maybe you’ve heard that some Downtown restaurant operators are feeling a bit besieged by those seemingly harmless food truck folk. Apparently they are not harmless. Maybe we should call these mobile culinary renegades what they really are: delicious pirates, recklessly roaming our asphalt seas looking for innocents to plunder.

Or maybe not. My question is: Why would food trucks want to set up Downtown when there’s already great street food along the Fremont Street Experience? Allow me to enlighten …

Right behind the Harley Davidson store that sits at Fremont and Fourth Street, we have by-the-slice, slow-cooked-under-heat-lamps Piccadilly Pizza. Nothing pairs with a plastic football full of frothy frozen margarita better. Keep moving west for dessert, from the gelato and Illy espresso stand in front of the Four Queens.

Quick, somebody tell the City Council there's a "food truck" in front of Binion's!

Wait, what’s that parked in front of Binion’s? It has wheels and serves snacks, but don’t be afraid. It’s just an old-timey kettle corn and hot nuts wagon. Nothing scary about that. There’s more, a Vienna beef hot dog vendor chilling beneath Vegas Vic, between the Golden Nugget and the Pioneer souvenir store. This must be a decent wiener. Why else is Vic always smiling?

Of course, the treasure trove can be found at the west end of Fremont near Main Street. How can you resist the siren song of colorful signs inviting you into Mermaids for sliders, chocolate-covered frozen bananas and yes, deep-fried Twinkies? You can’t. You won’t. But you might regret it later, after you've experienced the chemistry lesson of introducing hot fat with cream filling. Finish off your gourmet stroll with a bag of meaty goodness from Las Vegas Jerkys, literally the only place to find food inside the Vegas Club casino. They’ve got candy and snacks galore, but it’s also the only place I know of where you can find clam jerky. CLAM JERKY.

With all these classy Downtown munchies available, why all the fuss over food trucks, er, pirates?

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Brock Radke has been writing about Las Vegas for more than 15 years. He currently covers entertainment, music, nightlife, food ...

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