Sometimes it’s worth going to certain lengths to recapture small, albeit sweet, fragments of your sense of home. Like, say, leading a network of familial accomplices to smuggle large quantities of Canadian Coffee Crisp chocolate bars back to the States. With a Canuck mother, I routinely witnessed these candy crimes during childhood, and they were capable of inducing pupil dilation and heart palpatations, much to her approval.
Cait Messina, Toronto native and owner of 7-month-old North Las Vegas bakery and creamery Salted Malted, understands this combo of nostalgia and enthusiasm to share. When she arrived in 1992, she pined for peameal bacon and poutine. While working as a commercial real estate agent, her right-place-at-the-right-time moment unfolded.
Messina and her husband enlisted local protein purveyor Great Western Meats to tackle peameal bacon by brining hormone-free, whole pork loins in maple syrup, peppercorns and other spices for five days, then roasting and rolling the meat in cornmeal. Unlike the American version of Canadian bacon, this isn’t circular and smoky, but sliced and united with textured edges, salt and a touch of sweetness.
Griddled to order, the lean bacon is best in the Canadian sunrise sandwich ($4.75), thickly stacked on a house-made roll between an over-easy egg and cheddar cheese. You’re free to add hunks of it to the poutine ($4.75-$6.75), but I suggest sticking to the classic method of twice-fried, skin-on fries speckled with Wisconsin cheese curds, and a brown gravy that uses vinegar and ketchup for a bit of tang.
For more warm memories on the menu, look for Canadian pastries like butter tarts—akin to pecan pie filling with or without raisins—and the Christmas treat trifecta of chocolate, custard and graham-cracker crust that is the Nanaimo bar.
Salted Malted 6584 N. Decatur Blvd. #120, 702-754-6500. Daily, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.