One of the many signs bolstering Las Vegas’ reputation as a true dining destination: Every restaurant franchise feels the need to plant roots here. Between our tourism and our diverse population, there’s just too great an eating audience to ignore, which is why we have two Paris Baguette locations.
The Korean-based international corporation—it’s known as Paris Croissant in Asia—behind this fast-casual bakery-café has covered its bases with a sleek store inside the Venetian’s Grand Canal Shoppes (in the St. Mark’s Square area of the sprawling mall) and a comfy eatery on Spring Mountain Road (in the former Yu Yu kushiage spot). Both offer fast, fresh, coffee-and-pastry bliss, though the menu differs between locations.
The top-seller at the Strip site is savory, not sweet: a marinated beef dish available in sandwich ($10.75) or bowl ($11.75) form. Grilled soy-sesame beef sliced thin is combined with grilled onion, carrot, green onion and a spicy aioli on a baguette, or with brown or green tea rice with more veggies and a poached egg if you choose the bowl. There are similar options with portobello mushrooms or Mediterranean chicken as the core ingredient, but the beef is where it’s at. The selection of ready-to-go sandwiches and pastries at the Venetian included the hearty mozzarella onion bread ($4.25), essentially an exploded baguette bursting with cheese, herbs and onions. Also in the rotation was a roast beef calzone ($3.25), more of a soft, sweet bread pocket filled with beef, bacon and cheese than a true calzone, but delicious all the same.
The Chinatown location feels and tastes more like the neighborhood spot where you meet for coffee and a snack. The standard croissant ($1.90) will do the trick but it also comes swirled with chocolate ($2.95) or filled with pineapple ($2.20). The PB version of the cronut ($3.50) drops a ring of lemon cream on top of a flaky doughnut. Elsewhere, hot dogs come into play in the pastry frank or the even better Polish sausage cornbread (both $2.95). Paris Baguette also sells whole cakes and other desserts, intensifying the local bakery feels despite its corporate identity. It’s a fine fit for Las Vegas.
PARIS BAGUETTE Grand Canal Shoppes at Venetian, 702-476-0046. Sunday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 8 a.m.-midnight. 4115 Spring Mountain Road, 702-820-0909. Daily, 7 a.m.-11 p.m.