Las Vegas prides itself on being a land of experiences that transport you around the globe—effective representations of spots far and near. The same applies to our food scene. Without an indigenous cuisine, we rely on immigrants to bring us a taste of their homelands.
Which brings us to the newly opened Chile Addiction, a welcoming, Native American-adorned restaurant on Fort Apache near Flamingo, where New Mexican cuisine is showcased. (That’s not new food from the country of Mexico, but traditional stuff from Walter White’s home state.) Red and green variants on the well-known Hatch chile are the centerpiece. The red is the milder of the two, but also more complex than its green counterpart. And if you’re indecisive, you can order Christmas-style, for a combination of both.
Chile is served with practically everything on the menu, from traditional tacos and burritos to more obscure and interesting dishes. The stacked enchiladas ($9.50) are sort of like southwestern lasagna, with layered tortillas and your choice of meats ranging from ground beef and carne asada to more specifically New Mexican stuff like carne adovada and pork verde. I suggest the carne adovada as the best-flavored option.
The Frito pie ($7.25) surprised me. Not because it’s good—who wouldn’t like chile, ground beef and cheese layered atop Fritos?—but because it’s New Mexican. The dish has been adopted in numerous locales, so you’ll find variations across the country (I’m particularly fond of the Southern incarnation, so you’ll have to excuse me if I need a dollop of sour cream on mine), and here, it’s a simple, successful dish.
Chile Addiction is open for breakfast, so you can start your day with a breakfast burrito stuffed with chile, egg, cheese and hash browns ($8). Best of all are the sopapillas, puffy, lighter-than-air bread substitutes that work well as snacks (50 cents each), stuffed with beef ($4.50) as an entrée, or for dessert, drizzled with honey. Think of it as a trip to Santa Fe, minus the nine-hour drive.
Chile Addiction 4235 S. Fort Apache Road #260, 702-675-3775. Sunday, Tuesday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m.