For those who yearn for the days of Vegas yore, Sam’s Town has undeniable appeal. With its memorabilia-plastered walls, coin-operated slots and kitschy attractions like Mystic Falls Park—complete with laser light show and howling animatronic wolves—the gritty property is a respite for old-school Las Vegans.
But that doesn’t mean the food has to remain stuck in the past. August marked the debut of the Angry Butcher, a classic American steakhouse with modern touches. It bears a slight resemblance to Alder & Birch, a similar concept at Boyd Gaming’s sister property the Orleans, which is to say the food is an unexpected surprise relative to its location.
A few small plates during social hour (4-6 p.m.) provide more than enough grub to satisfy a starving army. Shaved prime rib dip sliders ($9) arrive as a trio of hefty, nearly full-sized sandwiches. Caraway rye rolls replace boring white buns, and sides of zesty horseradish cream and au jus make the snack complete. Fat Oysters ($12) are breaded, fried and served on the shell atop a mountain of vinegar-spiked slaw. Those who want down-to-earth bar food should share the house-made mini corn dogs ($8), a litter of pups blanketed in a crispy batter and served with a trio of mustards.
The only complaint about a formal dinner could be that there’s too much food for one sitting. A 22-ounce bone-in ribeye ($38) has enough fat and flavor to satisfy on its own. Requesting it Oscar-style ($9) with crab meat, asparagus and Hollandaise pushes it into overkill territory. Buttermilk fried chicken ($20) is just as lethal. The flavorful and juicy bird is accompanied by enough sausage gravy and desert honey to fill a kiddie pool. Bites of asparagus, tender but thick as tree trunks, might provide relief from all that richness.
The Angry Butcher replaces Billy Bob’s as Sam’s Town’s resident steakhouse. The change is like a gentle facelift: It might not draw swarms of new suitors, but regulars are likely to appreciate the upgrade.
The Angry Butcher Sam’s Town, 702-456-7777. Sunday-Thursday, 4-10 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 4-11 p.m.