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Desert Companion

DEALittle meals: Meal deals for tykes with taste

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Photo credit: Brent Holmes

1. Dog deal. At Buldogis, I spied teen customers happily spending their allowance on a spicy “Smoked Dog” with slaw, caramelized onions, cheddar and garlic mayo and a “West Coast Dog” with pico and avocado mayo (each $4.95). For a dollar less, my older son wolfed down the “Naked Dog,” and my younger son tried the smaller “Puppy Dog” ($2.45). Need more flavor? Request kimchi or banh mi slaw for 75 cents. Adults: You’ll be more than satisfied when you order the “Beef Bulgogi Dog” or spicy pork “Angry Dog” from the Korean/American fusion choices under $6. (2291 S. Fort Apache Road #102, buldogis.com)

2. Localized deal. Presto Neighborhood Café is run by two young and enthusiastic UNLV alums with a “local food” focus. They suggested the kids’ all-beef meatball sliders on mini-brioche with celery or sliced apple for $4.95. “Berry Good 4 U” ($5.99) is also popular with Presto’s younger guests — a strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, banana, and almond milk beverage. Personally, the sweetest deal is to split the canoe-shaped pide (Turkish flatbread) for under $5 per kid — a dish intended for two. Adults: Just try to pass up a $4.25 scoop of the seasonal salads. I barely made it out of the parking lot before devouring the Israeli couscous, wild mushroom and lemon truffle salad. (4950 S. Rainbow Blvd. #150, prestocafelv.com)

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3. Psychedelic deal. Rambo’s Kitchen is a mellow spot with a kid-friendly atmosphere harried parents will recognize: It feels as though you’ve shown up at your neighbor’s house for breakfast before they had a chance to tidy up. Weekends before noon, pay $3.50 for any two items: egg, bacon, sausage, toast or two mini-pancakes. Smaller appetites can get away with $2.75 for four French toast sticks. Adults: Pick three of the following for $4.99 on weekends: two eggs, two bacon strips, toast, two sausage patties, two pancakes. Bonus: Wear tie-dye, get 10 percent off. (6085 S. Fort Apache Road, ramboskitchen.com)

4. Can’t-resist deal. I’m a sucker for the relaxed and unpretentious Sprouts Farmers Market. The “Bunch-a-Lunch Combo” ($4.99) provides your budding frugalistas with a sandwich of the day (pastrami, turkey, whatever) and a quarter-pound of potato or macaroni salad and a bag of chips and a bottle of water. Adults: Pull yourself away from the extraordinary bulk aisles and get your own half deli sandwich and daily soup to go for $4.99 — it’s more than enough to satisfy your stomach. (3365 E. Tropicana Ave., 4020 S. Rainbow Blvd., sprouts.com)

5. Adventurous deal. I stumbled upon Parsley Mediterranean Grill and, after piling in the lovely, savory, crunchy shawarma, I noticed the kids’ menu. The same homemade ingredients are available in a shawarma plate (chicken or steak) with fries and a kids’ drink for $4.75. (Remind any potentially hesitant young ones that the Avengers ate the same thing after saving the world.) Adults: Spend $7.95 for the shawarma salad and nod enthusiastically when offered the spicy pickled carrot sticks. (6420 S. Pecos Road and Riviera Hotel Food Court, parsleyfmg.com)

6. Gluten-free deal. Lazy Joe’s Fish & Chips was recommended by a buddy whose child has been on a gluten-free diet for more than 10 years. They’ve got a casual, East Coast vibe, but they’re no slouches when it comes to the menu. Codfish (fried with gluten-free breading) or gluten-free chicken fingers and fries for kids 12 and under ($3.99) are a treat for anyone who has to avoid gluten. Adults: The whole-belly clams are flown in from Ipswich, Mass., but too pricey for the premise of this article. However, the website boasts a “current coupon” area (15 percent off at last check), which makes the clams affordable. Fish and chips (with fries, coleslaw, hush puppy) are a practical alternative for $7.49. (7835 S. Rainbow Blvd., lazyjoesfishandchips.com)

7. Boulder City insider deal. A B.C. native told me she brings her boys to Vinny’s Pizzeria. Locals seem to favor the tiny spot, known for its warm, child-friendly and teen-tolerant staff. For only $3.99, kids get spaghetti, tortellini or ravioli (and a breadstick!). Tack on $2, and pat yourself on the back for ordering your child a side salad. If, for some reason, you have six kids with you, the “Big Jumbo” cheese pizza (24 inches, thin crust, serves six to seven people) is just $21.49. (That comes out to $3.58 per kid!) Adults: If the kids won’t share, try the $4.25 slice and drink special, offered all day long. (Note: Sort-of-odd business hours, so check the website before showing up.) (1632 Nevada Highway, vinnyspizzeriabc.com)

[HEAR MORE:  Should we require restaurants to put nutrition information on their menus? Hear a discussion on KNPR's State of Nevada.]

8. Las Vegan vegan deal. Specify “vegetarian” or “vegan” on ANYTHING they make at Veggie Delight — and be pleasantly surprised. My hamburger-loving boy sat on the outdoor patio and ate every bite of the vegan crispy chicken sandwich for $5.50 and drank every sip of an enormous fresh mango smoothie for another $3. Adults: Conveniently, I didn’t know it was cash only. I had to mooch the meal off of my dining companions, which totaled about $8 per adult for the three entrees we shared, including lemongrass “beef” (you’d never even know it wasn’t). (3504 Wynn Road, veggiedelight.biz)

9. Kosher deal. After my kosher-keeping friend stopped laughing at my quest for inexpensive kosher options, she pointed me to Sababa Grille and Restaurant. Two bucks will take care of your kid, as a falafel ball is only 50 cents, and a pita pocket is 60 cents. If those tastes are too extreme, kosher hot dogs are $2.95 without the fries. (As the menu says, “It’s Kosher, so you know it’s good.”) Adults: Go for the Baba Salad, a “tangy mélange of crushed sesame and eggplant” in pita for $6.95. (3220 S. Durango Drive, sababarestaurant.com)

10. Wellness deal. Hunks of carrots, celery, noodles and one giant Matzo ball overflowing to make this a decadent serving of Jewish penicillin from The Bagel Café. The $7.95 cup comes with a bagel and cream cheese, which should serve as tomorrow’s breakfast. Your sniffling kid will be stuffed and ready for a nap with just the cup. Adults: Try the overstuffed quarter-pound egg salad half-sandwich for $6.95 on a bagel with a side of coleslaw, macaroni, pasta or potato salad and a pickle. (301 N. Buffalo Drive, 11011 W. Charleston Blvd., thebagelcafelv.com)

11. Drive-thru deal. Any article on kiddie grub worth its salt better include a PB&J. I never thought I’d utter “drive-thru” and “healthy” in the same sentence, but Sunrise Coffee serves a $3.25 organic peanut butter-jelly-and-banana sandwich that makes it a reality. Items are made to order, and Sunrise encourages you to call ahead to avoid a wait. Should time permit, skip the drive-through and sit inside. On a recent afternoon visit, nearly every patron was quietly working at a laptop, with a few chatting in the peaceful side patio. Adults: Hit the drive-thru for “Morning Crunches,” multigrain bread with organic peanut butter or almond butter slathered with granola, sliced bananas and honey for $3.45-$3.95. (3130 E. Sunset Road, sunrisecoffeelv.com)

12. Meaty deal. Henry’s American Grill is probably as close as you’ll find to a diner in these parts. Henry’s offers an “Awesome Burger at an Awesome Price” — $4.50 for a quarter-pound hamburger. The sweet potato puffs come highly recommended, and are a good value at $2.79 ($2.50 for waffle fries are an option, too). Adults: Have a burger. Sneak some of your kids’ fries or potato puffs. Bring a designated driver, stick to the budget, and enjoy a 16-ounce domestic beer for $3.75. (237 N. Stephanie Street #A, henrysamericangrill.com)

Cereal13. Sugar rush deal. How about an endless bowl of happiness? At I Love Yogurt, you’ll not only love the yogurt, but you’ll also enjoy the zany, retro vibe. Frozen yogurt is everywhere, but here, children can chow down on a $3.99 all-you-can-eat cereal smorgasbord of Quik, Boo Berry, Franken Berry, Fruity Pebbles, Count Chocula, Cap’n Crunch and others, served with milk. Adults: Everyone is a kid at this spot. Let your bowl runneth over. (11700 W. Charleston Blvd., 6430 N. Durango Drive, 2591 Anthem Village Drive, ilvyogurt.com)

14. Empty calorie deal. Feeling completely irresponsible about the nutritional integrity of your family’s diet? We’ve all gotta cut loose sometimes. Head over to Ronald’s Donuts (and pick up a dozen donut holes for $1. The top two rows of the completely no-frills donut case are vegan — and you cannot tell the difference. Adults: As long as you’re being a questionable role model, spend an extra buck or two (cash only, by the way) and freeze two dozen in small plastic bags. They defrost quickly and deliciously. 4600 Spring Mountain Road, 873-1032)

Snowcone15. Summer survival deal. It’s blazing hot, and you have no choice but to feed your children ice-cold sugary treats. Oh no! The Purple Penguin Snowcone Shack has a small, $2 solution to your problems. They’re only open from April-September, so your kids will think you’re a hero for at least 6 months of the year. Adults: The line may be long. Treat yourself to a $3 medium with Tiger’s Blood, tamarindo or pickle juice flavor. (1500 Horizon Ridge Parkway, 10490 Decatur Blvd., purplepenguinsnow.com)

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