A few years back, Brazilian steakhouses were coming on strong with a format that seemed custom-made for buffet-addled Vegas: an unrelenting tableside flurry of meat — lamb, chicken, steak! seared, skewered, sausaged, often bacon-wrapped!
If we had trees in Las Vegas, and those trees had leaves, and those leaves turned gold and orange and red, and those golds and oranges and reds carpeted your lawn in a soft/crunchy matrix of invitation to leisurely autumnal frolic, and you waded in among them, enjoying the whisper, crunch and rattle of the leaves, their scent of earthen secrets unlocked ... yeah, that might approximate the flavor of The Daily at StripSteak.
Blue Ox is a Minnesota joint, and you can taste the Minnesota in this sandwich: the sturdy rectitude of the roast beef; the homey, calorie-rich comfort of the cream cheese; the modesty of the cole slaw, all piled Bunyan-high on a white roll.
I know: Why, why, why (forehead-slap!) get chicken at a steakhouse? Because this pan-roasted chicken is like Chicken: The Concept Album on a plate. The main breast serving is delicate and tender, with a perfect brown crisp on the skin that looks like it was applied with an airbrush. It’s served on a bed of trofie — elegant but unfussy capsule pasta — swimming in an earthy mushroom truffle cream previously only available to one-percenter forest pixies. Save the pastry-wrapped drumstick for last.
As a naturalized citizen of Fast Food Nation, my gustatory comfort zone is about the size of a burger and fries. Now and then I try to nudge those boundaries outward an inch or two, which is how I found myself at this winsome Asian-fusion place in Green Valley, ordering a short-rib flatbread. Which turns out to be more or less a pizza.