Desert Companion

Eat this now: Chocolate fondant and Athenian Burger


Gelato Massimo
Christopher Smith

Chocolate fondant at Gelato Messina

1980 Festival Plaza Drive, 702-832-1000,

One of the Westside’s new sweet spots, Gelato Messina has display cases filled with shiny mounds of frozen concoctions ranging in flavor from pistachio and pear-rhubarb to blood orange and vanilla. But it’s chocolate fondant that rules the Downtown Summerlin shop. This theobromine depth charge is a triple-chocolate amalgam with a taste that’s the quintessence of cacao. There’s a faint undertone of hazelnut in the mix, as well as a whisper of spice (they won’t say which). Beyond this serotonin-releasing dessert, the gelateria has a cool mod design and a large window through which you can watch its chilly offerings being made fresh. Greg Thilmont  


Athenian Burger at The Great Greek

1275 W. Warm Springs Road, 702-547-2377,

If Zeus were wilding around Henderson, eyeballing the ladies like he does, he’d surely stop for a bite at the Great Greek. I’d like to think a famished god in a foreign land might bypass the authentic Greek food and try a little cross-cultural exchange instead: the Athenian Burger. From America, a half-pound of just-pink-enough Angus; from Greece, tzaziki sauce and feta cheese. While it’s not nearly as exotic as, say, the manic pixie dream burgers concocted at Bachi, the Athenian’s abundant mouth-feel — the graininess of the beef thickened by the feta, with a brief afterparty of tzaziki —holds its own. Tip: Make it a little Greece-ier with extra tzaziki; a half-pound of meat is a lot for one dollop of sauce to contend with. Scott Dickensheets

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