Desert Companion

Eat this now: Flatbread and Beef Brisket Sandwich

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Red curry flatbread

Red curry flatbread

Short rib red curry flatbread at Buddha Belly Deli

50 N. Valle Verde Drive, 702-545-0840, thebuddhabellydeli.com

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. Atop the chewy, substantial crust are clumps of delicious braised short-rib meat, cooked in a curry sauce — not spectacularly spicy, but with a subtle cumulative effect — and embedded in mozzarella, along with caramelized onions, scallions and red bell peppers. What a wonderful mix. Some say my palate grew three sizes that day. Scott Dickensheets

 

Beef brisket sandwich with green side salad at Jacques Café

1910 Village Center Circle #1, (702) 550-6363, jacquescafe.vegas

In a roundabout deep in Summerlin, you’ll find the relatively new Jacques Café and its lunchtime sandwich of slow-cooked brisket. Seasoned beef is nestled in a crusty ciabatta-style bun along with sautéed cabbage and red bell peppers. Slices of aged Gouda unite flora and fauna. It's a cheesy pot-au-feu in the hand ... a Frenchy stew sandwich! Go for the house salad on the side. Fresh butter lettuce is tender in a Japanese-inspired ponzu dressing. Instead of stale bread cubes, extruded vegetal cracker bits make for light, squiggly croutons. It just might be the one of the best leafy innovations in town. In addition, Jacques Cafés is a cool place (with a compact yet stylish bar and a large patio) that would not be out of place in L.A. or Seattle, but it's here in a tree-lined suburban shopping center. Greg Thilmont

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