Way back in 1982, the satirical book Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche lampooned über-macho ’Merican social mores by framing the quintessentially French egg pie as overly sophisticated, dainty, and effete. In reality, quiche is super-manly. It’s hungry-guy peasant fare from rustic Europe. Think about the makings of classic quiche Lorraine: eggs, cream, bacon, and buttery crust. Every slice is a brawny protein and carb bomb. You can just imagine Robert Mitchum’s gravelly, baritone voice: “Quiche … it’s what’s for dinner.”
Riffing on quiche probably wouldn’t work as a joke these days. Quiches are popular. You can even find them in the freezer aisle at the supermarket, and just watch the lines form when cocktail-party mini quiches are out for sampling at Costco. And here in the Las Vegas Valley, French bistros and shops bake quiches galore every day for enthusiastic eaters.
Some stylish neighborhood destinations like Oh La La French Bistro (ohlalafrenchbistro.com) side quiche slices with refreshing, vinaigrette-dressed green salads, the tried-and-true plating (the much-loved Marché Bacchus, marchebacchus.com, serves slices as occasional du jour specials). The upper-crust à la forestière pie with goat cheese and wild mushrooms at Bardot Brasserie in Aria Resort & Casino (aria.com) is worthy of a brunch trip to the Strip. More casual stops like Cafe Breizh (cafebreizh.com), Delice Gourmands French Bakery (delicesgourmandsfrenchbakery.com), Patisserie Manon (patisseriemanon.com), and the Real Crepe (therealcrepes-lasvegas.com) proffer eggy entrées redolent with ingredients like smoked salmon, feta cheese, spinach, ratatouille, pesto, tomatoes, and broccoli, depending on the venue. Some eateries like to update quiches to meet modern health sensibilities, like the gluten-free creations at CraftKitchen (craftkitchenlv.com).
There’s also plenty of amore going around for the Italian iteration of quiche: the frittata. Instead of relying on crispy crusts, the eggs in frittatas are firmed up directly in hot pans. Find examples at Cottonwood Station (cottonwoodstationeatery.com) in outdoorsy Blue Diamond (in sausage and veggie styles with white cheddar). The Kitchen Table (kitchentablelv.com) and the Stove in Henderson (thestovelv.com) both cook spicy renditions jazzed up with poblano peppers. The Factory Kitchen in the Venetian (venetian.com) keeps their brunch frittata firmly based in Italy with asiago cheese, spinach, and plum tomatoes. And then there’s the gorgeous torta rustica available by special order from Naked City Pizza (nakedcitylv.com); it’s an impressive drum of egg-bound chopped salamis and Italian cheeses inside an elegant pastry shell. It looks like some wondrous delight straight out of Big Night.
So, after all, real men — and real women — do indeed eat quiche. A lot. And frittatas. And every other kind of delicious egg pie, from potato-laden Spanish tortillas to Hong Kong-style dim sum tarts. No joke.