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Desert Companion

Street Foodie: Meals on Wheels

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Meals on Wheels
Photography by Brent Holmes

Cali Bombs & Burgers

Don’t want to leave your car? Pull up to the second window for some drive-throughs worth stopping for

Imagine a world in which millions of creatures are attached to mobile pods. Mostly powered by internal combustion, a few by electricity, these pods transport the occupants to and fro. The creatures base their lives around them: their self-worth, identities, and even the ability to obtain nourishment. Alas, there is one problem: They have achieved monoculturization, the death rattle of variety — miles and miles traversed across a landscape riddled with “more of the same.” Into this bleak moment comes a foodie, a Street Foodie, to guide these strange creatures away from drive-through monotony and toward a delicious variety.

 

No Butcher

No butcherSo much of our drive-through culture revolves around the consumption of meat — of all kinds, on every corner, at any hour. Street Foodie is burdened by the sociopolitical, moral, and environmental implications of such easy access to meat. It diminishes our appreciation for the sacrifice inherent in eating animals. Also, most of it doesn’t taste very good. No Butcher has an alternative to your chicken-fried, quarter-poundered lifestyle. A vegan deli with a drive-up window is just what us tired, hungry Americans need. Street Foodie was more than satisfied by the Italian cold-cut sandwich. The Oktoberfest Schnitzel hit all of the spots promised by the words schnitzel and Oktoberfest (except for beer — don’t drink and drive, folks). It’s liberating when you can do drive-through and not taste your moral qualms in every bite. 3565 S. Rainbow Blvd., 702-268-7488

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Cali Bombs & Burgers

On the other hand, and, notwithstanding the above, in fairness Street Foodie must admit, with a greasy smile on his lips, that there are some good burgers. One of the most compelling factors in a great burger may be the use of onions. Here, the burgers themselves can be topped with onions grilled or raw, adding a soft or hard aromatic hit to these savory, beefy babies. And while you can’t get onion rings here, you can get something better: whole, sliced, deep-fried onions dipped in a crunchy batter and served up with a side of Russian dressing: the Onion Bomb. They come regular, street, or loaded. Drive through this spot for classic fast-food flavors with a bit of difference. 2300 E. Lake Mead Blvd., calibombs.com

 

Archi’s Thai Kitchen

What’s better than Thai food? Thai food from a drive-through, of course. Trust Street Foodie and get the pad prik king. Green beans and meat (optional) in a red hot sauce that incorporates kaffir lime leaves for a vibrant and singular flavor. The fish cake, a personal fave, will have even the most responsible drivers racing for the head of the drive-through line. And the green curry will dispel any doubts about the quality of one of Vegas’s Thai food institutions. 6360 W. Flamingo Road, 702-880-5550

 

Pollo Inka Express

Pollo InkaStreet Foodie’s had some crazy chicken over the years, but this Peruvian drive-though actually drives me sane. It seems perfectly rational to order the half-chicken dinner with a side of yucca fries, cilantro rice, and plantainos. The chicken is juicy and tender, and the species distinguish this from the panoply of chicken options cluttering our lives. French fries are a poor comparison to fried yucca. Both are crispy and starchy, yes, but a well-fried cut of yucca has a soft, pillowy texture that a potato just can’t get next to. The cilantro rice is pretty darn special, too. Green from the abundance of herbs, this may be the highlight of the combo. Even if you’re one of those oddballs who doesn’t like cilantro, I think you might just like this. 2440 S. Maryland Parkway, polloinkaexpress.com

 

Chamango Mexican Snacks

ChamangoPulling up to a window never tasted so sweet. This Mexican snack spot — located across from favorite Street Foodie nomming ground Broadacres Swap Meet — doles out the best kinds of dessert companions. The choco-banana with sprinkles or nuts is a brilliant frozen treat that retains the taste of youthful simplicity. Sublime bliss is offered in the form of fresas con crema. This is a parfait of sorts, consisting of what Street Foodie assumes is an entire strawberry patch doused in cream and yogurt. As you wheel back to the safety of home, you will thank yourself for listening to me. 2831 Las Vegas Blvd. N., 702-485-4480

There are many more options for drive-through satisfaction; check out Street Foodie’s writeups of Maryland Parkway and North Las Vegas at desertcompanion.com

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