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EAT DOWNTOWN LAS VEGAS

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Downtown

707 Carson Ave.

Las Vegas, NV 89101

702-534-1515

website

$10-$15

Mon-Fri 8am-2pm

Sat-Sun 8am-3pm

American

A

AT A GLANCE

What is it?

A terrific little café serving up hearty breakfasts and really interesting lunches.

Where is it?

In Downtown Las Vegas, a block from the Fremont East Entertainment District.

What kind of food is served?

Breakfasts both simple and complex, sandwiches, and salads mainly.

What is the atmosphere like?

Casual and Downtown funky.

How is the service?

Very good.

What are the prices like?

Very reasonable, especially for the quality and quantity.

What else do I need to know?

Peak times can bring big crowds so expect a wait for a table.

What's the bottom line?

One of my favorites in Vegas.

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FULL REVIEW

While dining on The Strip became a culinary experience worthy of a truckload worth of James Beard Awards, dining in Downtown Las Vegas mostly remained a wasteland. Cheap buffets, cheap coffee shops, and cheap quality dominated the scene with few places serving anything more interesting than a hamburger or a $7.99 prime rib special.

But Downtown these days is pulsing with newfound life and energy, driven mostly by bunch of new bars and attractions, and the dining scene is finally starting to catch up. As evidence I offer the aptly named Eat.

Located a block off the Fremont East Entertainment District, right behind the Central Container Park complex, Eat is a charming little new-millennium cafeteria that is only open at breakfast and lunch. The room has a funky, art gallery vibe with exposed duct work, cement floors, and vibrant splashes of orange and green color jazzing up the space. You can choose to sit at your own table or banquette booth or you can eat at the counter or communal table if you are a more sociable type.

No matter what you ultimately end up ordering as a main course start (or perhaps end) with the beignets. They are perfectly fluffy bits of fried dough, lightly sprinkled with powdered sugar, and served with homemade jam and a vanilla mascarpone. They are heavenly and rival those served at New Orleans' famed Cafe du Monde.

Breakfasts range from simple (granola and Greek yogurt with berries or steel-cut oats with roasted apples and cream) to complex (fried eggs with Mexican chili and sautéed bananas). Or you could go more traditional with pancakes served with chicken apples sausage or classic shrimp and grits served with bacon and eggs.

A standout on this part of the menu is the truffled egg sandwich, done with two scrambled eggs, mushrooms, feta cheese, and bacon on a warm ciabatta bun and accompanied by a pile of roasted chive potatoes. Eat this and you will never want a McWhatever served on a boring English muffin ever again. The flavors mixed perfectly, with the creamy feta and the thick bacon making a delicious union.

Over on the lunch side you have several salads but it is the sandwiches that should dominate your attention. There's a BLT with avocado and chipotle mayo, a roast beef sandwich topped with blue cheese and pickled red onions, and a Ruben done with homemade sauerkraut and traditional Russian dressing to name a few.

Everything is so fresh that it practically jumps off the plate and the presentation is as unfussy as the service, which is comfortable, friendly, and familiar.

Nothing on the menu is more than $13 and you could easily do a very satisfying meal for about $20 all in.

Downtown Las Vegas needs more places to eat like Eat. Heck... all of Las Vegas needs it.

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