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ELLIS ISLAND RESTAURANT

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Ellis Island Casino

4178 Koval Lane

Las Vegas, NV 89169

702-733-8901

website

$8-$20

Daily 24 Hours

Diner

C+

AT A GLANCE

What is it?

A 24 hour coffee shop with basic American food at bargain basement prices.

Where is it?

At the Ellis Island Casino just east of The Strip.

What kind of food is served?

Coffee shop basic but with lots of choices from breakfast to lunch to full dinners.

What is the atmosphere like?

Pretty sure the decor hasn't changed since 1983.

How is the service?

Efficient if not terribly friendly.

What are the prices like?

Hard to get this much food for lower prices in this town.

What else do I need to know?

If you want to do a little low limits gambling, the casino outside is a decent place to do it.

What's the bottom line?

I'm not convinced it's worth the extra couple of bucks you'd save by dining here.

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FULL REVIEW

Las Vegas used to be filled with places like this: cheap, no frills 24 hour coffee shop style restaurants that serve hearty portions of American food at bargain basement prices. But as the celebrity chefs started to take over, classic diners went by the wayside and now there are very few left, at least anywhere near The Strip.

Ellis Island is a small casino, brewery, and motel located on Koval Lane, less than half a mile east of The Strip behind Bally's and Paris Las Vegas. The restaurant is definitely old school, with a decor that probably hasn't changed in 20 years or more, leatherette booths, and a bunch of tables crammed into a fairly small, dark space. If you want atmosphere, go to a restaurant on The Strip.

The menu is coffee shop classic - breakfasts with eggs, pancakes, omelets, French toast, bacon, pork chops, chicken fried steak, and more; appetizers like chicken fingers and wings, quesadilla, onion rings, fried mozzarella, fish and chips, and shrimp cocktail; a few soups and salads; sandwiches including chicken parm, BLT, French dip, club, and deli style meats; burgers; panzones; pasta from fettucine Alfredo to shrimp scampi; and full dinners that include prime rib, pork chops, steak, chicken, seafood, and more. They also serve BBQ ribs and chicken from an adjacent shop but only from 4pm to 10pm.

We went for lunch and had a sampling of various sandwiches, burgers, and the like. Everything was fine, generously proportioned, and satisfying in a food-as-fuel kind of way but it is definitely not going to win any culinary awards anytime soon.

The main lure is the prices. The most expensive thing on the menu is the king cut of prime rib dinner, which comes with a baked potato, soup or salad, and a glass of beer (or root beer) for $13. Most of the other items are below $10 and most come with sides like fries or cole slaw included.

The question become whether or not saving a few bucks is worth the trade off in terms of the quality of food. You could walk the half-mile and pay about $15 for a fully loaded burger, fries, a drink, and tip that would be "fine" or you could go to someplace like KGB and pay about $5-7 more for truly fantastic burger, fries, a drink, and tip. That's a question I can't answer for you but for me, the answer is fairly obvious. If you need me I'll be at KGB.

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