Carnegie Deli

Mirage (last visit: September 2007).

Las Vegas has attracted several famous delicatessens.  There are now branches of Stage Deli, Carnegie Deli and Canter's Deli.  Canter's is a branch of a famous Los Angeles deli; the other two are based in New York.  Sorry, New York, but LA's representative wins.  This isn't because Canter's is stellar, but because the other two are pretty bad.

Carnegie Deli should have stayed in New York.  Their sandwiches consist of two regular size pieces of rye bread, with what must be a pound of deli inside.  Large bamboo skewers hold everything together.  If that's not big enough, you can order the Woody Allen, which combines corned beef and roast beef for an even bigger sandwich.  You don't pick up the sandwich, you lift off the bread and use a fork.  Sounds good so far, but the corned beef was dry and not all that flavorful; same for the pastrami.  At breakfast, I tried the matzobrei, pancake style.  It was just an omelet with a little matzo thrown in – very disappointing.  Their menu doesn't even mention sour cream as an option – you have to ask for it.

I really wanted Carnegie Deli to be good, especially because I've stayed at The Mirage a couple of times.  I kept trying, and continued to be disappointed.  Potato latkes were large, greasy, and crispy on the outside, but the potato was the consistency of mashed potatoes.  Cheese blintzes were OK, but not good enough to order again.  The only bright spots: a hot dog that was huge and pretty good; a chocolate chip cookie that also was huge, and also was pretty good.

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