Sin City is home to a lot of restaurants and bars, but there are tons of hidden gems that the majority of Las Vegans aren't unearthing. To help guide us to these potential discoveries, we've enlisted some of our city's food players to share their recommendations for a weekly feature dubbed Dining Confidential. Know a chef who wants to share some top dining spots? The tipline is open.
Keith Norman [Photo: Chelsea McManus]
Chef Keith Norman has a passion for food safety and sanitation. After all, he's the assistant executive chef and food safety manager at South Point and a culinary arts instructor at The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Las Vegas, both of which make training and educating students and culinary professionals an important facet of his jobs. He has worked his way up the culinary ladder at Bally's Las Vegas, the Mirage, Treasure Island, Paris Las Vegas, Suncoast and South Point over the past 20-plus years.
While at South Point, Norman implemented an allergen program to ensure guests with food allergies have the same enjoyable experience as diners without allergies. In fact, the hotel is hosting more than 500 guests with allergens during the 2013 Food Allergen Bloggers Conference event and Food Allergy Research and Education Walk in November. "Everyone involved in the dining experience at South Point Hotel has been certified and trained in all areas of food allergen-awareness," Norman says.
Norman also was just honored by the Nevada Environmental Health Association Executive Council as the Outstanding Nevada Environmental Health Professional of the Year Award. Here Norman shares some of his favorite mom-and-pop restaurants in Las Vegas.
Which restaurants do you turn to when you're not working?
Sunset Grill, Tuscany Grill in Henderson and Sweet Addiction.
What dishes are most memorable?
Sunset Grill has a Double Bird Burger with one chicken burger patty and one turkey burger patty served on toasted ciabatta bread. The burger is loaded with melted Swiss and provolone cheeses and topped with crispy bacon, lettuce, tomato, chipotle mayo and jalapeños. It is a must try item on the menu!
Tuscany Grill serves a rigatoni broccoli with tender onions and fresh broccoli served with a light tomato sauce and topped with pine nuts. It has a little bit of a kick to it that creates the perfect meal.
Sweet Addiction has taken the ice cream cookie sandwich concept to a whole new level. You can custom create your own ice cream cookie sandwich with homemade cookies that are made fresh every morning. The best combination I have made is with a chocolate brownie cookie and mint ice cream. The deliciously rich chocolate brownie cookie complimented with the crisp cool taste of mint ice cream is out of this world!
Why do you enjoy going there?
I have always been a fan of mom-and-pop restaurants and that is exactly what Sweet Addiction is. It has created a sweet vision that is unlike any other ice cream concept in the nation. The team at Sweet Addiction has perfected combining the wonderful and nostalgic taste of homemade cookies, all baked fresh from scratch every day, with the smooth taste of ice cream. Each time I go there, I always find a way to create a new ice cream sandwich from the 13 different cookies and 24 flavors of Thrifty brand ice cream.
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