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.
Tom’s Urban general manager Erron Halen grew up in Iowa and graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in business, but he always new his heart was in the food and beverage industry. His career took him to Chicago, Los Angeles, Scottsdale, Ariz., and now Las Vegas to manage restaurants such as Iowa City’s Sports Column, Dos Gringos in Phoenix, San Felipes Cantina in Temple, Ariz., and more. If you’re looking for a good breakfast spot in Las Vegas, Halen has you covered with his top picks.
Where do you like to go for breakfast in Las Vegas?
With such an incredible variety of places to choose from, we're so very lucky to live and indulge in everything Las Vegas has to offer. I'm a transplant from the Midwest who has been fortunate enough to have the restaurant industry as my travel vessel to cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver and Scottsdale. So, as much as I enjoy indulging in decadence, I also enjoy simple comfort food done right. Whether I'm at home, at Tom's Urban or heading to one of this city's bests restaurants, I'm always playing the host role so I'm quick to make suggestions on where we should be heading that day. I'm also an eater that lets my mood guide my palate. These are a few of my faves.
If I'm in a laid back, chill kind of mood, I'm going to Mr. Mama's. Breakfast comfort food in a relaxed, unpretentious environment. The kind of place you need to be ready to eat though. The portions are HUGE.
My mother used to love taking my siblings and I out after church on Sunday. Ya know, dressed in slacks, a tie and penny loafers. When I'm in the mood for a fancy brunch with the fam or friends, we're hitting Sterling Brunch at BLT Steak inside Bally's Las Vegas.
Another one of my faves if I'm feeling gluttonous but not wanting the buffet type setting is Michael Mina's Bardot Brasserie at Aria. Some delicious traditional French dishes alongside some fun interesting take on the classics.
Last, but certainly not least, is BabyStacks Cafe. This is my go-to after a long night of imbibing in many adult beverages. They have many dishes that can always end up being my ultimate hangover cure.
What breakfast dishes are most memorable?
My must have at Mr. Mama's is the chicken fried steak. Did I mention I'm from the Midwest? Did I mention the HUGE portions? Eggs scrambled over easy with extra sausage gravy, please.
Where to start with Sterling Brunch? Have a glass, or two or three of Perrier-Jouët. It pairs wonderfully with the endless lobster, oysters, crab and caviar that you'll be stuffing your face with.
At Bardot, start by sharing the prime steak tartare and frisée aux lardons. I'm a big fan of simple dishes that are seasoned and executed well. Both of these dishes are just that. Their variations on Benedicts are deliciously fun but my favorite dish is the hunter's waffle — a sort of duck à l'orange for breakfast. Sitting atop a waffle is glazed duck confit and perfectly poached eggs that are smothered with sauce maltaise. It's sweet and savory and makes me smile. And don't forget the everlasting rosé.
I'm Filipino/Hawaiian so it's not a coincidence that BabyStacks Cafe is one of my faves. Their mix of island-influenced fare and traditional breakfast faves is my kind of comfort food, especially after I've had a few too many drinks over at Hakkasan the night before. Spam, eggs and rice for me. Be sure to get the garlic rice, though, and a side of the brown gravy. BabyStacks is well known for their pancakes for good reason. They are insanely good. I do try as many different flavors as I can but my favorite continues to be the Red Velvet, so be sure to save room.
Why do you enjoy going there?
Although I am a creature of habit and more often than not, order the same dishes, each of these spots has such a vast variety of offerings. Probably why I enjoy each of them so much! Where you eat and what you eat should be an adventure and should be fun. I am absolutely an adventurous eater. So, while my mood does usually dictate where I'm heading that day, I do enjoy trying new, exciting and eclectic flavors and dishes.
Would you like to include any other information?
While BabyStacks typically ends up being my comfort food hangover spot, sometimes I'm just not ready to get out of bed before they close up for the day. On those rare occasions, I'm sadly sleeping my day away, my alternate hangover cure is the oxtail pho at District One. If you don't know, now you know.