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 readers to these potential discoveries, Eater Vegas enlisted some of the city’s food players to share their recommendations for a feature dubbed Dining Confidential.
Flour & Barley executive chef John Alers serves brick oven pizza and pastas at the Linq Promenade. Back in 2017, his gluten-free pizza dough won “Best Gluten-Free Pizza” at the 2017 USA Caputo Cup. Alers joined Flour in Barley in 2015 after working as the executive sous chef of Holsteins Shakes and Buns at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Before that, he was chef de cuisine at The Blind Pig. Previously, he worked as sous chef for Aliante Casino and as lead cook for Golden Gaming. Here he shares some of his favorite places to dine in Las Vegas.
Do you remember your first trip to Vegas? What happened that was memorable?
I remember coming to Las Vegas when I was kid to spend time with my aunts, uncles, and cousins. It was something that I looked forward every summer vacation. I would typically spend two weeks to a month out here. I would spend time with my aunt going to baseball camps and touring what the city had to offer in buffets, little hole in the wall restaurants, and other tasty spots with my uncle.
What made you decide to move to Las Vegas?
Moving to Las Vegas was not a hard decision for me since most of my family was already living here. Also, I knew that this was the perfect way for me to start my culinary career.
Where do you like to eat breakfast in Las Vegas?
I’m usually up early so I can get in the kitchen, but I don’t really eat breakfast often. However, when I am in the mood to eat I enjoy going to BabyStacks Café. If you go to BabyStacks, you can’t go wrong with Lolo Rick’s adobo fried rice wrapped in eggs. I always order a side of Portuguese sausage too. It’s a meal in itself and keeps me full for hours.
What about lunch?
Tacos are the best lunch! My go to is Taco y Taco, where I always get the carnitas tacos and a Vampiro with crispy tripe. Another one of my favorites is Carnitas y Tortas Ahogadas Guadalajara for their birria and carnitas tacos on hand-made tortillas.
If you’re going out for dinner, which restaurants do you like to frequent? What makes them special? Any dishes you can recommend?
There are a few on this list. Fiesta Filipina for the Crispy Pata and Lechon, Island Flavor for the Sweet and Sour Pork Plate, and Fatboy for the Pastrami Burger.
Where do you like to dine for a special occasion?
Fogo de Chao would be my special occasion spot. I always have to get the chicken hearts and the beef short rib when I go. The leg of lamb is good so that usually is on my plate as well.
Are there any brunches in town you like to frequent?
I am not really a brunch person, but when I do I really enjoy Honey Salt. The monkey bread or Honey Salt Benedict are great.
Let’s say you want to hang out with your friends after work. Where do you like to go?
I find myself at Hi Scores Bar-Arcade enjoying the great beer selection and good company after a long shift. If I do end up getting hungry I make sure I have room for the corned beef sandwich.
• All Dining Confidentials [ELV]
• All Coverage of Flour & Barley [ELV]