Sahara Las Vegas’s Chickie’s & Pete’s has all the food from the sports bar, then some
Historically, our casinos have not needed the prototypical sports bar. If you were watching a game on the Strip you are probably betting on it, so the bookie and his hot dog cart or deli counter would do. If you’re a local, you’d be at your favorite tavern down the street watching the football team you were rooted for before you moved to Vegas.
Things change. Even before Vegas had its own major league teams, the Strip had become a sports mecca that needed bigger and better books and different types of places providing food and drink to fuel the fun. Now, the majority of mega-resorts offer at least one sports bar; it appears to have replaced the old 24 hour cafe in the casino wallet plan.
That doesn’t mean locals are leaving their pubs and heading to the Strip to watch the Golden Knights and Raiders on TV. But we could. And if you want to give it a try, you might not find a better place than Chickie’s & Pete’s, the recently opened Philadelphia transplant in the Sahara.
First of all, the renovated Sahara is easily accessible and has free parking. Second, the sports bar space is completely unrecognizable from the old-fashioned hamburger restaurant with an unremarkable design. It now has an open and vibrant atmosphere, with plenty of bar seating and large, comfortable cabins. In addition, you can bet from inside the restaurant.
Most importantly, the menu hits hard with every favorite bar fare imaginable and adds iconic seafood offerings to the mix. Onion rings, nachos, wings, burgers, pizzas, Buffalo Chicken or Chicken Parm sandwiches, all are well represented here. If it’s hard to choose, you haven’t brought enough friends for this watch party.
‘World Famous’ Crab Fries ($ 9) are excellent wavy cuts with Old Bay seasoning and premium cheese sauce for dipping. You can get them with crabmeat, cheese and aioli ($ 25) or with lobster in butter ($ 29), but the more basic are quite addicting, so be careful.
For a Philly joint, Chickie’s & Pete’s cheesesteak ($ 17) is a bit pedestrianized, but if you’re wild you can get one with lobster on top ($ 27). Thin-crust crispy pizzas are also topped with seafood, like Lisa’s Blonde Lobster Pie ($ 39), a great centerpiece for your table.
The selection of sandwiches is endless, from roast pork ($ 15) to hot or chilled lobster rolls ($ 29). The Ultimate Tailgate Burger ($ 27) lays a crabcake on top of a thick beef patty with melting American cheese, and it works. And the huge selection of rotating beers offers a full array of flavors as well, including some of favorite local beers like Bad Beat’s A Gose Has No Name, Banger Brewing’s Morning Joe, and German pilsner Able Baker’s Excited State.
At Chickie’s & Pete’s, there are plenty of ways you can do this, but one of the best is to share an order of fries and the Crabfeast, a market-priced treat that includes a two-pound Dungeness crab, a pound of crab legs. Snow and three East Coast Blue Claw Crabs. It’s the bar dining experience that made this place famous, and it’s just as delicious next to a game of hockey or football in Las Vegas.
CHICKIE’S & PETE’S Sahara, 702-761-8070. Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 11 am-11pm; Saturday, 10:30 am to 11:00 pm; Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
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