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December 30, 1999
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FOOD FOR THOUGHT: More Top Ten Bang for the Buck

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MORE TOP TEN BANG FOR THE BUCK

If you listened last week you know that I'm now on the bottom five of the second ten of the top twenty restaurants in Las Vegas. Get that? What I mean is we are down to the last of those places serving the best food at the best prices in town. I like to call it bang for the buck, which might come from only a few items on the menu, but which definitely makes each of these establishments worth a special trip.

What are not worth your time or money are the slew of mediocre Italian restaurants which never seem to go out of business no matter how bad they are. My pet theory is that you can throw anything on a noodle and Americans will eat it, but, rising waaay above this red sauce rabble is: (6) Mama Jo's on Durango. Chef John Muccico takes that usual American eye-talian fare to a new level with better ingredients and sharper flavors than any of us are used to. In the same vein (7) Lindo Michoacan gives gringos a full service taste of the real thing, but if you insist on eating your Mexican food while on the run, there's no better taco stand in town than (8) La Tacqueria on West Charleston. And, while you're there, cruise the parking lot and check out (9) Tinoco's Bistro, where Chef Enrique Tinoco puts his heart and soul into pasta and fish dishes that are stunning for their freshness, originality and price. Like Gabriel's in Green Valley, Tinoco's only handicap is its location. For my last selection, I'd like to play "Somewhere my love lies sleeping" with a male chorus (whoops, wrong gig) or Tim: John, remember we're talking about food, okay? Well, maybe my mind was wandering but as long as we're on the subject, for the liveliest and most musical bargain in town it's hard to beat the Marrakech on Paradise, for the price of an entrée in most hotels, you get a Middle Eastern feast, some great eye candy and treatment like the sultan of swing, it's hard to beat that, and hard to beat any of these places for price to value.

Happy new you and bon appetit.

This is John Curtas.

See discussion rules.

Archives

Nov 24, 2010 | Thanksgiving 2010 - Another Beanie Reveal
John Curtas delves into family history to discover the real story behind Grandma Schroader's Sour Beans.

Nov 19, 2009 | Valentino -- You don't know the truffles I've seen
According to Food Critic John Curtas, no other Italian restaurant in Las Vegas has performed at such a high level for so long.

Oct 1, 2009 | Blow It Up
In at least one part of town, our dining critic John Curtas says the food used to be a lot better.

Sep 25, 2009 | Social Media Meltdown
For our dining critic, John Curtas, social media has started to intrude on dining out.

Sep 2, 2009 | Discovering LOS ANTOJOS
Our dining critic John Curtas finds a new affordable favorite.

Aug 20, 2009 | Chinois R.I.P.
For John Curtas the recent closing of Wolfgang Puck's first Las Vegas restaurant brings back memories.

Aug 3, 2009 | Food, Inc.
John Curtas turns movie reviewer today - but the subject is in his usual area of expertise. Hear his review of "Food, Inc."

Jul 16, 2009 | The Steak That Saved Las Vegas
Dining critic John Curtas finds some steak aged for EIGHT MONTHS and he tells us how it tastes.

Jul 2, 2009 | Bang for Your Buck
Everyone's food budget is tighter these days. But if you still want to dine out now and then, our dining critic John Curtas has a few tips on restaurants now giving you more bang for your buck.

Jun 19, 2009 | Whassup with Wazuzu
Explore Dining Critic John Curtas' love/hate relationship with Wazuzu. If you want to spice up your dinner go for at least a "4 or 5."

Jun 12, 2009 | Two Farmer's Markets
Fresh, locally produced food has become a big trend across the U.S. Our food critic, John Curtas, says there's more of this trend in Las Vegas than you might think.

Jun 4, 2009 | MandM Soul Food
John Curtas tells us about one of his favorite dining spots - a surpsingly affordable one.

May 28, 2009 | Checkpoint Charlie
While fine dining has seen a downturn in Las Vegas in recent months, our dining critic John Curtas says at least one dining legend intends to stay put. Charlie Trotter is standing pat in Las Vegas. John Curtas reviews Resturant Charlie.

May 8, 2009 | Food Festival Frenzy!
It's a time of many food festivals in Las Vegas. John Curtas has an overview.

May 5, 2009 | Peppermill Coffee Shop and Fireside Lounge
A landmark Las Vegas restaurant gets a visit from John Curtas. He takes you to the Peppermill.

Apr 23, 2009 | Thai Me Up Thai Me Down
Thai cuisine is starting to show up in more places in Las Vegas. John Curtas has some recommendations

Apr 9, 2009 | A Gourmet Corner - In Spring Valley?
Food Critic John Curtas takes a trip to the strangest gourmet corner in town.

Apr 2, 2009 | Pip's is a Pip
If you're looking for good dining near Aliante, our dining critic, John Curtas, has found a new place to go.

Mar 26, 2009 | Stripped to Its Bare Essentials
Dining on steak at Planet Hollywood! John Curtas takes you along.

Mar 19, 2009 | Hachi is absolutely amazing!
John Curtas has a find - a Japanese-fusion restaurant on the west edge of the city.

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