Nevada Public Radio Listen Live

"Fresh Air"
Facebook Twitter Follow Nevada Public Radio

Support Nevada Public Radio
November 08, 2001
Podcasts

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Leo's Celebrity Deli

Listen

Leo’s Celebrity Deli

Judging a Jewish deli starts with the bagels—are they dense and doughy with a crust that fights back, or simply another form of round bread. Good fresh bialys are another bonus…a real test of the real deal in Jewish baking. Then I critique the cream cheese….is it light in texture and dense in taste? Anything resembling a Philadelphia brick brings immediate point deductions…next survey the salmon. Is it thinly and expertly sliced, with a flavor of salmoness not salt? And do the half-sour pickles and the slaw have tang and freshness….or are they straight from the shelves of smart and final?

The pastrami should be peppery and well trimmed of fat and the corned beef should make you weep. The brisket pride should be shown in the soups, starting to those pillowy meat dumplings called kreplach….

Others must haves are mighty soft matzohs and plenty of pictures of celebrities. Somehow I feel better devouring a whitefish platter with Joan Rivers (looking like she was photographed through a mayonnaise jar) staring down at me.

The celebrity deli has all of these things and more…including a much needed sprucing up and an owner who seems to finally care what his customers think of the place. The sign outside says under new management and they’re not kiddin’. Everything about the celebrity deli—now called Leo’s—is much improved over what it was, and only the over-dry brisket failed to meet my standards. Is it the best I’ve ever been in? Not in a long shot…for an east side deli lunch, Leo’s Celebrity is hard to beat.

And while we’re at it, did you hear the one about the bad Jewish restaurant? Not only was the food terrible…but the portions were really really small. (Cymbal Sound!)

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.

© 2014 NEVADA PUBLIC RADIO   
Web hosting facilities provided by Switch.