Man Candy – Applewood Smoked Bacon cooked in Candy Glaze, Jim Bean Maple Reduction
Roasted Garlic Bacon Buns – Roasted Garlic, Chopped Bacon, Mozzarella, Red Sauce
Porky Pile – Pulled Pork, Bacon, Roasted Pork Loin, Alabama White Sauce, Tangy Coleslaw, Cheddar, Brioche Bun served with Seasoned Fries
The B&B Pie – White Garlic Sauce, Three Different Bacons, Lemon Dressed Arugula, Roma Tomato
Bacon Beignets – New Orleans Style with Crispy Bacon, Powdered Sugar, Bacon Maple Dipping Sauce
Apple Crunch – Creamy Cheesecake, Sweet Stewed Apples, Crispy Bacon Crumb Cake, Whipped Cream, Ice Cream, Caramel
Previously titled Kerry’s Sports Pub but re-christened “Bacon Bar” after a visit from the television program Bar Rescue in 2013 it was always as sort of a novelty that many locals looked at the 24/7 spot at 3520 North Rancho Drive, former Yardbird Chef Melvin Johnson having recently departed for New York after a remarkably short stay and the Restaurant still, apparently, struggling to make ends meet when an odd twist of fate saw them connected with Christopher Palmeri of Naked City Pizza fame.
Self-applying the term ‘Gastropub,’ though by most standards a Sports Bar not unlike many others in town, the forty-four Beers on tap and 90+ Bottles definitely a focus in addition to the gaming area, televisions and porky décor, it was just past 6:00pm on a Thursday that two friends with no interest in drinking entered the space to a warm welcome from one of two bartenders, the 21+ signage universally predicting a scent of cigarettes that was thankfully short lived thanks to the smoke-free dining area in back.
No doubt a unique situation, the ultra-competitive Las Vegas marketplace quick to claim the dreams of many would-be restaurateurs regardless of skill and the recent shutter of Naked City Tavern due to investor issues a particularly painful loss given its aspirations, it was with Chef Palmeri quickly identified as he was training kitchen staff that pleasantries were exchanged, the ever busy man explaining his consulting role and goals to improve everything by way of simplifying the menu in a “less is more, but better” way.
Less than 1/8 full on a Saturday during a slow part of the sports calendar, national exposure and a theme built on one of America’s favorite indulgences still not enough to hold attention in ever-changing Sin City when the menu is a slipshod arrangement of four different types of bagged Fries, store-bought Pizza Dough and omnipresent Bar Snacks, it was at Palmeri’s discretion that the party of two allowed him to chart the night’s course, a Bacon Bar standby of “Man Candy” placing Applewood Bacon inside a sugary Crust alongside Maple-Whisky Sauce with a little spice, Naked City’s Dough offered next in a puffy spiral surrounding more crisp Pig with a liberal bit of roasted Garlic, Mozzarella and a sidecar of Marinara making for some very good Garlic Knots.
Having always shown a good hand with Sandwiches, the South Buffalo Breakfast and Hot Mama offered as brunch Specials at Naked City Pizza on Paradise without doubt two of the best reasons for tourists to venture off-Strip early on a weekend, Bacon Bar sees Palmeri going Hog wild with the “Porky Pile,” a fork-and-knife event comprised of Pulled Pork, Bacon, and roasted Loin with zippy Sauce and Slaw beneath Cheddar, juices pouring forth with each bite onto hand-cut fries while three types of Pork also find their way onto one of Naked City’s Square Pies with a familiar pillowy Crust plus Garlic, sliced Tomatoes and Arugula tossed in Citrus.
Not yet laying hands on the Dessert Menu, Chef Palmeri at this point taking his leave en route for Paradise and reminding anyone who ever considered such a thing of the rigors of being a Chef with more than one location, it was with the listed Bread Pudding unavailable that the decision was instead made to invest in an oversized “Apple Crunch” and unfortunately overcooked Beignets topped in crumbled Bacon and Powdered Sugar, the former just $7.95 for the sort of decadence best shared by more than two people as Bacon-laced Streusel is baked atop a creamy Cheesecake with stewed Apples, Whipped Cream, slowly-melting Ice Cream and Caramel.
THREE AND A HALF STARS: Allowing Chef Palmeri to take the reins of a floundering concept may just be the smartest move Bacon Bar has made since it switched over from Kerry’s Sports Pub, the menu still a work in progress but already selling items like the Bacon Candle and those listed above plus several Naked City Favorites such as the Guinea Pie and Suicide Fries.
RECOMMENDED: Roasted Garlic Bacon Buns, The B&B Pie, Apple Crunch.
AVOID: Whether a matter of over-working or over-frying the Dough our Bacon Beignets were too heavy and crisp to warrant comparison to those in New Orleans.
TIP: Amongst further menu additions Chris Palmeri has also teamed with food delivery services like UberEats to help bring Naked City Pizza to yet another neighborhood, something folks up North should definitely be happy about both now and come football season.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.