Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Las Vegas #2 in Jessup

A new Salvadoran-Mexican place Las Vegas #2 has replaced the closed El Patio restaurant on U.S. 1 in Jessup.

The El Patio market is still open next door.  I should have confirmed that they're still selling the delicious takeout empanadas.  (Click here for all the El Patio posts.)  In the restaurant, the Argentine dishes have given way to a pretty basic menu running from Mexican tacos to Salvadoran pupusas to American taco salad and chicken tenders.

I want go back and try some of the more involved items like the shrimp ceviche, the yuca 
with refried pork, and the plantain empanadas dessert.  For my first trip, I tried tacos, which I thought were a yardstick to fairly measure a Mexican place.  I hope they aren't.  The beans and rice were actually quite good, but the basic tacos looked and tasted like dinner in suburban Virginia right after my family discovered flour tortillas and gave up Old El Paso taco shells.  A flour tortilla.  Some ground beef or chicken.  Shredded iceberg lettuce.  Diced supermarket tomatoes.  Shredded cheese from a bag.  That's still a fine dinner, but we could make that
at home 25 years ago.  

The tortillas tasted exactly like the ones that I buy at Bloom.  The best flavor on the table was the El Yucateco habanero sauce that I used liberally.  That was disappointing because real Mexican tacos are just north on U.S. 1 at the El Nayar restaurant or Pupuseria Lorenita's truck.

It's the rice and beans that give me hope -- mashed, refried black beans and light, flavorful rice.  As I wrote in a post about the best Mexican restaurants in Howard County, many local places serve bland side dishes.  Las Vegas clearly puts some talent and into theirs, and I hope that comes through in some of the other dishes.

Las Vegas #2 has a sister restaurant on Security Boulevard in Baltimore.  Can anyone recommend good dishes at either location?  I'm looking for a reason to go back.  I was even wondering if I got served "American" tacos because Las Vegas thinks that I would prefer flour tortillas and the American style.   (UPDATE: David P wrote below about the original Las Vegas and talks up the salsa and a shrimp dish.  Marianne complimented the pupusa and platanos.)

If you want Mexican food, your starting place should be Lily's Mexican Market in Columbia.  Or peruse the restaurants discussed in my post about Mexican food in Howard County, especially El Azteca in Clarksville and La Palapa in Ellicott City or Laurel.

If you visit Las Vegas, definitely check out the El Patio market next door -- if only to pick up the frozen empanada wrappers from Argentina.  Also check out my post about the great food options along U.S. 1 from Elkridge through Jessup.

Las Vegas Restaurant #2
7968 Washington Blvd (U.S. 1)
Jessup, MD 20794

NEAR:  Just south of Rte 175 on U.S. 1. It's on the east side about a block south of the intersection. Very convenient from I-95.

Las Vegas Restaurant #2 on Urbanspoon


David P said...

Las Vegas off of Security has very good beans and rice, as you describe. I love the table salsa (very fresh) and chips. The dish I usually get is the Camarones a la Diabolo (something like that) which is about a dozen broiled shrimp in a spicy tomato sauce with onions. I've had a number of friends eat there with me, and they all love it. I've not seen someone get the tacos, though.

-David P

Marianne said...

I ate there a couple of days ago, and got a pupusa and platanos. I loved the pupusa, and I even enjoyed the platanos. I usually don't like platanos, but I tend to use them as my barometer. If I like the platanos, chances are, I'll like the rest of the menu. I can't wait to go back.

Unknown said...

Although when we went there the waiter seemed a bit too friendly towards my girlfriend, we overlooked this and both enjoyed the food. I had never heard of pupusa before, so i tried it on a whim and it was really good. the tamales were also worth recommending. Good quick food on the cheap.

Anonymous said...

Went tonight to Las Vegas and they had live music! An entire band was playing Latin music. Had the fajitas, my wife the flautas. Excellent atmosphere. Good food.

Junior Barnes said...

Unlike many of the restaurants on Route 1, this one has access to a traffic light, so it's easy go both north-bound and south-bound.

The shrimp cervice was more like shrimp nachos (shrimp+salsa+nacho chips)

I had a pupusa for the first time. It was OK, but it was better with sour cream. :) I really liked the plantains here (I think they are some of the best around) and I liked the corn tamale.

Since it is convenient to me, and pretty good, I'll be back to try some of the other dishes.

Anonymous said...

The worst service I have ever seen.maybe if the waitress wrote the orders down she would get them right. Then to try and insult my intelligence and scrap stuff off that wasn't suppose be their instead of make a new order correctly was ridicules ...I ended up with no lunch and an attitude..no one even apologized ...this was my second time there...and after this incident I wouldn't recommend the one in jessup to a dog.