Fresh Las Vegas serves what might be the trifecta of beloved American foods?barbecue, burgers, and pizza. On the grill, smoke rolls over everything from brisket and slabs of baby back ribs to hot links and grilled chicken. Half-pound Angus patties are transformed into specialty burgers such as the Mexicali with avocado, fried jalapenos, and pepper jack cheese. In the kitchen, cooks build equally inventive pizzas, including, of course, a barbecue chicken pie with bacon and onions. Ordering cake pops for dessert gives you a reason to hang around after dinner, as does throwing your car keys onto the roof.
When Forest Mars Sr. was a boy, in 1911, he watched with rapt attention as his mother, Ethel, crafted gourmet chocolates in their kitchen. 70 years later, he honored her memory by making chocolates of his own in Henderson, Nevada, where today a small factory still whips up his mother's recipes alongside modern confections. Traditional candies mingle nuts, cr?me liqueurs, and caramels with dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and truffles. Handpicked pecans float amid chocolate and butter in Ethel M's signature brittles, and milk, dark, and sugar-free chocolate envelops bite-sized treats such as espresso beans, pretzels, and fruit. Ethel M Chocolates invites visitors to tour the factory, where chocolatiers prove sweets can be made without preservatives or the witchcraft of Keebler elves, before sending candies to seven Las Vegas?area shops.
Gleaning her baking skills from her mother and grandmother, Gigi's Cupcakes' eponymous owner and founder opened her first cupcake hub in 2008, drawing upon her entrepreneurial spirit and gift for crafting beautifully topped cupcakes. The franchised cupcakery now has 80 locations, each of which churns out flavors that rotate daily and are made fresh every morning. The shop's selection of more than 30 flavors includes wedding cake, Scarlett’s red velvet, and Miss Princess. Patrons can pick out sweet treats from the daily selection or preorder them at least one day in advance online, by phone, or via singing telegram.
Sno-Ball Mania founders Sharon and Erik fell in love around a Vegas blackjack table. When the couple eventually settled in Nevada, Erik missed the unique shaved-ice "snowballs" of his native Baltimore, and the pair began drizzling scoops with marshmallow—a Baltimore tradition—in 2012. Today, Sno-Balls in more than 100 flavors, such as tangerine, red-velvet cake, and even dill sweet pickle, join other frozen confections at their Henderson shop, such as scoops of strawberry ice cream and milkshakes in scores of flavor combinations.
Pineapple Park sounds like some forgotten corner of the Candyland universe, which it easily could be. Here, people nosh on dreamy Dole Whips?a treat that might look familiar from area amusement parks?a soft-serve alternative infused with fresh fruit. The vegan, fat-free, cholesterol-free concoction is served in seven flavors, including pineapple, strawberry and chocolate, in everything from a classic waffle cone to a cored pineapple. As with traditional sundaes, you can add a wide array of toppings, from fresh strawberries to caramel syrup to a pour-over of fruit juice, and choose to obey social norms by eating them with a spoon.
In 1988, Auntie Anne's founders Anne and Jonas Beiler purchased a Pennsylvania farmers'-market stand, where they experimented with dough until they created a pretzel that seemed to strike the perfect chord with their customers. Today, at their more than 1,150 locations worldwide, the pretzel makers still hand roll the original recipe but have added to the menu with inventive options, such as the pepperoni pretzel and eight signature dipping sauces. The team constantly explores new uses for the pretzel dough, such as wrapping it around hot dogs, slicing it into bite-size nuggets, or using it to build historically accurate Austrian villages. To transform the snack into a meal, they accompany it with specialty drinks, including frozen-lemonade desserts.
When not twisting dough, Auntie Anne's team partners with the national charitable organization Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which raises funds to fight childhood cancer. Auntie Anne's also reaches out to the community through fundraising opportunities.