With colorful cartoon depictions of fresh produce painted across wood planks, multiple flavors of ketchup on each table and an obvious focus on healthy alternatives to favorite foods, SkinnyFats seems like it should be the latest restaurant to spark the Downtown dining scene. Its friendly hipness would fit nicely into the Ogden’s first floor or maybe set on one of the Arts District’s burgeoning corners.
But it’s not Downtown. It’s off Dean Martin, a frontage road on the west side of I-15, plopped into an industrial-office center just south of the Crazy Horse III gentleman’s club, an odd location for a restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. I couldn’t help but think: Who would eat here? And yet the months-old modern diner was absolutely packed at lunchtime on a Saturday and more than half-full for breakfast on a Friday. The moral of the story? There’s cool and interesting stuff happening all around Las Vegas, not just Downtown.
The name SkinnyFats represents the menu, which is halved into “happy” and “healthy” sides. You can choose between indulging in something you might feel guilty about later, like the Chipper Morning breakfast sandwich ($8.50) with eggs, bacon, cheddar, tomatoes, avocado and spicy mayo, or opt for a lighter version of the same dish. In this case, that’d be the Fresh Morning ($8), with egg whites, sautéed spinach, turkey bacon, tomatoes and agave ketchup on a multigrain roll.
It sounds like a good plan, even if, in some cases, the healthy stuff is (expectedly) bland. The turkey bacon, and in fact everything on that Fresh Morning sandwich, tastes of nothing. Gluten-free pizzas are also a bit boring to the tongue, but there are delicious dishes to discover on the healthy side. Slow Boat to China ($6.25) is a pile of lovely chicken salad and ginger-carrot slaw served in a cucumber canoe, dressed in sriracha aioli. It’s great. The veggie version of a cheese-steak, Shroomin’ in Philly ($10.50), is tasty, too, thanks to grilled Portobello mushrooms and feta cheese. Cold-pressed juices are offered as a substitute for shakes and ice cream floats.
The happy side is plenty happy. The Drunken Monkey Cakes ($7.50) look like breakfast from Candyland, loaded with rum-glazed bananas, maple syrup, marshmallows and chocolate chips and served with a side of bacon—real bacon. There’s another cucumber canoe, this time filled with spicy tuna, a tossed-together Cobb salad, and a teriyaki steak fried rice bowl with vegetables and sweet sauce. The Burger Benedict ($10.50) is legit, a half-pound of beef with the regular stuff plus avocado and a fried egg. And even better is the Chix on Broadway ($9.50), a brioche roll hugging a fried chicken breast, cheese, shredded lettuce, bacon, tomato and a lemon-y mayo sauce.
SkinnyFats is casual and easy. Its food is affordable and made with care from quality ingredients, and it’d be a welcome addition to any neighborhood, hip or otherwise.
SkinnyFats 6261 Dean Martin Drive, 979-9797. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.