It took some effort, but I rallied the team together to come to brunch with me on a Saturday morning in Downtown Las Vegas instead of our usual Friday night after work meal. We agreed on brunch at Park on Fremont at noon. Had it not been for my reminding everyone on Friday afternoon, I think no one would have showed, as all my co-workers turned to me and said, “Oh yeah, I forgot.” Miraculously, all but one person showed!
I’ll start off by mentioning that if you want a guaranteed seat for your party, especially if it’s a larger group, it’s recommended that you go to their website and make a reservation. It’s easy: It took me about one minute to request a table for a party of six, and type in my contact info. On the day of our brunch, they texted me one hour before our reservation to confirm.
Upon arrival, I and the one co-worker show up (on time), and we were seated promptly on the back patio and given water right away. The rest of the party joined, and we started with a round of delicious bloody marys.
Yes, that’s a whole pickled egg and bacon in the left one.
Decor and Impressions
Hands down, Park on Fremont is one of the most interestingly decorated and visually intriguing places I’ve seen in Downtown Las Vegas. Beautiful and warm wood floors and bar, complete with taxidermied animals and strange paintings hung in large, ornate frames. The back patio was an ideal place for brunch, as the weather was a perfect 75 degrees.
A variety of detailed china plates are mounted all over the back wall where a huge fireplace graces the crowd. In an “Alice in Wonderland”-like fashion, none of the chairs match, flowers and other flora grow wild, and there’s even a hidden teeter totter that you can find if you sneak through a small cove in the back wall. You also can’t miss the Cinderella carriage perched on the roof above you. We enjoyed sipping our bloody marys while taking in the magical sights.
First Bites and Service
While the brunch menu is small (only about five items), they do offer the full normal menu as well because we came after 12 p.m. I thought I would try my first Monte Cristo sandwich while my co-workers ordered the chicken and waffle sandwich, huevos rancheros and chilaquiles. My other, adventurous coworker who was set on getting day drunk only ordered a bottle of champagne and a side of orange juice. Our server was friendly and attentive; he checked on us a few times and always stayed on top of our water refills.
My Monte Cristo sandwich arrived and was quite underwhelmingly, a normal sized sandwich cut in four pieces. There was also a condiment sized cup with cantaloupe and one piece of pineapple. I ate the pineapple piece, and gave the rest to my gal pal co-worker, as I’m allergic to cantaloupe. The sandwich came standard with a side of syrup for dipping. I ate it. The end. While I quite enjoyed my bloody mary, I was so disappointed in the lackluster portion and presentation.
To survive in Las Vegas, every aspect of your restaurant should be unique and a little outrageous. If you can’t be unique—don’t overcharge. The only thing outrageous about this sandwich was the 11 dollar price tag. The run of the mill Monte Cristo was so boring I yawned my way through it.
Everyone else seemed fairly pleased, though my bro co-worker didn’t understand why his chilaquiles were deconstructed in thirds, with separate piles of eggs, nachos, and steak. My other co-worker reported his huevos rancheros dish tasted the same as anywhere else he has ordered them.
With tip and parking included, I spent 30 dollars on myself for one drink, and one sad sandwich. I’d be interested in trying something from their standard menu, perhaps the mac and cheese balls or the garbage fries, but I may go during happy hour when apps and drinks are half priced.
I can’t say enough about the decor and atmosphere. The patio is lovely and whimsical before, even when it’s hot out. If you go to Park on Fremont, I recommend sticking with well cocktails, a quick ride on the teeter totter and finding somewhere else for dinner down the street.
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