Shrimp cocktail has been a Las Vegas tradition at the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino since 1959. It can still be had for only 99¢ at the Shrimp Bar & Deli. Today, people also come far and wide for a taste of the classic Southern California diner, Du-par’s Restaurant and Bakery. For more than seven decades its been part of the LA coffee shop tradition, pleasing diners with fresh baked goods and famous breakfasts.
Du-par’s has taken over the space that was formerly the Bay City Diner. It might not have been a tradition celebrated by many, but it was a staple during my downtown adventures. I’ve had many graveyard specials and patty melts there over the years. I was pretty disappointed when I heard it was no more. I was unfamiliar with Du-par’s as a favorite American eatery so I did not await its arrival.
However, it has had tremendous success since last spring. I figured it was time to see what all the fuss has been about, especially in relation to Du-par’s pancakes which have been touted as “Best in America” by Esquire Magazine. My husband and I stopped by on a weeknight, as we walked up to be seated it was nice to see some things haven’t changed. By the looks of it, it was still the Bay City Diner, only with a shiny new display case filled with tempting pies. The mahogany counter and black and white checkered floors remained. As did the red leather booths and the photos of San Francisco that line the walls.
After being seated with a smile (glad to see that hadn’t changed either), we looked over the extensive menu boasting the freshest ingredients, fresh squeezed orange juice, hand-cut hash browns and freshly ground hamburger. I admit none of it mattered, I came for one thing and one thing only, the legendary pancakes. I had to taste the magic myself. A Short Stack ($5.50) would soon be on its way, along with a Cobb Salad ($11.95), which my husband ordered.
The plate-sized pancakes arrived fresh off the griddle. The buttery golden brown crust glistened, I was eager to dig in. The flavor was sweet with vanilla and the pancake was light with a spongy texture. They were indeed very good. I can’t say they’re the best of anything, but they are delicious. Watch out Original Pancake House! You have competition. The Cobb Salad was filling even for large appetites. It was fresh and a tasty blend of roasted turkey, bacon, tomato, avocado, bleu cheese crumbles and slices of hard-boiled egg.
Beyond the famous breakfasts, the menu offers diner favorites like blue plate specials, hearty soups and an array of comfort foods. I might not have anticipated the arrival of Du-par’s in Las Vegas, but it only took one bite of their famous pancakes to welcome this Southern California diner with open arms, and a big appetite.
Du-par’s Restaurant and Bakery is located at 1 Fremont Street, inside Golden Gate Hotel & Casino.