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Vegas Eats: The Circus Sub at Westside Deli at Circus Circus

By Chuckmonster on Wednesday, 5th August 2015 2:53pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 8


You know your night has gone pear-shaped when "walking to Circus Circus to get something to eat" transitions from punchline to reality.

There I am on a solitary quest from SLS' fished out fooderies in search of something, anything to eat. I kick the can past the All Net Arena as wind whips across the parcel, whistling through plastic shopping bags caught in a construction fence. A few steps away lights from inside the halted Fontainebleau outline the shadow of a security officer dozing off in a golf cart. Nearing my destination, the sound of a man arguing into a paper bag slowly gives way to clicks, blinks and buzzes of the Circus Circus marquee. Light washes over the reflective asphalt, illuminating a cabbies yawn, a tourists confusion and desolation, windswept and electric.

But when the lights are turning 'round
And wheels are rolling on the ground
That day I'll burn this whole place down
When the circus comes to town"
- 'When The Circus Comes' - Los Lobos

Lightly seared by the bulbtacular porte cochere and remembering a cinematic ether binge, me and my appetite enter. Only one of us will leave.

By now, you're probably asking the same question I asked myself - "why?" The answer: I ate the food at SLS.

I guess my problems started when I made the snap decision to join MikeE, JohnH and Mike's friend (yeah that guy ) for a night of dancing and drinking at the most popular night club in the universe - XS. As fate would have it, my Blues Brothers t-shirt didn't pass the velvet rope muster. The guys and their fancy collared shirts go in the club. Me, Jake and Elwood head to Self Park and head back to SLS with an empty dance card and the hankering to chow. A loaf of white toast, dry? Four fried chickens and a coke? Forget it. The pickins in the dining dept at SLS are slim this time of night.

Back to pear shaped reality.

The nasty cafe? Closed. Buffet? No. Vince Neil flavored tacos? Eww. Steakhouse? "Closed for cleaning." Krispy Kreme...? Krispy Kreeeeeme? Donuts for dinner? (bats eyes) I filed it away as a last resort and kept moving, peeping at all the vintage Circus Circus decor, which I presume is from the Jay Sarno era. Eureka! I found it! Tucked way back in the furthest and most airport looking corner of the property - The Westside Deli.

Circus Westside Deli Tables

I head over, a dozen and a half tables loosely organized in a corner of the casino that surrounds a deli case full of salads, soft drinks and an assortment of beers. This isn't a casino cafe... it is a step below - the casino snack bar. You never know what you'll find at the casino snack bar. Golden Nugget used to have a great one that deep fried hot dogs. The one at Fremont serves Spam Musubi and is also donut shop adjacent. MMMMmmmmm.

Circus Westside Line

They've also got pastries, muffins, parfaits and serve coffee drinks... an all purpose snackery.

Circus Westside Pastries

There are four people in front of me on line and three employees working. The math bodes well for expedient service, or so I thought.

Circus Westside Fancy Stuff

I can see by the finely placed cans of vintage olive oil that this place is faaaancy.

Circus Westside Salads

The guy who is first in line is taking foooooorrrrrrrrevvvvvvvverrrrrrr. He can't decide between the Tomato Soup or the Clam Chowder. The cashier seems happy to prolong the agony, discussing the soups, mixing the soups, halting the ordering process altogether to restock utensils, talk about schedule with co-workers... the usual "don't give a shit" employee nonsense. Dude #1 finally decides on the tomato soup and a sandwich. The gal behind him also takes forever with the soups, asking the spoonerer to avoid certain ingredients. Meanwhile the two elderly Chinese-speaking women in front of me have been studying the soup offerings from afar. After much debate between them (my wait time to order was 15 minutes) they decide on the tomato soup, only to be told "there is no more soup right now, but the chef is in the back opening up another box of it."

Who knew that steam table soup was so popular at 1am on a Tuesday?

The women go through the same tomato soup rigamarole as the others... agonizingly inspecting the dregs of the tomato soup and the maligned Clam Chowder for a good 5 minutes before ordering two cups of tea to drink while they wait for a new box of soup to arrive.

A quick scan of the menu revealed "The Circus Sub" - a marquee, signature item named after the property itself. Of course, I am going to order it. I don't even need to know what is in it. It could be made up of ground up clown with a side order of corn and I will eat it. Why don't more properties name signature dishes after themselves? The Elaine Wynn Salad was a revelation!


I am at the front of the line. "Thank you for being patient, sir, what can we get you." "I'll make this easy. I want a Circus Sub, a side of potato salad and this Budweiser beer." KLONK. "You don't want chips?" "No, I want potato salad." "OK." She takes my money and gives me a receipt "They'll call you when your food is ready." She went back to having a conversation with her co-worker who was restocking the condiments.

A few minutes later, the guy in a chef hat says "your food is ready" with a hint of apology in his voice. And here it is... The Circus Sub signature submarine sandwich from the Westside Deli at Circus Circus.

Circus Westside Deli Plate

Crusty fluffy Italian bread bulging with deli meat, cheese and vegetables.

Circus Westside Circus Sub

There is some turkey, roast beef, ham, a slice each of American and Swiss cheeses, lettuce, tomato and chopped red onion served on a fluffy yet crispy grinder roll. I coated the inside with healthy smear of mayo and mustard and set about to demolish it, which I did. It was a simple, delicious no-frills sandwich. The potato salad was typical industrial style potato salad... sweet and creamy. The beer was Budweiser.

Circus Westside Deli Check

Late night sandwich night cap with one beer for one came to $14.85 plus a 12 minute walk from SLS.

Tagged: vegas eats   westside deli   circus circus   jay sarno   sls   dining   deli   snack bar   


Comments & Discussion:

You know, I was expecting a lot worse. The meat looks like actual real deli meat and not smoothed-over overly processed Oscar Meyer lunch meat like I would have expected.

Truthfully if you put that sandwich pic, sans styrofoam and budweiser, in a review of a five star property cafe it wouldn't have stuck out.

Also for some reason I love these types of reviews even more than I do the gourmet ones. They feel more Vegas, where nothing ever really goes the way you think it will and you make do with your available options.

This fine piece MAY have ruined a lovely Los Lobos song for me, by associating it with clowns and odors.

Who really doesn't know if they want tomato soup or clam chowder? (On second thought: is there such a thing as Clamato soup?)

I could go for that right now - yum!

I appreciate a decent, well-made sandwich with a side of passable deli salad. Sounds like this is exactly that! Also, I totally agree with HankTheDwarf...more "no snark" reviews of not fancy, not celebrity chef owned restaurants here on VT could be really fun!

That's actually a really nice looking sandwich. The rest of the pre maid items look good too.
I would happily eat this and this is coming from a Vegas snob.

Also, while I'm stoned and have no filter, try going to Subway and asking for that amount of meat and cheese and you'll get a $12 sub w/ cheap ingredients. Not bad, clown house.

The sandwich looks good but i haven't set foot inside Circus Circus since I was in high school in the 70's and am not going to break that streak.

I see the wolf survived.

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