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Last Wednesday, the lovely wife and I decided to have one last lunch date before the school year began.  During the school year, school lunches are a humble affair.

Generally speaking, our lunches involve whatever leftovers we had the night before* stuffed unceremoniously into a ziplock bag, then placed into a used grocery bag.  We rush to school, jam our lunch into an overcrowded communal refrigerator where it waits with its equally humble lunches until we get to eat at 12:50.  At 12:50, the lunch is hastily plopped onto a styrofoam plate, and often eaten cold.

*Today we had leftover Costco tortellini, along with leftover salad, grapes, and bananas.  Tomorrow, however, is leftover Cuban sandwiches!  (Shameless plug for earlier blog post that involved dangerous cooking activities with students and COMMUNIST DICTATORS)

So with that in mind, we went to Echo and Rig last Wednesday to enjoy a more refined lunch before we set off with vigor into the new school year.

Echo and Rig is best described as a steakhouse and high-end butcher shop seamlessly combined in one.  It’s located in the Tivoli Village shopping center located at the corner of Rampart and Alta on the west side of town.

When you enter Echo and Rig, the hostess takes your name, as well as asks you if there is a reason you have chosen to dine with them that day.  As you go upstairs to their open, uncluttered dining area, she jots down your information, and hands it to a manager upstairs.  The manager greets you by name, seats you, and briefly talks to you about your reason for visiting that day.  It may seem forced, but I have found it pleasant each time I’ve visited.

The lovely wife and I decided to splurge and each ordered a small plate as an appetizer.  She ordered the Tomato, Cucumber, Watermelon and Red Onion Salad…the light, healthy, summery option.  I ordered the Grilled, Thick-Cut Bacon with BBQ Sauce.  After serving us some homemade bread made in-house, our appetizers arrived, and we were both very pleased.  The salad was a marvelous pairing of sweet, acidic, and bitter flavors with a hint of citrus.  The bacon was just the way I like it, crispy along the edges and chewy in the middle with the right amount of smoky and salty flavor, although I didn’t care for the BBQ sauce that much.

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We each ordered a sandwich, and after another helping of bread, the sandwiches arrived.  I had the Flat Iron Sandwich, while the lovely wife had a Grilled Cheese sandwich which had short ribs as a bonus.  The Flat Iron sandwich is as close as a steak sandwich can get to perfection.  Prime beef grilled to medium rare and sliced at an angle made for succulent red pieces of delicious beef.  What made the sandwich was the combination of toppings melded into the house made roll.  Spinach cooked to just past wilting was combined with peppers and a bright chimichurri (another favorite of mine).  It was fairly big as well, and considering you are eating prime beef, well worth the $13.  The lovely wife enjoyed her sandwich as well, though I can’t say that I tried it, as I was focused on the beautiful sandwich (and lunch companion…love you honey!…dodged a bullet there) in front of me.

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Flat Iron Sandwich

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Grilled Cheese

The service was outstanding with an attentive waiter who made sure our drinks were full, and our bread fresh.  The manager came to talk to us again, and our hour at Echo and Rig flew by.

I love Echo and Rig, and STRONGLY encourage you to try it out if you find yourself on the west side of Vegas.  They make you feel at home, do the little things exceptionally well (try the salt scrub in the restrooms), and serve some excellent food.  Finally, they take their meat seriously, and even had a display of a Weber grill in the front window.  All in all, my kind of place.

Alas, those days are behind us now, and we are left to bag our leftovers again day after day after day.  However, summer will come again, and Echo and Rig is just down the road to remind us of what summer tasted like.

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