Review: Secret Pizza at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, Las Vegas; The Nosh Show, Ep.76: Too Much Fiber; & SO MUCH TO CATCH UP ON
JFG NATION. Well, holy s*. I’m back. I have to admit: that was a scary five days there, people. I reached some dark moments where I thought, legitimately: WELP, I GUESS THAT’S IT. TIME TO TURN OFF THE LIGHTS FOR GOOD. Thankfully, my hate and refusal to let WordPress beat me kept the good ol JFG around.
There’s SO much to catch up on! The NHL and NBA playoffs have begun! Heck, the BASEBALL season has been around for about three weeks now. I STILL HAVEN’T SENT THE PRIZE TO THE JFG March Madness pool WINNER – Pam, I’m sorry. Been dealing with some fires over here. I’ll get it out to you this weekend!
Oh yeah, plus EPISODE 76 OF THE NOSH SHOW IS HERE!
For you new arrivals, The Nosh Show is a podcast started by Marvo from The Impulsive Buy, featuring Ryan from GrubGrade, Dubba from On Second Scoop, and, of course, me, your friendly neighborhood JFG. And today marks the release of The Nosh Show, Episode 76: Too Much Fiber!
This week, “we explore Baskin-Robbins’ upcoming Polar Pizzas, two future Chips Ahoy flavors, Fiber One Ice Cream, Ryan’s time spent at Baskin-Robbins’ headquarters, and much more.” You can listen embedded here:
After today’s post, THERE WILL BE NO POST UNTIL NEXT MONDAY. I’m going to use this time to make sure everything that I “fixed” is actually “fixed” so that I can hopefully avoid any more snafus in the future. Alrighty? Good. So…how’s everyone doing? Let me know in the comments below.
Today’s junk food: SECRET PIZZA!!!!
Hey, when you website comes back online, why NOT talk about a trip you took ALMOST A MONTH AGO???
This past March, during my annual pilgrimage to Vegas for March Madness, I knew that there was one food destination I HAD to hit: Secret Pizza. I’d seen it on the Food Network, I’d seen it on the Travel Channel, and my friend Jayme told me about it. So what’s the deal?
Basically, Secret Pizza is a NY-style pizza place hidden in the Cosmopolitan hotel. There’s not signs. There’s no directions. You just have to WILL your way there. THAT’S RIGHT. The Cosmopolitan, a place adorned with glowing purple chandeliers like the one above and gigantic faux shoes/heels the size of a person, HOUSES A THIN CRUST PIZZA JOINT. I had to find it.
But first, to work up an appetite. TO MARQUEE!!!!
Marquee Nightclub at the Cosmopolitan is the perfect place to (1) develop a drunken hunger for pizza, (2) waste precious dollars on sugary blue drinks, and (3) attempt to take photographs that will, IN NO WAY< depict what the club actually looks like. Observe:
OOOOH yeah. That’s a great “bad” photo. Is that a pool to the right? WHO KNOWS.
Yeah that’s a great angle of the DJ, right? Note: Lotta bros wearing untucked blue shirts at Marquee. I WAS WEARING A DARK GREY UNTUCKED SHIRT, THANK YOU.
Ok Ok…so Marquee was so-so. As I left Marquee with my friends, we traveled down this random back staircase which featured some pretty awesome graffiti. Like:
Such good advice. Next?
Awh, that’s romantic. Nice stack of laundry machine change, too.
Somewhat ominous, but I dig it.
As we stumbled out into this random carpeted lounge area, I looked around to grab my bearings when I SAW IT:
THE FAMED RECORD-LINED HALLWAY TO SECRET PIZZA!!!!
This was the only landmark I knew to look for to find this pizzeria. Again – I was a few drinks in at Marquee. I has cascaded down what essentially was some random fire stairs out of Marquee. And I spun around to find this random hallway like I was discovering Brigadoon. I wasn’t going to find this place again. I had to take my opportunity – I ditched my friends and ran down the hall to get in line.
The line to the front of Secret Pizza was only sort of long, and moved at a moderate pace. Every few minutes, another person would pass by heading back out the same hallway with their faces stuffed with pizza. There were all walks of life at this pizza joint – chicks in short skirts, dudes in MMA t-shirts, women with huge wedge heels, guys in oversized t-shirts…
…GAH AND THIS DUDE. At first I thought he was a statue BUT HE MOVED when his companion came out holding a pizza and they departed. Yeah, get out of here, creepy guy, you’re blocking my view of…uh…
…are those pinball machines?
WHY YES, they are. Look, I know they are trying to give this place an old-timey NY feel, but I GUARANTEE YOU that no one has ever played these machines. This is especially true because THEY WEREN’T EVEN PLUGGED IN. Waste of space, if you ask me.
Secret Pizza is a pretty simple place. As you round the corner, you see the open kitchen area, and when you turn to the right, there’s a counter:
And here is Secret Pizza’s menu:
$5 a slice!?!??! Holy S. This may be Vegas but could you at least buy me a slice of pizza before you screw me???? This pie better be worth it. Also, NO RANCH. That needed to be said.
Clearly the better play here is to get an entire pie. Two slices of pepperoni = $12.00. A whole pepperoni pie? $28.50.
So what did I do? Get two slices of pepperoni because apparently I just hate saving money.
Some more pics of the operation:
In most ways, Secret Pizza was like your average pizza parlor – pre-made pies laying out for reheating, dudes in white t-shirts making more pies as customers destroy the existing stock, large ovens, and lots of paper plates.
I placed my order and looked back on the line behind me. It was still looooong and growing. Phew, no bros in untucked blue shirts anywhere in sight. Good job, Secret Pizza.
My two slices of Secret Pizza finally came, and I burned the SH*T out of my hands grabbing on to the paper plates. Even with three plates stacked, I could feel the radiating heat from the slices. Well, at least I know the reheating process is LEGIT.
The cheese was perfectly melted and they used larger pepperoni which I enjoyed. I was kind of bummed that they stacked one slice on top of the other – would it have KILLED YOU to spare another paper plate, Cosmospolitan??? However, much to my surprise, when I lifted the slice up, it (1) did not stick, and (2) was not soggy. In fact, the bottom of the crust was still so crispy that the first bites still had a snap to them. OK, SECRET PIZZA. I’M PICKING UP WHAT YOU’RE PUTTING DOWN.
But how was the Secret Pizza itself? I’d put my overall rating at a solid ABOVE AVERAGE. See, I eat A LOT of pizza (see my Instagram) and whenever I go to NYC I make it a point to eat as much pizza as possible. So I have plenty to compare this to.
THE PROS: VERY GOOD crispy crust. Perfect snap down to the last bite. Crust could have used a bit more salt, but held up well to all toppings with NO flopping-tip factor. Structurally sound in every way. Plus, the pepperoni and cheese combo was LEGIT. Perfectly melted cheese, the kind that burns the roof of your mouth and creates a loooooong strip of cheese when bitten into and pulled. The pepperoni and cheese had a good saltiness to them that went a long way.
BUT THE CONS: THE SAUCE. Oh, Secret Pizza. That sauce needs more ZEST. It needs spice, it needs sweet, it needs herbs, it needs SOMETHING because I couldn’t taste it at all under the amazing cheese and pep. And when it comes to pizza, my big thing is the sauce – the sauce provides the foundational flavor, and the sauce was just …..ok.
So that’s how I felt about it. Perfect for post-clubbing – my mouth was so numb from sugary blue alcoholic drinks that I didn’t notice the cheese burns til the next day. The overall structure and most of the flavor of the pizza was exquisitely executed. But man, that sauce could’ve used more PUNCH. I’d eat these slices again, but if Secret Pizza can find its own secret sauce, it would take this pizza into the next stratosphere.
Until then…..eh, it’s still worth looking for if you’re in Vegas looking for a decent slice. Just look for that record-plated hallway.
PURCHASED AT: Secret Pizza, Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas
COST: $12.00…when in Vegas…