Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Not Such a Hidden Secret in Vegas

Secret Pizza
3708 South Las Vegas Blvd. 
Las Vegas, NV 89109

So my trip to Vegas was kind of a bummer. Of course, I had no luck gambling, but I pretty much knew that was going to be the case even before getting on the plane. There were a string of other mishaps as well. I had left my drivers license at the Monte Carlo when we were checking in, I forgot my camera when we stopped to play some slot machines at the Cosmopolitan, and when I went back for it security had it, but they wouldn't release it to me because I did not have my ID. Running late for the hockey game we were in town for, I knew I'd have to make a return trip to the Cosmo to retrieve my camera after the game. So I turned this unfortunate set of events into an opportunity to try a spot I had heard so much about, Secret Pizza.

Secret Pizza is not really too much of a secret anymore. They are the fifth most reviewed restaurant in all of Las Vegas closing in on 4,000 Yelp reviews and a very respectable 4-star rating. When they opened back in 2010 half the fun of this restaurant was trying to find it. There's no sign, there's no mention of it in any directory at the Cosmopolitan, and their website does not even mention it. You pretty much had to know where to look, or just happen to stumble upon it.

Now that they've been open for seven-plus years now, I don't feel bad about letting you know where Secret Pizza is located. When you're at the shops at the Cosmo, take the escalator to the third floor. Once you are there you will be facing Jaleo, which is the tapas restaurant run by Jose Andres. Go to the left and you will see the long hallway in the picture above with album covers adorning the walls and ceiling.  Walk down this hallway and you are there.

Katie and I got here at just before 11 pm on a Tuesday night, and there was a very steady stream of customers. The line moved along at a decent clip. Many people have said it and it's true, this is reminiscent of a New York pizza joint. The pizzas are already made behind the glass and just waiting to be heated up. There's a guy that is making other pizzas to replenish the ones that are being sold. There's also very limited seating here. They have about 5 seats and a very small counter space for people that want to eat standing up.

The menu is also pretty compact. They offer pizza by the slice, or you can order a whole pizza. There are two kinds of pizza here, traditional thin crust and the heftier Sicilian style. So we did not have to wait we selected the pizzas that were ready to be heated up and got our slices in less than three minutes. Since there was no seating, we made our way back down the hallway and sat out front on the comfy couch. Let's see if Secret Pizza is worth all this hype.

Thin crust is synonymous with New York style pizza and that's what Katie tried here for our little late night snack. This Slice ($5.50) was not as big as the ones you can get in the Big Apple, but it turned out to be a pretty tasty slice. There was just the right amount of cheese, but a few extra pieces of sausage would have been appreciated. The sauce here was okay, but it needed to pop more with flavor, it was kind of boring. I was pretty impressed with the lack of grease that came off of this slice. Good quality cheese I guess.

I was intrigued by the Sicilian Slice ($8) that I spied behind the glass. This square slice had both sausage and pepperoni nestled on top of it, with a good amount of cheese. The crust on this one was, of course, thicker, but did a good job of maintaining its integrity. It was not too doughy like a lot of Sicilian pizza crusts tend to be. Some extra toppings added to this would have made this even better, and the sausage came off all in one bite. Still good though.

Secret Pizza was a pretty good find, once you discover where it is. I'm not going to kid you and tell you this is better than any pizza I have had in NYC, but I'd say it is one of the best ones I have had on the Strip in Vegas, not that pizza is all too common in too many of the casinos. The prices are a little out of whack here, but it's Vegas, so bargains are hard to come by. I wouldn't splurge and pay $8 for a Sicilian slice again, but if I was at the Cosmo and wanted a snack, I'd definitely come back to Secret Pizza. With all of the minor hiccups I had on this trip, along with a loss by my beloved Ducks at the hands of the Vegas Knights, Secret Pizza was a definite bright spot on this short trip to the desert. 

Out of five magazines, (because even though this hotel has been around for 7 years, when I hear the name Cosmo it still brings to mind the magazine first), five being best to zero being worst, Secret Pizza gets 3 magazines.

Of course, there is not a website for this place so you can get plenty of information about Secret Pizza by visiting their Yelp page here: https://www.yelp.com/biz/secret-pizza-las-vegas

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