Plus-Size Vegas: The Peppermill

To celebrate/mourn the end of the summer, I did what any old-fashioned, hard-drinking American girl would do: hopped a flight to Vegas for a weekend of pool parties, 52-oz. margaritas, slot machines, and food exploration. I know it’s important to look hot in Vegas, and part of looking hot is not stuffing your face with so much buffet food that you get all bloated and oily. That’s why I took it relatively easy until the final day of our trip, when I said “screw it” and headed down to the old end of the Strip to try out a diner I had read about and was desperate to experience for myself: the Peppermill, where everything is larger than life.

The Peppermill is equally lauded for its immense portions of epically greasy diner food and its gloriously tacky atmosphere. Upon entering the Pep, the hostess will probably say something like “Okay, for three? ┬áIt’ll be about 20 minutes. But you’re welcome to wait in our lounge…?” Yes, yes, YES. You will wait in the magnificent Fireside Lounge!

It looks like Xanadu crashed into a jungle, and then disco balls covered the sky, then half of the wildlife in the jungle turned into flatscreen TVs that blare blurry 80s music video programming. How’s that for a mental picture? Can you imagine it? Well, here’s a taste:

Sorry to anyone who just had a seizure upon seeing that. Not pictured is a HUGE firepit in the middle of the room, hence the “Fireside” aspect. The lounge serves up all-you-can-eat honey roasted peanuts along with strong, large, and cheap (shockingly cheap for Vegas! $7-$9) drinks. Once sufficiently buzzed from your cocktail and thoroughly shell-shocked from experiencing this sensory overload, it’s time to wander into the dining area to choose your excessive meal.

There were many, many appealing options, including a ginormous slab of steak and eggs, but I had to take it one step further. Never one to back away from a disgusting/enticing dining challenge, I ordered the CONQUEST:

Two greased-up bricks of parmesan-sourdough bread, stuffed with roast beef, bacon, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, cheddar cheese (although I subbed swiss), and topped with an ocean of Thousand Island dressing. Woof. Since you’ll still be starving after this measly little sandwich, the Conquest is served with a mountain of huge, thickly-battered onion rings.

Try as I might, I did not conquer the Conquest. The end result?

The pile of onion rings doesn’t look that different than how it began. I ended up eating most of the meat from the inside of the sandwich (priorities, right?), but I just couldn’t make it to the finish line. After this extreme meal, we were headed to a place that would not judge – the slot machines of Fremont Street in old Vegas. I took my dessert to go: an extra large styrofoam mug of Bailey’s on ice for $8.

The Peppermill is miles away from a VIP appearance at the Palms, but more authentically Vegas – and in my opinion more fun – than almost any cutting-edge club. Please heed my advice though, and embark on this kitschy, amazing adventure at the tail end of your Vegas journey. Unless you like squeezing your bloated self into a bikini while sweating out Thousand Island dressing, in which case, come to the Peppermill and strike it rich.

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