Out in Vegas for a buddy’s 30th (yes, he is that old), we had a bit of a group birthday to celebrate. Ordinarily, this might be cause for someone to expect to drop much more money than they want to. But he chose a place called the Sugar Factory in the Paris and a quick look at the menu revealed something quite reasonable, especially by Vegas standards.
Connected to a candy shop, both sweets and their bar serve as a good waiting area before getting seated. In fact, you can combine the two, as the Sugar Factory has a bunch of sharkbowl-esque drinks, with one even filled with shark gummies. But enough about the sweets and the awesome race we had on each side of the table to see who could finish their massive goblet first. That matters little to an unvegan.
As I perused the menu, I immediately found myself staring at the Pizza Burger ($16). This thing contained mozzarella, provolone, pepperoni and a marinara sauce. It also came with fries. So not only was it perfect for an unvegan, but it was also the first time I had ever seen pizza ingredients offered on a burger like this. I hoped that it would be half as mind-blowing as the pizza nachos I discovered in Michigan last summer. But I wasn’t content with just that and teed up my burger with an order of their Fried Macaroni & Cheese Pops. This mac and cheese was battered, rolled into a ball, deep fried and plopped in some creamy tomato-herb sauce.
They came served like an upside-down lollipop with a stick through and already chilling in the sauce. They looked delicious, but made me realize this was one of the only dishes on the regular savory menu that paid some sort of homage to the name of the restaurant. No, they weren’t sugary, but they were kind of like lollipops. It was a little disappointing, as it would have been awesome to see what kind of culinary creations they could have come up with to mix sweet with savory. Like a burger with a sweet sauce or pizza with chocolate chips tossed on for good measure (yes, they have dessert pizza, but I’m thinking outside the box here). But I digress, the mac and cheese pops were quite delicious and the sauce they were in did a great job of keeping them from drying out and giving the mouth more than one simple flavor.
As for the burger, it was surprisingly huge and must have weighed in at at least half a pound. With the toppings it was probably more. I had realized too late that the waitress didn’t ask me how I wanted it cooked, so when I dug in, I crossed my fingers in the hopes that it had been cooked medium rare. Unfortunately, it was on the darker end of medium. Yet, I would not let this get to me, I still had pizza on top of a burger. I loved the use of two cheeses and was quite happy with the marinara. After all, going from ketchup to marinara isn’t exactly a big jump. At this point, it was pretty much a cheeseburger with a tweak, but the pepperoni was an awesome touch. And these weren’t your boring evenly sliced pepperonis, they were thick, uneven and seemed like they had been chopped from a pepperoni log in the kitchen rather than some factory. Oh and there was the bun, which was a bit too spongy, but may have been a good juice absorber had the burger been cooked a bit less. I don’t know though, so I can’t exactly give it a grade based on potential.
Finally, the fries were pretty good, but really nothing amazing. Again, it would have been sweet (pun intended) to see them do something sugary with the fries. They are really sitting on some golden opportunities here.
So as Vegas goes, the Sugar Factory is really a great choice. It’s reasonable, somewhat creative and has pretty good food. The burger wasn’t amazing, but I definitely enjoyed it. And maybe if it had spent a little less time cooking, it could have found its way near the top of my burger list. If only.