A new sandwich shop has opened at the off-Strip Ellis Island, Via Focaccia, so we had to check it out.
On our LinkedIn page, under “Job Description,” we put “We check out Las Vegas things.” Along with, “We make 69 jokes.” But mostly we check things out for you. You’re welcome.
Anyhoo, we are pleased and relieved to report the sandwiches at Via Focaccia are excellent.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the sandwiches at Via Focaccia all feature focaccia. It’s right there in the name of the place. Admit it, you went to public school, didn’t you?
Via Focaccia opened on Oct. 20, 2021, replacing Julio’s Taco restaurant, just off the casino floor. Actually, it’s not exactly off the casino floor, it’s pretty much on the casino floor. There are some tables and chairs for Via Focaccia customers nearby.
The Via Focaccia menu is as petite as the venue itself.
Beyond the seven kinds of sandwiches, there are two salads, as well as Arancini Siciliani (fried pasta balls) and Patate Alla Romana (French fries).
The menu also has doughnuts and pastries from Carl’s Donuts for some reason.
That’s about it, other than a few beverages. (It’s worth noting a soft drink is just $2. No price gouging allowed at Ellis Island.)
All the sandwiches are in the $10-12 range, and the ingredients are fresh and flavorful. Nothing fancy in the presentation, just a solid sandwich for those anxious to get back to their favorite slot machine.
The sandwiches come from Sicilian Chef Ismaele Romano, formerly of downtown’s Good Pie and Eataly at Park MGM. Dude nails it.
The fries were really good, as they’re tossed in rosemary, garlic and parmesan, but we really wish we’d been able to get our hands on some ketchup. Not available, but we trust Via Focaccia will get some as more customers with the drunchies request it.
The biggest surprise at Via Focaccia is the Arancini Siciliani balls. And not just because we’ll find any excuse to use the word “balls” in our stories.
These are described as “crispy pasta balls with Salumi Ragu center.” We have no idea what that’s all about, but they’re delicious.
We cut them open for you to get a better look.
Arancini are “a staple of Sicilian cuisine,” so presumably you can use them to hold stacks of paper together. We recommend you eat them instead.
“Arancini” is derived from the Sicilian word “aranciu,” which means “little oranges,” which refers to the shape and color of these flavor delivery devices. Bonus: Just $4.
Via Focaccia is a great addition to the dining options at Ellis Island. While we aren’t a huge fan of the cafe, we love the Ellis Island BBQ restaurant and Front Yard restaurant (try the pizza). Metro Pizza, next to Via Focaccia, is pretty good as well.
If you’re an Ellis Island fan (if you aren’t, you’re missing out), check out Via Focaccia, including its succulent sandwiches and impressive balls.
We’re not growing up, you grow up.