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Deep Fried Twinkies at Mermaid’s Casino

Las Vegas to me means good eats. Plentiful buffets and some of the best restaurants and chefs in the nation make their home in Las Vegas. I always make it a point to try out one or two of the new culinary treasures every time I am in town and am always on the prowl for new eating opportunities, especially in the dessert department. Normally these can be found at the newer and larger hotels on the strip including Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas. But during a wander through downtown Fremont Street, I happened upon the most unusual food item I have yet to see in Vegas.

On a cold January day, we were passing by a small, innocuous-looking venue with girls in sweats underneath Carmen Miranda outfits passing out Mardi Gras beads when I saw the sign. I had to read the sign twice to understand what was being offered because in my part of the world, we don’t serve DEEP FRIED TWINKIES.

I can’t even imagine who concocted such a thing. After dragging my husband into the Mermaid’s Casino, we made our way to the back food court. It wasn’t really a food court but more of a Little League refreshment stand with sodas, corn dogs, hot dogs and, of course, deep fried Twinkies. I ordered one, for the reasonable price of 99 cents and proceeded to watch the delicacy being prepared. Out of the freezer comes a Twinkie, stuck on a stick. It is dipped in batter and thrown into the fryer. A few minutes later, it is done, drenched in powdered sugar and ready to eat. My brother would never believe this. So I called him, before even taking a bite.

Michael, who appreciates the finer things in life, including good food, could only laugh at my apparent descent into culinary hell, relishing the likes of carnival food. But when I bit into it, I stopped laughing. It was actually good. It wasn’t too sweet and the deep frying had changed the texture of both the cake and the filling. And I ate the whole thing. It’s amazing to me that the humble Hostess Twinkie, which has a shelf life that NASA would love, could taste this good. And I heartily recommend it to anyone taking the stroll down Fremont Street. In fact Fremont street is a great place for cheap eats, including 99 cent margaritas, hot dogs and even deep fried Oreos. And if you want, you can even have some free Mardi Gras beads.

Hey, I hear in some parts of the country they serve deep fried Snickers bars, too. Anybody know where?

Mermaids Casino
32 East Fremont
Las Vegas

By Susan Brady, Redwood City, CA