Friday, March 16, 2012 | 2 a.m.
We’ve heard his voice through our headphones and seen his face on our TVs. Now, Flavor Flav is hoping we’ll take him into our dining rooms.
Well, not literally. But Flav, the rap performer and star of the reality TV series “The Flavor of Love,” went into the Las Vegas take-out business Thursday with the opening of a restaurant bearing his name.
Flavor Flav's House of Flavor, at 3333 S. Maryland Parkway, offers such menu items as fried chicken, fried shrimp and red velvet waffles. Chicken dinners are $6 to $10, and an eight-piece box of fried chicken is priced at $12.99. About 100 people attended a grand opening ceremony.
"This is where the flavor is," said Flav, who appeared at the ceremony wearing his signature accessory, a large clock on a necklace. "Straight-up flavor, right here."
Flav, whose real name is William Jonathan Drayton, is the son of a restaurateur and attended culinary school in the 1970s before gaining fame as a member of the rap group Public Enemy in the '80s. He now lives in the Las Vegas Valley.
An earlier restaurant venture by Flav failed after only four months when a chicken restaurant he opened in Iowa closed amid a management dispute.
To make it in Las Vegas, Flav will have to find a following in a market with several options for fried chicken and soul food. Besides such national chains as KFC and Popeyes, here are a few local or regional establishments with which he’ll be competing.
Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers
With five locations in the Las Vegas Valley, Raising Cane’s is a big player in the local chicken game. Speaking of games, fans at UNLV men’s basketball home games should be very familiar with Raising Cane’s, which advertises heavily with the Rebels.
Eight celebrities — including Otis Williams of the Temptations, Jackie Jackson of the Jackson 5, and Gladys and Bubba Knight of Gladys Knight and the Pips — co-own Catfish Alley, a soul food joint with two locations in the valley — 3743 Las Vegas Blvd. South and 467 E. Silverado Ranch Blvd. Although catfish is the calling card, the restaurant also serves chicken.
M&M Soul Food Cafe
If the comments on Yelp and other online boards are any indication, M&M is a can’t-miss in Las Vegas. The eatery is at 3923 W. Charleston Blvd. “I’ve been trying to find some good soul food like my mom used to cook. Let me tell you, this is THE place,” a Yelp commenter said. “Everything down to — and especially — the sweet tea is spot on.”
BFG Chicken Strips
BFG stands for the three ways the restaurant prepares its strips — baked, fried or grilled. The baked strips are shown here, but the fried version — coated with Japanese-style panko breading — appears to be a favorite, based on Yelp comments. “I think macaroni and cheese with fried chicken strips is one of those unsung, tasty food combinations. And here it is done perfectly,” one commenter said. “The panko breading was so light and crispy. Mix in a little wasabi cream sauce, and you will be in heaven.”
Hash House A Go Go
Vegas’ Hash House diner group bills its menu items as farm food with a twist. Among its offerings: fried chicken benedict, shown here, and chicken and waffles. Hash House has four locations.
Chick and Benny's
Chick and Benny’s is named not for people but food items — chicken and beignets, the French puff pastry. The restaurant opened last year at 1659 Warm Springs Road, near Green Valley High School. Its menu items include “Chirp” chicken sandwiches; a “Nest” of chicken and fries with homemade jalapeno ranch sauce; and the “Parisian Dog,” a hot dog wrapped in a baguette.