Expect plenty of ham at Dick's Last Resort

It's a typical day at Dick's Last Resort.

A server named Taco is putting paper hats with witty sayings on them atop the heads of a table-full of customers, who insist on having their pictures taken with him. Taco obliges by lifting up his T-shirt and revealing the tattoo on his rather large stomach. The tat, of course, spells "Taco."

Taco is the restaurant chain's legendary server from the Dick's in San Diego, but he's working full time at the new Las Vegas outlet in the Excalibur, 3850 Las Vegas Blvd. South.

The popular server isn't the only one in the place with a wacky sense of humor, although he may stand out the most. The rest of the crew have their own schtick, too.

But it's all in fun, says Frank Tucker, assistant director of operations at Pure Management Group, the company that owns and operates Dick's. "We audition people for the jobs here. We'll have them sing, or, one guy we had mumble because he said his special talent is 'mumblese.' "

If a customer is not up to the raucous treatment at the hands of the servers "we respect that," Tucker notes.

Dick's is described by the company as a cross between a sports bar and a dive bar. Above the main bar hang a variety of bras in different colors and sizes, each one a souvenir from customers. The tables are covered with butcher paper.

The servers aren't the only entertainment at Dick's. At night, live music is performed by local bands Disco Inferno and Panama on the restaurant's stage.

But, Dick's also is about the food, Tucker says. "People have a good time and they say the food is really good, too."

The cuisine is American bar food: smoked ribs and chicken, fish, large hamburgers, beer and specialty drinks. A bib is required attire.

The 11,000-square-foot restaurant, which includes a merchandise area and two bars, seats 185 inside and 167 on the patio, which features couches and misters.

Open daily from 11 a.m. until late at night, Dick's accepts reservations by calling 597-7991 or 597-7992.

Starters: Two fried crab cakes served with chipotle sauce ($11.99); shrimp cocktail with shrimp simmered in beer (half-bucket, $5.99; full bucket, $10.99); nachos with chili tequila queso, jalapenos, sour cream ($8.25); chicken tenders ($7.99); and fried cheese sticks ($7.49).

Salads: Chicken Caesar ($9.75); roadhouse chicken salad with tomatoes, cheese and almonds on mixed greens ($10.25); Buffalo chicken salad with tortilla strips, cucumbers, blue cheese and pico de gallo on mixed greens ($10.25); and chopped salad with turkey, ham, cucumbers, black beans, blue cheese crumbles, basil, chopped greens, toasted almonds and tortilla strips ($10.25).

Entrees: 12-ounce choice rib-eye steak served with red skin mashed potatoes and vegetables ($19.75); bourbon-glazed salmon grilled on a cedar plank ($15.99); two grilled chicken breasts served with rice and vegetables ($12.99); half-pound hamburgers topped with a choice of toppings and served with fries ($8.75-$9.25); pulled pork sandwich with barbecue sauce and coleslaw ($8.95); barbecue pork ribs (half-rack, $12.49; full rack, $17.49; rack and a half, $21.49); fried catfish ($13.75); and smoked turkey breast wrap with bacon, Swiss cheese and vegetables ($8.25).

Desserts: Peanut butter pie ($4.75); fudge brownie with walnuts, chocolate syrup and vanilla ice cream ($5.25); and cheesecake ($5.25).

Appetizers is a weekly informational column about new developments on the Las Vegas dining scene. Items should not be considered reviews or recommendations and none is a paid advertisement. Contact Ken White at 383-0256 or e-mail him at kwhite@ reviewjournal.com.