Celebrity Chef Buddy Valastro is slowly dominating Las Vegas, one cool concept at a time. If you’re a fan of “Cake Boss,” you’ve likely visited Buddy V’s Ristorante or Carlo’s Bakery inside the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas. Even if you’ve never watched the show, chances are you’ve seen one of his super cute Cake ATMs on or off the Las Vegas Strip.
We sat down with Chef (Cake Boss Buddy Valastro himself) at the soft opening of his new concept at The LINQ Hotel + Experience, Boss Café, to chat about his takeover, the new restaurant and the one item you can find at every one of his restaurants and bakeries.
Inside Boss Café by Buddy Valastro at The LINQ Hotel + Experience
How does it feel to be taking over the whole Strip?
Valastro: Honestly, it’s a dream come true. For me, I love Vegas. When I started with Buddy V’s eight or nine years ago now, I never thought it would be so successful. Vegas is like a second home for me, and I feel like it’s the food capital of the world. So I feel like when I want to do different things or new concepts, I like to try them here first and get the reaction and see how things go.
How did you come up with the concept for the Boss Café?
Valastro: I didn’t want to do just a bakery. We’ve done that. And I didn’t want to do a New York-style pizzeria because we’ve got that with Pizza Cake.
My dad used to make these delicious bakery pizzas, these square pizzas. They’re like Sicilian but not as thick. So I said we should do bakery-style pizzas here with all the toppings and a nod to one of my favorite things—good old-fashioned Italian deli, fresh mozzarella sandwiches like the kind we would get at a deli in New Jersey.
We’re trying to morph the bakery, the deli and the pizza under one roof, and that’s really what the Boss Café is all about.
I love that you brought over the cookies and the cakes from Carlo’s Bakery.
Valastro: This is a bakery, and I’m the Cake Boss, so we have that. We also have great pizza and great sandwiches. We also have great salads too!
Is there any item you have at all of your concepts that you have to have?
Valastro: Probably a cannoli. The cannoli is the go-to that people want and gravitate towards. We have something new, too; we started doing peanut butter cannolis and birthday cake cannolis. They’re really off the hook! It’s in a chocolate cannoli shell, and it’s got peanut butter cannoli cream, and it’s dipped in roasted peanuts. It’s got great texture and flavor.
What is your favorite item on the menu? Or your top three!
Valastro: That’s hard! I would definitely say the roast beef and mozz sandwich is up there. The square pepperoni pizza is off the charts. And if I had one on the sweet side, I’d say the lobster tail.