VegasEats: Mermaid's Deep Fried Twinkies/Oreos
We Ate 'Em So You Don't Have To
The Rio's Carnival World Buffet! Golden Gate's $1.99 Shrimp Cocktails! El Cortez' $2.99 breakfast! The old $5.99 twin lobster tail deal at the Sands! The Westward Ho MEGADOG! Have you gorged yourself on enough food yet? Of course not! When Vegas does things, it does things large...
Take these oddities - Deep Fried Twinkies and Deep Fried Oreos served at Mermaids slot parlor on Fremont Street downtown. We've seen the signs for years... Deep Fried Twinkies! "Must be some strange Hawaiian delicacy," I thought - knowing that the downtown grind joints cater to American islanders. How exactly do you deep-fry a Twinkie? Is there an Extra-Crispy option? I guess there's only one way to find out - take your life in hand and eat one goddamnit. So with health insurance card in hand your trusty reporters/guinea pigs headed into Mermaids to take the greasy Twinkie for a test run.
Miss Monkay and I wandered through Mermaids, past the bar to the rear left-hand corner of Mermaids. In front of us stood a small kitchenette with a "B" rating. We looked around the place, marveling at the grease, flour, grime and filth caked on every wall and appliance and turned to each other and said, nearly simultaneously in amused deadpan laced with a dollop of disbelief "They got a B". Behind the counter were two crotchety ladies, one taking orders/cooking and the other putting change from customers' orders into tip jar instead of the register.
We made our way to the counter and looked at the menu: Deep Fried Twinkie 99 cents | Deep Fried Oreos 99 cents. "Which one should we get?" Miss Monkay said. "I dunno," I replied... uneasy about ordering anything from their slim in offering, but not slim in caloric value menu. After a little mulling we decided to get the Twinkie. "We'll have a deep fried Twinkie" Miss Monkay said to the counterperson. She ignored us and moseyed over to the fridge around the corner. Out she came with a Twinkie. "...And some Oreo's too" I added to no acknowledgement from the employee. I figured if we were gonna try one, we might as well try both... eh? The woman behind the counter dropped the Twinkie into a tin of something that looked like pancake batter and came back towards us at the counter to grab plastic gloves (after carrying our Twinkie around barehanded - "B") Miss Monkay re-iterated "we'd like some Oreos too, please." The woman shrugged an "I heard you the first time" shrug and grabbed some Oreos and dumped em into the batter. By this time the Twinkie had already hit the dip and was sizzling away in a deep fryer, which - by the smell of the joint - we could tell hadn't had its oil changed since the Dunes was still standing.
Eventually the Oreos hit the dip and sizzled in tandem with the Twinkie. I began to think, whose idea was it to deep fry a Twinkie? Now really... this thing seems like it's going to be truly disgusting. I'm beginning to get scared. Eventually the Twinks and Oreos were yanked from the grease, smothered in powdered sugar and chocolate sprinkles, plopped on a French fry plate you'd find at a bowling alley and slid down the metallic countertop towards us. The woman manning the register gave us the total... we paid with some singles and change from the sizeable bankroll that we had just won from the Golden Nugget accross the street. The cash register lady put the change in her tip jar, the singles in the register and pocketed a 2¢ overcharge as well - a 'before-your-eyes' microcosmic example of casino skimming in action! We looked down at our "meal" and headed over to the mini tables standing up 5 feet away.
Upon further inspection, we noticed that the Twinkie was impaled with a stick - a deep-fried shish-ka-Twinkie! All of it was piping hot too. We placed the plate on the table, and while taking photos of it, we noticed a family looking over at our deep fried whatever and asking each other questions about it. We invited them over and told them what it was and offered an Oreo to them to try. They refused, but one of the teenage males seemed interested. Miss Monkay and I dug our plastic forks into the pile of sweet grease and took a bite... she the Twinkie, and me the Oreo. The Oreo was actually mushy, and tasted like a sweet chocolately grease ball surrounded by a spongy sugary donut thing. Nothing about it tasted like an Oreo, with the slight exception of a hint of the white sugar stuffing. It took Miss Monkay two stabs with the fork to break through to the creamy filling. We immediately traded looks. It wasn't disgusting, and it wasn't like anything either of us had ever had before, and neither of them tasted like their respective ingredients. I took my fork and dug into the Twinkie... also a spongy fried dough thingy with hot sugar filling and chocolate sprinkles. Very odd. By this time the family near us was studying our concoction with great dedication. Again we offered, and nearly insisted, that they try a piece. The mother came over and grabbed an Oreo, took a small bite and gave the rest to her son who downed it and shook his head in approval. Two or three forkfuls were enough for this lifetime. We threw in the towel and tossed the rest in the trash. It took about 3 minutes before the sugar rush came on. When it did we buzzingly bolted through the casino, made a left towards the Fremont (where we won a nice bankroll at the craps table earlier that day.)
It took barely 10 steps outside of the casino before I had to run to a trash pail to puke. Ok, that didn't happen, but we both had a stomach ache for a bit. Was it worth the two bucks? For giggles yes, for shits... no. Either way, mission accomplished and you don't have to.