Friday, April 4, 2008

Vegas 808 - Fruit Flavored Dried Beef

Vegas 808 Fruit Flavored Dried BeefVegas 808 appears to be a very tiny, and localized brand of snack foods unique to Las Vegas, NV.

The name "Vegas 808" is a combination of the city Las Vegas, and the area code for Hawaii. There's an area of downtown Las Vegas, anchored by two casinos, Main Street Station, and The California Hotel & Casino, frequented by travellers from Hawaii, and this brand targets that demographic with snack foods that appeal to their tastes.

Vegas 808 has its own retail outlet inside The California Hotel & Casino, on the upper floor, and all it sells are snack foods favored by Pacific Islanders, in addition to some die-hard American favorites.

The label on packaging says that this product is "Exclusively Distributed by Golden Tigers, LLC". Doing a search on the Internet, it appears that Vegas 808 and Golden Tigers, LLC are owned by the same people. It's unclear to me exactly who manufacturers these snacks.


The ingredients list says that this jerky is flavored with strawberry preservatives, soy sauce, sugar, salt, and MSG.

I can't really taste much in the way of fruit or strawberry preserves, but I can taste a hint of strawberry. But if I didn't know this had strawberry preserves in it, I wouldn't know what it was. But perhaps the main point is to experience the combination of fruit and beef, and not so much strawberry. If that's the case, there is practically no fruit to be experienced. This mostly tastes like sweetened beef jerky, and not fruit flavored beef jerky. Being that the label clearly says that this is "Fruit Flavored", it's a disappointment.

There is also very little to taste in the way of soy sauce or salt. I don't particularly care for salty beef jerky, so this is a plus for me. But it would have been nice to taste some soy sauce; perhaps they could pour a little bit more on.

The beef flavors are not very evident either. I chewed on some pieces, and extracted the meat juices, and I could get a slight taste of beef. Had I been told this was pork, I'd have no way of knowing the difference. (BTW, Vegas 808 also offers Fruit Flavored Dried Pork, but I didn't buy some).

Most of what I taste when I eat this is the sugar and the hint of strawberry.

Meat Consistency

These are real slices of meat, with no fat to be seen, if any.

The pieces are soft, flexible, somewhat dry, and thick cut. It's easy to bite off a piece, and they chew easily. I found this brand of jerky was quite pleasant to eat in this regards.

The pieces are covered with a sticky coating of sugar and strawberry preserves, but it's not so sticky that it leaves your fingers gooey. If not for this coating, the pieces would otherwise be rather dry.

Product Value

I paid $12.50 for an 8oz bag, which works out to $1.56 per ounce. That's in the average-priced ballpark in my book. They did not have a smaller sized bag. The bag is resealable, so you don't have to eat the whole 8oz steak in one sitting.

Being that this was billed as "Fruit Flavored Dried Beef", I was expecting to experience some fruit flavors. Considering that all you're getting is sweetened beef, it's a big disappointment at $12.50 per bag.

I actually love sweetened beef jerky, but this particular brand doesn't offer much else in taste aside from sugar. It would have been better to get some other flavorings and seasonings with it. This doesn't have any smoke flavorings either.

Keep in mind that the Vegas 808 brand is intended to satisfy those Las Vegas travellers who come from Hawaii. Perhaps this is the kind of meat snack Hawaiian residents enjoy. I dunno.

Vegas 808 Fruit Flavored Dried Beef

Vegas 808 Fruit Flavored Dried Beef


I'm giving this a "fair" rating. The lack of taste, aside from the sugar and hint of strawberry, pretty much negates the point of making jerky, or "dried beef" as this is called. I kept it above "dog treats" because it's still slices of real meat, and it doesn't taste bad. It just doesn't offer much for the palate.

The concept of fruit flavored beef jerky was very appealing to me, but this variety left me disappointed. Perhaps if they tried pineapple, or apricot, they'd easily extract another $12.50 from my pocket.

Rating: Fair

Where to Buy: You can only buy this at the Vegas 808 store located inside The California Hotel & Casino, upper level, downtown Las Vegas, NV.


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