Even in Vegas, the cash strapped are sometimes richer than the flush. While high rollers throng the Strip’s luxury chophouses to pony up hundreds for dry-aged steaks, lowballers at the Beef Jerky Store shell out pennies to get the driest-aged beef of all—as well as dried garlic cod, chili scallops, smoked octopus, alligator, tofu, and dozens of other jerky types. Hawaiian-born owner Cathy Lee sources her products—some exclusively—from all over the States and Japan to guarantee more pure jerkiness in one place than you’d ever expect to see outside of a casino after midnight.

Ruth Tobias is a Denver-based freelance food writer and the author of