Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Very Hungry Vegas Trip

Yesterday I talked about my Vegas Shenanigans, but now let’s talk Vegas food, since last weekend seemed to revolve entirely around eating, my favorite pastime.  Our friend lives in Juneau, Alaska and they have ZERO restaurants or fast food except McDonalds so every time he comes to visit we’re on a mission to eat at Taco Bell, Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze, etc.  It’s ridiculous and we often make fun of him.  Except now he has some ammo on me because this weekend I did the exact same thing!

Vegas is so strange because I always feel like I eat huge meals and eat extremely poorly (there’s not an apple or carrot stick in sight after all), but I really only eat one meal a day, so maybe it balances out?  

So without further ado... my reviews of my one big meal a day in Vegas!

Our first stop on Friday after touching down in Vegas: Cane’s (also called Raising Cane's).  Have you had it?  We fell in love with it when we lived in Vegas and unfortunately the west coast hasn’t been blessed with this deliciousness.  They sell chicken fingers, fries, and Texas toast exclusively, and they do a freaking good job of making those things.  Sounds like a very healthy meal right?  

 Heart attack Deliciousness on a plate.

I don’t like fried chicken, so the fact that I love it indicates how good it is.  It’s not crispy fried, it’s very juicy and very tender.  The crinkle-cut fries are delightful and the Texas toast is amazing.  I hate coleslaw (and anything containing anything even remotely resembling mayo) so I’ve never had it, can’t tell you about that.  If you haven’t had Cane's yet, EAT IT!

On Saturday our big meal was at Stack, a fancy over-priced steakhouse at The Mirage.  First we decided to get dressed up and have a photo shoot.  The hotel door is a perfect back-drop for photo shoots, in case you needed some photography tips. 

Those evil glitter Tom's which I formerly loved gave me the nastiest blister ever that I fear will hinder my running this week.  I'm not sure I can ever wear them again!  Anyone want to buy Glitter Tom's in size 9.5?  Blister blood included.

Steakhouses are so not my style (or JMan’s really either, although he does love steak), but we went along to be a good sport for our friends.  I had a salad because I’m not big into spending $40 on a steak and it was underwhelming.  It was called the “garbage salad”, nice name, right?  JMan’s steak was delicious and melt-in-your-mouth tender, so I guess if you’re looking for a good steak this is your place, but if you’d rather spend less than one of your first-born I suggest looking elsewhere.

We started with this thing called "Hot Rocks" which was just that - really thin pieces of sirloin that you cooked at your table on a "hot rock".  It was entertaining, fun, and delicious, although for the price it should have come with way more than 6 pieces of beef to share 4 ways!

Mike got the rib eye and he said it was the best steak he'd ever had.  Clearly, as it's all gone!  So take his word for it folks, Stack has expensive awesome steaks.

On Sunday my big meal was at CAFÉ RIO!  After reading about Hungry Runner Girl’s many outings at Café Rio and seeing her delicious looking food, I was always so jealous that we don’t have one (the closest one is about 5 hours away in Couer D'Alene).  Well on Sunday I had planned to meet up with my long-lost teacher friends the Heathers (both their names are Heather, we all taught 3rd grade together, and they are both amazing!), and when Heather #1 recommended eating at Café Rio I was immediately ECSTATIC to finally get to try this place.  It did not disappoint.  I was delighted with my fire-grilled chicken salad, with the hand-made tortilla being of course the best part.  I think its way better than Chipotle, though I’m sure my meal had about 1,500 calories and you can bet I ate the whole entire thing.  It’s okay though because it was pretty much the only meal I had all day.  

 This wasn't my food but it looks eerily similar!  source

And finally, the grand finale, on Monday we finally went to Hash House a Go Go.  After seeing this little diner go viral via the Man vs. Food TV show, I had always wanted to go there, but it’s off the strip and a hassle to get to and on past trips it just never happened.  Well now there are like 5 of them in Vegas and we had a car and time to kill before heading to the airport so we finally went there for the famous chicken and waffles.
We went to the one at the new M Casino, since I hadn't been there before either. 
It was good.  It wasn’t the most amazing thing I’ve ever had.  But here is what WAS amazing: BACON COOKED INSIDE WAFFLES!!!!!  Oh my gosh.  That’s the best idea EVER!  Why have I not thought of this before?  Eating bacon with maple syrup is a favorite past time of mine, so putting the bacon inside a waffle seems to be a natural next step.  I WILL be recreating this at home.  Only with crispier waffles, their waffles were too thick and not crispy enough.  And the fried chicken was TOO crispy (too much breading for my liking, as I mentioned before, I don’t really like fried things) and didn’t have much flavor.  At the very least it needed to be saltier and also probably include some of the sage flavor they were advertising.  I wouldn’t mind trying other things there but it wasn’t my favorite restaurant of all time. 

They do get an A+++ for presentation.

Finally, the coupe de grace.  GOLDEN SPOON!  When we lived in Vegas this was THE best place for  frozen yogurt.  Soooo good.  This was before the big uprising of self-serve Yogurtlands and Menchie’s, so Golden Spoon was ahead of its time.  I was sadly unsatisfied though, and I don't think I will be making a special visit here on any subsequent Vegas trip (and will stop begging them on their website to come to the Northwest).  I had 3 flavors: Peanut Butter Cup, which was as great as I remembered, Cake Batter, which was good but not fabulous for being a flavor notoriously done well by froyo, and Pistachio, which was so bad I didn't even eat it all.  You know it's BAD if Ricole doesn't finish it.

Now it's back to apples and carrot sticks.  Boo.
Name your top 3 restaurants of all time!  GO!