Las Vegas Food Round 1

15 Jan

I am seriously behind on my food blogging but I still have the photos & my memories! So, here we go.
I took my first trip to Vegas last April and of course, I had a list of restaurants to try!

Aria -The Buffet
I had read somewhere that the buffet at Aria was the best on the strip, so that was our first stop. Admittedly, we paid way too much. We didn’t sign up for any rewards cards at any casinos on this trip so if there was a coupon that way we didn’t get it. Also, we went at dinner time, so I think we paid something like $65, plus the price of my cocktail. It was my first ever Pisco Sour and it was yummy! The drink also has prickly pear in it, which is why it’s pink. I drank half of it before I remember to take a photo of it.

The food was not really very memorable. They make their naan fresh in front of you and we were lucky enough to get it hot off the grill. The hubby is still talking about that! And by far, it was the most memorable part of the meal. There were lots of options. A carving station, cracked crab, mexican food with fresh tortillas. It was a nice meal but nothing very exciting or really what felt like it was worth the pricetag. Especially since we don’t really pack it in at buffets like I think one is supposed to!

One of the big draws for me was that the desserts are Jean Philippe creations. So, I grabbed everything I could & we were able to each take a bite out of each of them. The plate with 3 things on it was a brownie and I think some kind of peanut butter bar. Sadly, these were not terribly memorable either but they were the best part of the meal. The husband liked the cheesecake best-middle left, and my favorite was the banana cake creation on the bottom right. If you are looking for a great Jean Philippe dessert I recommend one of his bistros at Aria or the Bellagio. More on that later!

The Buffet (Aria) on Urbanspoon

Pink’s (at Planet Hollywood)

So, of course I had heard about Pink’s for years on food shows and Hollywood gossip shows alike. I was so excited when I saw their little door outside of Planet Hollywood and chose that for dinner after a show one night.

On the left is my Spicy Mojave Dog. It is a polish sausage with nacho cheese, jalapeños, grilled onions, guacamole and tomatoes. It sounds really good right? Not so much. The husband had the classic chile cheese dog and he was not happy with it at all. He really disliked the chile, and just disliked the whole thing. Even the fries left much to be desired. I’m not sure what it was, but we were really disappointed. Maybe celebrities have no idea what good food is, maybe the Las Vegas Pink’s isn’t as good as the original, or maybe it’s just not our thing. But really, I recommend walking by to see if anyone famous is around but if you want something yummy to eat, keep walking!

Pink's (Planet Hollywood) on Urbanspoon

Four Kegs Sports Bar
I am kind of a Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives groupie. We have been to lots of restaurants visited by Guy Fieri and this was a must-do off-the-strip excursion for me. And boy, was it worth it!

This cute little restaurant is tucked behind a bar. So, you have to walk through the bar to get there. You walk past the to-go window and grab a seat. I believe the woman who waited on us is the owner and she was super-friendly. She asked how we had heard of the restaurant and when I told her it was DDD’s she told us that they have gotten a lot of business from the show. There is even a wall dedicated to Guy and the show near where we sat!

Now, for the food. We started with Macaroni & Cheese Wedges

and Cajun Onion Rings.

Now, the husband is the mac and cheese eater and he really liked these. They were actually pretty good! I have tried these other places and they always seem kind of wrong, but these were good. However, the star on the table for me at this point was the rings. I still crave these onion rings! They are crispy and covered in what I’m pretty sure is a buffalo sauce. They are GOOD! Seriously. Try them. :-)

For the main course I had to try their specialty, stromboli. This is the small.

It was really good! I look forward to going back and ordering it again! Here are its gooey insides!

The husband ordered the 8oz. steak sandwich.
Also, really good! This place is definitely worth the trip off-the-strip and I’m hoping we will make it back on a future visit!

Four Kegs Sports Bar on Urbanspoon

China Poblano (Cosmopolitan)
I’m not going to build-up the conclusion on this one. I love China Poblano. Love it. I love that it’s at Cosmopolitan, a pretty and trendy casino in City Center. I love the brightly painted walls and all the little creatures lining the walls. I love that they put tables together for us so we can sit by each other and have room for multiple plates-which they recommend you order. Love.

When I was researching the trip, I happened upon this restaurant and the fact that this is a restaurant by Jose Andres was exciting. The fact that it’s ‘Noodles & Tacos’ is even more exciting! This was at the top of my list of places to eat in Vegas before we went there and it still is.
Our waitress was friendly and I think she knew how excited I was! This is a small plate restaurant and she recommended that we try several dishes and share with one another. We did.
First, I started with the Lemon Drop Soup cocktail. I have no idea why I didn’t take a photo of this. It was such a fun cocktail! A nice tart drink with lemon noodles at the bottom soaking up the alcohol that you get to eat with chopsticks. Fun! The husband had the margarita with lime-salt ‘air’.

It was a pretty good drink and the lime-salt ‘air’ was really cool!

We started with Chips & Salsa. We are from New Mexico. Chips & Salsa is kind of a staple at restaurants here, so we are kind of jaded. And, we really like this! Yum!
This is the Queso Fundido. Yummy, gooey, and served with warm corn tortillas.

Mongolion Beef Lettuce. Our least favorite of the night, but still good. I just don’t think we would order it again, but we didn’t regret ordering it once.

Now, for the sad part of the story. Pictured below is our favorite dish of the night. It’s noodles and it was GOOD. But when I went back to look at the menu, I can’t seem to find it. So, if someone reading this knows, feel free to educate me! I hope it wasn’t taken off the menu.

Really, there wasn’t a bad dish & I LOVE it. Highly recommend. :-)

China Poblano (Cosmopolitan) on Urbanspoon

Jean Philippe Patisserie (Aria)

That brings us to our final foodie adventure in Vegas. It got to be our last night there and we still hadn’t had a decadent dessert. So, we decided to stop at the Jean Philippe Patisserie at Aria.
This was kind of sensory overload, even for Vegas! There is gelato, sweet and savory crepes, mini cakes decorating the area and even a touchscreen to preview and order full-size special event cakes. There are boxes of chocolates and lots of yummy treats to bring home. Then, at the deli counter, there is a wide array of yummy desserts to choose from. The husband ordered a peanut butter brownie pop.
Yum!
I had this yummy hazelnut, chocolate, gold flaked creation! I wish I remembered the name but I guess the yumminess of it all erased the words from my memory.
So, the goal of a decadent dessert was accomplished! Recommend!
Jean Philippe Patisserie (Aria) on Urbanspoon

Bubster’s -Rex’s Hamburgers

31 Mar

I’m not entirely sure what the Bubster’s is about. Some owner/branding squabble? But it’s not on the sign anyway!

That being said, the hubby and I love these burgers. We eat here A LOT. The burgers are a good size, hand formed, and juicy. I’m usually pretty happy with a single cheeseburger with everything as seen here.
And even better, I can order grilled onions instead of the raw ones when I’m in the mood!

The hubby loves his green chile burgers and his favorite one-I think-ever is from Rex’s. This is his poison: a double meat, double cheese, green chile burger. And, I am told the green chile has a decent amount of heat to it!

The burgers can be ordered in a ‘platter’ with fries, a couple of onion rings, and choice of fruit cocktail, pudding, or applesauce. It’s not bad. I prefer pudding and the rings are good. The hubby doesn’t like crinkle fries because ‘you can’t get the frozen taste out of them’, so he never eats them. I just like fries, but I know these could be better. I prefer to eat them with green chile and cheese. They’re yummy!

In addition to ‘frozen tasting’ fries, cons here include not-so-great tacos, and not-so-great service. We ordered tacos once, regretted it, won’t do it again. The meat was over seasoned and just doesn’t compete with most tacos in the area. When we go in and the girls are working the counter, we get great service and always get what we order. When there are only men there, not so good. They always seem to be inconvenienced by actually having to wait on people. Case in point; here is the photo of red chile fries that sat on our table because the man taking my order couldn’t bother to ask me what kind of chile I wanted. The cook did replace them with the right order though.

So, we will keep going back a lot. We really like the burgers. We might not try a lot of other things on the menu, especially Mexican food, but we like it!

Bubsters - Rex's Hamburgers on Urbanspoon

Two Words: Vinegar Pie!

23 Mar

I had seen Blackbird Pies at other craft and trade fairs around Albuquerque in the past year. I think I had even had some samples. This past weekend, I made my husband stop at their table so he could try the ‘Vinegar Pie’. It was so good. We scooped up one of the last two they had left!The flavor is hard to describe. Sweet and tangy. Not a strong flavor, but yummy all the same. Plus, the pie crust was amazing.  Apparently, this is an old fashioned Southern treat. When I went looking for a recipe, the filling seems fairly simple consisting of eggs, sugar, flour, and vinegar. I’ll have to give it a try when we are craving a light tasting treat again.

Blackbird Pies handed us a menu for their new store location at 531 Jefferson St NE Ste 150 Albuquerque, NM 87110. There are so many pie and dessert options! I’ll have to check them out for Coconut Custard Pie and Pistachio cake. I’m sure I’ll let you all know when I do!

Our Latest Adventure- Pueblo Harvest Cake & Bakery in Albuquerque

21 Mar

On the ‘Blissful Road’, I encounter many blissful food experiences. So many, they desrve their own blog!

The first dining adventure I would like to share with you is our trip to the Pueblo Harvest Café & Bakery.  Located in the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center at 2401 12th St. NW Albuquerque, NM 87104.

The meal starts with oven bread and pinon butter. The bread was really fresh and warm. The butter is different and has a really refreshing taste.

They have a full bar and the husband tried their blue margarita. When the busboy came to fill our water glasses, he remarked, “Oh, you got the fishbowl”! That is totally what it looked like! Flavorful & potent, it was also fairly pricey.

Let me just start by saying, I am not a fan of frybread. In fact, I don’t think I had ever eaten it before. I like sopapillas but frybread never really looks appetizing to me.  Since we went here for my husband’s birthday the appetizer was his choice and he loves frybread.  So, we had the mini frybread tacos. They were SO GOOD! I don’t like carne adovada much either, but this whole combination worked. The frybread was thin and crispy and not greasy like I had imagined after seeing so many other versions around the city. The meat has a great flavor and the lime crema brought all the flavors together nicely. This was probably my favorite thing from the meal and I can’t wait to go back and have it again.

For the entrees, I splurged on the Elk Tenderloin. I may have eaten Elk as a child, but this is the first time I’ve eaten it as an adult.  I ordered it medium, but there was no pink and I think it could have been a little less done. Also, we were both kind of surprised at a smaller portion for the price. The meat was tender and the gravy had a nice flavor.  The pancakes and compote were an interesting side with the heat of the green chile and the sweet berries all in one bite. All in all, pretty good but I doubt I would order it again.

The husband wasn’t sure what to try, so he got two things! The Tewa Taco which at most New Mexican restaurants is usually called a Navajo or Indian Taco and the Blue Corn Crusted Fried Chicken. Really, I can’t say enough about the frybread! It’s yummy! For the Tewa Taco it’s covered in ground beef, beans, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and choice of red or green chile- or both as seen here! The green chile is hot and the red chile is hotter!

The blue corn crust on the chicken is really good. The chicken was a little dry but the sauce has nice honey and spice flavors that helped with that. It was served with mashed potatoes and ~I think~ the vegetable was nopales (prickly pear). I really enjoyed the nopales. The husband really liked both dishes and I see him ordering both things again!

Unfortunately, we were unable to indulge in a dessert.  Everything in the bakery cases looked really good and I’m hoping to try the bread pudding on our next visit.

The service was really friendly, maybe a little slow but not aggravatingly so. I’m sure we will be going back to the Pueblo Harvest Café. There are still menu items we want to try and more foodie adventures to be had there!

Pueblo Harvest Cafe on Urbanspoon

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