Sunday, April 19, 2015

Rise & Shine: A Steak & Egg Place - Las Vegas

My family and I walked in around 1pm a few days after they opened and we were seated promptly. 

The restaurant is very large, unlike many other breakfast spots in town, so I was already pleasantly surprised. The decor is fun with spinning flowers dangling above the dining area and fun pictures to admire on the walls.

For my entree I decided on the fried chicken breast and waffles while my mom and fella both opted for different versions of the chilaquiles. As a last minute decision we ordered a pot o bread when we saw a bunch of them come out of the kitchen for another table, tempting us. 

Service was slow to start, but I cut them some slack since they just opened and are finding their groove. It got better and more attentive as the meal progressed. 

Our food came out and the portions were enormous, making me wish we had shared. My chicken breast eclipsed my waffle on my plate and I wish they had not places the chicken on top of the waffle since the heat seemed to make the waffle limp and a little mushy. The flavor of the waffle was good but the chicken wasn't as good as I expected. It was cooked well but the flavor of the batter seemed off. It had a spicy kick but still seemed very bland and had a starchy aftertaste that I didn't care for.

My mom and fella raved about their chilaquiles and after sampling them I can't say I agree. The temperature seemed a bit on the colder side and the cheese wasn't entirely melted. The steak that came with my fella's meal was a little over cooked and the seasoning was a bit overdone. He loved his dish, so I guess that's all that matters. The pot of bread was awful, I don't recommend this at all. It was dry and flavorless. I took a bite and left it alone. 

Overall, the service was good and the food was hit and miss. My family loved the meal so we will likely be back, but I will be sure to sample a different dish next time and hope for the best.

Items sampled: chilaquiles, fried chicken breast and waffles, pot o bread

Location: 9827 W Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89147

Twist at Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

Finally getting the opportunity to dine at Twist, I couldn't resist the tasting menu. The restaurant is located inside the Mandarin Oriental and every seat includes dazzling views of the strip.

Without going over each course in detail, I will say every bite was absolutely delicious and I can't think of a better fine dining experience that I have had in the last few years. It was gluttonous, divine and my dining companions left with bright smiles on our faces and full stomachs.

Before we left, we each received a personalized signed menu from the evening which was a treat.

Service was impeccable, as expected, and I can't think of one thing about the meal wasn't sheer perfection. The perfect way to spend three hours on a Saturday night in Vegas.

Tasty Crepes - Las Vegas

With my friend and in need of a sweet to top off our foodventure for the day, we wandered into Tasty Crepes. 

When we walked in they were pretty empty, but in less than five minutes the place was packed. Good timing on our parts.

When you approach the counter there are small order forms where you mark all the contents you want included in your crepe. They have sweet, savory and pizza crepes to choose from. I opted for a sweet version with strawberries, mixed berries, chocolate brownie ice cream and powdered sugar. My OG ordered a sweet with chocolate chip ice cream, berries and strawberry sauce as well as a pizza crepe with pepperoni and sausage I believe. They serve Thrifty's ice cream, so that's a nice blast from my past growing up in Southern California.

We took a seat and waited for our creations to be brought out to us. The crepes were good and I enjoyed the the filling quite a bit. The crepe itself was a little on the dryer, burnt side and didn't have the lovely softer texture that I have come to love. 

The crepes are a lot bigger than I was expecting and we realized we were in over our heads with three crepes total. My friend ended up taking a majority of his pizza crepe home with him as leftovers. I didn't follow up with him to see how it held up, but I didn't expect it to. 

The crepes were decent and it's a nice spot to crab a dessert and just chat with friends since they have a decent sized dining area with chairs and tables. Portions are large and decently priced for what you're getting so sharing might be a good idea if you're not super hungry.

Items sampled: pizza crepe, dessert crepes 

Location: 4845 S Fort Apache Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89147

Saturday, April 18, 2015

White Castle - Las Vegas

I really had no desire to try White Castle. After seeing all the horrendous pictures of the barely edible-looking food, I was pretty sure I would never go, I was wrong.

Out of sheer morbid curiosity, we arrived at White Castle a few weeks ago and saw no line and figured it was as good a time to try as any. 

We shared some sliders with cheese and chicken rings along with some fries. Prices were a bit steep, but that's to be expected for the strip. 

I was surprised that the food wasn't as awful as I was expecting. It wasn't necessarily good, either. I favored the chicken rings to the sliders, which as people have noted are steamed and therefore have a mushy texture that I didn't enjoy. The fries were forgettable, so I'd avoid those.

Their drink and ice machines weren't working and people were bottle necking fighting for the one side that was actually functioning. 

All in all, I guess I'm glad I gave them a try, but it looks like one and done for me.

Items sampled: chicken rings, cheeseburger sliders, crinkle cut fries

Location: Casino Royale 3411 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Frijoles & Frescas - Las Vegas

I'm so glad those location has finally found a good restaurant to live up to this prime location. 

Conveniently located on the corner of Tropicana and Rainbow, there is a surprising lack of good food in this area. Frijoles & Frescas very recently opened up and I'm happy to report that they are just as good food and service-wise as their original location on Charleston.

I ordered the mini taco combination plate that comes with rice and beans and your choice of meat for the tacos and I upgraded my drink to a watermelon juice. The tacos were great. I chose al pastor and they were delicious and seasoned well. I wish they came with pineapple and they had a more extensive salad bar, but otherwise it they were great. The rice and beans were on point and I am always a sucker for watermelon juice. Very refreshing. My mom and I also shared some elote. Not the best I've ever had and a little over cooked, but decent.

Decent prices and a pretty large dining area good for eating in or takeout. I'm glad to have another option in this area for food.

Items sampled: carne asada nachos, watermelon juice, tacos al pastor, rice and beans.

Location: 4811 S Rainbow Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89103

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Bonefish Grill - Charleston

I had never been to Bonefish Grill before, but we had a celebratory lunch here a few weeks ago and I can't say I'm pressed.

We had the private dining area to ourselves, but we were a little disappointed to see the choices on the three-course prefix menu. The fish options were limited and all the entrees came with the same side option of cous cous salad, whether it made sense with the meal or not. 

I decided on the corn chowder to start, followed by the tilapia topped with artichoke heart, feta and a very salad cous cous salad. I don't particularly like tilapia, but given the other options, it seemed like the only option. The cous cous salad could not be salvaged. It was chewy and I wasn't the only one that was pushing it around their plate as pretending to eat it. The soup was just ok, but I heard the salad was overly garlicky and salty, so the soup was probably the best option. For dessert, I opted for the key like pie. It was nothing special, like most things about the meal.  

I didn't get a chance to order anything from the regular menu, but based on this meal, I don't have much interest in checking them out again.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Buon Gusto - Henderson, NV

After an afternoon of shopping, my friend and I were famished and decided to try Buon Gusto for dinner since we had a coupon. 

We walked in at 8pm and there it took some time to get seated since it's a pretty small place. We were finally seated and our waitress took our drink order. 

I ordered the baked ziti Siciliano and the Italian wedding soup. Our order took a pretty long time coming out and after about 20 minutes of waiting the waitress came out to let us know that she was sorry for the wait since they had apparently closed down the kitchen without letting her know and that they had to start it all up again to cook our orders and that of another table that came in before us. I'm a little surprised and disappointed that they decided to close down the kitchen a good hour before they were scheduled to close. Seems like a bad business practice. 

If we had known that the kitchen was closed, we would have found another place to eat, but after waiting so long we figured we might as well wait it out. 

The soup was lukewarm, not surprising after hearing about the kitchen snafu. Our entrees finally came out and they were decent. My pasta was good and I enjoyed the sauce quite a bit. The eggplant was overcooked and had an unappealing texture.

Our server was sweet and she kept an upbeat attitude despite all the shenanigans that seemed to be going on in he kitchen. The kitchen staff seemed to be playing around and more focused on wanting to leave for the evening, which made us uncomfortable and we ended up rushing through our meal to leave.

I see this being a decent spot for take out, but try not to come by too close to closing time.