Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Images from Vegas (Dining)

Craftsteak in MGM (I forgot a picture of the steak!)


Lotus of Siam (off the strip; best Thai food outside of Thailand)


I was shocked by how cheap our meal was at Lotus of Siam, even with Sake and other beverages.  This restaurant is a must-do if you are in Vegas, and it is worth the $15 cab ride.  I think the entire bill was around $40, and that included an appetizer and 3 entree sized dishes.  You can choose how spicy you want your food from 1-10.  We got a 6, which was a little too spicy for my liking.  A four would have been perfect for me (and I like spicy food).

Do you like spicy food?  If a restaurant offered spice levels from 1-10 (arbitrary clearly), which would you choose?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Breakfast in Vegas

I don't always go out for a nice breakfast while on vacation.  Sometimes grabbing a quick bite from a deli is sufficient, but other times I want a sit down breakfast.  Since Vegas is not New York, and the convenience of delis is nonexistent, we enjoyed sit down breakfasts each day in Las Vegas.

The first breakfast was included in our cheap booking (we got a $50 credit for food or drink in the hotel, and tickets to a show - good seats too).  We chose to check out the hotel buffet.  It was huge and offered breakfast foods, lunch foods, pasta, pizza, meats, Mexican dishes, Chinese food etc..  I had 2 plates:


The next day we went down to Fremont Street and ate at a popular restaurant called Hash House a Go Go in The Plaza hotel.  This restaurant is known for it's massive portions, and was featured on Man vs. Food.

I had the meatloaf hash.  Mmmmm, it was fabulous!  I skipped the biscuit, but ate both eggs and about 1/3 of the meatloaf/potato/veggie mixture.

Our next breakfast was enjoyed at Thomas Keller's Bouchon I ordered my eggs soft poached and they were the most perfectly poached eggs I have ever had.  I was very impressed.

We sipped mimosas and coffee and finished the meal with a chocolate croissant.

Most of these breakfasts were actually lunch as they were eaten at noon, or even later.  Ahhh, vacation.

Do you sit down for full breakfasts on vacation, or are you more likely to just run to a coffee shop or deli and grab something to-go?  How do you like your eggs cooked?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sage Restaurant & One of the Best Things I've ever Eaten

After an eight hour drive and a two hour flight on Monday, I found myself in Las Vegas.  I am not a huge fan of Vegas as a vacation spot, but I do enjoy going there for the heat and the food.  And ... there is no way I could turn down a $350 flight/hotel deal for four nights at the lovely Monte Carlo hotel.

When in Vegas, it is crucial to eat at nice restaurants for at least a few meals.  Some of the best food I have ever had has been eaten in this city.  First stop - Sage in the Aria Hotel.

We ordered the Signature Tasting Menu (which has some choice) and chose different options so we could try more dishes.

While we waited for our food we were given buns with soft creamy, herb butter and salt.


Next the waiter brought an amuse bouche.

All the while we were sipping delicious cocktails.

Then came the food ...


The Wagyu beef tartare (above and below) was hands down one of the best things I have ever tasted in my life.  It would rank in my top 5 for sure, if it is not the very best dish I have ever eaten.  


The raw beef, the egg yolk, the crisp chocolate, mmmmm, everything married together so well, and pretty much blew my mind.  I had always been afraid to try beef tartare, and now regret not ordering it at every chance I got (although my experience might not have been this good had I tried it at a lower end restaurant).  My first bite into the crusty toast topped with tartare deliciousness and I thought I had died and gone to foodie heaven.  Next time I go to Vegas it will be solely for this dish.  Seriously.

Next we ate some octopus and scallops.  The octopus was the most tender, non-chewy piece of octopus I have ever tasted.  The scallops sat on a salted caramel reduction.  Ahhh yeah!


The main courses were a pork shoulder dish and a beef belly dish.  Both were quite good, but the pork dish was a little salty, even for my salt-loving self.

Dessert was my least favourite part of the meal, firstly because I am not a huge dessert fan, and secondly because I could only try one of the desserts (the other had pine nuts which I am allergic to).  My dessert was olive oil ice cream with hazelnut crunch and basil jam.


With dessert we tried the Absinthe, which this restaurant is well known for.  We had the Marilyn Manson absinthe, served the traditional way (poured over a sugar cube and then the sugar is lit on fire).  


I am sad to say it was DISGUSTING.  At $25 a drink it was a shame we basically left both of them relatively untouched on the table.  The best way to describe the taste ... like drinking a straight glass of Ouzo.  If you don't know Ouzo, think strong black liquorice.

With the bill the waiter also brought a small cup of a spicy hot chocolate. 

All in all we had a great dining experience.  The Signature tasting menu was a great deal at $79 for 4 courses, which each course having 2-3 choices.  There is also an option to do a beer or wine pairing with each course for $39.  

I will be returning to this restaurant, for the beef tartare clearly, but also to try some other dishes on the menu, or perhaps the larger tasting menu that is also offered.

Have you ever eaten at Sage in Las Vegas?  
Have you ever had beef tartare?
How was your weekend?  What did you do?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ness Creek

I have had an exciting and adventurous week!  It started with a little road trip last weekend to The Ness Creek Music Festival about 5 hours away.  We stopped on the road for A&W, played a few highway road games to keep entertained and laughed a lot.

We caught some great bands, did a bit of dancing, experienced a crazy storm that washed away a couple tents, drank delicious drinks, and all in all ...


Had a pretty interesting weekend.

The adventure didn't end there ...

Why not come home from a 5-6 hour road trip, sleep a few hours, get up at 3 am, and drive 8 hours to catch a flight to Vegas?  $350 for a 4 night, flight included trip to Vegas ... like I said, why not?

What adventures have you had in the past week?  
Have you ever camped out at a music festival?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pinapples and Messy Kimchi Bowl

I recently came across a blog post on how to cut a pineapple, and although it did the trick, it was no where near as efficient as the job that this little tool does.

I picked this thing up for next to nothing at some kitcheny store (I think a lot of places sell them).

You just cut off the top of the pineapple, stick the spiky end in and turn.  

Once you are almost at the bottom of the pineapple, you stop, and pull up until all the insides come out.  Then you remove the black piece on the tool and pull off your perfect pineapple rounds.


It leaves the core behind, which you can then simply cut out and BAM you are left with a perfect mug for your next slushy summer drink.

I love my pineapple corer.  

I also love kimchi.  Actually, I have a slight obsession with kimchi.  I might need an intervention.  I have 2 liters of it in my fridge, but still consider buying more when I pass the Korean grocery store.

Yesterday I made a messy bowl with sticky rice that I cooked with gochujang.  I topped it with seaweed, kimchi and a fried egg.  Yummmmmmmm!

I have also developed a love for sea weed.  I have been eating it from the bag like potato chips the last couple of days.

How do you cut a pineapple?  Do you like sea weed?
What are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Scorching & Bands

It has been HOT this week.  I have been trying to spend time outside, seeking out shady spots whenever possible to prevent melting.

Yesterday Allysia and I met in person for the first time at a restaurant called The Rooftop.  As mentioned in my last post, Allysia and I have been bloggy friends for a while and I have seen her wicked sweet band play a couple of times, but we had never met.  We sat up on the roof but had a perfect shaded seat and delicious beverages to keep us cool. 

I ordered the lobster dip with pitas and was really impressed.

The pitas were fried which made them so yummy and obviously calorie-free.

In the evening I went to see my very favourite local band, Screaming Daisies.  They put on an amazing show and left the crowd wanting more.

Today I met a bunch of friends downtown for lunch outside and a free concert put on by another local band that I love, The Fortunate Isles.

I had an African peanut curry, which wasn't the most refreshing choice for the scorching day, but still good.  

The concert was dancy and fun as always.

Tomorrow I am heading out of town for a weekend-long outdoor music festival.  If you haven't noticed by now, I love music.

Do you take in live music often?  What is the music scene like where you live?  Have you been spending a lot of time outside this so far this summer?  Eating outside?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Summer Afternoons

I am always looking for people to hang out with in the summer during the day as the days can get boring and repetitive.  Luckily my sister works evenings and was able to meet me for lunch yesterday.  She also brought along my favourite little person, my nephew Giovanni.  

We had lunch at Flip downtown, which is one of my new favourite restaurants.  The drinks are amazing, and I have never had a bad meal there.  Yesterday I ordered the 5 a.m. Farmer's Salad.  

It was eggcellent.  

After lunch we went down the street to Fresh and Sweet because we heard that they had maple bacon cupcakes!  


Unfortunately they left a lot to be desired.  I ate about half of this cupcake and tossed the rest.

I hope my sister plans on hanging out with me a lot more this summer!  Speaking of my sister and summer, she posted some great summer beauty tips on her blog today.  If you are interested in beauty tips head over there, as I know you don't come here for anything like that :-)  I only give tips like these (maybe I shouldn't be giving tips at all).

This afternoon I am lucky enough to have another afternoon date planned.  I am meeting Allysia from one of my favourite blogs, The Real Meal.  We have been bloggy friends for quite a while, and I have seen her band play twice, but we have never actually met in person.  I am excited!

What are you up to today?  Do you have any days off during the week?  Since you don't come here for the beauty tips, what does keep you coming back to Everyday Foodie?