Monday, November 12, 2012

VEGAS Review...

As I have been going over our trip to Vegas -- I might as well call this a review of our DINING experiences in Vegas. Because that is primarily what we did. At least that's primarily what I did.

I ate.

And ate.

And ate some more.

But, that is what I love to do.

 I'm a foodie.

And I admit it!!

Just a little background…..the Hubs had one of his good buddies from college call him up and ask him if we could make it out to Vegas for a weekend. If you know my husband -- he didn't have to twist his arm too hard. We made arrangements for the littles (and we are so fortunate to have BOTH sets of grands near -- it takes a village! Right, Babe and Poppy? Right Bebe and Papa? Thank you ALL so very much!!)

I did as I always do. I look SO forward to the trip and think how nice it will be to have a couple of days with the hubs. Relax. Eat fun food. Sleep. Shop. And do it all over again. THEN panic sets in. My mind takes me the places I don't want to go. I worry. I start thinking of all the what ifs and whys and why NOTS......yeah, no fun. AND it can put a damper on trip excitement real quick!

Thankfully, my husband can for the most part talk a little sense in me. And off to Vegas I went.

Did I mention I have flight anxiety.

Yep. Sure do.

I LOVE to travel and see new things and eat fabulous food......but I HATE traveling.

Can I please just click my heels THREE times and be there already?!?!!?

We arrived to the airport with no troubles. For some reason, once inside -- certain areas were blocked off that normally aren't. We thought, "that's weird". We made it through bag check, no problems. Next stop: the good ole x-ray machine. Seriously, it has been a while since I've been on a plane. Totally forgot about having to take my boots off. FORTUNATELY, I was wearing a decent pair of socks. WHEW! We made it through the human shuffle just fine. We made our way to our gate, got our boarding pass, waited a few minutes and then started hearing, "please remain where you are. Noone roam around the terminal".

Yeah, not your typical announcement.

I started to feel the anxiety rising. Up the gut, into the throat........

It was one of the few times I could remember looking forward to getting ON the plane and getting the heck out of the AIRPORT!!

After a short wait, we boarded without excitement.

***after getting home, I was asked by a friend if we were at the airport when the BOMB THREAT was going on. YIKES!!

Good one!

Oh yeah, oh yeah. VEGAS.

Sorry, my airplane anxiety almost got the best of me.

Sooooooooo, for MANY people -- the first thing that comes to mind when one mentions VEGAS is


Not this mama.

For me -- it's a ll about the cuisine.

FOOD, baby!!

Me loves to eat!

After getting checked into our Swanky-sweet hotel (the Cosmopolitan), we got settled in and then headed to Jaleo by Jose Andres to meet up with our friends.

(view from our balcony)

This was my first official tapas experience. We were pretty much STARVING.....okay, we were really, really hungry. So after looking at a very extensive menu -- we placed our trust in our handy-dandy server dude to choose our dinner for the evening. Trust me, there were lots of tasty bites and we didn't know how many we would need.....he took care of it all.

We started with the Pan con tomate. Bread brushed with fresh tomato. And fresh it was. A different take on brushchetta. A nice crispy bite with the fresh tomato spread. Good choice, Julio! (and no, his name wasn't Julio. I've already wracked my brain enough trying to remember everything we ate -- sorry, didn't have room in there for the nice waiter guy's name)

Next: Selección de embutidos. Selection of all Spanish cured meats. This was nice, but.....I must admit - probably wouldn't pick this one again. We are talking paper-thin slices of cured meat. Some from white pig, black pig and probably a spotted pig for all I know. Interesting and new, but a one-time experience for me. Plus PRICEY.

I must insert here that from here on out -- the order in which we received our food for the evening is somewhat questionable from here. I tried looking back at the menu to spark my memory, but I don't know that they keep the same exact menu as the one online. Plus, like I said -- there was a TON of food.

Okay.....I know we had the Datiles con tocino 'como have todo el mundo (bacon wrapped dates) and some little fried fritter things with chicken and some type of creamy cheese. Both, little bites of delight.

A shot of deliciously fresh gazpacho. And I have always dreamed of loving gazpacho. That night my dream came true! It was pretty fabulous. I got what appeared to be about an ounce. It definitely left me wanting MORE!!

Endivias con queso de cabra y naranjas. Endives, goat cheese, oranges, and almonds. This was honestly one of my favorite bites. I'm a sucker for a little salad! Ha!

I had seen the word BEETS on the menu and just had to have the beet salad. I can't get enough beets. I have, to this point, been unsuccessful with growing them in my garden. I eat fresh beets whenever I have the chance. Such an earthy delicacy. I loved it, but probably wouldn't have insisted on having it had I truly understood all that we had in store.

Ensalade de coles de Bruselas con albaricoques, manzanas y jamon Serrano. Warm brussels sprouts salad with apricots, apple and serrano ham. Pretty tasty, but.....forgettable.

Oh dear me, it seems as though I have forgotten our MAIN course. Pitiful, I know. BUT did you read all the small plates we had up to this point?!? I'll have to check with Trev when I think about it.

We also partook (is that even a word) in a couple of super rich chocolaty desserts. Very rich and very serious.

There is definite a BIG price to pay for the waiter "taking care of you", but I am glad that we chose this route for our first tapas experience. We did NOT leave there hungry -- not at all!!


After sleeping in on Friday, (Ha! whatever! I was still on Arkansas time and woke up at freaking FIVE o'clock!!), we decided it was a good idea to hit the gym. We traveled down 34 floors (YES we took the elevator -- we were going to the gym, silly!), and made our way to check in. We were then told that it was 20 bucks a day to work out. TWENTY BUCKS? Seriously, Cosmo -- after the rates you charge and all the other monies you get from us, you really need TWENTY additional dollars PER day for us to WORK OUT? We decided that our planned 30 min workout could be postponed.

We thought it was a MUCH better idea to return upstairs, get ready, and head down to the BUFFET at the WICKED SPOON!!

Oh yeah -- it was oh-so-wicked. And that's a cool wicked, by the way. This was the most fabulous buffet I have been to.....maybe EVER. They have most things individually portioned. And not only that. They are portioned in the cutest, little tiny pots and ramekins. LOVE IT!! From braised short-rib over polenta, to prime rib to sushi to eggs benedict to your everyday pancakes and waffles. From BEET (yes, I said BEET) and goat cheese salad to fresh fruit and granola to miso soup. THEY HAD IT ALL, folks! AND -- it was wonderful! In my journey to being a foodie -- I've become a buffet skeptic. (not a buffet snob, but a skeptic. hey -- I'm not afraid to take the fam to an all-you-can-eat pig-out) Typically, you lose quality when served in such large quantity. This was NOT the case. MOST things were top-notch. My two most favorite new experiences there was the Rambutan and the salted peanut and caramel gelato and the nutella gelato. AND together they were better than.......peanut butter and jelly!!! Yeah -- I'll take a Wicked Spoon workout over a treadmill ANY DAY!!

No guilt needed because we walked. And shopped. And walked. And shopped. For a long, long time.

Before long, it was time to eat again. Yes, for real. And I was actually hungry (which I never thought I would eat again......ha!)

We had lunch at RA sushi bar. Can I get a YUM-O?!? Yes! It was pretty fantabulous. I love some fresh sushi!! It was just that. Fresh and delicious. I would definitely recommend. We enjoyed the chili ponzu yellowtail, tuna sashimi, lobster shrimp roll, california roll to name a few. We had the yellow monkey roll (sans cream cheese).....probably would not go for this one again. The flavors just didn't meld well for me. Oh, and if you are a green salad junkie like myself -- theirs is generously portioned and their ginger dressing is light and fresh. Gotta love it!

We did a little more shopping and headed back to the hotel to get ready for.........yes, DINNER!!

We had chosen Delmonico Steakhouse for the evening. It is a restaurant of Emeril Lagasse's. We had eaten there several years back and decided to make a return visit. Emeril did not disappoint. The meal was fantastic!! We started with the truffle parmesan potato chips -- yeah -- try eating just one of those. Not gonna happen!! My favorite course hands down was the spinach salad. It was superb. There was the most fantastic fried, poached egg.I have KNOW idea how that managed that one. A light batter surrounded a perfectly poached egg that once broken it's yummy warm yolk was the perfect accompaniment to the small pieces of the thick maple bacon found throughout. The vinaigrette was the perfect partner to the perfect crime. IT had to be sinful. It was THAT good!! My filet was cooked to perfection. The banana cream pie -- the perfect ending to a wonderful meal. Hope to see you again, soon, Emeril!!

The next morning, I DID actually workout. ONLY because it was included in my SPA privileges. Oh yeah -- Spa time, baby!!

I must say the gym was a fun experience as well. I've always got my eyes and ears peeled for celebrities at the gym in these type of places. You never know WHO you're going to see.........didn't see anyone this time. Bummer. I got my sweat on. Then I roamed around a bit. Did a little physioball. Tried out a new machine....basically the Total gym of the 2000's. Fun stuff. It has a touch screen. You pick your muscle group and it lists five or ten different options for exercises. You select the one you want to do, and they have a video of someone performing the exercise. PRETTY COOL. This PT likes!!

Enough was enough. Time to chill

I LOVE a place I can roam around in my robe and sample all the tasty little spa treats they leave out. Cucumber water and all. Nice, so very NICE!!

Before I knew it -- it was MY TURN. In I went. 50 minutes of R-E-L-A-X-A-T-I-O-N! Ahhhhhhh. So wonderlicious. Why don't I do this more often.......

As I headed out in my clouded daze, I decided to take a few minutes in the steam room and hot tub/pool. Oh, I could have stayed there all day.........but, there was more EATING to do!!

I met up with my friend at the Cheesecake Factory. I know -- not extraordinary, but dependably good. They pulled through once again. AND I actually left WITHOUT cheesecake! Right -- won't let it happen again!

After several hours of intense SHOPPING, we worked up ANOTHER appetite.

Our final dinner of the trip was planned for the Foundation Room. It is at the top of Mandalay Bay. Awesome view from their patio.....unfortunately, we were not seated close enough to the windows to suit my fancy -- so, this little perk didn't quite meet it's mark. I can't say that the food was outstanding as well. I had the Sea taste buds did not do jumping jacks. AND the hubs had to send his fish BACK! (too dry) They DID correct this and the second time around was much more satisfactory. Much appreciated!! Another mark against them was that we told our server we were celebrating Trevor's birthday (a few days early....).  So, they did what many restaurants do, they brought a dessert out for the b-day boy! BUT --  they charged us for it. Typically, when a dessert is brought for a birthday -- you don't see it on your tab. AT LEAST ask the b-day boy what he wants if you're gonna charge him for it!!

And that pretty much sums it up in a nutshell. Ok, more like a huge oyster that a mermaid can fit in. I can't help but get carried away when talking about food.

Our final morning was one of packing up, heading downstairs for a pastry and panini (both excellent by the way) and making our way to the airport.

Fun trip. Fun times. Great to see old friends. Will do it again, soon. Soon? Maybe not too soon, right Babe and Poppy? Right Bebe and Papa? Ha!!


  1. All of your meals sound so good! I would have had to ride in the cargo section of the plane! By the way, I'm the worst flier ever. I have to take a Xanex before I even get to the airport.

  2. Loved reading about your trip and seeing your nice friends! The food sounds so delightful!

    Love, Mom