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food: breakfast

i have long complained of a lack of decent breakfast in the suburbs.
it seems to me there is only 2 choices.
either is greasy and disgusting like IHOP or a greasy spoon… or its a chain restaurant like milestones or browns or whatever and so painfully uninspired.

i crave the breakfasts of the city.
vancouver is a breakfast city.
every saturday and sunday, restaurants are packed to the brim and lined up outside with devotees.

there is no room in the vancouver breakfast scene for a mediocre offering.
it simply would not survive.

vancouver-ites crave healthy options.
we’re more fruit than greasy hashbrowns.
turkey sausage options is a must.  turkey bacon is so 2005.
and if your eggs aren’t free range, then you have some explaining to do.
salmon finds its way into everything, beyond the west coast special smoked salmon benny… its in omlettes and other applications that we see as so normal, but tourists find quirky.

yes, vancouver loves its breakfasts.
and yes, we are snobs about it.
the coffee must be from fair trade organic beans… and if its not french pressed, well, it’ll do… if thats all you have.
are your potatoes local?  they’re in season, you know.
is the bacon house cured with no nitrates?  and what farm are the pigs raised on?  is it within 100 miles of here?

i joke, but not really.
we are a city of food snobs.  but i can’t fault us for it.
we expect the best quality when dining out and don’t settle for anything less.
and i think if more people thought about their food that way, we’d be in a better place as a society.
respect for food translates into respect for yourself.
it stands to reason that if you have standards about what you’re eating, you won’t find yourself scarfing fast food or junk food.  you’ll take the time to think about the chemical cocktail of what you’re actually consuming.

but as usual, i digress.

until recently, whenever i wanted breakfast out, it always ended in frustration.
like i said off the top, its all either super unhealthy or super lame.
option 3 is chinese.  there is some spectacular dim sum around my area.  but again, super unhealthy.  i honestly can’t eat it anymore, it just makes me ill, no matter how good it is on the way down, it culminates in the rest of the day being miserable and full of regret.

breakfast is also tough for me because i’m not really an egg lover.
the idea of an egg on its own… like sunny side up, is gross to me.
eggs done up, like an omelette… okay…
eggs smothered in hollandaise sauce?  well, now i’m interested.  but i still like them poached hard so the yolk doesn’t dilute my delicious sauce.
as well, since i ditched the bread, eggs are even less interesting.  i mean, wasn’t the best part sopping up the runny yolk with your toast?

basically my breakfast of choice was often toast, meat and fruit.  not a big potato lover, especially when its those “breakfast french fries”.  if its deep fried, its not a hash brown, okay?

to me, my favourite breakfast ever is in waikiki.  at the Kani Ka Pila Grille poolside at the outrigger reef on the beach.
i ate here almost every morning for 10 days and bitterly regretted the days i chose other destinations.

the devil that tempted me most here was the coconut toast.
try to imagine… as a (now recovered) carb fiend and a coconut obsessed girl, this was my perfect breakfast.
in fact i was quite certain i could happily live off this and only this until the end of days.

she is a thing of beauty.
the empty being that is white bread… but hawaiian white bread.  which has a lovely inherent sweetness in it…
slathered in coconut oil and coated with fresh coconut and then grilled face down on the flat top.
the result is chewy and sweet and bready and crunchy and so aarggsaiuffhauouilsagbndsNGDKSJBN

i was obsessed.

my other breakfast obsession at this place was their banana pancakes.
weird, because i’m not a real banana lover.  nor am i a pancake lover.
but its safe to say that the hot macadamia nut syrup was the clincher.

naturally, the fact that everything was served with a luscious piece of papaya was just icing on the cake.
i adore the tropical fruit in hawaii.
(you know as opposed to all those other things in hawaii i just hate, lol)

anyways… back to local.

i have finally stumbled upon a suitable option right here, only a few blocks from my house.
the place in question is Cora’s and they call themselves breakfast enthusiasts.  which i dig.

but most of all, i dig that there’s nothing deep fried in the whole joint.
and that everything comes with an absolute mountain of fruit.
i love that there’s a fruit cocktail of the day that changes constantly.
i love the slight quebec twist on all the foods, heavy on the crepes.
i just straight up love this place.

the only negatives about it is that i find the wheat-free options few and far between.
i’ve resorted to modifying items, like getting a benny without the english muffins…
this is the mushroom & brie benny.  but i like the asparagus one too.

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but sometimes i get tired of modifying menus.
so i just cheat on my no-wheat and regret it later.
this is one of my other faves.
its delicious lean sausages wrapped in cheese & buckwheat crepes.

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i can never finish this meal.  i get through 2 sausages and half my fruit and pack up the rest for the next day.  two breakfasts in one, and not an egg in sight.

thanks cora’s for making me believe the suburb breakfast can make the cut.

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travel: countdowns and big ideas

i’m a person that loves my countdowns.
i generally know exactly how many days until i have to do anything that i care about.
and right now, i have 3 travel countdowns.
and this is exciting to me.

turks & caicos: 53 days
italy: 72 days
honolulu: 124 days

ya, i accidentally booked us a trip to hawaii in november.
well, to be fair, i had $300 in free travel as a reward for selling a crapload of hawaii last month… and there was a travel agent promo code for discounted flights… soooo… it was basically so cheap i couldn’t say no.
so we’re headed back to paradise for a quick 7 night stay at the end of november.

that will probably be our last vacation until vegas in may for our 5th wedding anniversary.
which will be a full week of all out awesome. vegas style.

but it also means that i’m now set dreaming about other 2013 trips…
currently i have 3 viable options that i’m courting.

option a: scandinavian countries.
my husband’s background is finnish, so he’s dying to see the motherland of saunas and pickled fish.  and i really want to see iceland and denmark and sweden… so we’ll probably take 2 weeks or so and hop around to some of those fun countries.
option b:  heading back to the caribbean and do the island hopping down there.
option c: eastern europe.  prague, germany and maybe even russia.

but these are plans that my husband can’t yet process because first we have to go on this italian trip and pay for said italian trip.  which is fair.
so, one step at a time.
(which is clearly a challenging mindset for me)

but back to the tasks at hand.
we booked italy so long ago that it felt like september would never come.
but its starting to get real.  and close.
our final payments on the tour are due mid-august.  and then we’re paid up in full and just need to save spending money.

the next step will be reading through all the information and deciding what we’re going to do in our spare time in each city.
as i’ve said before, i really want to go in with a plan to make sure that we don’t miss anything important, since in all reality, this is a one in a lifetime trip.
not to say i definitely would never return to italy, but there’s a million other places i want to see on this planet, so its unlikely we would return in the near future.  so i have to plan to git’r’done on this trip.

i feel like i’m trying to process so much information that its overwhelming me and i’m putting it off a bit.
so maybe my pet project for this week will be breaking it into bite-sized pieces.
one city at a time.

but rome in particular is daunting.  i have 3 books dedicated to just rome.  and they are not small books.
the options of what to see are endless.  its a massive city that we could probably spend the length of our vacation just there and still have sights unseen.
and trying to decide what to see in 4 days… ya.  tough and overwhelming.
what some people list as “must-see”, others will say “don’t bother”…
and one person’s “highlight” is anothers “tourist trap”
so its stressing me out a bit.

what i have confirmed is that we have a 48 hour hop on/hop off bus pass.  which will serve as transportation around most of the big city sights.
and we have a food tour booked for our second day.

after much deliberation, i decided to book us with  Eating Italy Food Tours.
my choice was based largely on the consistently excellent reviews on trip advisor. out of 283 reviews, it received 271 excellent and 12 very good and not a single rating below that.  which is pretty much unheard of.
and also the fact that it is a walking based tour focused on local food and small businesses.

there’s certainly no shortage of foodie options in rome, but this one really caught my eye.
so, i contacted them and they offered me a little agent discount, so i committed.
and now i’m quite excited about it.
we visit multiple places and get food at each one. and the tour is 12 people max.

The Best Foods in Rome– In your hometown you know exactly where to go to find the best food around. In a city as big as Rome, uncovering those hidden culinary gems can be a challenge, if you don’t have some local insight. Our guided Real Taste of Rome Food Tour takes you to seven local favorites in one of Rome’s most delicious and historic neighborhoods, away from crowds. Ten mouth-watering food tastings, enough for a very hearty lunch, are savored on every tour. The secrets to preparing each dish are revealed and you get to meet the colorful local people who have been perfecting these recipes for generations. Food tasting stops include a historic outdoor market, an authentic Roman pastry shop, Rome’s most famous gourmet market, one of the best trattorias in the city, an award winning pizza shop, and a gelateria that has been making gelato from scratch for 98 years. All food tastings are included in the ticket price.

Genuine Historic & Cultural Experience– We like to say this is “more than a food tour” because we will not just fill your bellies but we’ll also give you plenty of food for thought. Between tastings, you experience what “real life in Rome” is like as you stroll through this non-touristy, traditional Roman neighborhood. Our knowledgeable and entertaining guides will dazzle you with fascinating stories that take you deep into Rome’s rich culture and often untold history. We visit remarkable sites from throughout Roman history- from the time of Julius Caesar, to the period under Mussolini, up to modern day including the birthplace of Rome’s most notorious Mafia gang. Some of the treasured locations visited include ancient architectural wonders, beautiful piazzas, awe-inspiring pyramids, and a hidden urban oasis.

Delicious food specialties are served on the Real Taste of Rome Food Tour (subject to change):

  • Barberini – This legendary pastry shop making edible works of art since 1945.
  • Volpetti – Rome’s #1 gourmet food shop for over 40 years.They have over 150 kinds of Italian cheeses!
  • Famous Testaccio Fresh Food Market Over 70 family-owned fresh food market stands. We use these wonderfully fresh ingredients to build our own bruschetta and make a mozzarella di buffala Caprese salad
  • Dess’Art – Costanza makes the very best cannoli in Rome, but don’t just take our word for it.
  • Flavio al Velavevodetto – In all of Rome voted top 10 Roman restaurants. You will not find a better Roman dining experience in the city.
  • 00100 Pizza – Stefano is the Picasso of Rome’s famous fried rice croquet called Suppli’. We will taste his lastest masterpiece- “The Genovese”
  • Da Bucatino – Considered a local Roman institution. When you serve some of the best Roman pasta dishes in the city for over nine decades, we feel safe calling them an institution.
  • Giolitti da 1914 – For nearly a century this famous gelateria has been making some of Rome’s best gelato the old-fashioned way

so, needless to say, this is hugely exciting to me.
obviously as a food lover, the cuisine was a very big part of our choice to vacation in italy.
but i had been a little discouraged by tales of less than stellar eating options in many of the major italian cities.
so this tour will at least start us on a high note, and they also send you away with a guide of their recommended restaurants in rome including the top 10 pizza places.
which will also give us a little guidance for our next few days there.

and honestly… i can’t wait for this:

restaurants: aureole las vegas

there’s a certain good/bad that happens with fine dinning.
the good, obviously is the amazing food.
the bad, for me, is that its so inappropriate to take photos of your food in a fine dinning restaurant.  i want to… but the idea makes me shudder.
so for this post, there are really no good photos, but i’m sure you’ll make do.

this is another restaurant that i have long wanted to dine at.
charlie palmer’s career is one that i’ve followed with interest and awe.
if you’re not familiar, here’s a little blurb for you on the man.

Charlie Palmer’s renowned New York Aureole enjoys a reputation as one of the finest restaurants in the United States. Palmer, honored as the “Best Chef” in New York by the James Beard Foundation, opened Aureole at Mandalay Bay in 1999, earning the prestigious Four Diamond Award each year since.
In both 2008 and 2009, Aureole was awarded a Michelin Star, and also received a Four Star Recipient in the 2009 Mobil Travel Guide.

foodie confession: i have never eaten at a michelin star restaurant.
so this was huge for me.
also, this is one of the best restaurants in north america.  so… yes.  excitement.

to make the most of it, we decided on the parallel tasting menu.
4 courses with 2 dishes on each, highlighting the same ingredient done in a totally different way.
frigging brilliant.

naturally we also opted for the wine pairing.
because if you’re going to do something, do it right dammit.

course one:  beets.
plate 1 – roasted baby beets, fine herb cheese & bourbon maple syrup
pate 2 – golden beet panna cotta, cured scottish salmon & tangerine lace

as the plate hit the table, it was immediately clear that we were in for something special.

the first side of the plate with the roasted beets was a delicate little salad that really highlighted the natural flavour of red and golden beets.  the bourbon maple syrup added an extra sweetness and the fine herb cheese was like if someone made boursin from scratch.

the second side was all fine dinning.  the panna cotta was earthy and smooth as silk and the cured salmon on top provided a salty punch to cut the richness.

course one = success.

course two: asparagus
plate 1 – white asparagus, crispy serrano ham & black peppercorn gastrique
pate 2 – diver scallop & asparagus terrine, wild mushrooms, yuzu foam and trout roe

this one i did take a crappy iphone in candlelight picture of.  because it was beautifully presented.  but of course, this doesn’t really do it any favours.

i believe this was my favourite course.

the scallop terrine was unlike anything i’ve ever eaten before.
that side of the plate was all about technique and it’s tough to describe the flavours and textures on this plate.

the other side was relatively simple in comparison, with the asparagus roasted and the serrano ham somehow made to be like a cracker and the star was the gastrique, which frankly i have absolutely no clue how they made that.
course 3: pork
plate 1- roasted niman ranch pork tenderloin, wrinkle potatoes, roasted baby leeks & romesco sauce
plate 2 – house made pork sausag, rock shrimp, vietnamese steam bun, cucumber salad & nuoc man sauce

ya.  so.  then this happened.
the one side was classic pork.  the tenderloin cooked to medium well, absolutely lovely, with each little slice held up by a baby wrinkle roasted potato… and the roasted leeks and romesco sauce?  come on.
i have a fierce love for romesco sauce.  a well done one is a work of art.  and this my friends, was a freaking picasso.

the second plate was kind of like a riff on a bahn mi sandwich, which while clever, didn’t really wow me like the other plate did.  the sausage was full of garlic and lemongrass and the nuoc man sauce was like a delicate fish broth with obvious careful preparation and refined technique… but i was in love with the more traditional preparation.

somehow… we moved on to dessert although we were so full, it was a bit of a struggle.

course 4: ginger
plate 1 – galangal ginger beignet, poached strawberries & lychee sorbet
plate 2 – coconut ginger vacherin, braised pineapple & vanilla chantilly

for this one, you get a grainy crappy photo too.

and what you see on the right, as described as plate two, was one of the best things i was served all evening..

until this happened…
bonus desert.

this was some sort of chocolate lava cake that was filled with a cayenne chocolate cream from the gods.
and served with an incredible tasting mint sorbet.
it was so mint.  like eating a sprig of fresh mint.  absolutely a wonderful way to finish a meal.

the hard part about consuming a meal this spectacular is doing it any justice when describing it.  there is no combination of words that i possess that can truly describe what was so special about this dinner.

from my experience, true fine dinning is worth the price.
there is a marked difference between having a meal like this and having just another meal.
because this meal falls in the top 5 meals i’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.

restaurants: rm seafood

rick moonen’s rm seafood is a pretty choice little place tucked in to the corner of mandalay bay right by the house of blues.
it has an upstairs fine dinning restaurant and a downstairs casual restaurant with a raw bar.
i’m a huge supporter of this concept… because sometimes you want to go all fancy pants and sometimes its nice to have a bit more of a casual option for your food.
we ate at the downstairs for this occasion, since we had just done a fancy pants meal the night before.  and let me assure you that downstairs did not mean there was any sacrifice in quality or service.

the big underlying focus of rick’s restaurant is sustainability and i can totally appreciate that.
in a city like las vegas, that is so utterly unsustainable, the irony is delicious.

of course, i started with a cocktail.
the menu was mighty and enticing, but i settled on the lehigh.

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and a yummy little drink it was.
i only had the one cocktail, as we ordered a bottle of wine – the kim crawford white for the record.

and then, on to the food.
i really wanted to try something from the raw bar, but my mom isn’t a big sushi/raw fish fan.
we agreed on the ebi-go roll which has tempura prawns in it and just the tuna sashimi on the top like a lovely little blanket of yum.
it also had a little jalapeno in it, which added a nice spiciness without drastically changing the flavour as wasabi would.
like an idiot, i dipped my first piece in soy sauce out of habit, but after that, i just ate it as is.
the flavours were so delicate and balanced, it didn’t need anything else.

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for our mains, my mom had the chef’s daily special, the surf & surf, which was lobster and prawns on toasted orzo.
and man oh man was it ever good.
the lobster was buttery and perfectly cooked – admit it, how many times have you had an overcooked rubbery lobster? it’s so disappointing.
and the toasted orzo was nutty and full of flavour.
i wish i could remember the sauce with it.

i ordered off the menu, the turbot caught my eye right away.
the waiter chris (hi chris! – he asked for my blog address) declared it to be a favourite and really, it had me at dijon-chive spaetzle.  also i LOVE ramps.

turbot – dijon-chive spaetzle, ramp greens, mustard caviar & whole grain mustard butter sauce

seriously?
the turbot was cooked beautifully with a golden crust so crisp that you could knock on it, but the underside of the fish was perfectly done.
the spaetzle was tender and not gooey and the mustard sauce was a bit strong on the first few bites, but once your palate got used to it, it was really lovely.

for dessert, it was a simple choice.  the dessert sampler.
because if you can try more than 1 dessert at a time, you sure as hell should.

blueberry cobler beignets: a-la-minute beignets, blueberry compote, vanilla bean ice cream & brown sugar streusel
vanilla bean cheesecake: cinnamon sugar puff pastry, strawberry coulis & basil sorbet
decadent chocolate: chocolate brioche pudding, chocolate raspberry mouse & chocolate ice cream
key lime pie: swiss meringue & cilantro syrup

ya, i’m not even sure what to say about this.  it was just ridiculous.

the standouts for me were the cheesecake – so thick and rich and the puff pastry was a nice change to the usual crust, but it was the basil sorbet that really elevated it.  it cut through the cheesecake and toned down the richness so that you wanted to keep eating it until it was all gone.  (and we did)

and the key lime pie was my other favourite – to no one’s surprise.
the cilantro syrup seemed like an odd choice for a split second until it hit me, that OF COURSE!  cilantro and limes are perfect partners in all sorts of savoury mexican applications, why wouldn’t they be BFF on the dessert plate?
definite stroke of genius.

and then… as if this meal wasn’t already all kinds of awesome, i actually got to meet rick moonen himself!

i was pretty excited.  (can you tell by my face?)

its an absolutely wonderful thing to be able to tell the chef face to face how much you enjoyed not only the meal, but the whole inspiration for the restaurant.
and he was so nice.
like, legitimately kind and interested in my comments and discussing restaurants in vegas and vancouver that focused on sustainability.
it was a real pleasure to have met him, and big thanks goes out to our wonderful server chris that got him to come out for me.

i also took home his book which is an insanely huge collection of all sorts of knowledge on how to cook, handle, clean and select fish.  it’s a very exciting read thus far, i’m glad i picked it up.  20120528-114006.jpg

(also – he signed is best fishes?  love!)

restaurants: mesa grill las vegas

i have long wanted to try one of bobby flay’s restaurants.
he’s not my favourite chef… his food looks amazing, but there’s just something about his cocky attitude that kinda rubs me the wrong way… but i can’t deny that the man has skills.

mesa grill in caesar’s palace has been at the top of my “i should eat there one time” list for years now.
i’ve had many plans to dine there that have somehow always been shuffled aside… i think its the location. i just never go into caesar’s palace.  i’m not sure why, but it just isn’t a place that i hang out.

anyways.  because we had a spa appointment booked in caesars for this trip, i thought this would be a perfect opportunity to try out mesa grill at long last.
and eating here for lunch works perfectly because you get the same great quality and cheaper prices.  win win.

the first tough decision… the drinks.
i’ve been on a bit of a manhattan kick lately and bobby’s certainly sounded enticing… but in that moment of sobriety, i just couldn’t justify a $22 manhattan.
that being said, i definitely regret not doing it now.
jeremy – if you go there, i’ll give you $22 to drink this for me and report back.

tough decision number two (not really) was when the bread basket hit the table…
since i’ve been off wheat, i have been avoiding the bread basket quite easily… but hot damn, i couldn’t avoid it this time, so i dove right into this little beauty…

its a cornbread muffin with two kinds of cornmeal.
mmmmhmmmm.
it was the first time in the meal that i shook my first with a *damn you bobby flay*

there was also a jalapeno cheese bread that was out of this world and was swiftly consumed by me.
so swiftly, there is no photo.
ohmygodwhitebreadisdelicious

for the real food… we started with a signature bobby flay item, the roasted duck in a blue corn pancake.

oh sweet baby jesus… there are no words.
this little mother fucker is one of the tastiest things i’ve ever eaten.
the duck is smothered in a hoisin kinda sauce and sweet and a little spicy and the pancake is just… ya.
and the sauces are so bobby flay.  pureed and seasoned to perfection and yum yum yum.
enter the second *damn you bobby flay*

next up, we had the chopped salad.
i enjoy a good chopped salad and this one fit the bill.
nothing crazy unusual about it, it was just a well done salad full of tasty morsels.

the other thing that we ordered was the ancho glazed salmon.
this wasn’t our first pick, but the waiter told us it was a signature item and very good, so we decided to take his advice.
and boy, we were glad we did.

besides being perfectly seasoned and delicious, it was also cooked to medium perfection.
really, the only way to eat salmon.

*damn you bobby flay* that was some delicious salmon!

after this, we were very full and very happy…
but, then the waiter came with a dessert menu…

okay, seriously.  *damn you bobby flay*

we were at a loss… even making a short list of what we wanted was hard.
so we asked for advice.
without a hesitation, the server said “sticky toffee pudding”
done.

seriously?  bobby flay, go eff yourself.
this one is not even fair.
the dulce de leche like substance around the plate was made with goat milk and salted, for a sweet, salty tangy sauce.
the cake, like some fucking ridiculous substance that shouldn’t exist in nature.
vanilla bean ice cream.  perfect.

in short, a ridiculous end to a ridiculous meal.
okay bobby flay.  you win.

restaurants: hussong’s cantina las vegas

i am a fiend for mexican food.
and all the awesome mexican and mexican inspired food is one of my favourite parts of traveling to the usa.
hussong’s cantina is a place that we stumbled upon a few years ago and wandered into for a margarita.
it turned out to be the best margarita i’ve ever had, and thus, a love was born.

the food is also not so shabby, although it does lean toward the american penchant for fat & deep fried more than for true mexican style preparations, but hey, there’s a time and a place for everything.

lets start with the margaritas.
this place boasts being the creator of the margarita. their wikipedia says:
Hussong’s is reputedly the place where the Margarita was created—back in October, 1941 by bartender Don Carlos Orozco. He concocted the perfect mixture of equal parts tequila, Damiana (Cointreau is used now) and lime, served over ice in a salt-rimmed glass for Margarita Henkel, daughter of the German Ambassador to Mexico.

now, the las vegas location is not the original, obviously, but they still make a damn fine classic margarita.

for those poor souls that don’t know… a margarita is not a slushy sugar drink.
its a salty-sour-punch-you-in-the-face drink.
and this… will punch you in the face.

i like my margaritas with no salt and a sidecar of grand marnier to make a float on top.
and yes, this is a PINT of margaritas that was served to me.
< insert heavenly music here >

this is commonly called a cadillac margarita.  and its my favourite.

the beautiful and special thing about this place is that the bartender stands at the bar and squeezes the limes right into your glass.  there’s no bottled lime juice in this piece.  it’s fresh and simple and it makes a world of difference in the finished product.

we were served chips and 2 kinds of salsa at the table and tried not to stuff our faces too much, but it was damn fine salsa… but what i really wanted was the shrimp stuffed avocado.

ya, this definitely falls into the american style food… but wow is it ever something.
waaaaay too rich for a single human, but wonderful to share with a few people.

it is a half avocado, stuffed with a shrimp and cheese mixture, breaded and deep fried.  its served on a lovely salad with tomatoes, bacon and hominy around the outside.
and friends, it is GOOD.
we only made it about 2/3 of the way through it, but ate up all the salad.  the dressing is really nice on it, i wish i knew how they made it.

we shared this and also got an order of the chicken tacos to split.  mine, without onions, of course.

the chicken was nicely seasoned and i love fresh cilantro, but i must say that these lacked a sauce.  i used the dish of salsa on the table and it rounded it out nicely.
the beans and rice, while nothing special, were tasty.  and i totally dipped my chips into them.

hussong’s also has a restaurant.com gift certificate for them, so we saved $25 on our meal and walked out for about $20.  bargain!  this place is rad because the gift certificate is also good on the liquor.  so you could just come here with a GC and get margaritas.  hooray!

food & travel: gluten free vegas

since the main attraction of most of my vacations is the eating… it’s just occurred to me that my new-ish wheat/gluten free diet with paleo tendencies (yes, that’s my most accurate description for it) will need a little research and tender loving care.

thank the seven for trip advisor.  seriously, if you have never made use of the forums on trip advisor, you’re missing out on a massive resource of information of every type.  and i’m not just saying that because i’m a destination expert for las vegas.

anyways, i did a few searches on gluten free vegas restaurants and was rewarded with a wealth of knowledge.
the BEST news of the day is that my absolute favourite vegas restaurant; Border Grill has a special gluten free menu.  seriously? LOVE.
they even make it very easy on you with this handy guide… http://www.bordergrill.net/glutenfree.php

also with a special separate menu is PF Changs… not high on my places to eat list – but you never know, sometimes that kinda food is just what the hangover ordered – http://www.pfchangs.com/menu/
but also Mon Ami Gabi does one which can be found here – Mon Ami Gabi Gluten Free Menu and sounds AMAZING!

there’s also internet rumblings of everywhere from California Pizza Kitchen to Chipotle incorporating GF options into their regular menus.
and apparently the buffet staff are quite informed as to which dishes are safe and which to avoid, with the wynn even marking the signs to denote allergies.

i found this website… glutenfreelasvegas.com which could be something great, but right now looks like its just getting going… and las vegas advisor has put together a pretty solid list too – here.

it seems as though most of the articles i’m reading really have Border Grill, Mon Ami Gabi & PF Changs as the standout options for severe allergies as their kitchens have dedicated gluten free prep & cooking areas.  very nice to know.
while this isn’t a huge factor for me, i know this information could make a world of difference for someone with a severe allergy.
also i have respect for and trust in a kitchen that is so confident with their practices in terms of cleanliness, they can guarantee that sort of things.

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