Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sinfully Delicious

Last weekend I went to LAS VEGAS BABY for my birthday! A group of 15 friends and I headed down to sin city for a crazy weekend of gambling, booze, sun, fun, and of course…good food! While most of what happens in Vegas should stay in Vegas, I’m going to broadcast the juiciest of our sin city indulgences to the world…the deadly sins of the stomach.

Two words. Bobby. Flay. After a few nearly fatal whispered death-threats and fists-fights between Amanda and Jessica, we finally came to the consensus that we can ALL have a little bit of the lusciously delicious Bobby Flay…at his restaurant Mesa! The group headed to Mesa for brunch to get a little taste of the Iron Chef himself… or at least of his legendary food. We knew we were in for a treat when the bloody marys and the bread baskets arrived! Spicy, cheesy little jalapeño biscuits, Bobby’s famous blue corn muffins, and the best spicy bloody mary I’ve ever ingested. And then the food came…and the inappropriate, lustful moanings of delight that followed each bite… Iron Chef, indeed!

I ordered the Grilled Asparagus Salad with toasted pecans, maytag blue cheese, wild roasted mushrooms, and red chile-mustard vinaigrette. Not only was it beautifully plated, but the flavor combinations were just right.

V ordered the lamb salad. Until I tried Bobby Flay’s lamb, I thought I wasn’t a lamb eater. I’ve been converted. It was tender, juicy, and flavorful-without being overly gamey. Bree and Jessica ordered the tartar plate. The presentation was amazing, and the steak and salmon tartar served on spicy but sweet plantain chips lived up to its looks. Tasha ordered an amazing egg-tostada-plate-of-delight. I don’t even know what was on it, but it looked like Mexico, tasted like molé, and made us all very happy.

I didn’t get a good look at everyone else’s plates once Evan’s meal was served… I was in love. After a few too many Vegas indulgences the previous night, Evan was taking it easy, and ordered only a bowl of soup. The soup that gods eat, I think. Green Pea and Green Chile Soup with crispy serrano ham and mint cumin crema, to be exact. Sinner that I am, I coveted Evan’s soup through the entire meal… stealing glances and spoon licks at every possible moment. Had Evan not been the one with the heavenly soup in his possession, I may have left him then and there for Bobby Flay.

After a weekend of over indulging ourselves, Robb, Amanda, Mat and I headed to the most excessive of Vegas excesses… the buffet. How could we possibly say no when Robb was prancing about giddy like a five year old girl on Christmas morning? For a mere $25, we were led into the jaws of delicious hell… rows upon rows of food, food, and more food! Orange chicken, peppery beef, fried rice, dim sum, sushi, crab legs with drawn butter, prawns with cocktail sauce, crispy bacon and potatoes, prime rib with fresh, raw spicy horseradish, pizza, salad with a thousand toppings, egg flour and miso soup, hot-out-of-the-fryer-donuts, pastries, pulled pork, muscles in a spicy tomato sauce… and the list goes on. Oh, by the way… that’s just the list of the food on my first plate! After three plates (and several sweet, delicious, buttery, FRESH crab legs too many), I retired my fork. Robb, however, went for about 6 plates, 3 bowls, and a pitcher of mimosas. I generally detest buffets, but my final verdict on the gluttonous Vegas buffet… EXCELLENT! The selection was amazing, the food fresh and delicious, and the refills unlimited… if only they let you take in a few to-go containers…

As every Vegas visitor and Washington resident knows, In-N-Out is a must visit ‘restaurant’ whilst in the state of Nevada. The night of the Burlesque Hall of Fame show (we attended as patrons, not performers, of course), V, Tasha, and Bree decided to hoof it to In-N-Out, all the way at the other end of the strip, and across a freeway. However…being the sloths that we are, and classing it up Vegas style, the rest of took a limo. That’s right, we took a limo to a fast food joint. The most luxurious and classy way to eat an animal burger with cheese (the messiest burger around), is in a limo. Knowing this, the limo driver made us eat inside while he waited. Oh well, the greasy, saucy, melty animal style burger was well worth the minimal effort and extra cash we put in to getting there.

I was envious of others’ culinary delights several times through out the trip. In addition to my envious glances at Evan’s soup, across the table at Mesa, I experienced waves of jealousy at two other occasions during the Vegas trip. First: drinks at Rhumbar. I ordered a Pineapple Chipotle Margarita…clearly I’ve been on a chipotle kick. It was spicy and delicious…but compared to Bree’s drink…her drink was heaven. And I was envious. It was something orange, with muddled mandarins, mint leaves, and of course topped off with a tropical flower. My drink was topped off with a dried chipotle pepper that looked like... well, it looked like this:

I also experienced orderers-envy at BLT Burger, where I ordered a plain ol’ cheeseburger, and Amanda ordered THE BEST VEGGIE BURGER I’VE EVER TASTED. No joke. It was a falafel patty so full of spices and flavor that I instantly regretted my ordering decision. Damnit. However, I DID get to eat the deep fried pickles, which were everything I had hoped for… dilly, greasy, and tasting like deep fried…pickles.

While we surly committed the sins of wrath, pride, and most certainly greed during our culinary tour of Vegas, I’ll leave a little to the imagination… some things you have to just experience yourself…Viva Las Vegas!
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