Monday, February 18, 2013

Vegas food, for real*.

* or about as Vegas as this 29-year-old-Mom gets.

Two of my very best high school friends visited Vegas this weekend with their significant others. I've been looking forward to this weekend for weeks, knowing that we had enlisted our childless friends to take Mia (and who Mia loves, though mostly she loves their cat) for Saturday night. We exchanged quite a few emails planning things out, and in the end, it was a weekend that went by in the blink of an eye, though much fun was had.

To kick things off, Mia and I ventured to the Strip on a beautiful 65 degree day to have lunch and hang out. We had lunch at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill at Ceasars Palace. It was brunch, so they brought out the most delightful bread basket I've ever tasted. Scones with nuts and unidentifiable dried fruit, corn bread muffins with chunks of corn and black beans and jalapenos, a spicy cheese mini-biscuit that was insanely delicious, and some blueberry coffee cake which Mia ate three slices of. Next up, a pork tenderloin sandwich with southwestern fries. I have no idea what was on the tenderloin, but it was amazing. Mia highly approved of the southwestern fries, and didn't even blink at the spice. On the table was also a very delicious looking lamb Cobb salad. When it comes to Strip restaurants, I'm always pretty hesitate to dine-in somewhere a bit more upscale with my lively toddler, but they were actually very friendly and accommodating. The hostess took my stroller into what looked like a coat-room for me, and we got very few dirty looks. So, Mesa Grill at Ceasars. Thumbs up for food, and thumbs up for toddler-friendly, though I wouldn't push it for dinner.

waiting patiently for our table. Patient only thanks to the raisins.

A quick trip back to our little suburban neighborhood for a costume change (for me), a husband to pick up and a baby drop off, and we were back to playing tourists at the Cosmopolitan. We had dinner and drinks at Jose Andres' Jaleo, a Spanish Tapas restaurant. B and I shared a carafe of Sangria, some chorizo wrapped in potato, bread with tomato puree and Serrano ham, chicken foie gras covered in melted cheese that basically looked like very upscale enchiladas, shrimp and dessert. I also sampled some fried squid ink paste off someone else's plate, and I have to admit that was probably the best thing on the table that night. It was also delicious, though I will admit to having higher expectations, both because it was in the Cosmopolitan and because it was pretty high-priced. The Sangria, though, did not disappoint one bit. 

at the Bellagio's Chinese New Year display

Later, we headed to a lounge in the Cosmopolitan's lobby called Vespers. Their specialty is old-fashioned speakeasy-type drinks, and I had a Moscow Mule, followed by a cocktail called "One Night in Bangkok", which had coconut milk, lime rind and egg whites in it, and was better than it sounds. I definitely recommend this bar to anyone in Vegas who wants a place to sit down with your drinks and hear your neighbor talking. Also, a great place to people watch. I was highly distracted by many "Las Vegas Outfits", meaning dresses and shoes these girls would never wear back home.

Our last Vegas meal was off-strip, but most likely my favorite of all. We went to an unassuming Italian Restaurant called "Parma" which is in a strip mall and looks like a small deli from the window. Our food was delicious, fresh Italian food with homemade pasta noodles (Mia also very much approves of this, and I'm sure her daycare friends will be very jealous when she finds that she has the leftovers of her meal in her lunchbox today). I had the linguine with red clam sauce, and B had the biggest chicken parm I've ever seen. This one will definitely stay on our go-to list whenever we have special occasions or out of town-ers. 

It was a weekend completely void of the South Beat Diet's rules, and though I did not step on the scale this morning, I found that I was actually looking forward to the salad I had planned for today's lunch. We had a great time, and it awesome to feel like tourists in our own town. 


  1. Everyone deserves some time off of a diet! Everything sounds awesome! I remember all food in Vegas tasting pretty good. My favorite brunch place was something with a tractor in it...darn, can't remember now!

  2. I am so impressed by your commitment to this diet. You are motivating me (just a little ;)!)