Back from Vegas and flat on my back. Because although I lost a little money, I gained a herniated disc. OUCH! What happens in Vegas is supposed to stay there, but this back pain remains my only souvenir. Followed me home like bedbugs in a Samsonite. That’ll teach me to pack 6 pairs of heels for a 2-day trip. Sure sucks getting old. I’ve been playing the invalid game since we returned…like, TWO WEEKS AGO! Oops. Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, says a blog is like a plant. Water it frequently or it may die. We’re not on death’s door yet, but pretty withered nonetheless.
So until I’m back among the land of the painless and unmedicated, here are a few food recollections from our whirlwind trip to Sin City. We love it there, and always visit not for the gambling, but for the food. I hope you enjoy them. And have a gluttonous and happy holiday season. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go wrap myself up in a fluffy robe, pour myself a giant glass of wine, take a pain pill and “head to Maui” for Christmas. Mele Kalikimaka everybody! :D
We missed our dinner reservations at Bouchon because our plane was towed off the runway in Denver. Yes, you heard right…TOWED. No matter, because Brunch at Bouchon is heavenly. Oysters, Bloody Mary’s and possibly the best brunch entree I’ve ever eaten. Half a chicken roasted to perfection alongside humongous Belgian waffles with crispy bacon BAKED IN. *Drool* Bouchon’s signature dish. Served with two gravy boats: one full of maple syrup, the other filled to the rim with chicken, mushroom, and pancetta gravy. So good I hit the table with my palm and set off to making loud grunty noises. Hole! Eee! Crap!
While I was grunting like a caveman over my chicken-n-waffles, I took great glee in watching a huge group of bikers devour an entire platter of raw oysters. Not something you see everyday in an upscale French bistro slash gastropub. It was freaking cool. Kind of like when Pee Wee danced in those high white shoes on the bar and the bikers made him an honorary member. Any motorcycle club that downs oysters in Mr. Keller’s establishment is a-okay in my book.
Lucky for us the rodeo was in town. Everywhere you looked you saw 10-gallon hats and $1,000 boots grabbing a polish in those old-fashioned shoeshine chairs they have set up in almost every casino. And some of them? Some of them were downing blinis and caviar at Bally’s Sterling Brunch on Sunday. Topping tiny pancakes with that delicious roe then oh so delicately placing chopped egg, onion, and capers for the perfect caviar bite. With pinkies pointed toward the sky. Yep, something you don’t see every day. But it’s pretty damn cool when you do.
2am in the Paris Casino. You’re enjoying a nightcap with the Hubby, recovering after experiencing Leonard Cohen’s 4-hour show at Caesar’s Palace. Across the bar you spot five women huddled over a table. Some old, some young. Some sipping champagne, the rest some kind of ‘tini. What are they looking at? A map? Floor plans? Is this the next Ocean’s movie come to life? Maybe they’re just scrapbooking. But your mind wants to believe it’s some sort of elaborate plot or plan. That’s way more Vegas.
It’s Friday night. Your plane arrived 5 hours late and your dinner plans are shot. You haven’t eaten in 12 hours and now you wander the casino, stumbling and staring at every ping and clang of the slot machines. You desperately want to eat, but you don’t want to stand in line or have heavy, might-make-you-sick diner food. What do you do? Head to Bally’s, then head toward the monorail entrance. In the very back of the hotel, away from the noise and the lights. Yes, you’ll pass a food court hell, but look to your left for an oasis.
Find Ichiban, a tiny Japanese sushi bar located across from the old-school sports book. Inside you’ll find authentic sushi, sashimi, and dozens of noodle dishes. And you’ll probably be the only English speaker in the place. A place so good you’ll think you’re in a Tokyo yakitori bar, or a strip mall in Falls Chuch. Yeah, it’s that good. You might feel a little like Tony Bourdain, a food explorer and discoverer of new and hidden foodie wonders. Watch the local Japanese meander in for a late dinner after their casino shift. Order what they order. Believe me. Because right now? It’s just what you need.