When East Meets West: Adventures in Vegas

I can’t believe it’s halfway through the week and almost a week since my trip. For Vo’s spring break, we decided to fly to Vegas and fit as many activities/cities/restaurants in our 5 day trip. We were in Vegas for two days then we drove to San Diego, Los Angeles and back to Vegas — and yes, that was pretty exhausting! We barely had 24 hours in San Diego or LA. Lesson learned: Next time, I won’t be too ambitious.

Since we were in Vegas for two days, we tried the most amount of food there — and I can’t wait to share with you my new faves! However, I must first share with you our hiking adventures at Red Rock Canyon. Since we had an early morning flight, we landed in Vegas at 7:30 AM and because we couldn’t check-in, we thought it would be a great idea to go hiking. While it was beautiful, hiking in the dessert with only 2 hours of sleep is not the best idea. Worth it? Yes, but only in retrospect. For those who aren’t into hiking in the hot heat, I recommend just doing the scenic drive. But note that each car costs $7 to enter the park.

Beautiful scenery

Part of the scenic loop drive

Couldn't check-in early so found myself a bed

Couldn’t check-in early so found myself a nice comfy bed

Now let’s move onto my favorite part… F O O D

Here’s a list of places we went and my thoughts:

  • Mr. Mama’s – A low-key breakfast place that serves your typical American style breakfasts, such as buttermilk pancakes, egg benedicts, biscuits & gravy, etc. I definitely recommend this place even though it’s a little bit out of the way. There’s nothing fancy about this restaurant, but their food is delicious and reminds me of home. Their service is on point and their prices are cheap!
  • Cheffini’s – A small hot dog joint in downtown Vegas. They have a great selection of unique, gourmet-style hot dogs. We got the El Mexicano that’s bacon-wrapped and topped with a whole bunch of stuff, such as avocado, green chile and garlic aioli. I thought it was one of the best creative hot dogs I’ve tried – it wasn’t overwhelming and the flavors blended well with each other. Highly recommend as well!
  • Gordon Ramsey’s BurGR – Located right on strip and a Gordon Ramsey restaurant so expect to be waiting in line. We were lucky and came around 10 min. before opening, so we didn’t have to wait that long. I got the Euro Burger, which has goat cheese, arugula and truffle. The truffle flavor was mellow, but goat cheese and arugula gave it a nice flavor. The medium beef came out perfectly pink with no oozing blood. The truffle fries were steak fries; it had a nice truffle flavor and crisp (even though they were steak fries). Worth a visit, but not worth waiting in line for more than 30 mins!
  • Earl of Sandwich – A fast food restaurant serving salads, soups and sandwiches — similar to Panera Bread. Located on the strip as well and a great option for those who want something cheap & quick. I got the chipotle chicken sandwich and really enjoyed it. My favorite is their crispy & buttery bread.
  • Poke Express – This is my favorite discovery in Vegas! A little bit out of the way, but so worth it! Poke bowls are a Hawaiian specialty that features raw fish or seafood served salad style and is eaten with rice or by itself. I recommend coming here early so you can try as many samples as you want! During the day, the begin to run out of food so they have to limit their samples. Seriously, one of the owners was so friendly and insisted that we try whatever we wanted.  The pricing is very reasonable for the quality of seafood. We got the spicy tuna, shoyu tuna and sweet chili tuna. On certain days they have a rice bowl special where you can add rice for about $2 extra. My boyfriend and I shared two rice bowls and a pound of raw tuna for only $18 — and just compare that to sushi. And a pound of raw tuna is A LOT…
soo much deliciousness in one meal

soo much deliciousness in one meal

  • Off the Strip (American Steakhouse) – Contrary to its name, OTS is located near The LINQ hotel so pretty close to the strip. I was pleasantly surprised by my experience. My bf and I decided to eat here, because it was one of the few restaurants opened late. We got the lamb gyro and salmon pesto penne. The lamb was tender and the salmon was perfectly flaky. The pesto cream sauce was delicious — I’m seriously addicted and want a recipe for this. The fries were thin and crispy! All in all, everything we got didn’t disappoint. I recommend this place as well for dinner.
  • Bacchanal Buffet at Caesar’s Palace – Known as the buffet of gods, or the best buffet in Vegas, Bacchanal buffet is definitely doing the most. The famous $17 million buffet with 500+ items is quite expensive at $54 for dinner, but worth it? I definitely think so, but only if you have time to truly make your moneys worth. I love how the food selection is diverse and fresh. Each cuisine (e.g. Asian, Italian, Seafood, etc) has their own station with chefs cooking the meal right in front of you. I even saw Chinese workers making the duck and dumplings — pretty impressive. The dessert section is to die for as well with a gelato station, shaved ice, cupcakes, fudge bars, gummy bears, etc. — it’s the best dessert station I’ve seen at a buffet. So come here with time to spare and feast like the gods.

I keep telling myself to keep my posts shorter, and I keep failing…I’ll be sure to make the next post half the size!

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