August 2012 archive

Vegas!

My friends and have I always planned on taking a girls trip to Vegas. With everyone home from University and their world travels, we decided this summer was the perfect time. Our choice of hotel was The Cosmopolitan, which was pretty much the best place ever. The trendy, chic decor, three beautiful pools, dayclub and nightclub, the most friendly staff, and great food was all we needed to feel right at home in this crazy city.

We arrived in what seemed like a fake world, something you only see in the movies. It was only 9:00 am when we checked into our hotel. Each one of us STARVING and in search of something wonderful to eat. Because of the three hour time difference in Toronto, it was already lunch time for us. We decided to head upstairs in our hotel to a buffet called The Wicked Spoon. When I think of buffets, I think of sub-par, mass-quantity, not-so-great food. However, in Vegas, this is definitely not the case! For only $24 we entered paradise. None of us could contain our excitement. We didn’t know where to begin.

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The large buffet spread had everything imaginable, with most things in single size servings. There were individual pastas including mac and cheese, gnocci, lasagna. There was a meat carving station, sushi and Asian station, make your own omlette, individual egg dishes, yogurt parfaits, bagels, french toast, potatoes, vegetables, pizza, assorted breads, and basically everything you could ever want in any meal all in one buffet. To top it off, mimosas were also included.

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The aftermath.

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As if I didn’t eat my own body weight in EVERYTHING, there was no way I was missing out on dessert. Surrounding me was a gelato bar with flavors such as salted caramel peanut, strawberry balsamic, cookies and cream, among many others. There were also cases of little pastries and tarts, chocolate covered strawberries, individual molten lava cakes, peach cobbler, apple pie, as well as a ton of other sweet treats! By the time we finished, we could barely breathe, but it was a fabulous start to an unbelievable trip!

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After changing into our bikinis we headed down to the pool. Since it is Vegas after all, I decided to indulge in an alcoholic popsicle. The Neapolitan is a poolside ice cream shop serving up alcoholic frozen treats. They offer popsicles, ice cream, smoothies, and shakes which use liquid nitrogen and unique ingredients. Another “since it’s Vegas” sentence, the bartenders wear an open lab coat with their bikini peeking through. My popsicle of choice was the Watermelon Margarita with Cucumber Segments dipped in Chile Salt and topped with pop rocks. It was pleasantly refreshing, and not too strong, but it was a little too heavy on the salt for my liking so I tried to wipe some of it off. One of my friends ordered their spin on a pina colada, which was a coconut popsicle spiked with Don Q Coconut Rum and chunks of pineapple, and topped with shaved coconut. She thoroughly enjoyed her selection.

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After lounging by the pool, we decided to take a walk down the strip and do some sightseeing. Of course a pool side day really works up an appetite so I was excited to see that the famous Pink’s from Los Angeles was right across from our hotel. They serve a variety of hot dogs and toppings. We ordered one plain beef dog, one veggie dog topped with veggies and guacamole, and one beef dog topped with chili and onions. The fries were just as delicious, as they were thin and crispy, just how I like them.

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Later on in the night we visited Tao for dinner. I started off with a berry martini which was quite enjoyable. I love sharing a whole bunch of dishes, which is how Asian food usually works, so I was quite pleased that we could all agree on our selections. We ordered the spicy tuna roll, sweet potato tempura, bamboo steamed vegetable dumplings, and chicken dumplings. These were all quite tasty. We continued our ordering with the delicious soy ginger glazed salmon with udon noodles and spinach. The salmon was cooked perfectly and was not too fishy, and the noodles had the perfect amount of bite and saltiness to them. The Roasted Thai Buddha Chicken was incredibly moist, yet had a nice sweetness to it on the outside. To keep things a little healthy, we ordered a side of asparagus. My favourite of the night was the jumbo coconut shrimp in a Thai curry sauce. The shrimp were so juicy on the inside, yet crispy on the outside with the creamy curry sauce melting in your mouth at every bite. This says a lot since I am not a huge fan of coconut or curry, but somehow the combination was out of this world. Our last dish was the Lo Mein with chicken and vegetables. I have to say this dish was a little bit boring, but we still managed to polish it off.

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After a night out, we woke up pretty hungry and ready to start our day. The concierge suggested we try Cafe Bellagio which was right beside our hotel in the Bellagio, of course. I ordered corned beef hash which came with a huge pile of corned beef, some potato hash, and topped with two over easy eggs. It was a great start to the morning. Everyone else ordered standard breakfast foods such as bagel with lox, and omlettes. We were all pleased with our selections.

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After hearing great things about N9ne Steakhouse, we instantly made a reservation. Our dishes of choice were the filet mignon, sautéed mushrooms and caramelized onions, Kobe burger with fries, and the penne pasta with chicken, broccolini, heirloom tomatoes, sweet onions, and pesto. Each entrée was delicious and satisfying. Although we were pretty full, we did save a little room for something sweet. The warm powdered sugar donuts with a side of chocolate and caramel sauces were truly a delicious end to a wonderful meal.

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For our last night we figured we would go somewhere rather fun and unique, so we chose Sugar Factory at the Paris hotel. This restaurant is known for their crazy desserts and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The menu is filled with different cocktails which come in a large glass and are meant for sharing. For some reason we picked the gummy worm one which was overly sweet and almost undrinkable. I would not recommend this drink, although the alcohol infused gummy bears were a nice treat. As for the main course, we ordered spaghetti with shrimp in a garlic olive oil sauce, Chinese chicken salad, Ahi tuna sliders, savoury crepe with vegetables and goat cheese, and a veggie burger. The food was pretty mediocre. I would suggest visiting this restaurant for late night food, breakfast, or dessert. However, the star of the meal was the dessert. A piece of chocolate, banana, peanut butter cake was gone in no time. Each one of the desserts sounded incredible such as milkshakes, cakes, sundaes, fondue, crepes, and waffles.

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Breakfast the next day, and our last meal of the trip was enjoyed at Society Café at Encore hotel. Everyone’s meal was up to par, but I only took a photo of my dish because it was to die for. I ordered the buttermilk pancakes topped with berries. It sounds so simple, which it was, but the smooth, fluffy hotcakes were truly something special.

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So sorry for such a long post. It sounds like we ate a lot more than we did. While we were there we felt like we didn’t really overdo it with the food. My next trip to Vegas will focus on trying new restaurants and maybe eating even a little bit more!

 

 

Buster's Takes it to the Streets

The ever popular Buster’s Sea Cove which I have featured in the past now graces us Torontonians with our first ever seafood truck. This truck was born in May and offers a few seafood staples such as fish tacos, shrimp tacos, lobster roll and crab roll. Although the menu may seem quite limited, it leaves room for the chefs to perfect these popular dishes. You can find this truck lined up at the corner of Queen and Jarvis on most days.

As I am a huge fan of the actual restaurant in the St.Lawrence Market I was overly excited to try out the truck. My friend Cassi and I decided to share the fish tacos and the lobster roll. At our first bite we knew we made the right decision. The lobster roll was complete with Nova Scotia lobster, celery, chives, mayo and lemon juice on a toasted, buttery bun with a pickle and Miss Vickie’s chips on the side. The chunks of lobster mixed with the creamy sauce all between the buttered bread was the perfect pick me up during a long day at work!

As for the fish tacos, hand battered basa, cabbage, pico de gallo, crema, and roja salsa were all stuffed into a corn tortilla. This too was incredibly tasty with perfectly battered fish being surrounded by fresh, wholesome ingredients.