Just got back from 118 degree weather Las Vegas and got chased out by the downpour and warnings of flash floods.
I drove in from Los Angeles, and after checking into my room, it was about 11pm.
Tempted by the pictures that Chino Wayne posted of the sandwiches at Carnegie Deli, I headed to the Mirage where it's located for the much ballyhooed "Woody Allen" sandwich. The service was really slow, even at this hour when the restaurant was 3/4 full. I spent a good 40 seconds standing 2 feet in front of the hostess while she engrossed in something over her shoulder. When she finally realized that I was there, she seated me promptly. The service was only slightly better, which the server blamed on the slammed kitchen.
I ordered an ice tea and the Woody Allen sandwich, it did look exactly like the one posted in Chino Wayne's post. I found out later that it's a good 2 lb of corned beef and pastrami. Honestly, it's too big. It's difficult to eat even with a fork and knife. Deli purists may not agree, but I realize I don't like a huge pile of thinly sliced meat. I found it flavorless and not a pleasant bite. I've been to the 2nd Street deli in NYC where they hand carve thick juicy slabs of meat on to your sandwich and that's what I prefer. The hot mustard on the table help out a bit. I ended up removing half the meat out of half of the sandwich in order to pick up and eat. I couldn't even touch the 2nd half or the remainder of the meat. I belive it cost $15. They gave me a box and thoughtfully put utensils and some of the mustard in the bag. Although I planned to nibble on it later, I ended up wasting it.
The next morning I went to Jean-Philippe Patisserie in Bellagio for a $3-something pain au chocolat and $4-something small cup of cafe au lait. Expensive. But one of the flakiest pain au chocolat I've ever had. I'd say the second best I've eaten. The best was Le Panier at the Pike Place public market in Seattle. A good thick bar of chocolate imbedded in that thing. I guess I have a thing for texture.
Lunch was at Lotus of Siam. Probably my 3rd visit. I got in just before closing. The buffet was already broken down, but they still allowed a la cart dining. I was fine with that. I was in search of Issan cuisine. I was torn between Spicy Chicken Wings and Garlic Chicken Wings. I asked (I think it was Bill) for a suggestion, he said spicy since I indicated I liked spicy food. I asked for 6 spicy on a scale of 1-10. It was delicious with a really sticky sauce and very hot (temperature wise). I think I could of bumped it up to 7 or 8 for fun. There was a bit of red left in the meat near the thick parts, but I've been known to eat Cantonese home style poached chicken that has absolutely red bone marrow, so I wasn't at all bothered. Plus I'm okay even as I write this. It was garnished with deep fried basil. My main course was Hoh Mok Kai (Issan Style), described as curry paste-chicken, egg, sliced cabbage cooked in a bowl. Though the fragrance of lemongrass was noticable, I felt it was uncharacteristicly bland.
I had a late dinner at the bar in Bradly Ogden in Ceasar's Palace since I was dining alone. They offer the full menu at the bar plus a bar menu, which is simply the appetizer portion of the regular menu plus a $19 burger. I got a glass of A to Z Pinot Noir, which at $10 was probably the least expensive red wine on the list. Most were closer to $25. I decided to splurge and get that burger. The bartender told me it was made of ground ribeye of Kobe beef. I ordered it med rare. It came with a bit of fries, a salad of green and ketchup, mustard, and mayo in individual condiment cups. This was one of the juiciest burgers I've had. maybe because it was medium rare, but it sucessfully held up it's structure for such a burger. I enjoyed it, but I don't know if I'd pay $19 for it again.
The next day, I went to Rosemary's Restaurant. Service level was very good here, surprising that you can get a 3 course lunch for $20.05 here. Service quality could of been more polished. I had waiters walk by my table without clearing the table a few time. My drinks could of been freshened more quickly, and I noticed one table had their 2nd course come out of the kitchen without the dirties being removed first. I noticed the staff scramble to rectify it.
Anyway, I started with Hugo's Texas BBQ shirmp. Delicious! And a lot of the praise goes to the maytag blue cheese coleslaw on the bottom!! The shrimp was perfectly grilled, and the BBQ sauce was mild enough not to take away from the other components. My main was Mahi Mahi, on a bed of julienned zuccini, carrots, onions. Again the bed of veggies was the star. If I had to complain, they need to cut the julienne. Some of the carrots were 5" long! Difficult to eat since they weren't cooked limp. The sauce was a citrus vinegarette. Good stuff. Dessert was a lemon ice box pie with raspberry sauce and raspberry sorbet. I didn't enjoy this as much as the previous dishes. The lemon curd had the texture of a large piece of silicone. Tasted fine though.
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