Two of us just returned from a couple of days in Vegas and wanted to share our chow experiences, as we have learned so much from all of you!
RIght when we hit town, we headed over to Lotus of Siam for lunch. It was our first time there. It is located in an old, mostly vacant shopping center and is very unassuming, but not scary. Somehow, I thought the place would be bigger, it is actually pretty small, maybe 20 tables maximum. There was a buffet at lunch, but I knew we had to order off the menu. There were 2 of us, not big eaters (we typically share an entree), and we can't do really spicy food and do not like curry. So, we ordered the Thai beef salad and pad thai with chicken. We also ordered the sticky rice with mango for dessert. All the food was fabulous! The Thai beef salad was my favorite dish for the whole trip, hands-down. They service was very nice and friendly and we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. Will definitely be back!
Dinner that night was at Commander's Palace. We had been there once before. I joined their email club and they emailed me a $25 gift certificate, so I wanted to make use of that. We had turtle soup, which we had before and thought it was wonderful, just a little bit of sherry in it, and just a bit of spicy heat, but very flavorful. For the main course, we had the barbecued seafood stew, which was prawns, oysters and fish in a mildly spicy sauce (not a BBQ sauce) over rice. We added some butter cooked crawfish to that. It was all very good and the service and atmosphere there is very elegant. We were too full for dessert, but made sure to grab a couple of the complimentary pralines on the way out. Another winner!
Driving around, we just happened to see a place called Cafe Heidelberg, German restaurant and market, so we went there the next day for lunch. The address is 610 E. Sahara, it's in a strip mall. It was rated as one of the Best of Vegas for the past 5 years by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Anyway, it has traditional German dishes and the market sells imported foods, candies and even German breads, sausages and cheeses. We had a sausage plate with bratwurst and kielbasa, that came with mashed potatoes and gravy, red cabbage, marble rye bread and we got a side of sauerkraut. It was a lot of food and was all very good. The service is very friendly. We would like to go back for dinner and try other tradional favorites such as rouladen.
We spent the evening downtown, so dinner was at the Triple George Grill, which we also learned about from reviews here. I had thought it was a more casual place, but in reality, it is a very elegant upscale place. They specialize in grilled aged steaks and seafood, but also have standby favorites like meat loaf and chicken pot pie. We had a combo of filet mignon and crab-stuffed prawns, which came with a choice of potato and vegetables. The portions here are huge, so sharing is definitely a good idea. The steak was melt-in-your-mouth and everything else was also wonderful. We had a great waiter who really made our experience there enjoyable. He told us that at their (connected) bar next door, they have a great happy hour where you obviously have to buy drinks, but the food is free and is great stuff like lamb chops and other similar items. We'll have to try that the next time...Again too full for dessert, which was a shame, as all their desserts are home-made.
Lunch the next day (our last day) again was at a place that we just happened to drive by and see, and decided to try. It is called the Spirit of Cuba, at 2540 S. Decatur, also located in a shopping center. We walked in a little after noon, and were the only customers there. It's a large place and looks like they have live music there in the evenings. We sat down at a table and it was a very long time before we were handed menus or our drink order was taken. When our drinks arrived, the ice in my friend's lemonade had pretty much all melted already, so she asked for more ice, which we had to ask for several more times before it finally arrived. I was all set to get up and hunt for it myself!
We ordered an avocado salad, which was described in the menu as avocado and sliced red onion in a vinaigrette dressing with lemon. I've had this salad at other Cuban places before and that is basically what it is. So, we were very surprised when we received a large green salad that had avocado, olives and Thousand Island salad dressing! Not as described in the menu.
We wanted to try their various dishes, so ended up ordering an appetizer platter to share. According to the menu, it was supposed to have picadillo, ropa vieja, plantains, yucca, and croquetes. We don't care for yucca, so they substituted with more plantains and avocado. However, there was no ropa vieja on the platter, instead there were pieces of roast pork that had been fried. It was all very good, but again, was not as described on the menu and we were really wondering if they just decided to make whatever they felt like!
Despite all that, the food was very good. However, the service was excrutiatingly slow, especially since we were the only people there and because of that and since the dishes weren't as described, we won't be going back there. There are other choices for Cuban food in Vegas. We went to the Florida Cafe on our last visit and enjoyed that very much.
We stayed at the Orleans and generally ate breakfast there in the coffee shop each day. Also had dessert there one night and (I admit it) dessert one night at the new TGIFridays there, it was cinnabon cheesecake, which was really good!
There are so many good food places in Vegas, this time we decided we were going to try all new place for us. We have some favorites we didn't go to this time, like Cafe Ba Ba Reeba and Emeril's Fish House at the MGM. There's always next time! Hope you enjoyed this report...