Vegas for locals?
OK, hounds, I'm going public with something I've already told a few of you. Life has its twists and turns, and mine is taking me to Las Vegas. To live. (No, I haven't decided if I'll change my chowhound handle. "JanetofVegas" just doesn't have the same ring to it...:).
Now that the house-hunting is on, I would like to know about local favorites for food. Not restaurants, necessarily. This board has helped me find a lot of great places, and it appears that my new co-workers have some good food sense as well. I'm more interested in the retail end of things. Are there any good Farmer's Markets? (Year-round or seasonal?). Which supermarkets do you guys frequent (if any?). Butchers? Bakeries? Most importantly, where are the good Indian markets? (and other Asian and/or Mexican markets?). It looks like we'll be on the west side of town, so suggestions there will be especially appreciated. However, I'm open to anywhere....after all, DH's work will take him all over the valley.
Someone told me that there are some good u-pick farms north of town. Farms? In Vegas? These are the kinds of things I want to hear about. Your input is welcome. My searches of these boards find a lot of suggestions for visitors; after all, that's what Vegas is all about, right? But I would love to hear about any gems (hidden or no...) from those of you who live there......
Oh, and permit me one final non-food related question: do locals say "Vegas" or "Las Vegas."? Am I unintentionally committing a faux pas similar to calling the City "Frisco"?
P.S. How could I forget Mariana's for their bakery/panaderia? You have not lived until you've had their tres leches cake (avoid the prepared singles in the cooler that are NOT the same as the fresh tres leches cake you get at the panaderia). The fresh tres leches cake at the panaderia has sliced kiwi, strawberries and sometimes mango. They sell a smaller cake for about $10 but you gotta ask nicely as they're not too eager to sell you the small cake and will try to push you into the giant one.
A friend of mine swears this is the only tres leches cake she will ever eat (and she loves it) because she is not a fan of drenched cakes at all - in fact, she says most drenched cakes make her want to hurl - but this one, she goes out of her way to purchase. So that says it all. I served it at a party to unsuspecting vanilla/pedestrian non-chowish guests and everyone said they were skeptical at first but are believers now.
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension has a Master Gardener program. They sell fruits and veggies at their orchard on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 9AM to 1PM, I believe. You may want to call and confirm this (as things constantly change here): (702) 257-5501.
The Orchard is located 100 yards east of the intersection of North Decatur and Horse Drive in North Las Vegas. The easiest way to reach The Orchard while roads are under construction is to take CC 215 (North part of the Beltway) to Aliante Parkway. Drive north on Aliante Parkway 1.9 miles to Horse Drive. Turn left (West) on Horse Drive for 0.9 miles to The Orchard.
As for our weekly Farmers Markets, try this link: http://www.lasvegasfarmersmarket.com/
They aren't very impressive!
I mostly frequent the Latino markets including Super Mercado del Pueblo on Washington and Rancho, King Ranch Market and Liborio. My favorite bakery is the sugar-free bakery on Spring Mountain and Decatur (near Hot N Juicy Crawfish - another favorite) but that's simply a personal preference. I beg anyone to tell me their eclairs and napoleons don't live up to any sugared versions out there though!
There's an Indian market next to Sai Curry on Tropicana and Maryland Parkway and another one called New India Market on Sahara near Jones. As for Asian supermarkets, I like Diho supermarket on Jones and Spring Mountain - nice produce section and some interesting cookware.
I personally like the fruit and vegtables at Sunflower Market. They are like a Trader Joes- only bigger, better selection. The prices are decent to good on most things. They aren't super-high-end like Whole Foods, so they are able to keep lower prices.
The International Marketplace is just fantastic! I love going there, and could spend hours just wandering around inside. There is a new to Vegas store called Seafood City, a Phillippino-based chain that's also in California. We have a Jollibee there, as well. It's a block from the Boulavard Mall, on Maryland Parkway. Wow, this place gets BUSY! I was there just this afternoon, and was amazed at the crowds. They seem to have a good to great seafood department, and decent fresh fruit and veggies. There's a bakery in their mini-mall (next to Jollibee) that seems quite different and exotic. They make a mango-topped chessecake that -looks- gorgeous.
Oh, and my family calls it Vegas. We aren't too snooty in this town!! ^_^ Welcome! Please let us know of other questions you might have, who knows, maybe we can get a Chowhound-type of dinner event going here eventually!
i love the international market on decatur - it tends to focus more on asian foods, but there are also european and middle eastern foods...the veggie selection ain't much, decent seafood selection, but the package foods...holy cow...alot to look at and consider...i've been there 5-6 times i've yet to truly scratch the surface in my quest for new discoveries....my SO likes seafood city and 99 ranch store ( she constantly belittles "american " chicken...little flavor ! )
as to the vegas / las vegas issue....i've yet to encounter the snobbery of the frisco types ...no one has scowled at me for saying vegas
i like some of the italian deli / stores like siena on trop ( there are several other italian markets in the valley )
i love trader joe's on decatur !!! produce...hmmmmm....good luck !
I totally agree with Whole Foods for produce. If you are looking for some exotic Asian produce, you might find some at the market in the Chinatown on Spring Mountain and at the Commercial Center where there are some Korean stores. The Commercial Center is also the home of Lotus of Siam and Komol.
The U-pick farm is Gilcrease Orchard (http://www.gilcreaseorchard.org/ ).
I find the grocery stores vary a lot by neighborhood - the main chains are Vons, Smiths and Albertsons and each one has certain stores that are great and some that won't dazzle you with their selection. Trader Joe's and Whole Foods/Wild Oats are also pretty well represented, especially on the west side of town.
There are lots of neighborhood Asian markets, and the two largest that I know of on the west side are the 99 Ranch on Spring Mountain and the International Marketplace down Decatur near Tropicana, both of which carry food from around the world. You'll have already read about the hot food at Mariana's, the Mexican grocery store on this board; their west side location is at Valley View and Sahara. I have not been to an Indian market but I think there is one that also rents Indian videos across Maryland Parkway from UNLV.
7000 Gilcrease Ave, Las Vegas, NV
Thanks for the tips....keep them coming! I discovered Mariana's by accident when I stopped at that corner to get gas.....Its a keeper and not too far from where I'll be working. I do almost all my grocery shopping here in Reno at Raley's, which is a Northern Nevada/Northern California chain (and Trader Joe's). So of the supermarkets you mention, which has the best produce? (Finding good produce is my main concern.....so any suggestions gladly welcomed....)
Whole Foods generally has the best produce in town. There is one on the west side on Charleston. the 99 Ranch Market is also great for inexpensive and unusual produce. The Smith's, Albertson's, Von's are all pretty similar to me, with Von's maybe getting a little quality edge in produce and meat. I don't think any of the aformentioned SAV group are as nice as Raley's, frankly. Trader Joe's is of course also well represented in LV. There is also a new small chain, Fresh & Easy, which is owned by Tesco, the British supermarket company, but I was underwhelmed in an early visit.
Other finds: Valley Wine & Cheese, fabulous selection of wines, cheeses, and cured meats and sausages and Layers, for baked goods. I've been looking for a good bread bakery without success (Layers is for sweets and savory scones on the weekends, but not bread). I'll think about what other tips I can come up with, and welcome!