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Jan 18, 2008 09:20 AM

Las Vegas: Galerias Comida Mexicana - Goooood!

Hi everyone,

There's a new Mexican joint (where a Coco's went out of business..woo hoo!) on the corner of Buffalo and Vegas called Galerias. They've only been open a couple of weeks, so go before the crowds find out about them.

Sorry, Michoacan restaurants, we love you immensely, but I think we have a new favorite Mexican place!

We had dinner there last night and it was incredible. The place is decorated like a Mexican mansion of old, so there aren't any sombreros or sarapes on the wall. It's quite attractive. They're so new, the Las Vegas location isn't even on their website yet. (That's GaleriasGourmet dot net for those who are interested.) It's a second location of this restaurant, not a chain venture, btw.

I have to rush to work right now, but will fill in the details later. The menu is filled with dishes that you've probably never seen unless you've lived in Mexico or eaten dishes prepared for local fiestas. Not many Mexican places offer dishes with ingredients like rose petals or fresh mint.

My wife's enchiladas suizas were delectable. I had the Filete Uruapan which is grilled skirt steak, layered with sauteed mushrooms, peppers, and onions, then covered in an avocado sauce. Presentation was beautiful and the Mexican rice was the best I've ever had.

Very much not your typical Mexican joint...and that is a wonderful thing!

More later.

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  1. it's ok to link the actual website you know:

    I see the original is in Seattle, but couldn't find any reports on the Seattle board...

    1. I was hoping to be the first to report after my lunch there today...oh well!! But I agree, worth a visit!!

      Some background: a coworker/colleague is out on maternity leave, and I am filling in at the Buffalo location of our business for her one or two days a week. I don't mind, after all it is a good 15 minutes closer to my house than my "real" office, plus it gives me an excuse to try new (to me) restaurants.

      The plan today was to walk around the strip mall where the office is and check out the menus of the several restaurants there. Well, I made it as far as Galerias. One look at the menu, and I was hooked. Chili Nogada...I can't remember the last time I saw that on a menu in the US. I had to check it out...

      The restaurant is pleasant and attractive, but maybe a little too much religious art for my taste (maybe that's where the "galerias" comes from...). Oh well, you'll be safe inside with all those Madonnas looking down and guarding you :-) The bar is still undergoing construction; the hostess told me they are waiting the final permits. It looks like it'll be a nice place to head for happy hour on Friday afternoons once its done...and I bet the place knows its way around a good tequila. Heck, I bet there might even be someone there who can make me a little sangrita to go with my shot...

      But back to lunch. It started with a constantly-refilled glass of iced tea (service is very friendly and attentive) and chips and salsa. The chips were tasty and fresh, but probably not house made. The two salsas were a chipotle and a salsa verde. The chipotle tasted of several chilies, and was not overpowered by chipotle as salsa sometimes can be. The salsa verde contained lots of tomatillos and cilantro, and was made smooth by a little avocado and maybe even some crema. Tasty.

      Now, about that chili nogada: not a huge serving but certainly adequate for lunch. Who needs to sleep all afternoon anyway? One medium sized poblano chili, stuffed with a picadillo made of minced pork, beef, walnuts, raisins, apples, and vegetables. It had the requisite white walnut sauce. Now according to the menu its topped with either pomegranite seeds or dried cranberries (the idea is to mimic the colors of the Mexican flag in the dish: green, white, and red.). Well, unfortunately pomegranites must not be available, because I got cranberries. Combined with the raisins that made the dish just a bit too sweet for my taste. But making sure I got some of the perfectly cooked chili in every bite helped balance it a bit, and the sauce was perfect. I really did enjoy it. I also agree with Gecko that the rice is wonderful, more of an Arroz Verde than a typical Arroz Mexicano. Light and fluffy. My dish also came with a small serving of homemade refried beans topped with just a touch of queso cojito. The corn tortillas came straight from the supermarket package....disappointing with a cook of that talent on the premise.

      There certainly are some interesting items on the menu. It is advertised as "Gourmet Mexican Cuisine"...some items are closer to Mexican Fusion. But I definitely want to return and try the chiliquiles, not to mention those enchiladas suizas. And there are several types of chili rellenos on the menu..if the chili nogada is any indication, they are worth a try.

      Lunch wasn't cheap at 13 bucks including tax and tip, but it certainly was tasty. And as I walked out I realized I was about 30 steps from my office. To quote the Governator: "I'll be back..." (Probably to try the dinner menu. I may have to have one two many tequilas one Friday after work and convince my husband to come pick me up and try the food while we're there....)

      6 Replies
        1. re: janetofreno

          How would you compare it to Agave? (Janet and I had lunch at Agave when I was in Vegas: very nice decor, very nice tequila selection, good ceviche, waited to long to report on it and now I can't remember the rest of what we ate, so I guess it wasn't memorable but it wasn't bad either....)..

          Pomegranites are out of season, which is why you didn't have them. To me, cranberries wouldn't cut it as an alternative, and I might wait for season to try it...Indeed, there is a discussion on an LA thread about whether it is a concern that a restaurant would serve nogada out of season (it is a winter dish). Guess if you haven't seen it on a menu, you need to get here to LA :-) (Certainly I don't see it in the bay area, last restaurant I ate chile en nogada in was in Guadalajara...)

          Did you notice they have moyetes on the breakfast menu and beef ribs in a mango sauce at dinner?

          1. re: susancinsf

            I knew pomegranites were out of season in the north, but silly me thought they grew year-round in Vegas. Guess I was wrong. Yes, I'd rather have the dish with the pomegranite seeds, and I saw your recent LA discussions and definitely want to try some of the places mentioned......

            Yes, I noticed the ribs...why do you think I want to go for dinner?

            As for comparing it to Agave: atmosphere is nicer at Agave, but its certainly ok at Gallerias. I didn't look at the tequila selection at the latter because I didn't want to be tempted on a workday, but there looked to be a nice selection at the bar. I definitely liked the salsa at Gallerias better, and even with the cranberries I liked the food there better too.

            Maybe if you come next winter we can check it out and you can give YOUR opinion on the chili nogada.....

            1. re: janetofreno

              Before that you should BOTH come to L.A. around XMAS and try the chiles en nogada at Babita. Seriously. One of the best single dishes ever.

              Is the Galerias a worthwhile destination for a Vegas lunch? We do tend to get out and about at lunchtimes, like we've been to both Lindo and Bonito Michoacan, and some other off-strip places such as repeated visits to LOS.

              1. re: Debbie W

                oh yes, there is absolutely no question: now that I have dined at Babita the chiles en nogada will be on my list when I visit LA in the winter....

                I'd also love to hear about breakfasts at Galerias...more research is clearly needed..:-)

                1. re: Debbie W

                  I certainly think so. Not anywhere near the strip, however, if that matters.

          2. Wife and I had dinner there a couple of days ago. Walked in without any reservations. Don't think that's going to continue much longer as word of the food in this restaurant gets out.

            The religious motif is a bit overwhelming. The artwork is massive for rooms of the scale in which they are hanging. The banquet room, while beautiful empty, may likely be a nightmare when filled with people. Armed chairs and no room between the chairs and the walls. Don't honestly know how wait staff will maneuver to serve... The menus are a chore to read and flip pages. Came to believe that chiseling the menu on stone tablets might be a lighter alternative. Oh Moses...

            The chips and salsa was a treat. Two different types of salsa and spreadable cheese. Wonderful! I had the Jose Luis Cuevas. Sautéed strips of chicken breast, onions and zucchini, finished with a chipotle mole sauce made from smoked jalapeno chilies. Totally agree about the rice. Wanted more of the beans. Great sauce!! Wive had the Avocado gratin appetizer for her meal. Liked it very much.

            Can't wait to try their breakfasts and tapas.


            7 Replies
            1. re: shamu613

              Does anyone know if Galerias is open on Sundays?

              1. re: westie

                I vaguely remember reading something about Sunday brunch, but not sure if that was something "coming." I'll be working by there tomorrow; I'll check it out for you.

                1. re: janetofreno

                  janetoreno - thank you - please find out if they serve dinner on Sundays. We are heading to the Suncoast to see a show and it would be fairly convenient to have dinner at Galerias beforehand.

                  1. re: westie


                    Yes, they are open all day Sunday, including dinner.

                    I went for lunch today....decided to try the Chilaquiles (on the breakfast menu but available at lunch). It came with two over-easy eggs on top...I almost asked for no eggs, but decided I needed the protein and I could always push them aside (I'm not a big fan of eggs in chilaquiles, especially scrambled. Nor do I like chicken).

                    Well, the eggs worked just fine. The yolk was properly runny and was tasty as it spread over the dish...reminiscent of good huevos rancheros. And the rest of the dish was spot-on: the tortilla strips were the perfect texture (no prefried chips here) and the sauce tangy with just the right bite to it. (You have a choice of red or green; I went with green.). And the amount of cheese was just gop there. I ate every bite.

                    I have decided that since I'll be working in that strip mall Fridays for awhile that I am going to work my way through the menu. As I was leaving I was checking it out, and I noticed moyetes (their spelling: I always spell it molletes) on the menu. Wow, I haven't had those in a long time. There was a sports center we used to go to in DF that had great molletes in their snack bar...I can't imagine them being as good here because the bolillos they are made with aren't as good here...but I'm willing to try. Also want to go back and try the Huevos Rancheros, and of course the chilaquiles with red sauce. And there is a good-sounding tortilla soup on the menu.

                    Can you tell I'm writing while hungry? :-)

                    1. re: janetofreno

                      I've always thought that poached, runny eggs would best with chilaquiles but I've never seen this preparation. But at least your fried eggs were runny. Looking forward to hitting Galerias on the next trip..

                      1. re: janetofreno

                        A quick lunch update: Today had the soup of the day (They offer a "cup" with any entree for an extra $2...I put cup in parenthesis because its a regular bowlful). The soup was delicious: chicken vegetable: with a tasty vegetable stock with a bit of a kick, fresh shredded chicken, and lots of fresh vegetables (mostly carrots and squash). Yum. And I finished with pork tamales...the masa was perfect: fluffy and light and delicious..pork was tasty too.

                        But my concern is that the place was dead Friday at lunch. For awhile I was the only one eating there. Come on, chowhounds: someone in the kitchen at Gallerias knows what they are doing....I want to see this place succeed. They were set up for outdoor dining on the patio today...and I know I've become a true Las Vegan...because with the temperature around 75 I decided it was a "little too cool" to eat outside :-)

                        1. re: janetofreno

                          I haven't worked at that strip mall in several months, but drove by there the other day...sure looked like the place was no longer Gallerias. There were big banners about some awesome breakfast for 4.99. I was running late so didn't have time to check it out....but a quick glance seemed to reveal a totally different interior....maybe a breakfast place now? Too bad......