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Help me build a "best XXXX on the vegas strip" scavenger hunt!

I've been doing some research online (including this board...) in preparation for an upcoming return trip back to the strip.

Given that my gambling budget is a bit smaller than usual this time :-(, I was thinking it might be fun to go on a scavenger hunt of sorts, traipsing around to various places for "the most amazing _____ on the strip."

So I'm looking for people's very specific recommendations of their favorite "must have" individual food items they seek out when they're in vegas. (particularly on the strip, but who knows we might find ourselves downtown at some point)

To start the discussion, here are items I've come to love from my own past experiences:

* Yogurt Parfait at Bouchon (Venetian)
* Pizza at Pizzeria de Enzo (Venetian, food court)
* A fresh donut from Krispy Kreme at Excalibur (no KK's left here in MN)
* Double-double at In-and-Out (Technically off-strip, but this is also unattainable in MN)
* Stacked Quesadilla at Grand Lux Cafe (Venetian/Palazzo)

Here are other popular suggestions I've come across in my research:

* BBQ at Ellis Island (along with a good microbrew...)
* Biscuits & Gravy at Careful Kitty's (El Cortez, downtown)
* Cuban Sandwich at the Florida Cafe (between strip and downtown)
* Tapas at Cafe Ba Ba Reeba (Fashion Show Mall)
* Burger at Mesa Grill (Caesar's Palace)
* Veggie Burger at The Burger Bar (Mandalay Bay) - good peoplewatching
* Calamari at Cannaletto (Venetian)
* Calamari at The Triple George Grill (downtown)
* Death by Chocolate torte at Chocolate Swan (Mandalay Bay)
* Breakfast Potatoes at Planet Dailies (Planet Hollywood)
* Asian Nachos at Grand Lux Cafe
* Steak Special at Ellis Island
* Spiked Milkshake at BLT Burger (Mirage)
* Volcano Nachos at Margaritaville (Flamingo)

Please share your personal favorites. No complaints about others' suggestions unless you're also suggesting a superior alternative!

AtDhVaAnNkCsE !

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  1. Escargot at Mon Ami Gabi in the Paris. Roasted beet salad at Grand Lux. Beef and barley soup at the Wynn.

    1 Reply
    1. re: vegasmike

      Which restaurant at Wynn has the beef and barley soup? That is my favorite soup and Wynn is my favorite resort.

    2. Pinot by the glass (specifically Ken Wright) at Double Helix

      Kobe short ribs and eggs at Tableau

      Turkey panini poolside at Four Seasons. May be a bit cold now, but you can order it at Verrandah.

      Veal Ricotta meatballs at Enoteca

      Light lunch at Canyon Ranch Cafe (Venetian)

      Braised pork shoulder at Bouchon

      Tasting menu at Alex

      Colors of caviar at Guy Savoy

      That's enough for now

      3 Replies
      1. re: climberdoc

        For tasting menu, my vote would have to go to Guy Savoy. For me it's the most impressive, innovative, elegant, and encompassing of all the big 3 - Guy, Alex, & Robuchon. ... with honorable mentions to Le Cirque and Picasso.

        1. re: azbirdiemaker

          What were your thoughts on the Oysters in ice gelee course at GS? I thought it was a miss. The colors of caviar was one of the most beautiful and delicious courses I've ever been served.

          1. re: climberdoc

            I don't remember that course, doc. I was there about 2 months after it opened. Perhaps it was off the menu at the time?

            I will agree that the colors of caviar is an impressive dish.

      2. french fries at bouchon
        carpaccio at olives
        duck confit at DB
        wagyu beef from kagoshima prefecture at cut
        anything at l'at

        2 Replies
        1. re: palmdoc1

          You beat me to the beef carpaccio at Olives! We were there in mid-November and the bartender told us that some Food Channel show (he wasn't sure which one) had just filmed a segment on it.

          1. re: happensatonce

            I'll third the carpaccio at Olives. That is a great dish.

        2. Crispy Rice/sour sausage appetizer, Thai beef salad, sticky rice & mango dessert and Thai iced tea at Lotus of Siam.

          1. The best Stroganoff I've ever had is the Strozapretti Stroganoff at Red Square (Mandalay Bay). I'm not a martini snob, but somehow their martinis are perfect

            1. I'm not sure about the burger at Mesa Grill. I haven't had it but it doesn't look like anything spectacular. If you want a burger try Burger Bar at Mandalay Place and if you are set on going to Mesa Grill try the smoked chicken sweet potato hash.

              2 Replies
              1. re: jpc8015

                Yeah, I think Burger Bar gets the nod for Best Burger on the Strip. Great concept, beers, proteins, customizations, etc.

                1. re: jpc8015

                  we like burger bar but my husband just had the one at mesa grill and said it was incredible

                2. I'll toss a couple ...

                  Best seared foie gras: Craftsteak
                  Best foie torchon: Bouchon
                  Best raw bar: Bouchon
                  Best chicken: Bouchon
                  Best stuffed pasta: Short Rib Raviolini at Fiamma
                  Most Impressive Menu: Guy Savoy ( esp the current White Truffle/Fall Menu )

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: azbirdiemaker

                    What is torchon azbirdiemaker? I've seen it on a few menus now including the current Alex tasting menu.

                    1. re: climberdoc

                      Torchon is a cooking technique by which the foie is placed in a cloth or towel and poached ( torchon means towel or cloth in French ). It's an extremely drawn out process that lasts several days and has several steps. The end result is a creamy poached foie and what a lot of people would call mousse.

                      Thomas Keller's version is the best I've ever tasted ( at the French Laundry to be exact ) but the Bouchon version is nearly identical. His recipe for it are in both the French Laundry and Bouchon cookbooks. But here is a not-so-exact version of it:

                      http://www.amateurgourmet.com/2006/10...

                      1. re: azbirdiemaker

                        The foie torchon at Bouchon is incredible. I once ate most of a whole one, followed by the Bibb lettuce salad. Just those two items, and it was perfect.

                        1. re: Debbie W

                          Heh, I got a weird look the first time I plunked myself down at the bar and it was obvious I was ordering the whole thing for myself.

                            1. re: ajs228

                              Big enough for four people to share as an appetizer and still feel like they had enough! It comes in one of those French canning jars and I don't have a sense of how many ounces. I think they use the same jar for their salmon rilletes. Anyway, it's more about the richness than the size.

                              1. re: Debbie W

                                I'd say it's probably 9 oz or a smidge less - so right around the size of a dinner protein. Those jars are bigger than they seem. You're absolutely right ... the richness is the catch. I couldn't see myself eating that whole thing but it is really tasty.

                  2. French Onion Soup - Bouchon Venetian

                    Ropa Vieja or Pork Roast - Florida Cafe Howard Johnson near downtown

                    Roast Turkey Sandwich - Wichcraft MGM

                    Chocolate Banana French Toast - Terrace Pointe Cafe Wynn

                    Snack Mix - Wynn

                    This one's just for fun - Ice Cold Beer - Hawaiian Tropic- (bikini clad servers will gladly take pics with you!)

                    (Ditto) French Fries - Bouchon

                    Mushroom Ravioli - Maggiano's Fashion Show Mall (yes it's a chain, but it's still good, and like the OP, there's not one where I live)

                    Spumoni Ice Cream - Maggiano's (the only place I can ever find it!)

                    1. Best Chinese Chic Salad and Sweet Potato fries at BLT Burger (Mirage)
                      Best Grilled Octopus App at Carnevino (Palazzo)
                      - they also serve the very Best Blood Orange Martini!!