Las Vegas report, long
Just got back from Las Vegas. Ate wonderfully well on a budget (for the most part) and alone (for breakfast and lunch).
Breakfast places included Paradise Cafe at the Las Vegas Hilton (with my husband's co-workers) a few days, JJ's Boulangerie at Paris, Lenotre at Paris, and the Drugstore Cafe at Wynn. Nothing stood out as spectacular although the food at the Paradise Cafe was good and plenty (continental one day and eggs and bacon the other). The waffles (about $10) at JJ's were fresh and good with berries and whipped cream. Not the best ever but certainly very good. The apricot turnover at Lenotre (about $12 for everything) and the coffee were wonderful, but the fruit in the fruit bowl was not as fresh as I would have liked. The yogurt, fruit and granola ($7) at the Wynn was probably the best tasting.
Light lunches included a nutella napoleon pastry (about $5) at Jean Philippe's (incredible) and a passion fruit gelato (about $5) at the Venetian (very good). At 'witchcraft, I had the steak, mushroom and egg sandwich and a whoopie pie (total of about $10). The sandwich was wonderful with the eggs cooked well and the steak tender enough to eat without making a mess. The whoopie pie was interesting. Definitely not what you would expect from PA Dutch Country, either in size or taste. More like a cocoa cake with a custard cream filling. At Tacos and Tequila at the Luxor, I splurged on a pomegranate acai margarita ($12) and the pollo tacos ($13). The margarita was freshly made and not syrupy sweet. The tacos, while tasty, were not quite as flavorful as I would have imagined. I couldn't decide which salsa I liked better so I kept tasting them with the warm chips. My biggest lunch splurge was at Cafe Ba Ba Reeba. I sat outside overlooking the strip. The seated me next to another lone diner and he and I struck up a conversation. He enjoyed his peppers and a scallops dish. He also ordered the appetizers I had and liked them as well. I had a rice and mushroom croqueta ($1.50) which was my surprise favorite of all week. I wish I had ordered more. I also had the serrano ham and carmelized pineapple ($1.50). Their passionfruit sangrias ($12 each) were very good. I also had their special paella ($10.95), which was a sausage paella. This took 35 minutes to cook but was well worth it. However, I did not ask in advance what types of sausage was in it. I ate some of it and it was great but then I LOOKED at it and realized that the one sausage was really dark. I asked the extremely helpful and friendly waiter and he told me it was morcilla. Knowing enough Spanish to figure out the root of this word, I realized it was blood sausage. He felt bad telling me because I had enjoyed it up to that point. Oh well. I tried to eat the rest of it and was so full I couldn't even fit in more of the sausage I liked. But he convinced me to try one of their small desserts. The coconut cake was a moist coconut pudding cake($2.99), not the Pepperidge Farm layer type. Incredible.
For dinner (I didn't pay for dinners so I didn't look at prices) I had a decent Tuscan Chicken sandwich at Planet Hollywood in Caesar's one night and the chicken hibachi at Benihana. At Lawry's I had a very good typical prime rib dinner and a great chocolate bag chocolate mousse dessert. The Malbec wine was very good, but then I like malbecs. At Origin India, we ordered several dishes family style. My favorites were the potatoes and spinach and a spicy chicken dish. The tandoor chicken Lahsooni was good but not full of spice. Paul our server was extremely knowledgeable about beers as was one of the people at our table. So we tried some different beers, a couple Belgian ales -- one light and one dark, a beer brewed in the Champagne style, a raspberry beer and a cherry beer. The Cherish Kriek cherry beer was my favorite. I don't typically drink beer but that one and the champagne style one were very drinkable. My favorite dinner was at Lotus of Siam. I had the crispy rice appetizer at a spicy level 5 which was too much for my husband but okay for me. I had my Tom Yum Kai soup at a 6 or 7 which was tasty but almost too spicy for me. The lime drink really helped cool things down. For an entree I had the Spicy Beef Salad at a 6 or 7. It was so flavorful and the beef just melted in your mouth. For dessert we ordered the sticky rice with mango and the coconut ice cream. I didn't care much for the sticky rice, although my husband LOVED it. I really liked the coconut ice cream. He also got a Thai iced tea that was too spicy for me, but again he liked it.