Exploring Old Vegas, and Buffet Strategies

Vegas: Day Two.  Remember how much fun we had/how much food we ate the day before

During the weeks before our trip, in our breezy, cool Vancouver homes, we'd decided we should go hiking in the Nevada desert.  There are canyons!  Salt flats!  Just look at this vista! 


Well, we did not go hiking, because just as everyone had warned us, Vegas is hot enough by 8am to turn a snake into jerky.  Instead, we roamed the strip, ate more truffle cheese bread, and mocked our own ignorance.  Ignorance pairs delightfully with truffles, by the way. 

Later in the day, we went to Fremont Street, also dubbed “Old Vegas.”  Our U.S. border guard had insisted on it. 

It's home to many old hotels, fantastic vintage signs, and flashy rotating spectacles like high heels, dancers, and cocktails glasses.

Street performers (with varying degrees of talent) line the promenade, which is covered by a lengthy arched ceiling.  Each evening, they project light shows onto it, accompanied by music blaring from speakers.

There’s the Heart Attack Grill (free if you’re 350 pounds or more), stages setup with free musical acts, the Glitter Gulch,

and endless souvenirs for sale, including these wisdom-imparting giant flasks.   

We had dinner that night at La Comida, a Mexican restaurant just off Fremont’s main strip.

We each started off with a margarita (tamarind for Dana, blood orange for myself), then set to eating enough Mexican food to keep us satiated for the next year.  We’ve since talked almost daily about the Elotes Asados, a dish with grilled corn, queso fresco, and chili lime butter.  It was topped with Tajin, a tangy seasoning we fell for hard, and have sourced in Vancouver since coming home. 

La Comida has a swing.  Now we know that all restaurants should.

We also feasted on ceviche with fried plantains; Pollo al Horno with chicken and achiote sauce, wrapped and baked in banana leaves and topped with cactus strips; seabass; and Puerco Ahumado, an amaaaazing smoked pork shoulder dish.  Dessert was a slice of sweet tres leches (three milks) cake, and a bowlful of smooth, caramel-y flan.  Sorry for the bad pictures - it was dark in there!

The next day we moved to the Bellagio hotel, but first stopped in at Caesar’s Palace to experience the famous spread at Bacchanal.  When our server saw my backpack (which I'd brought instead of a suitcase), she asked, earnestly, “Are you going camping?”  

We took our buffet experience seriously.  We first did a walk-through of every station to get a lay of the Smorgasbord Land (stations included fresh seafood, southern American cooking, Mexican, Italian, Asian, and more), then helped ourselves to all the best-looking dishes we saw. 

Highlights included the truffled scalloped potatoes; polenta with mushrooms and cheese; Brussels sprouts with bacon; biscuits and gravy (we really, really ought to head to the southern United States next); and the chili verde.  

The geographic footprint of Bacchanal’s dessert bar is definitely bigger than my apartment’s, and we did at least three laps of it before choosing our sweets. 

Our favourite dessert was a freshly-made crepe with bananas, caramel sauce, toasted coconut, and a heaping spoonful of whipped cream.  

Dana finished her meal off with a small plate of gummy bears - a classy alternative to the traditional digestif.

So, there you have it.  Our first two and a half days in Vegas.  Check back soon for our whisky-fueled adventures with Saveur!


Today's soundtrack: Vegas' other Canadian in Residence, Shania Twain.  Watch as she messes up these guys' breakfasts somethin' fierce