Thursday, October 10, 2013

Eating Las Vegas: Part 1

My company is celebrating 30 years in business in 2013 and back in January at our company Christmas party, my boss surprised us with a trip to Vegas! We were even invited to bring a guest!

I brought my friend Carolyn on the trip and we had a blast eating our way thru Vegas while site-seeing, relaxing and exploring.

Day 1:
We left on a Saturday morning and arrived in Vegas around noon their time, 2 pm our time. We were definitely hungry already!!!!!

We took the long-way to the Red Rock Casino and did a touristy trip down the strip with a great comical shuttle driver that entertained us on the not-so-well known history of Vegas as well as the new things being built. Our room wasn't ready when we got to the hotel, so what else do we do on vacation, but drink some beers and eat some yummy food! First stop - The Yard House.

I had stopped here with my dad on my trip to Vegas three years ago and loved the place. They have well over 100 beers on tap that run from the cooler room through yards of tubing around the restaurant and are poured at the perfect temperature for you to enjoy.

I started myself with a Rogue Hazelnut beer and stuck to just the pint size, though they did have larger (and smaller) options. Vacation was just starting - not time to get wasted!I found the Rogue Hazelnut at Woodman's today and added it to my "must-buy" list.  We decided to split a few appetizers instead of get a real meal. The menu had snacks and appetizers on it, so we chose from those areas as well as suggestions from our server.
Gouda Chicken Flatbread - The gouda was nice and melty and the peppers and chicken were good. I wished there was more cheese, but what Wisconsinite wouldn't?
Crab, Lobster & Artichoke Dip - Can you really go wrong with a dip? I think not - this was perfect on my palette. I preferred it spread on the pita pieces over the chips, but I'm pretty sure we cleaned the plate completely on this.
Ahi Poke - I had just watched an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives that featured this place in Hawaii. The closest I'm going to get to Hawaii for a few years it probably through that show and the Travel Channel, so when I saw this on the menu, I had to try it. It is marinated raw ahi tuna with avocado, carrots, daikon radish, macadamia nuts & crispy wonton to put it on. I am glad I tried it - it was nicely marinated and now I want to try other varieties. Anyone know where there is local Poke in Wisconsin?
 Our favorite was the crab, lobster & artichoke dip by far and all of it was a great start to our trip.
After a few more beers (Tripel Karmeliet, Rose Garden, Abita Purple Haze...and...?) and a few samples, we were full, feeling great and on our way to our room. It was time to get our vacation started! (PS - All of the beers we had were for the first time and I'm glad that I an find them in Wisconsin at Woodman's)

Day 2:
We started the morning with Starbucks (I know - not too exciting) and packed some water and granola bars for our Pink Jeep Tour in the Red Rock Canyon in open-air jeeps. (more on this soon). We were starving when we got back to the hotel at lunchtime and craved large juicy burgers. We were told by my coworkers that we had to check out LBS (pounds) for a good burger and had to have the Buffalo Chicken Dip. 

Of course, drinks were first! I went for a Raspberry Blush wine drink and Carolyn got a jalapeno bloody mary.

The buffalo chicken dip was spectacular. The chips were made in-house and the dip had just enough kick, when I avoided the peppers in it. The blue cheese was barely melted into the dip and cooled down the spicy-ness for me perfectly.
By the time the burgers came, we were pretty full. (scraping the dish completely clean and contemplating licking the plate will do that) . I got the Perfect Burger with Gruyere cheese, smoked bacon, frisee, roasted tomato, onion marmalade, their special sauce and herb mayo. They ask if you want pink or no pink for your meat and I went for pink so it wouldn't border on too dry. The burger was plenty juicy, the herb mayo and special sauce are awesome!
Carolyn got the Kansas City BBQ which is a burger topped with BBQ Pork, fire cracker onions, coleslaw and pickles. It was stacked sooooo tall. 

I was getting so full and needed more liquid to wash down the delicious, "hits the spot" burger, so a XXX drink was ordered. Yep - didn't finish my first drink before the second came so I was two-fisting. I ended up eating half of my burger on the bun and the other half, I took the bun away. Carolyn loved her burger as well and we were so glad we found this spot. 

Because we gorged on burgers and had spent a ton of time in the fresh air that morning, we decided to relax by the pool (in the shade because I'm so pale). We got a beer and chillaxed. We also had the evening and large portion of the next day off so some downtime was in order before our venture to The Strip. 
The Strip and the remainder of the trip are "to be continued." Yes we ate and drank more!!!! And I'll tell you now, even though Red Rock is 11 miles off the strip, I highly recommend staying there. The casino had everything that I could have wanted and probably more because I didn't even explore it all in the four days we were there. 

Viva Las Vegas!


  1. Perfect timing! I'm heading to Vegas on Saturday and my mom was just asking where we should meet for lunch that day. I'm going to suggest the Yard House.

  2. You will definitely enjoy the Yard House. It's worth the drive away from the strip and seeing the mountains up closer is awesome!

  3. If you want Poke in Wisconsin, I'd recommend Uno Kine Grindz in Tosa.

    They also have it on the seafood bar at Fresh Market by Brookfield Square, but even though the fish was really fresh, it was pretty bland. Needed more soy sauce and sesame oil.