There are so many restaurant choices in Las Vegas, it’s enough to make your head spin. We only made one reservation for dinner before we arrived in Vegas. We had three other places in mind where we knew we wanted to eat. Other than that we winged it. To keep budget friendly we ate a super light breakfast each day. Just a muffin from JJ’s downstairs. Then we’d be able to splurge on our other meals. **lots of photos after the jump**
Our first day there we ate lunch at JJ’s Boulangerie at the Paris (2 ham sandwiches & 1 drink= $20). Tip: Our receipt included a coupon for $5 off the buffet if we ate there within 24 hours. So we ate dinner at Le Village Buffet that night. $44 total with $10 total savings. Another tip: The buffet includes a crepe station where a chef whips up crepes for you right there. Just outside the buffet is a seemingly never ending line at Le Creperie where people pay $9 per crepe. Just wait and get your crepe at the buffet!
My birthday dinner was at SushiSamba. We wanted to eat somewhere close to the Blue Man Group theatre since we were seeing the show right after dinner. So I looked over the list of restaurants at both the Venetian (theatre location) & the Palazzo which connects to the Venetian. I downloaded the menu & got excited because they have sushi for CSP but a lot more that I can choose from since I’m not a sushi lover. It’s a Japanese, Peruvian, Brazilian fusion. We budgeted for 2 splurge dinners and this was the first. The restaurant is so cool looking! CSP is not a fan of me taking pictures in restaurants. He let me take a few of the restaurant before we ate, but then a couple sat at the table next to us so my photo opp was over until dessert. OH MY WORD, THE DESSERT. Banana chips, vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, on a hot banana chocolate cake. It was a religious moment. Oops, got so excited talking about dessert I skipped dinner! Everything is served family style there and is tapas sized. We had the miso sea bass I read about on all the reviews online. People said it melted in their mouths. I’m not a huge fish fan so I was skeptical. People are right! It seriously melted in my mouth. We also had chicken teriyaki skewers, quinoa risotto with mushrooms, tempura shrimp with grilled vegetables, and Peruvian corn. I also had fried plantains and CSP had yellow fin (or tail?) jalapeno sushi. All the dishes are small servings so you get to taste a lot. It was all so, so delicious. The risotto had mushrooms I’d never seen before- so tasty. And the plantains! I love plantains but CSP isn’t a fan. Oh, and the corn- it was so different than regular corn. Huge kernels, kind of sweet. Yum. Then the mind blowing dessert. Oh, and the iced tea was really good too. I’m Southern and I like some sweet tea. Well you can’t get that out there. SushiSamba’s tea is unsweetened but they add lime and mint and it sweetens it naturally. Delish! I felt like Rachel Ray with all the “mmmm” and “ooooh” -ing I was doing!
I heard over and over before we left for Vegas that we must go to the Carnival World Buffet at the Rio. So we took the free shuttle from the Paris to the Rio. We decided to make the buffet our main meal of the day. Tip: We got there just before 3:30 pm and were able to pay the lunch price of $16.99 each instead of the dinner price of $24.99 each. The dinner price goes into effect at 3:30. Yay! That’s a savings of $16 total! We were there for 2 hours and I still didn’t get something from each section! It’s seriously the biggest buffet I’ve ever seen. There is a salad bar of course, and then there are Asian, Italian, Mexican (with tamales!), & American stations. There are crab legs- a buffet favorite. We saw one dude carrying a dinner plate of nothing but little cups of drawn butter for his mountain of crab legs. Funny! There’s also a meat carving section with every meat imaginable. And a teppanyaki section where you can build your own stir fry that the chef cooks up for you right there. Then there’s the dessert section. Holy smokes! So many choices. They are all tiny so you can get a sampler. I’ve never seen CSP get so many plates of food. When we left I asked him how he felt. “I am so uncomfortable. Let’s go back there again before we leave.”
Our other splurge dinner was at Dos Caminos at the Palazzo. I had read about this restaurant online before we left but I was a little hesitant to eat Mexican in Vegas since we could eat Mexican in Charlotte. OMG I’m so glad we went. First of all I love the decor. Very funky, with enough Mexican style without being all themey. Loved this skull wall (thought the pic would make for a great computer wallpaper). Whoever decorated this place has great taste. I love the long strips of mirrors and will probably steal that idea for my house. Secondly, there was hardly a thing on the menu that we’d find at our local Mexican joint. CSP ordered Mahi Mahi tacos which he loved. They came with rice & beans but he also ordered a side of charro beans (his latest obsession). He went crazy over them. I had something that wasn’t on the menu. Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want, even if it’s not on the menu. My dish was grilled shrimp over coconut rice with a mango salsa with a side of plantains. OMG. Incredible. We’ll definitely go back there as well.
Another of our favorite places is Carnegie Deli. I’ve been to the one in NYC and now they have a location in the Mirage! I was so excited because CSP’s favorite sandwich is the Reuben. I knew Carnegie would have a fabulous one for him. Plus I’ve always wanted him to try a knish. I’d had a couple in NYC but haven’t seen them anywhere else. I knew CSP would flip over it. CSP ordered the Reuben, I ordered an egg & corned beef hash sandwich, and we ordered a knish to split. I’d never had a Reuben but I tried CSP’s and it was fantastic! My sandwich was great too and the knish was wonderful. CSP loved the knish too and wants his parents to try it. He said it was the perfect Midwestern food. We came back to the Carnegie later and split a slice of cheesecake for dessert. Amazing. The best cheesecake we’ve ever had. We quizzed the waiter about the crust (some sort of shortbread cookie tasting thing) and he told us they fly the cheesecakes in every day from NYC. Authentic!
We enjoyed every meal in Vegas. We were really pleased with each restaurant choice and would go back in a minute!
Next up: Digs!