What I Ate | Las Vegas, August 2015

Once a year, I get to visit Las Vegas to see old friends, learn something new at DEFCON, and most importantly ( 😉 ) – eat some of my favorite dishes that I can’t find anywhere else.

This year’s Vegas trip took place during the first week of August. I was able to take part in some old favorites, and try a few new things that are now firmly on my “must do” list.

We stayed at the Monte Carlo, and this year’s DEFCON was located at Paris and Bally’s. These locations are pretty central on The Strip, and offered easy access to most places we wanted to visit (though we also had a pretty awesome Challenger for a rental car).

Kevin was occupied at Black Hat for much of our first full day, so I had the opportunity to have lunch with my friend Ellen. We decided on eating at the Yard House located in The Linq, which didn’t exist when I lived in Vegas. The area feels decidedly “un-Vegas” to me. It reminds me of Downtown Disney in Anaheim with the layout, architecture, and overall vibe. Yard House is located towards the back, near the High-Roller observation wheel.

yardhouse_las_vegas

Lunch & drinks at Yard House

Ellen had the Ahi Crunchy Salad, and I went with the Mac + Cheese (because when do I pass up macaroni and cheese?). Continue reading

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To Do List | Portland Restaurants

I love food. I am willing to pay more money for an amazing meal than clothes, and consider dining one of the Macaroni and cheesebest parts of traveling. I am an unashamed foodie, and will try most anything at least once. To me, food is one of life’s great joys, and should be an experience.

When I found out that we were moving to Portland, I was excited to discover that the city is a foodie destination of sorts. Local eateries out number the chain restaurants, and we’ve already tried some amazing dishes in the two months that we have lived here. From mac and cheese made to order at the Tillamook Cheese Factory (at right) and gluten free lemon basil cake at Kyra’s Bakeshop to fresh burratta at Fireside and burbon ice cream at Salt & Straw in the Alphabet District, I am surprised I haven’t managed to put on twenty pounds yet.

Through Pinterest and Portland news sites, I have built a running list of places for us to try next. Here’s the top five I am currently looking forward to most.

To Do List: Portland Restaurants

  1. Mac! Mac and Cheesery | Kevin often jokes that if you cut me open, I’ll bleed mac and cheese. This restaurant sounds like a goldmine for me. 17 varieties of mac and cheese. And all of them can be made gluten free! Is this heaven? It might be.
  2. Elephants Delicatessen | This deli has a couple locations, and is a frequent pin in the Portland tag on Pinterest. They now have dine in options, including a grill, wood fire oven, and cheese and charcuterie counter.  Though Kevin can’t always partake, I am all about fresh, warm bread.
  3. Urban Farmer PDX | I follow Urban Farmer’s stunning Instagram, and frequently find myself drooling over the photos. The steakhouse focuses on sustainable, farm to table fare and is located on the 8th floor of the Nines Hotel downtown. Kevin and I both appreciate a good steak once awhile, and will have to stop by the next time the craving hits.
  4. Toro Bravo | Tapas to me fit the idea of food as an experience perfectly. When we lived in Vegas, we used to love stopping at Firefly for an evening of small plates and drinks, and I dearly miss the food at Social in Fort Collins, Colorado. Toro Bravo looks like it could be our new tapas spot.
  5. Pok Pok | With every search for Portland restaurants I’ve done, this Asian eatery has turned up near the top. Their site notes that they’re not a “fusion” restaurant. Their dishes are researched and tested to ensure an authentic dining experience.

Ah, so many food comas ahead!

intrusions of beauty