Saturday, February 18, 2012

Yes, Virginia, You Can Eat Vegetarian Food In Vegas!

I've been back from Vegas for a week now, but between sick kids and a sick spouse and just trying to get back to normal, this is the first chance I've had to write.

WoW! Vegas was terrific! Thanks, Mercer Transportation, for a great time. The company was great. I got to meet some new people and spend time with some old friends that I haven't seen in years. And the food....OMG!

Going to Vegas, and having been in the past, my husband and I thought it would be hard for us to eat in Sin City since we are vegetarians. Vegas always seemed so meat heavy. A friend of our who lives in Vegas told us not to worry because between food allergies and different religious rules, Vegas eateries tend to cater to everyone. We were skeptical...until we actually ate there.

Breakfasts were great, and because I knew I could always pretty much get eggs and fresh fruit, I wasn't too worried about my morning meal. We ended up eating basically two meals a day, breakfast and dinner. If we got hungry in between we snacked on a bag of pretzels and some various protein bars that I brought with me ( and I was glad I did).

Dinner the first night was in a little restaurant in Paris. I had a good salad and some pasta with sauce-no meat (Yay!) but also no whole wheat pasta (Anytime I ate pasta, I did give up on getting whole wheat, but that's okay. I just didn't go hog wild with it). Dinner was just okay to me this first night, but at least I did get to eat. More importantly at this meal was that we had great company! It was fun to be out with adults and to be with friends-old and new.
Dinner the second night was also in Paris at Mon Ami Gabi. The decor and atmosphere was wonderful, and because the restaurant was right across the street from the Bellagio, we could see the fountains every time they came on. This night we had the seasonal vegetable platter. It had creamed spinach, fingerling potatoes, baby carrots, and roasted taro root topped with caramelized onions.  I had never had taro root before or creamed spinach and both were great! I also tried the whipped cauliflower that another person ordered, and it was good too. I had long been curious about "cauliflower mashed potatoes" since I have been reading about them forever on the web.  Now I know what they taste like. Not sure I'll make them, but I did enjoy the new flavors. I had a creme brulee for desert with coffee, but did not eat it all (pure restraint, I tell you!) My only real indulgence was that my hubby and I ordered 1 shrimp cocktail to share. It was more of a memory thing than an "I have to have this" thing, because shrimp was big with us on our last Vegas trip. I ate 2 shrimp and my hubby ate 2 shrimp. That was enough for me. It was delicious, but  not compared to the delicious veggies that came after it. It was the first flesh I had eaten since May, and I thought it would mean more to me having not had it for sooo long. but, really, it was neither her nor there for me. As my dad likes to note, I really have gone now to the dark side...LOL!

The next night was food catered by Paris in our conference room where we had the awards banquet. Oh my Lord was it delicious. They had a meat table, a pasta table, a potato table, a dessert table, and a salad table. The purple whipped potatoes were good, but the salad table?  Delicious...and it had the longest line of any of the tables. I ate a fresh field greens salad with a creamy sesame dressing and the most delicious cold marinated grilled asparagus I've ever had--actually, the best asparagus I've ever had.. I ate 2 plates of salad and asparagus, and even the meat eaters couldn't get enough of the asparagus.

The last night was the best overall. We ate at Bradley Ogden restaurant in Caesar's Palace in Vegas.
The menu was sitting at our places when we arrived. it was Caesar salad, a choice of a steak , salmon, or chicken dish, and banana's fosters cake for dessert. We asked if they had some kind of vegetable plate for us instead, and the Maitre d' said he'd take care of us.  Boy did he!  Our salad was field greens, brie, apples, beets,  and pine nut in a vinaigrette.  It was sooo wonderful and the envy of  the meat eaters at the table who said their Caesar salad was a little fishy. Then our main course was equally as fabulous. It was a trio of spaghetti squash in some kind of cream sauce with herbs, roasted fennel (yummy), and a cappelini mushroom, arugula, brussel sprout, macadamia nut mixture on top of a butternut squash puree. It was a truly Top Chef meal...truly gourmet and f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c! I didn't eat the dessert because I'm not a fan of bananas foster, and also because I wanted to savor the flavors from the meal that were making my tongue so happy. Later that night, we got creme brulee and coffee at Le Cafe back at Paris.

When we got home, I made a big salad for dinner, and my DH was like, "Man, how far we have fallen..."  He was right. I'm a pretty good cook already, but now I plan to stretch myself even more to  constantly include new foods and veggies and combinations into our daily routine. I'll let you know how it works out. That meal at Bradley Ogden was not just the best vegetarian meal I've ever was the best meal I've ever had. Such a wonderful trip socially and culinarily.

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