A few days before the New Year, I headed back to Nevada for a killer hike and to spend my entrance into 2021 in a more energetic place. While I was slightly anticipating a faster pace, I totally underestimated Americans’ need to drink, gamble, eat, smoke weed, and lime. Prior to my December 2020 trip, I had visited Las Vegas years earlier in 2009. I knew back then that regardless of the season, Vegas would always packed and clapping, but I didn’t expect that it would almost be the same during this time of corona. Foolish me thought that COVID-19 would keep most of the crowds away. I was so wrong! There were people everywhere, from the old to the incredibly young. It was a shocking scene that took time to get used to, but after an hour or so on the strip, I realized that nothing was going to stop the fun.
Hot Pot with Friends
My first dining experience in Nevada was at a friend’s home. I was invited to partake in a hot-pot meal, which is a communal dining experience. I have had hot pot before while living in Kuwait, but never have I had one homemade. In our hot pot, we had a 4-sided bowl with a mix of mild and spicy broth. Typically, in a hot pot, they are different flavor broth brought to a boil on your table. You can then add vegetables, seasonings, meats, or seafood to the broth and allow it to cook on the spot for direct serving and eating. Hot pot is a great warming dish that will enable you to get close to your friends and family.
The day after getting to Nevada, I made my way to Griddlecakes, which happens to have three locations near or around the Las Vegas strip. I did not have much expectation when it came to this place as I was only accompanying a group of friends. According to the website, this place was established in 1991 in the Las Vegas area and became famous for its breakfast and lunch menu. After dining at Griddlecakes for breakfast, I could see why there was a waitlist. I went there and had their $9.99 Belgian Waffle with a side of bacon and was overly impressed. I tend to skip breakfast most of the time because I do not like eggs, sausages, grits, hash brown, oatmeal, and all the usual things that go along with the western breakfast. Western or American breakfast for me is usually uncommonly sweet and heavy. It is too much for me as a person who does not have the opportunity to work off these decadent meals. Now if I was working in a field all day or doing some form of manual labor after eating like this then I would fit these types of early morning meals into my life more often. I like my breakfast simple where I would either have one or two of the following items together, pancakes, waffles, fruit salad, tea, bacon on the side, toast with cheese, or boring old cornflakes.
If you want an excellent breakfast or lunch that will hit the spot, skip Denny’s or IHOP and go straight to Griddlecakes.
Bellagio Hotel Room Service
Usually, I do not ever talk about room service because I seldom get room service. Since I stayed at a well-known hotel and could not be bothered to go out for breakfast, I wanted to try their room service. On my second day at the Bellagio, I got their breakfast dine-in experience. I can honestly say I was not impressed at all. Not only did the service take over 1.5 hours to get to my room, but the food was stone cold. The only upside to this was that I had two plates that were intended to be eaten cold, so it didn’t bother me. Overall, out of all the things we order to include scrambled eggs, potatoes, bacon, toast, fruit platter, and acacia bowl. My fruit platter and acacia were okay because they were not required to be hot or warm. Outside of that, everything was cold and wasn’t as grand as we expected, so I would highly suggest getting up and going to a restaurant instead of room service, especially at breakfast.
The Boiling Crab
I had to find my way to a seafood establishment while in Las Vegas. I tried to get to the Boiling Crab last month, but the wait was almost 3 hours long. This place serves up tons of seafood from crab legs to prawns, with mussels, clams, raw oysters, crawfish, and lobster all made fresh and served up in steaming bags for you to eat by hand. It reminded me of the Filipino restaurants I use to visit in Kuwait. Instead of serving up food in bags, they would lay out all the food on the table, and guests would eat with their hands’ fresh rice and seafood cooked in various sauces.
The garlic flavor along with the lemon pepper are the best, but if you are down for a spicier taste profile they have spicy flavors and you can also mix all the flavors together.
HEXX kitchen + bar
The HEXX restaurant was a welcome dining experience that was located on the other side of the Bellagio Hotel on the Las Vegas strip. The food at this restaurant is an American fusion style serving burgers, pizza, salmon, various meats, poultry, and seafood. Here is indoor and outdoor dining in a tasteful atmosphere that isn’t stuffy.
While there, they attempted to make me a Hugo cocktail, which is a northern Italian creation made with prosecco, elderflower syrup, seltzer, and mint leaves. I was a bit shocked that they have never heard of a Hugo cocktail before, but they gave it their best effort and made me a drink. It was not the best Jugo I’ve ever had as I couldn’t taste the mint or elderflower, but I applaud their effort.
Tea Way Plus (Boba Tea)
On my last day in Las Vegas, I went back to have more din sum and then visited this cutie establishment called Tea Way Plus. I wanted to try their boba tea. On new years day, I had their mango smoothie bought for me by a friend, so I had to visit this place in person.
They are best known for selling Taiwanese inspired bubble tea. If you never had bubble or boba tea, then you have not truly lived. Bubble tea is a drink made of various teas or coffee with milk, which for me is usually almond or coconut milk. Tapioca or boba balls are then added. The more updated version of this tea or drinks can be made from coffee, tea, or fruit juices with various pieces of coconut jelly or other cubed fruit slices added. Its a must try that might led to an addiction to boba tea which can also be sucessfully homemade if you really want to give it a good try.
Now we are at the end of this chapter, look out for more trave for food blog updates.
Happy New Year