in-n-out


From the moment I knew I was going out west, it was a mission to go to In-N-Out. I was glad to know that they had locations in Vegas.


I studied In-N-Out’s secret menu prior to my visit, knowing exactly what I wanted to get…


animal style fries

What’s animal style? Topped with cheese, grilled onions, and In-N-Out spread.


double double, animal style

I ordered a double double, animal style along with the fries. This was the most beautiful, well put together fast food burger I’ve ever had, not to mention the tastiest. I also used to take pickles off burgers as a kid, but I left them on here. Everything was just great together. Another reason this is the best fast food burger I’ve ever had? They toast the buns! The toasted buns added an extra texture and held up nicely with the fillings.

Of course, it’s still fast food which I pretty much sworn off on now, unless I’m desperate. But if I’m out west, I might give in to In-N-Out every time I have the opportunity…

In-N-Out (multiple locations)
4888 Dean Martin Dr
Las Vegas, NV 89103

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bouchon – las vegas


I was on a fairly tight budget in Vegas last weekend and this is definitely a big restraint, especially when you love food because there are a bunch of great restaurants with tasting menus all over the strip. A friend, however, did mention Bouchon to me. Initially I figured it was out of my budget, it is a Thomas Keller restaurant after all. But, I browsed the website and their brunch menu was totally affordable! So, that’s where I was on Saturday morning.


It took us a while to find the restaurant, which is located on the 10th floor of the Venezia Tower in The Venetian Hotel & Casino. Once we got there though, it was beautiful. The atmosphere was relaxing and the large windows let the morning/afternoon sun shine in as jazz played throughout the restaurant. The staff was friendly and service was great from the maitre d’ to the waiter. We were supposed to dine out on the porch outside in the courtyard, but there was a miscommunication amongst the staff and a party after us got seated before us. No biggie though..


We all started off with some coffee and they brought out a freshly baked baguette with butter and jam (pictured above). Honestly, the meal could have ended here and I would have had a smile on my face for the rest of the day. There’s just something so amazing about a simple, fresh baguette and butter. It was SO good. Also, on a random note, it was totally not in traditional baguette shape…


There was a pastry section on the menu, as well as a couple pastry specials on a chalkboard. We decided it was a must to order a pastry basket (choice of four different pastries). The pastries we ordered were (photo above, clockwise from left) concord grape beignets, pecan sticky bun, chocolate almond croissant, and cheese danish.

My words and photos really can’t describe this basket. Everything was amazing. Easily the best pastries I’ve ever had. Light, flaky, delicately sweet. I wish I could choose a favorite out of the bunch, but that’s too difficult.

Here are the dishes ordered around the table:


corned beef hash


croque madame


sourdough waffle


steak frites

My dish was the croque madame, ham & cheese sandwiched between toasted brioche, topped with an egg and mornay sauce, and served with pomme frites. My first French croque…loved it. The pomme frites were also delish, but there was no chance of me finishing all of them.

I also got to try the corned beef hash and the sourdough waffles. The corned beef hash was the most delicious and elegant corned beef hash I’ve ever had. The scrambled egg was cooked to perfection too. Where do I begin with the sourdough waffles… I had one bite and fell in love. It was “just right”. They were light and airy, accompanied perfectly with maple syrup, strawberries, and Tahitian vanilla infused butter. Oh em gee.

Everyone was full after this meal..and very, very content. If you’re ever in Vegas or in California, make sure you check this place out. I promise you won’t regret it.

Also, there’s Bouchon Bakery on the basement floor of The Venetian. I didn’t get a chance to check it out, but I would assume you could buy the pastries there.

Bouchon
The Venetian Hotel & Casino
Venezia Tower, 10th Floor
3355 Las Vegas Boulevard
Las Vegas, NV 89109
702.414.6200

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max brenner – las vegas


You may or may not know, but I spent last weekend in Vegas. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to try any expensive tasting menus at fine dining establishments, but I was able to check out some other interesting, affordable places to eat…Max Brenner being one.


I had brunch on Friday morning and started off with a dark chocolate mocha. They served it in a “hug mug” which has no handles and is supposed to be shaped to give the drinker a better “smell” of the drink, thus leading to a better experience. Allergies kicked in this weekend, so I wasn’t quite able to smell anything…but it did taste good, that’s for sure!

huevos rancheros sunrise burrito

I had a craving for an savory breakfast over a sweet one, so I ordred the huevos rancheros sunrise burrito. The rest of the table ordered:


mushroom & ricotta pizza

meaty, crispy, cheesy, and more pizza


guilt free omelet

I enjoyed my breakfast burrito a lot. The burrito was made up of eggs, chorizo, tomatoes, and pepper jack. It was served with a side of salsa, sour cream, and breakfast potatoes.

During the meal, I was able to try some of the pizza and omelet. They both tasted so-so. Unfortunately, they were really nothing to write home about.

At the end of the meal, I had zero room to try the famed chocolate pizza! Luckily, there’s a Philly location and hopefully I can try that soon.

Max Brenner (several locations)
The Forum Shops at Caesars
3500 Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89109

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blt burger


A friend and I had a burger craving on Labor Day and we decided to go to BLT Burger, Chef Laurent Tourondel’s global burger chain which is part of his BLT family of restaurants.

There were some burgers on the menu which almost had me, ex: lamb merguez – colorado lamb, cilantro yogurt sauce, cucumber, olives, red onion, and tomato; blt – angus beef, double smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, blt burger sauce. My eyes locked on to the Great Hills Blue (see image above), a burger with angus beef, Great Hills blue cheese, balsamic caramelized onions, and mushrooms. Since I’m a sucker for blue cheese on a burger, this decision was a no brainer. My friend decided to go the classic route with an angus burger with lettuce, tomato, and onion.


the classic

Both burgers were served on a tasty seeded bun with slaw and a pickle (friend opted to hold the pickle). The Great Hills Blue burger was pretty delicious. The meat was also cooked to a perfect medium. My friend also enjoyed her classic burger very much.

Leaving for Vegas soon and there’s a location there, but I’ll probably go to In-N-Out to satisfy my burger cravings!

BLT Burger
470 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10011
212.243.8226

There are other locations in Las Vegas and Hong Kong!

ps. I want to order and enjoy the whole burger, shake, and fries meal (at any place) someday, but I can never seem to be that hungry… anyone else feel that way?

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cooking : brioche french toast


I have never made french toast before. If you can believe that…

This past weekend I finally made an attempt and it turned out well! I used a brioche pan loaf from Amy’s Bread in the Chelsea Market.

Brioche French Toast
Serves 4 (about 2 slices each)
Adapted from Martha Stewart

-6 large eggs
-1/2 c light brown sugar
-4 c milk
-1 tsp cinnamon, ground
-1/8 tsp vanilla extract
-pinch nutmeg, ground
-brioche pan loaf, stale and sliced into 1″ thick slices
-stick of butter, at least half a stick (4 tbsp)
-powdered sugar
-maple syrup

Preheat oven to 200° with a baking sheet inside.

Whisk together eggs, sugar, and milk in large bowl. Add cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg.

Heat large pan over medium-high heat and melt butter to coat bottom.

Take a slice of brioche, dip in mixture for 30 seconds, flip. After another 30 seconds, place in pan.

Cook for 4-5 minutes, until bottom becomes golden brown. Flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Once both sides are golden brown, place slice on baking sheet in oven to keep warm.

Repeat with the remaining slices of brioche. Remember to butter the pan between slices in order to promote browning and add flavor. The times in the pan may vary. Check the color of your brioche occasionally to make sure you don’t burn it.

Serve with a light dusting of powdered sugar and a drizzle of warm maple syrup.

Enjoy!

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