Thursday, December 20, 2012

Vegas Family Vacation: Finding Dining Options Locally

First of all I just wanted to thank all my loyal readers! I know I've been slacking this month with so much going on but every time I peak in, I see the support. I definitely appreciate you all. Well, the holidays are definitely in full force, and although there has been a lot of tragedy and crazy things going on around the world, it's still the season of reflection, family and PRESENTS!! If you guys didn't know, I have a HUGE family. That, paired with being Filipino means there will be TONS of food this up coming week. This year our natural routine is changing up a bit for Christmas. My mom and step dad are flying out to Vegas to be with us! I'm so excited! This also means that we'll all be driving out to Cali to meet up with my mom's brother since it's a rare occasion to be with family for him too (Us west coasters are always forced to fly to Chicago since there's more of them over there).

Before all that loveliness happens, I still have 3 days of my mom's 6 day vacation to entertain her. When people come and visit, they're always so quick to find a place to eat on the Strip, especially since I live down the street from there. However, there's so many local options that are just as great, if not better! My mom and step dad arrive tomorrow night, and directly from the airport we're heading to Yama Sushi. It's one of my favorite, if not thee favorite place of mine for sushi. They have this option where for $25 the whole menu is unlimited (from appetizers to dessert). When my cousin first introduced this place to me, I admit, I was a little skeptical about paying $25 per person. However, this place is awesome! Everything is yummy in my opinion and with the rising cost of sushi, you definitely get your money's worth (at least I do hehe). Plus, who doesn't love unlimited mochi?!

Speaking of seafood, there are sooooo many buffets that Vegas has to offer, and with my aunt being a buffet addict, I've tried basically every last one of them. I have to say though, my most favorite one overall would have to be the seafood dinner at Studio B Buffet in the M resort. I am disappointed that they no longer offer the $3 off coupon with a player's card and they basically doubled in price since they first opened, making this buffet $40 per person. HOWEVER, if you have the money, give this place a try and thank me later. Mahal gets his money's worth by taking advantage of the crabs and complimentary beer, but I absolutely adore the food. Fat moment I know, but there's honestly nothing that I've eaten at this buffet that I didn't like. They have so many hot and cold seafood options, prime rib, stir fry, soups, salads, and the list goes on and on. Not to mention they're AMAZING dessert section with gelato and creme brulee. YUM! I do warn you, like most Las Vegas buffets there is an incredible wait time so I suggest you arrive once they open for dinner. My family usually goes later on in the day around 7pm and tend to wait on average for 2 hours. This is also considering we always come with a minimum of 10 people so we have to wait for enough tables to seat us all. Do not let this kill your hopes of trying this place out. Bring a group or something to occupy your time. I'm telling you, it's worth the wait!
Mango gelato and a canoli. Yum!
If you're looking for more of a breakfast type setting, Hash House a Go Go is definitely my go-to place. They're know for their ginormous portion sizes, but they food is as great tasting as it looks. They have a great variety of breakfast/lunch items and are average priced with items mostly between $10-$15. Definitely come with an empty stomach when eating here. The wait can be a little long (about 30-40 minutes) on the weekends, but you'll leave with a happy belly. A little FYI, I personally don't like the taste of rosemary so if you agree, ask them not to add it to your food. They add a bushel to your food for decoration, but I can always strongly taste it wherever they stick it in. You'll know what I mean because it'll look like a mini pine tree just grew out of your biscuit.
Look how thick my french toast is in the upper right photo!

If you're a little more simple with your eating choices and love a yummy burger like Mahal, you can never go wrong with Red Robin. Not only are they family friendly but all they're burgers are great tasting. Pair that with their bottomless fries and a freckled lemonade (with fresh strawberries *drools*) and you're set!

Now, considering I'm originally from Chicago where all of our food is the best, you'd understand why I was on the hunt to find good quality Chicago-esque food the moment I moved here. Let me tell ya, this was (as still is) not an easy task. Most of them who claim to be authentic Chicago food didn't compare, and the ones that did were charging waaaay too much for it. After much searching we found a little piece of heaven named Amore- Taste of Chicago. No other place in Vegas (that I know of) sells Chicago-style deep dish pizza. I have to admit, the first time we ate there Mahal and I agreed that there was a little something missing that we couldn't quite put out finger on. However, this is probably the closest a Las Vegan will get to experiencing a Chicago pizza in Las Vegas. Inside I guarantee you'll find tons of fellow Chicagoans and reminisce on all the great eateries around our great city of Chicago. Now, if only I could find a great pizza puff that didn't cost me an arm and a leg. NO, not a calzone people. A pizza puff. I'm always looking for great eats around the valley! Where are some of your favorite places to eat at?

Are you planning on eating at home or at a restaurant for the holidays?