Vegas Part 2» Food Dining Reviews

These days my mouth tends to consume more than what my stomach can contain. I wanted to try out all these restaurants and lounges. The amazing thing is MGM Grand has 8 fine dining establishments that open late into the night. Along with these restaurants is a food court with Krispy Creme, McDonald’s, Nathan’s Hot Dogs, and Haagen Dazs!

Our first night there, I was starving! We got to our hotel room at 8:30PM, then had to wait for housekeeping to make sure the room was clean as expected. I told the maid that the room was clean but she took 10 minutes to double check everything. I think it’s because the previous occupants probably checked out early and housekeeping was just notified of the departure. I didn’t really put it together until I saw a voicemail light blinking on the phone. MGM Grand left a message saying that we can use express checkout when we depart tomorrow. We depart the day after so I knew the message was not for us.

Well at about 9PM we made our trek down to see what MGM has to offer. We decided to check out Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill. It’s been so long since we dined at a WP restaurant. We used to have a WP Cafe in Houston, TX but it seems to have closed down.

There was a 15 minute wait but we got a table early. We were told by the hostess that the couple ahead of us gave up their table because they saw I was pregnant! So nice of them! I wouldn’t have minded at all. Granted, I was still in Houston time so I was starving! I don’t even know who the couple was. There was a standing roomfull of people waiting for tables. I felt very grateful.

Thank goodness for this basket of sea salted bread. There were two types- loaf slices and onion rolls – both topped with sea salt and with butter on the side.

Peach and Passion Fruit Puree Drink – refreshing.

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Hazelnut sauteed in Brown Butter: I just remembered that I wished it was a bit more warmer. The dish was a tad too cold. Still very good. I assumed the dish cools very quickly. I remember making ravioli in brown butter and I had the same issue.

My husband had a flat iron steak with french fries. I took a bite and it was really delicious. He likes his steaks medium while I like mine medium rare. The steak had the right amount of pink for medium and was not running at all. Just perfect. I didn’t take a picture of his because he dug in before my camera even powered on!

I also got a side of Creamed Spinach which was more of a dip than a side. It was a huge portion. Good but came out mildly cold. I’m easy to please so overall I thought the establishment has good food and a very lively atmosphere. I was just tired and hungry. The food came out quickly that I didn’t have to wait long and that’s all I cared at the moment.

I remember going back to our room and just crashing through the night. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to sleep in but woke up right at dawn! Damn the time zone!

We decided to head to the food court for a quick breakfast and of all places found McDonald’s to be open with a line. Afterwards we were off to the convention center for a long day of meetings with sales representatives. My back was achy and my feet was so sore – and I was wearing ballet flats.

We called it a day at 4PM and when we checked in with our kids, they requested some presents. Of course they missed us but they repeatedly asked us to bring them something Disney! So we decided to check out the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.

The last time we ate was during breakfast, so I was ready to chow down something amazing! We saw all these restaurants and they all looked good to me. My husband on the other hand has a plain palette. He was not into any french or mediterranean foods. So we settled on Cheesecake Factory of all places.

But surprise surprise. We passed by a restaurant named Max Brenner that I thought was a coffee shop. I was shocked to see a stocked menu of burgers, waffle sandwiches, chocolate fondue and an assortment of different chocolate drinks and candy!

Mediterranean Platter with Hummus, Eggplant dip and Babaganoush
So good! The pita chips were different, very flaky, almost like it’s from a pastry dough, but crispier/crunchier. The dips had great flavor that complemented with the pastry like pita chips.

The Brenner Burger
My husband’s meal that was stacked with two fried onion rings, tomatoes, cheese, a patty and with a side of waffle fries. He loved it.

Waffle Sandwich with Prosciutto and Apple slices
Loved the sandwich. It is so different than what I would normally eat for lunch. I have been craving for something to do with breakfast but for lunch. This sandwich was the perfect median. There’s a lemon aioli that brought tanginess to the taste buds but it was smoothed out by the saltiness of the prosciutto and the sweetness of the apples.

I’m already stuffed but we decided to try the Banana Tempura Fondue. It comes with a toffee sauce and chocolate sauce on the side. Small bite size pieces of fried banana – all we need is ice cream!

Not ice cream per se but close – Chocolate Milk Shake!
There’s a cafe in New Orleans by Lakeside Mall called Puccinos. I’m not sure if it’s still there, but it served these frozen mocha drinks that were so much better than a Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino. Well the Max Brenner milk shake reminded us of Puccinos and of home. It was a great flashback and a great end to our meal.

My phone camera’s not so great. Sorry for the blurriness. I’m getting a new phone upgrade for my belated birthday gift, so the pictures will get better!

I didn’t visit anywhere else. With such a short trip and all the meetings planned, we mostly ate on the run. But Wolfgang Puck and Max Brenner deserved a review. So if you’re in Las Vegas and want to try something different, I totally recommend these two places.

Vegas Part 1» Surprise Surprise

I’m doing something I normally do not do: travel while pregnant.

It is exhausting traveling while pregnant. You have to sit for hours, endure back pain, and have a being kick you at random times. Oh wait, I would experience that on any trip whether I’m pregnant or not.

It was a nice getaway from busy work and my kids! Yes, as parents, you need your time away from home, especially away from the kids. I think it’s best to connect with your spouse besides talking about what Kid 1 or Kid 2 did in school.

But my trip was not for fun. My husband and I decided to check out the nation’s largest lighting convention that so happened to be in Las Vegas this year. I haven’t been to Vegas in over 5 years and all I could think of was: where to eat!

We found great rates from MGM Grand. I believe there were promotions for rooms as low as $49 a night. It was unbelievable!

This only happened to me twice. First was at Disneyland’s Grand Californian and now MGM Grand. We got a room upgrade out of the blue.

Well this time, I think MGM Grand ran out of rooms and gave us a free upgrade. Check out our room.

EEEEKK!

Our jaws dropped to the floor when we entered the room.

Supposedly this room was called the Tower Spa Suite. We had quite a view from the 26th floor. The room was spacious with a King sized bed, sheer and blackout shades, and a 40″ Flat screen TV. The spa suite means the tub is an 8 jet jacuzzi. It was deep set and I thought it was heaven.


Me after a long day at the doctor’s office, work and plane flight. I look so pale. This pregnancy – no glow like my other two. So different.

Beautiful sunrise the morning after our arrival. Why did I wake up so early when I’m supposed to be on a “mini getaway?” Because in Houston, TX, it was supposed to be 8:30 AM, however in Las Vegas it was only 6:30 AM! Yes my body was so trained that I woke up way too early.

Not really a complaint, when this is actually the first sunrise my husband and I shared together (and we’ve been together for 12 years).

Hope you will stay tuned to Vegas Part 2 – Food Special.

Home » New Orleans (Photo Intensive)

New Orleans is my hometown and I miss it so much. Mainly, it’s the food I miss! It was good to be back and visit the places I normally hung out at. I’m drooling as I look at this post!

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History Tidbit

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Jackson Square with the St. Louis Cathedral in the background

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Cafe Du Monde

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Liz, Me, Jenny, & Jennifer)

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To accommodate all of us, just grab the nearest table

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Always bustling

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Beignets

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Iced Cafe Au Lait

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I have an unhealthy obsession with Central Grocery’s muffulettas

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Muffuletta

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Gator On a Stick from the French Market

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Lunch time at Dragos!

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Raw Oysters on half shell

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I don’t remember but I believe it’s the Oyster Chowder

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Charbroiled Oysters

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Soft Shell crab

My New Orleans trip ended here. If you haven’t been to New Orleans, plan a trip and go! There’s a different vibe with New Orleans. The culture is very rich and you won’t believe the food!

Cheesecake Bistro on St. Charles in New Orleans

Whenever I visit my in laws, I have to take a trip to New Orleans. I have to say that I miss New Orleans’ cuisine more than anything. My favorite place to dine is Cheesecake Bistro. I miss it’s Spinach and Artichoke dip. I have not found another restaurant that is comparable to Cheesecake Bistro in regards to food or the size of it’s menu. Massive selection, I tell you.

Cheesecake Bistro was originally called Straya’s. I went to my Prom dinner with a group of 20 at Straya’s. Very memorable evening in my life. A bit more info on this place: it’s late owner is Al Copeland, the restaurateur who created Popeyes Chicken franchise.

My husband had the Crawfish Ravioli.

My usual: Stacked Eggplant Napoleon.

If any one is in the New Orleans area, give this restaurant a try. They also recently started a Sunday Brunch Buffet deal with live music. I haven’t had time to experience this yet but hopefully one day.

Biloxi, MS Trip Recap

Home for the holidays. To our family home is between Lousiana and Mississippi. My husband’s family resides in Biloxi, MS, also known as the Vegas of the South. I really do like Biloxi. It’s a small town with close knit ties. The atmosphere is very relaxing and calm. Unlike New Orleans, the views are gorgeous hillside trees and spacious expanse of skies so blue.

After Hurricane Katrina, unfortunately many places closed down. The big hotels all renovated, upping the luxe and the charm. Biloxi was hit hard and many of its streets are bare. Majority like my husband’s family moved more inland towards the city of D’Iberville. Along the Sangani Blvd, a whole new community was born. Sprawling with restaurants, shops, and new homes, everything is within 1 mile. It’s amazing how this area became the epic center of live in southern Mississippi.

And what trip would this be without a shopping excursion to the outlet mall.

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What amazes me is the vast differences in clothing from one store to another. Look at what I found:

The classic trench that I tried on in Houston was black. I found the exact same one in a tan color. It was alot cheaper than Houston. Houston was $99 unfortunately with no other sale. In Biloxi, it was $99 + 40% off. I still debated whether a black would suit me better. However my husband and my sister in law thought a tan colored trench is more classic and adds a different color to my wardrobe.

J. Crew is another store that I did not purchase anything from while in Houston. But in Biloxi, the deals just were too good to pass up. There was a 40% off on most items + an additional 20% when checking out. I grabbed that field jacket that gave my outfit an edge in my earlier post. I also picked up this:

Striped sweater – I probably have many striped sweaters but the color blocked sleeves caught my eye. The shoulders are like capped sleeves but continued with a color block ribbing down the arms. It’s different than any sweater I have.

I love the color purple. This satiny purple invitation clutch would have been a steal but I talked myself out of purchasing it. I had already purchased way too many purses this holiday season. But I am going to put this on my radar when I have the need for it. Lovely clutch…

After an eventful shopping day, we gorged ourselves on sushi! It has been a LOOOOOOOONNNNNNG time since I had good sushi. In Houston, you have to go towards downtown for GOOD sushi or the one in Richmond, TX which is about 20 minutes drive. However, I would be the only one making that drive since my husband and kids don’t like sushi. My husband will eat the Hibachi rice or anything terriyaki but no sushi.

Good thing my SIL loves sushi!

I got the Cowboy Roll (bottom) which is snow crab, steamed asparagus & cream cheese rolled inside, topped with thinly sliced seared, fresh filet mignon and red flying fish roe, served with samurai style medium spicy bbq eel sauce.

My SIL got the Pink Lady which contains fresh salmon, snow crab, smelt roe, avocado, tuna and cream cheese in a roll wrapped with scarce pink soybean sheet, served with house mustard creamy sauce.

What is different about Samurai is that each table gets a selection of dipping sauces from wasabi sauce, spicy mayo, bbq eel, etc. Ahhhh, craving for the Cowboy Roll as of right now.

Definitely an enjoyable trip.