Friday, April 11, 2014

Table 10

I usually don't post about places that I just have a quick snack or an appetizer.  Sometimes a restaurant has an appetizer that is just too good not share with the world.  Table 10, another Emeril Lagasse restaurant in Vegas, is one of those places.  

Table 10 is one of the few places I have found in Vegas that actually has a Happy Hour menu that includes snacks.  I have hung out, watched games, and snacked at Table 10 the last three trips I have taken to the city.  I enjoyed the place so much that I thought I should introduce my wife to my favorite place to snack and watch games.  Now they have several appetizers/snacks that are good, but there is one that stands out as possibly my favorite snack of all time.    
Bar and Kitchen Area at Table 10
The Candied North Country Farm Bacon is one of the best foods I have ever put in my mouth.  The bacon slices are fairly thick and served five to an order.  The dish is somewhat sweet, but is also somewhat spicy.  Although the bacon is good by itself, it is also served with maple syrup that just adds to the greatness of the snack.  I consider myself a connoisseur of bacon and the Candied North Country Farm Bacon at Table 10 is the best bacon I have ever had.
Candied North Country Farm Bacon…the ultimate honor for a pig!
We actually snacked here three days in a row to watch some of the games that I had money on.  One day, we also tried the cheese plate, which included three types of cheese, honey, jam, apple slices, and crackers.  The cheese platter was great and my wife absolutely loved it, but we both agreed it paled in comparison to the candied bacon.
Cheese Plate
One of these days, I am actually going to eat lunch or dinner at Table 10.  They have several menu items that I want to try.  In the meantime, I will always have the beautiful memories of the amazing, wonderful, and beautiful Candied North Country Farm Bacon.

Table 10
http://www.emerilsrestaurants.com/table-10
Livin the Good Life Rating = 8

Table 10 on Urbanspoon

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Buffet at Wynn

On our last morning in Vegas, my wife and I were in the mood for a late breakfast that would fill our bellies so we could gamble through lunch.  Since we had not hit a buffet on this visit, I Googled "Best Breakfast Buffet in Vegas".  The Buffet at Wynn showed up on several websites, so we journeyed the quarter mile from our rooms at the Palazzo to the Wynn.
Short wait in line
There was a small line when we arrived, but it moved quickly and we were seated within fifteen minutes.  With a name like "The Buffet", you might expect to find a simple buffet.  The Buffet at the Wynn is anything but simple.  My wife compared the dining area to a set from Alice in Wonderland.  Colorful decorations and flowers are everywhere in the dining area.
Just going to all the buffet stations helped me burn some of the calories I ingested.
The buffet itself was very impressive.  They had so many different stations, that I didn't even make it to all of them.  I ate breakfast until I hurt.  I tried twelve to fifteen different items and I cannot remember having anything that I did not enjoy.  Obviously some items were better than others, but nothing I tried was bad.  The three items that were the highlights of my meal were the bacon waffles (it's waffles and bacon, so it has to be good), the ham and egg breakfast pizza (cooked in coal-fired oven), and the green chili  breakfast quesadillas.
Plate #1-Bacon, ham and egg breakfast pizza, corn muffin, breakfast potatoes, and ham
Plate #2-Bacon, green chili breakfast quesadilla, bacon waffle, and chorizo and eggs.
My wife, who usually detests buffets, loved this place as well.  She didn't make as many trips as I did, but she always came back with bacon and a smile on her face.  The fresh squeezed juices and coffee were commendable as well.  Since we were there towards the end of breakfast, they had started putting out desserts for lunch.  I took advantage of my fortuitous timing and got a couple of desserts as well.
Chocolate mint cupcake, strawberry shortcake, and fruit.
If  the items served at lunch and dinner are as good as the items served for breakfast, it is easy to see why USA Today voted it the best buffet in Vegas.  Although I only had breakfast here, I would rank it pretty close to my favorite Las Vegas buffet which is Bacchanal buffet at Caesar's.  Our coffee cups were always filled and our empty plates gone by the time we returned from a trip to the buffet stations, so I was pleased with the service.  At just over $20 a person, the value was good as well.  I would highly recommend The Buffet at They Wynn for breakfast.

The Buffet at The Wynn
http://www.wynnlasvegas.com/Restaurants/CasualDining/TheBuffet
Livin the Good Life Rating = 8

The Wynn Buffet on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Whiskey Cake

Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar is one of my favorite restaurants in Collin County.  Since my wife is also a big fan, she is always willing to dine there any time that I ask.  I have dined at Whiskey Cake for lunch and dinner several times, but I had never had the pleasure of trying out their brunch menu until last week.  Their brunch menu is only available on weekends and one day we finally decided to pack up the kids and take the short drive to Plano.
Vermont Cheddar and JalapeƱo Drop Biscuits
We arrived shortly after their 10 a.m. opening and were seated after only a short wait.  Luckily, Whiskey Cake is a kid-friendly place and we were able to order the kids breakfasts while we looked over the brunch menu.  When we placed the order for the kids pancakes, we also ordered a breakfast appetizer of Vermont Cheddar and Jalapeno Drop Biscuits.  They are served five to an order and each is topped with a slice of jalapeno and served with a bowl of sausage gravy.  They arrived within just a few minutes and were quickly devoured by my wife and myself.  We both agreed that it was a very unique and delicious twist on the traditional biscuits and gravy.
Kid's Pancake Breakfast
For my entree, I ordered the Chicken and Waffle.  The waffle actually had two pieces of bacon cooked into the batter and was topped with some excellent chicken tenders, eggs, and more of the sausage gravy that I liked so much.  Everything on the plate was absolutely amazing and I couldn't have been more pleased with my breakfast.  My wife ordered the Griddle Stack, which were pancakes topped with caramelized apples, maple syrup, almonds, and whipped cream.  She said it tasted like pancakes and an apple pie had a delicious baby.  In fact, I wasn't even able to snap a picture of her meal because she started eating it too quickly.  
Chicken and Waffles
Both of my kids cleaned their plates and my youngest even helped her mom finish off her whipped cream.  It seemed that everyone in my family enjoyed brunch on this day.  The only regret I had was that we were all too full to have a piece of their namesake dessert; whiskey cake.  This dessert is worth the trip alone, but I was very content and could not eat another bite of anything on this morning.
My youngest daughter finishing off her mom's whipped cream
Whiskey Cake's brunch menu lived up to our expectations.  The quality of food was top notch, much like their lunch and dinner menu.  The food was outstanding on this visit and we were very pleased with our service.  As we left, we noticed that the restaurant was packed and there were close to thirty people waiting to be seated.  Apparently we were not the only ones that had decided to do brunch at Whiskey Cake on this day.  Go give this place a try for brunch and arrive early if you don't like waiting.
Whiskey Cake (Picture taken on a previous visit)
Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar
http://www.whiskey-cake.com/
Livin the Good Life Rating = 8

Whiskey Cake on Urbanspoon

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Delmonico Steakhouse

If there is one thing Vegas does right, it is steaks.  There are several really good steakhouses that I have dined at during my many visits to the city.  Prior to this trip, my favorite steakhouse in Vegas was Carnevino.  I made sure that I once again dined at Carnevino on this visit, but I also made reservations to try out one of it's neighbors, Delmonico Steakhouse.

Emeril Lagasse's steakhouse was rated one of the 10 Best Steakhouses in Las Vegas by Las Vegas Weekly and the Las Vegas Sun.  In a city with no shortage of steakhouses, this is high praise indeed.  The night we visited Delmonico was our last night in Vegas, so we were eagerly anticipating this meal on our final night in town.

We arrived a little early for our reservation, but we were seated immediately.  The wait staff quickly took our drink orders after they gave us the rundown of the nightly specials.  My wife decided to start with the gumbo, while I started with the organic baby mixed greens salad.  While we waited for our starters, the very attentive wait staff also brought out some very light and croissant-like roles.  
Shrimp and Andouille Gumbo
When my wife's shrimp and andouille gumbo arrived, I was slightly jealous that I had not ordered it as well.  She said it was the best gumbo she has ever had.  She did let me try a bite and it was an impressive gumbo indeed.  My salad had a sherry vinaigrette dressing, shaved manchego cheese, tomatoes, red onion, and creole spice croutons.  It was a really good salad, but I would have preferred that it had more of the delicious croutons.
Baby Mixed Greens Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette
For our entrees, we both ordered the filet and shared a twice-baked potato and grits.  Our filets were nicely charred and topped with a spiced butter that was extremely savory.  The flavor of the steak was delectable and it was the best filet I have ever had.  My wife agreed with my assessment and absolutely loved her medium rare delicacy. 
Filet
Not to be outdone, the sides were impressive in their own right.  The twice-baked potato was cooked to perfection with just the right amount of bacon and Vermont cheddar.  As good as the twice-baked potato was, the grits were the best grits I have ever had.  The white cheddar and bacon were the perfect add-ons to the amazing grits.
Bacon and Vermont Cheddar Grits and Twice Baked Potato
We could not leave the restaurant without sampling the desserts.  I ordered the pecan pie and my wife ordered the white chocolate macadamia nut bread pudding.  My pecan pie had an oatmeal crust that gave it an interesting texture.  The French vanilla ice cream and the caramel sauce were the perfect match for this dessert.  I could not have been more pleased with my selection of dessert.  My wife was disappointed in her bread pudding because it was somewhat dry.  Our waitress apologized and brought out some vanilla ice cream to go on top of it.  My wife said the ice cream improved the taste and texture of the dessert, but she agreed with me that the pecan pie was the better of the two.
Pecan Pie
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bread Pudding
Despite my wife's dessert being somewhat disappointing, I cannot say enough good things about my experience at Delmonico Steakhouse.  Having tried Mario Batali's Carnevino and Wolfgang Puck's Cut in the same hotel complex, I can honestly say that Emeril Lagasse wins the battle of celebrity chef steakhouses inside the Venetian/Palazzo complex.  The food was top notch and the service was outstanding.  My wife and I absolutely loved this place and my next visit to Vegas will include a trip to this outstanding restaurant.

Delmonico Steakhouse
http://www.emerilsrestaurants.com/delmonico-steakhouse
Livin the Good Life Rating = 10

Delmonico Steakhouse on Urbanspoon