The first time I visited Truffles N Bacon, it felt like a well-kept secret, tucked into the corner of an antique mall. My husband thought it was a trick to get him to go shopping when we pulled into the parking lot. We had driven across the Las Vegas valley to try the Not Yo Mama’s Grilled Cheese, a grilled cheese loaded with brisket, bacon jam, grilled tomato, kale, and chipotle ranch–it was love at first bite.
Like so many off-strip Las Vegas gems, The Black Sheep is tucked away in a small, unassuming plaza. Upon walking inside however, any ideas of ordinary slip away. A statement piece of white frames and mirrors lines the wall, and tables of people laugh, sip glasses of wine, and take photos of their dinners.
The bar is well stocked, and the cocktail menu is as impressive as the wine list. Shortly after being seated, the server drops off a Common Law – a refreshing blend of Frida Kahlo Tequila, cilantro syrup, lime juice, and ginger.
The East Fremont section of Downtown Las Vegas is a special place. Business owners have worked hard to nurture an environment that makes tourists feel welcome, while giving locals a much-needed sense of community. Chef Donald Lemperle’s VegeNation is one of my favorite places in town, and he’s serving up plant-based global flavors, that are both beautiful and delicious.
Many products on the menu are sourced locally, like the cashew cream-based Virgin Cheese, and French Press service from Frankly Good Coffee. You won’t want to miss their fresh “juicetails” – their Sangria is perfect for brunch.
When people visit Las Vegas, they aren’t looking for words like “moderation,” and that’s where Sugar Factory comes into play. I was invited to try some of their menu items to share with my foodie fun loving friends–Girls on Food readers! This gorgeous flagship store recently opened on the Las Vegas Strip at Fashion Show Mall, featuring the luxe Chocolate Lounge upstairs and a beautiful dining room downstairs, complete with a great patio space.
Don’t worry, I’ll get to the decadent drinks and desserts, but let’s start with an appetizer, shall we? The Fried Macaroni & Cheese Pops are incredible. Homemade macaroni and cheese is battered, deep fried, and served on a stick with a creamy tomato-herb sauce. If you like macaroni and cheese, don’t miss this appetizer! The creamy tomato sauce will make you think of grilled cheese and tomato soup… except this is way better!
What do gondolas and lobster rolls have in common? Both are found in the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian Resort and Casino, home of Lobster Me. And though you will find lobster rolls on the menu, that’s not all they are serving up to hungry tourists (and locals).
I stopped by to check out some of their menu items, and share them with Girls on Food readers! (Such a sacrifice, I know!!)
Spring has sprung, and along with it comes artichoke season. MCH Hospitality Group’s d.vino Italian Food & Wine Bar (along with sister property Market City Caffe in Burbank, CA) partners with Ocean Mist Farms in Castroville, CA, to present their 8th Annual Artichoke Festival, from March 14 through April 14.
JaBurritos Sushi Burritos 3545 S Las Vegas Blvd, Suite L12, Las Vegas, NV 89109
LINQ Promenade http://jaburritos.com/
Imagine your parents owned a sushi restaurant when you were a kid. Now, imagine you have moved across the country and opened the first sushi burrito restaurant in Las Vegas. Now, imagine you just opened the first sushi burrito restaurant on the famed Las Vegas Strip. Ken Aoki, the owner of JaBurritos, doesn’t have to use his imagination–he recently opened his doors on the LINQ Promenade, where he offers sushi burritos, bowls, and more.
We’ve all been there: you’re working on that summer bod, when your crew wants to get together for brunch. One of you is on a juice cleanse, one of you wants some waffles, and one of you needs some fried chicken… and ALL the bacon. SkinnyFats to the rescue!
With three locations around Las Vegas, tourists and locals alike can get their grub on, with breakfast (served all day!), bowls, sandwiches, flatbreads, salads, and Sunday specials (think insane eggs benedict combinations, and crazy donut sundaes).
Wizards and muggles alike can enjoy a range of gourmet coffee and tea beverages, including their famed “Butter Brew” lattes, Mint Mojito Lattes, or Nitrobrews (nitrogen infused coffee served on tap).
In addition to drinks, they offer sandwiches and an assortment of pastries, but I was there for the coffee! I recommend the Butter Brew, with a shot of espresso added – delicious! When they ask for my name for my order, I can’t resist giving them my favorite character’s name, Minerva (I don’t care what that Sorting Hat says, I am a Gryffindor!) If you aren’t a butterscotch fan, the pistachio latte is also very good.
My first visit here was shortly after they opened, and the line was literally out the door! While the crowds have calmed down a little bit, it’s still a favorite hangout spot, and for a good reason! Not only are the drinks delicious, but the staff is also friendly, and of course the décor is awesome!
Each table is stenciled with different Hogwarts themed sayings or a signpost points to different locations within the wizardly world. A (faux) owl, rests in a cage on a stack of suitcases, and brick and wooden panels line the walls, giving the feel of somewhere far away from neon lights and concrete (Bad Owl is located about 12 miles from the Las Vegas Strip.)
The Events section of their website is empty, so check out their Facebook page, as they frequently host fun events such as board game nights, and even Harry Potter themed improv.
If you are looking for a unique coffee house experience, Bad Owl Coffee casts a delicious spell even “he who must not be named” could resist, so Slyther-in and try it for yourself!
Las Vegas summers are brutal – and yes, it’s a dry heat, but 110+ is hot regardless of humidity. So besides bingeing on Netflix indoors, how does one cool off? Gelato is a great way to start, and while there are lots of places around the Las Vegas valley to get this frozen treat, my favorite is Gelatology.
Gelatology just celebrated their 1-year anniversary, but while the location is new, Mastermind Desyree Alberganti is an old pro. Before Gelatology, Desyree operated another popular business near downtown Las Vegas, so popular in fact that the new operators are still using her old business name (changing it slightly by adding “The” as a prefix).
Speaking of names, Gelatology is a bit of a play on words. Gelotology is the study of laughter, and how it affects the body. Signage in the dining area explains, “At Gelatology, the science of laughter meets the science of gelato. It’s good to be happy, scientists agree, and so do we…how about you?”
I definitely agree.
What sets Gelatology apart, is the quality, creativity, and passion found in each flavor. Everything you’ll find here is from scratch. The rice pudding? She made the rice pudding before adding it to her gelato base. The fruit? She chopped and pureed it. The base is so good you can just order it by itself – “fiore di latte,” but once you see the daily selections, you’ll probably opt for just a taste. (Pro tip: you can taste as many flavors as you like!)
In addition to gelato, you will find a selection of equally creative whoopee pies (like Ube Velvet!), French macarons made by local baker Sweets 507, a variety of other baked treats, along with espresso drinks and homemade soda. One of the most intriguing offerings is the Fat Elvis. It consists of peanut butter gelato, strawberry puree, banana compote, and candied bacon…definitely on my winter-bod bucket list!
When I mentioned that Desyree was creative with her flavors, I meant it. When was the last time you tried chicken and waffles gelato? Or Black Sesame Kit Kat? Pear & Gorgonzola? Pineapple Tajin sorbetto? Cotija cheese with sweet corn? I could keep going; the list is ever changing. You might be wondering “Okay Ranae, these flavors sound flashy and exciting, but how do they taste?” MAGICAL. That’s the only way to describe anything I’ve ever sampled from Gelatology. Foie Gras is not something that would even dot the radar of things I would usually want to eat, but when it’s mixed with rosemary and Desyree’s fiore di latte? Sure, I’m down for that.
My most recent visit coincided with their 1-year anniversary celebration, I would say that was good timing, but in reality, I had been there a few days prior, and she had filled me in. (In my defense, it’s next door to a Korean barbecue restaurant we were trying, it would have been rude not to say hello.)
Even though there was a line, the whole Gelatology team was friendly and encouraged my husband and me to try several flavors. (Desyree has a way of making everyone feel like a VIP.) After much deliberation, my husband chose Ferrero Rocher and Pistachio Baklava, while I went with Halo-halo Rocky Road, and Goat Cheese and Fig. He was not in a sharing mood, but the bites I managed to steal while he got some extra napkins were perfect–whole pistachios, caramelly honey, and oh-so-creamy. Mine contained plump bits of fig in a slightly tangy base, and the Halo-halo Rocky Road had a slightly toasted marshmallow taste and a gorgeous purple color from the purple yam.
Gelatology is located in the south-western part of the Las Vegas valley, around 20 minutes from the strip for you tourists. Relatively easy to get to, and definitely worth the trip. It makes a great pit stop if you are doing any exploring at Red Rock Canyon, and want to cool off before returning to your hotel. Follow them on Instagram and check out their Facebook page (linked above,) for daily flavor updates! They offer vegan and gluten free flavors, and sorbetto in addition to gelato. The vegan pumpkin gelato is the best pumpkin gelato I think I’ve ever had, and I’m not a vegan.
Everyone knows “money can’t buy happiness,” but it can buy gelato from Gelatology, and if you swap the ‘A’ for an ‘O’ it is technically the same thing.
With the new arena opening, there is going to be a massive influx of people towards the South end of the Las Vegas Strip. Tourists and locals alike are going to be bombarded with SO MANY choices for places to eat. But ladies (and gents), let me help you make the decision!
In honor of #buffetbitch on our Instagram (a little hashtag we started), I’ve decided to highlight an underrated buffet.
The Buffet at Aria 3730 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109 http://aria.com
Compared to other hotels, it’s not as crowded and not as expensive. Walking in, you would notice that most, if not all, the buffet guests are either locals or guests of the hotel which is not necessarily a bad thing either!
They offer the typical buffet go-to’s which include:
Salad: there are plenty of options for greens, toppings, and dressings
Bread and Cheese: aesthetic AND delicious
Meat: their wish is your command
Seafood: cold or hot, you have your pick
Dessert: sugar, sugar-free, they have it all
They also offer some unique features as well:
Rotating gelato freezer: it seems that the flavors vary each visit, but you are guaranteed to find one you like
DIY Street Taco: what’s better than a street taco? A DIY taco!
The Buffet at Aria differentiates itself by consistently maintaining the quality of the food. Since Aria is one of the nicer hotels, their buffet clearly reflects that as well. I noticed the respective chefs of each station were always checking the temperature of the food, as well as wiping any spills caused by the guests.
$25.99 for lunch, I would say that’s a pretty good deal! Go ahead and give it a shot.
Since when did Monte Carlo become foodie central?!
BLVD Creamery in Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino 3770 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
It seems as if the Monte Carlo hotel is rebranding and I ain’t even complaining. The hotel has set up what is known to be their BLVD Plaza, featuring Sambalatte, a coffee lounge and espresso bar, Yusho, a Japanese Grill and Ramen house, and 800 degrees, a Neopolitan Pizzeria. But hands down, the BLVD Creamery cannot be beat.
The BLVD Creamery is what you would expect from a cute, quaint dairy shop BUT with a Vegas twist. It offers a wide selection of ice cream and sorbet as well as a variety of adorable frozen treats. And yes, they do offer alcohol-infused flavors! From Corona to Cabernet, you have your options.
After sampling of what seems to be half of the offered selection, I went with the Orange Creamsicle. It tasted sweet but not too sweet to the point that it was overwhelming. And even though it might be slightly pricey for ice cream, you definitely get your money’s worth! I got mine in a cup and the server definitely filled it up to the rim! You have the option of adding toppings such as gummy bears and Oreos but I decided to keep it simple.
Fun fact: I have a weakness for cute packaging style and thematic aesthetics. So you can probably guess that their shop released the inner fangirl in me. The cups had a vibrant, playful design that can easily be reused as a coin can for loose change or even an office supplies holder. Their walls were covered with cow-themed memorabilia; their seats were even shaped like the old-fashion milk bottles!
Ice cream is not the go-to choice for when you’re in Vegas but the next time you find yourself sweating from the Vegas heat, consider giving BLVD Creamery a try.
As the saying goes, you can’t buy happiness but you can buy ice cream, which is kind of the same thing.