Betcha didn’t know that I went to Las Vegas last week, did ya? That’s because I kept it quiet. Matt had a work conference to attend there, so I decided to go with him. It was a VERY short trip – just 2 days – and the only reason I tagged along is that with Matt’s work paying for his travel, lodgings, and food, and my airline vouchers paying for my flight, it was an almost completely free trip! I’ve been under a lot of stress recently, and honestly, I just wanted to go and enjoy the short vacation and not feel pressured to blog about it. I never even whipped out my real camera; I only took Instagram photos the whole time. (You can follow me on Instagram at chefambershea!) But what can I say, I am a blogger at heart, and I just HAVE to share with you all the yummy stuff we ate while we were there, though I won’t be going into much detail.
Let me also say that my diet HAS changed over the past few weeks, though I haven’t had the time or energy to share it with you yet. Basically, the elimination diet did nothing for me, so I’m back to eating limited quantities of fruits, nuts, and beans, plus everything I was eating before. I’m still not supposed to eat grains or soy, or drink alcohol, but I did have a little of each on this trip, and I’m not going to dwell on it. K?
Onward! We left Kansas City on Monday morning.
I’d packed plenty of raw treats for the trip, so we never went hungry.
Our first meal was at Red Velvet Café in the Fashion Show Mall. Matt had a vegan taco salad with rice, beans, veggies, seasoned vegan “meat,” vegan cheese, lettuce, salsa, and avocado.
I had spiced hummus with heirloom baby tomatoes, artichokes, and red pepper flakes, served with – get this – gluten-free pita bread! I ate half for lunch and saved the other half to eat for dinner while Matt was working at his conference. It was an early night, since we’d been up since 5am Las Vegas time.
The next morning, we got room service for breakfast. (Thank goodness for Matt’s liberal per diem.) He had steel-cut oatmeal with raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon, and sliced bananas, and I had a bowl of fresh fruit.
After that, we walked down to the strip and waited in a looong line to get discounted tickets to the show we wanted to see that night.
For lunch, we trekked out to the all-vegan Pura Vida Bakery & Bystro. Matt ate the The Latin ’Tude: a Southwest fusion burrito filled with black beans, refried beans, soyrizo, tofu scramble, vegan cheese, avocado, veggies, onions, garlic, cilantro, tomatoes, and roasted organic potatoes with poblano peppers.
I got gluten-free nachos with tons of beans (kidney, black, and pinto), onions, peppers, and spicy tomato sauce. (I asked for no cheese, even though it was vegan.) This portion was huge; I saved half of it for breakfast the next morning.
We shared a papaya-banana smoothie (made with coconut milk) for dessert.
Matt worked at his conference for the rest of the afternoon, and when he returned, we got all dolled up to go out for dinner and a show.
Ready for trouble. 😉 I always feel like a MySpacer taking photos of myself like this, but hey, it was the first time in quite a long time I actually put on makeup.
For dinner, we headed to Mint Indian Bistro. They have an impressive array of menus available to accommodate different diets, including vegan and gluten-free vegetarian. We called ahead to see if we could get a gluten-free vegan prix fixe dinner for two, and they said sure. Excitement! They even knew who we were as soon as we walked in the door.
They started us off with pappadum with two dipping sauces (mint and tamarind). We also decided to live a little and take advantage of the alcoholic vegan lassis (made with soy yogurt!) they had available. I broke my current no-soy and no-alcohol “rules” with a lychee rum lassi, and Matt had a green apple vodka lassi. These were amazing!
The next course was veggie pakora…
…followed by a spicy tomato soup.
Then came the motherload. There was too much gluten-free vegan awesomeness here for me to even keep track of, but I think it was (from top) chana palak (chickpeas and creamy spinach), a thin lentil dal, a spicy mixed-veggie curry, a coconut-creamy mixed-veggie curry, aloo gobi (cauliflower and potatoes), basmati rice, and in the center, buckwheat roti.
Holy mother of crap, this platter dropped our jaws. With the exception of the buckwheat roti (which was kind of eh), everything was superb.
Our feast ended with tiny “shots” of mango kulfi, which is sort of like a creamy granita. Given the 100-degree heat outside, this chilly treat was much appreciated.
That evening, we went to see the show Absinthe at Caesar’s Palace. It was a delightful evening of raunchy and irreverent comedy, risqué feats of physical endurance, and general debauchery. In other words, right up our alley. We loved it.
We walked through the forum shops at Caesar’s Palace for a bit, then ended our night with dairy-free sorbetto (sugar-free blueberry and guava) at the Venetian.
The next day, I finished up our leftover food while Matt worked his last shift, then sat in the food court at the Venetian all day reading. Finally, just before we needed to leave for the airport, I got to see the chica I’d been waiting the whole trip to hook up with: Lori! She actually works for Matt’s company now (albeit across the country), so we knew she’d be at the conference. We had SUCH a blast hanging out in San Fran in February that we were determined, despite her busy schedule, to find at least half an hour to sit and chat. It was right down to the wire, but we succeeded. Love this girl!
After that, we headed to the airport and flew home.
Ok, so much for not going into detail. I couldn’t resist!
It was a fun and refreshing (and delicious) little trip to Sin City.
I posted these photos and more on Instagram, so be sure to follow me at chefambershea if you have an account!