Monday, October 8, 2007

A Vegetarian's Trip to Las Vegas (Part 1)

As we have learned on prior trips, Las Vegas is not the greatest city for vegetarians. The availability of 'creative' vegetarian options is small. Surprisingly, not once did we eat at subway.

We arrived on Wednesday after doing our research. The first smart idea was to hire a limo over the internet. It was well worth the expenditure; our friends had to walk for miles and wait in long lines for a cab. Our driver was by our baggage pickup with a little sign with our name on it. The limo cost about 60 bucks versus a 20 dollar crazy cab ride.

While lounging in our limo, with a complimentary cold Dasani in hand, we drove not to the hotel but to Trader Joe's. We thought about going to Whole Foods, but we liked the unique selection of foods at Joe's better. After picking up supplies: lots of fruit, meal bars, goat brie, crackers, single malt scotch, beer, chocolate covered edamames and lots of water, we headed to the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Looking back I would have bought more water.

Since this is Beer-Strike I feel I should rate this beer. I got a six pack of a microbrew called Kennebunkport Blueberry Wheat ale. Since this was a hotel room beer, it was drank from the bottle and chilled in a bathroom sink full of ice. So details concerning aroma, colour and head are not available for comment. Also in-game enhancement could not be determined; I was not going to pay $14 per day for wireless at our hotel. It tasted like your standard wheat ale with the added flavour of blueberries. I found it to be a very easy drinking and flavourful brew, I wish I could find this one at home. It would be one of my favourites. Meterman said, "In a city where tall can BUD rules, I was proud to drink this on the strip. I especially like the fact that my burps smelled, and tasted, like ripened blueberries."

We had a quick bite at the Burger Bar at Mandalay Place. The was a place when you chose your burger, bun and toppings to create your own burger. I got the vegetarian burger with sweet potato fries and the Mrs got the 'vegan' burger. True to form the burger came plain with a huge load of fries. There was ketchup, mustard and A1 sauce at the table so things ended up fine. The vegan burger was essentially grilled veggies between two portabello mushrooms and a huge mountain of plain fries. We were unable to consume that many carbs, so most of the fries went back. The burgers were excellent. The beer list featured an extensive listing of on tap brews, most of them were Belgians or Chimay. I had the white/triple which is hard to find at home. The Mrs had an English style cider (I forget the name), but it was the best one she has had since Scrumpy. After 20% tip and exchange the bill came to a very reasonable $48 bucks.

There are a few types of vegetarians who review restaurants. The question asking types; "What is in your cooking oil?", "Do you have a separate pan for cooking vegetarian?", etc, etc. We use the 'tummy test' method. Usually if we come into contact with animal products, our stomachs let us know. While this is a little ostrich-like, it is our way. None of the restaurants listed caused any stomach upset at all.

Part two will feature the Vegetarian menu at Michael Mina. One of the top five restaurants in Las Vegas.

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