Next to the lazy river, my favorite Vegas activity has to be eating. We ate a lot during this most recent trip. To kick it off, we hit Peggy Sue's in Yermo, which seems to be about the half way point to Vegas. Dan and I had eaten there before and didn't love it, but it seemed like such the quintessential American diner experience for his parents. Breakfast was great. We even ended up stopping at Peggy Sue's for dinner on the way home from Vegas. A tip, they stop serving waffles and pancakes at eleven in the morning and make sure to take your receipt inside the store for free Tootsie Rolls or gum. Also, make sure to check out the ducks and turtles in the little dino park in the back.
I like this one with the crazy feathers!
Dinner our first night in Vegas was at Cafe Society in the Wynn. We didn't plan it, but found Cafe Society after wandering around the hotel and reading the menu. The entire restaurant is done in black and white. It's whimsical like everything else at the Wynn, with large vases and oversized furniture. It almost felt like eating in a gothic garden. I had huge burger, thick with mushrooms and swiss cheese. Dan and his mom both had veggie dishes. Steve Wynn is a Vegan and all of his properties have plenty of Vegan and Vegetarian options. Dan's dad had fish and chips. We all left very happy with our dinners and would go back.
On Saturday, we ate a late lunch at the Aria buffet. The Aria Buffet has joined the Wynn Buffet as favorites of mine in Vegas. Aria's has a great selection with already cracked crab legs. I love crab when I don't have to do the work! For an extra ten dollars, you can add bottomless champagne or bloody marys, and our server always kept our glasses filled. One of my favorite things about the Aria Buffet is it has large windows and tons of natural light. My only small complaint is that I wish the buffet served the shrimp out in large quantities, rather than two with cocktail sauce in a little cup. The presentation is lovely, but I would rather have easy access to my favorite buffet item! I unfortunately didn't take any pictures of the buffet, but here is a cute picture of bird benches right outside of the hotel.
We stayed stuffed from the buffet until after seeing Love at the Mirage. We wanted a quick bite and ended up at Stack. Stack is a restaurant that just looks cool. It has thick, curved wood giving it a simultaneous modern and rustic feel. By the time we got there, about nine-thirty on a Saturday, it was in partial nightclub mode, with loud music at the bar. We found a quite spot on the edge of the bar, close to the casino and ordered drinks and small plates. I had a trio of skewered meats with lettuce cups.
The food and drinks were delicious, but small and really expensive.
On Sunday morning, we headed to the Luxor for lunch. The only reason that we went to the Luxor, was so that Dan's parents could see the Titanic Exhibit. They had been quite resistant to going to the exhibit, so we used a bit of trickery by getting them over to the hotel for lunch first. The buffet at the Luxor was awful, especially on the heels of having the Aria buffet. I felt like Randy Quaid in Vegas Vacation, "I'll have some of the blue stuff." This place is bad and was definitely the low point of the trip.
Dinner on Sunday was at The Top of the World restaurant in the Stratosphere.
I've been biased about the Stratosphere from ten minutes that I spent in the hotel lobby about six years ago. Until this past weekend, those ten minutes were the only time I had been in the hotel and I let it shape my entire opinion of it. I had gone with my now ex husband to pick up his cousin who had been staying at the Stratosphere. We parked and walked into the hotel, which seemed completely run down and dingy. Here is what killed it for me, we noticed posted on every doorway a sign to remind visitors that weapons are not allowed on the premises. My imagination ran wild with what must have happened to make the hotel felt the need to post that sign. I wanted out of there ASAP.
Fast forward to this last weekend...the first thing that I did was look for those posted signs to show Dan and his parents. The signs are gone. Not only that, the hotel didn't seem that bad. Sure, it's old, but that's okay. It looks like it may have had an update. I'm sure that I will never stay there, but it was completely fine to go for dinner and the dinner was a hundred percent first class.
However we did need to go through security on the way to the elevators...
It was worth it for this amazing view from our table by the window.
The view changed as this was a revolving restaurant. It took approximately eighty minutes to make a complete circle. We even had the potential to see thrill seeking skyjumpers go off the top of the building. I missed it though!
The food and wine were fantastic, as was the service. I, along with Dan and his dad, had the four course tasting menu. My first course was a Caesar Salad and the second was crab cakes. I was absolutely stuffed by the first two courses, which were enormous and then my steak came out.
It was so good and I could only manage to eat half of it. Here is a picture of the interior.
Dan's mom is a vegetarian and here is a picture of her main course.
And finally the dessert course.
I nearly cried when the dessert was placed in front of me, as I had zero room to eat it. I actually was feeling ill from stuffing myself. Unless you're Joey Chestnut, don't attempt the tasting menu. It is more food than a mere mortal can handle.
After my amazing dining experience, my negative impression of the Stratosphere has been lifted. This is a restaurant that every foodie should experience. Here is a cool shot of the front of the hotel that Dan took as we were waiting for the valet.