Tag Archives: las vegas

Weekly Menus: Week of 5/5/2013 (Vegas Baby)

Gentle Readers, it’s that time again. In my professional life, May hearkens the beginning of conference season. The big ones. The ones where I’m transported back to my college days where I find myself working as hard as I did before final exams, where days slip one into the other. Then, it’s time to execute, and someone you find the energy.

Not Practical Shoes: Over/Under Odds on Falling?

Not Practical Vegas Shoes: Over/Under Odds on Falling?

All of this takes fuel, and some forgiveness on the lack of originality. This is what menu planning is for, really, to cover you when you need to go on autopilot. Plus, TPC’s Mom will be at the helm in the kitchen, and she has her own views on what’s for dinner. (Did you like how I phrased that? I’m very diplomatic.)

Oatmeal Toppings at Grand Luxe Cafe: Golden Raisins, Brown Sugar, Milk, Bananas

Oatmeal Toppings at Grand Luxe Cafe: Golden Raisins, Brown Sugar, Milk, Bananas (My Glamorous Vegas Breakfast of Choice)

So here are some guidelines, the only request that holds firm is nachos, requested by TPC’s Jr. The proposed weekly menus are as follows:

Weekly Menus: 5/5/2013

Weekly Menus: 5/5/2013

Which means The Four Square Grocery List was very light (no wasting of food!):

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 5/5/2013

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 5/5/2013

All translating into:

Sunday: Rotisserie Chicken and Rice
They are on sale on Sundays in many places, and kicking of the week simply has many advantages.

Monday: Chicken Salad with Grapes
Advantages include leftovers early in the week! I had a salad the other night with duck confit and grapes, and this is a low-lift rendition, unless of course you have duck confit just waiting to be used. If so, proceed and please invite me over.

Tuesday: _______
This is an extra busy night, and I’m going to let TPC’s Mom fill in the blank. I can only imagine it will be a casserole or one-pan dish, and I’ll probably wish I was there eating it. Favorite include tortilla casserole, tomato pie, lasagna.

Wednesday: Nachos!
TPC’s Jr can make this, with a bit of help turning on the oven and opening a can of beans. I look forward to what happens. Please take pictures Mom.

Thursday: Pizza and Salad
I am not without humanity–there are frozen pizzas and salad in the house.

Friday: Vegetable Delight
I’m Southern, deeply so. Oftentimes growing up, one meal would be the clean-up hitter–a mix of every vegetable known to mankind. Great way to use up leftovers, often served with Beans and Franklins (as I used to call them) and/or Deviled Eggs. I will get off the plane hungry, and this already sounds good.

Saturday: Dine Out!
Though I will undoubtedly be up to my eyeballs in cocktail party food, Fried, and bacon-laced items, we will still dine out. It’s a family tradition, and one the Jrs and I very much enjoy. I’ll be ordering a salad.

Watch for the food posts from Vegas this week on Twitter. What kind of menus do you leave when someone else is in your kitchen? Do you prep food in advance? Leave money for pizza? Post your comments below!

Send good luck, lucrative offers, and actual questions to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

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Coming up Wednesday: Oooop!

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Filed under Punt!, Weekly Menus

Bachi Burger, I Think I Love You: Las Vegas Field Resarch

Gentle Readers, there are friends, and then there are friends who show up with pork bahn mi and coordinates for pork belly buns. On a recent trip to Las Vegas, my friend, whom we shall call BaconNBourbon, took me on a food adventure worthy of Thelma and Louise, minus the negative outcome.

Barbecued pork bahn mi on homemade bread. Wow. Just wow.

Barbecued pork bahn mi on homemade bread. Wow. Just wow.

First, there were these two types of bahn mi, straight from some small shop in Chinatown. They were amazing.

The urge to make dam jokes is irresistible: Hoover Dam

The urge to make dam jokes is irresistible: Hoover Dam

Next, Hoover Dam. If you haven’t been, go, it is truly remarkable engineering.

Pork Belly Buns from Bachi Burger in Las Vegas. To die for.

Pork Belly Buns from Bachi Burger in Las Vegas. To die for.

Then, pork belly buns with parmesan truffle fries and a salted caramel shake with a toasted marshmallow top from Bachi Burger. OMG. No really. If you are anywhere in the Pacific Standard Timezone, this is not a drill. Drop what you’re doing and go.

Hello my pretties: parmesan truffle fries from Bachi Burger

Hello my pretties: parmesan truffle fries from Bachi Burger

The buns come with a sauce that reminds me somewhat of tamarind, but with a Chinese five spice kick. Skip it, and just eat. It’s fine, but they aren’t improved by the dipping. The fries were salty and balanced, not overly truffled (which in truth makes me gag, though BaconNBourbon argues there is no such thing as overtruffling), and crisp. A true delight.

Salted Caramel Shake with Toasted Marshmallow on top from Bachi Burger. Dreamy.

Salted Caramel Shake with Toasted Marshmallow on top from Bachi Burger. Dreamy.

And then, the shake. Just admire it for a minute. Wow. Just wow. Our only regret was not staying longer to eat more, as the burgers (they have sliders on the appetizers menu) looked amazing.

So special thanks to my foodie friend for redeeming my faith in the power of the food adventure, and for giving me a day of fresh air and pork in the midst of a smoke-filled business trip! Have you been to Bachi Burger? What’s your opinion?

Send your truffles, trials, and triumphs to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

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Coming up Sunday, Weekly Menus!

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Filed under Restaurant Reviews, Snacks

Weekly Menus: Week of 5/20/2012

Gentle Readers, The Practical Cook simply adores the internet. Where else can one go and find quality chicken and waffles suggestions with a simple question or two? Yes, it’s time to take the quest on the road again, I’m heading to Vegas for work, and conveniently pairing my love of chicken and waffles with my day job, which is getting people to eat chicken and waffles as an integrated stack. (Forgive the pun, for those of you who know “work me.”)

Fried chicken and waffles at Dame's. Wow.

Fried chicken and waffles at Dame’s. Wow.

But I digress, this is what the home team will be eating while I’m away. Thanks again to The Practical Cook’s Mom, who ran roughshod over my initial meal suggestions. And will bring an arsenal of ingredients no matter what. So here’s what may or  may not be eaten next week:

Weekly Menus: 5/20/2012

Weekly Menus: 5/20/2012

And the Four Square Grocery List:

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 5/20/2012

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 5/20/2012

The CSA will be delayed a week for simplicity’s sake.

Which all translates to:

Sunday: Pizza?
We’re hosting some Complicated Vegetarians, so the menu is TBD. Pizza is always a good choice in this situation, as is pasta bar.

Monday: Beans and Rice (Burritos) or Spinach Pie
There were some artistic differences here. I was suggesting one thing, TPC’s Mom will cook another. Do I really have anything to say about it? No. Will my kids pick her dish over mine? Every time.

Tuesday: Sammies
A plate of sammies cut into quarters is a great meal. Cut off the crusts and call it high tea.

Sandwiches, fruit, and brownies on a fancy tiered platter.

Sandwiches, fruit, and brownies on a fancy tiered platter.

Wednesday: Spaghetti and Salad
A meal of my youth, with meat sauce. Of course we typically had it with black-eyed peas or some other prominent Italian vegetable. (We were fusion before it was cool.)

Thursday: Sausage and Bok Choy or some green veg
The bok choy experiment may wait till my return. I’ve been working with recipes to improve bok choy consumption here at Chez Practical Cook. Next up, pork fat.

Friday: Leftover surprise!
Again, because my mom imports more food than most small countries, I feel certain there will be something of interest for me to create into something new. After a week of life in Sin City, with two dinners per day, I will need the detox challenge.

Saturday: Dine Out!
I plan to scope something new out with TPC’s Junior. We shall see if they are up to the adventure!

What’s your favorite chicken and waffles place? I’m gathering  a list for Las Vegas and for San Diego.  Post a comment below, or Tweet! And a special thanks to my mom, who I love to tease, but taught me everything important I needed to know.

Send your chicken and waffles to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Up next, Bacon on the Hoof! Follow the Bacon Bacon Truck in SF, where even the vegetarian option has bacon on it.

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Filed under Weekly Menus

Viva Las Vegas: Report from the Road

Gentle Readers, though the city of Las Vegas may never sleep, the Practical Cook must. It is just not practical to pass out from exhaustion in the middle of a meeting. It is late, and I’m going to go with a top 3 list.

Top 3 Lessons from Vegas Food Scene

1. Being Expensive Doesn’t Make It Taste Good. Much like airport food, I found many items, like this standard tuna salad sandwich, to be insanely overpriced. For $14, you’d pretty much better have some table-side made to order tuna-salad-sandwich show, or it best rock. Sadly, neither happened here.

Pricey Tuna Sandwich

Pricey Tuna Sandwich

2. Presentation Counts. Here are two of my breakfasts, both from Mandarin Oriental. Expensive, but they delivered in both taste and presentation. I make plenty of parfaits, and I heart oatmeal, but clearly I need to supersize my serving dishes and bring my A game.

Highly Verticalized Parfait

Highly Verticalized Parfait

Steel-Cut Oatmeal in a Bathtub-Sized Bowl

Steel-Cut Oatmeal in a Bathtub-Sized Bowl

3. Vegetarians Need Not Apply. On more than one occasion, I combed the menu for the vegetarian option, to find none. Seriously? Sometimes I don’t need or want to consume a whole cow.

Lamb with Quinoa and a Lamb-Stuffed Pepper

Lamb with Quinoa and a Lamb-Stuffed Pepper

Now it is time to break out the yoga map and atone for the week in Sin City. Have you dined in Vegas? What do you think of the food scene here? Leave a comment or Tweet.

**A couple of important amendments. First, this review is comprised strictly of food consumed within “the tourist triangle.” I was on food, on deadline, and on the company dime. Not a lot of flexibility. Second, definitely check the comments section if you want more helpful guides to eating in LV. **

Send your questions and road reports to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading the Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Tomorrow, a final Vegas posting, Recovery Cereal

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Filed under Kitchen Philosophy