Vegan in Las Vegas: Panevino

Sure it’s Vegan MoFo, and this isn’t on theme, but I still have vegan travel & food talk to catch up on. Earlier in August we went to Las Vegas for a Conference, and stayed for a week. We ate well at several different restaurants around the city, and you can see some of our recent Las Vegas adventures here. One of those places was Panevino. Panevino is a destination restaurant in Las Vegas. It’s traditional Italian, that also has a “healthful plant-based vegan menu.” Another one of JC’s finds. I hadn’t heard of it, but they appeared to be promoting their plant based options online, so we opted to take a cab over from the hotel and check it out for dinner. Service was friendly, ambiance was semi-casual with slightly dimmed lights, but no so much that you couldn’t see who you were eating with. It feels like an escape from the frenetic pace of the Strip, take your time, eat slow, eat well. First thing we noticed when we opened the menu – the vegan menu card was right up front. No secret vegan menu here. You can also take a look at the plant based menu on their website. Here is the Dinner Menu. Our server brought us bread, and someone else did a little olive oil/balsamic vinegar demonstration with extra flourish. JC started with the Eggplant & Artichoke Bruschettone. Which I had a bite of, but formed no opinion on other than it was delicious looking and…

Read more

Vegan in Vegas – Wynn’s Terrace Point Cafe

The Terrace Point Cafe was one of the places we had wanted to check out on our last visit to Las Vegas, after reading about it on Epicurious Vegan but it wasn’t open, since it is mostly outdoors, and it was chilly in December. This time, the weather was perfect bordering on the usual` Las Vegas oppressively high & dry summer temperatures. The first thing I noticed when I walked in – the pink polyester uniforms all the servers and hostesses were wearing. Why are they wearing these things? They look heavy, multi-layered, and uncomfortable, and everyone was wearing a thick hose which I can only assume is also company standard. It’s hot out. I hope it’s not as terrible to wear as it looks. From the moment we walked in, everyone was extremely friendly – this seems to be the experience we’ve encountered at nearly every Wynn hotel. Staff is mostly great and willing to answer questions, or offer help if you look lost or confused. There is seating inside if you prefer to take advantage of their air conditioning, but we asked to sit outside under one of the misting umbrellas. It was a little less than a 15 minute wait, but I’m glad we opted for the The Menu What we ate Luckily there were four of us, and even better, three of those were vegans (including me, so I got to take a look at a nice variety of dishes. As an appetizer we started with…

Read more

Vegan in Vegas: Wazuzu at The Wynn

We followed up our helicopter tour with a visit to the Wynn’s Wazuzu on a spur of the moment decision to have the coach bus take us to the Wynn instead of back off strip to the Rio (where we were all staying for Defcon). Wazuzu will live on in my mind as the first “secret vegan menu” I ever asked for in 2010. It fully started a series of events that would have me asking questions of restaurant I never would have expected to be full of options. The (vegan) Menu What We Ate We started with a variety of Dim Sum options and sushi. I really enjoyed the Shiitake-Naki Sushi that I stole from JC, but didn’t get any photos of it. It’s a sushi roll with roasted seasoned shiitake mushrooms drizzled with a sweet vegan eel sauce. Gardein Chick’n Shu Mai You can see a few of the other dim sum pieces we ordered, but in focus is the Gardein Chick’n Shu Mai. It was interesting, but I’m not sure it was my favourite. It has a unique texture and flavour, but feels like it could have been more (soy sauce & hot sauce helped tremendously…) Jade Dumpling I really liked these. They were filled with spinach and shiitake mushrooms. Palm Pocket We ended up with two orders of these because they contained secret onions that one of our dining companions doesn’t like.  Though I suspect it was just the garlic. In addition to garlic these were stuffed with hearts of palm,…

Read more

Las Vegas: Helicopter Tour to the Grand Canyon

I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon before this trip, and I still don’t really feel as though I have seen enough of it. It’s this amazing span of nearly otherworldly rock and land that I’ve really only gotten to see a sliver of, and the experience of seeing it from above is nearly indescribable (which makes it especially good that I got a few pictures while we were there – even though I almost didn’t.) Pictures are really important to me because they serve as my memory a lot of the time (much like blogging does). I like sharing them with others, I like using them as props in conversation, taking photos focuses my experience and allows me the opportunity to look back and see some of the details my eyes might have missed the first time around. So when we arrived at the helicopter port, checked in for our mid-morning flight and I realized I had forgotten my camera battery in it’s charger at the hotel, I got a little dramatic. I started considering running across the highway to the nearest Fry’s Electronics (which really is right across the street.) Luckily, my very reasonable fiance both calmed me down, and reminded me that we had two perfectly good cellphones, and they’d still take pictures, even if they weren’t high resolution ones. MeShell drama managed (Thanks JC!) They put us all in groups of six – the amount of people that can fit on one of their EC-130 helicopters, and…

Read more

Vegan Pizza in Las Vegas – Pop Up Pizza at the Plaza Hotel & Casino

One of the first new-to-me places we visited on our last visit to Las Vegas was Pop Up Pizza. JC found it looking for vegan pizza options in Las Vegas, and stumbling on this Eating Vegan in Vegas page. It’s inside the Plaza Hotel & Casino. At first it just looks like one of those regular old casino fast food joints (as in – why even check if it has vegan options), but it becomes obvious that it’s so much more. They have around 6 pizzas on display, and one of those was their vegan pie, The Soho, with daiya, spinach, mushrooms, artichoke, and roasted bell pepper. The thing that really separates them from a place like A Slice of Vegas is that you can buy vegan pizza by the slice. It looked and tasted great. Worth noting is that it is slightly more expensive than the regular pizzas. Both the full pie and by the slice… but they have specials printed on their counter that you might want to pay attention to, because they make the whole meal a really great deal. We took advantage of the two slices and one large pop at a discounted price. Other vegan options include garlic knots (they’ll skip the parm). And also vegan soft serve, as their default offering soft serve offering. They’ve got vanilla, chocolate, and twist options. I got the twist since merely a few days before I was lamenting the lack of vegan twist options in the world. I…

Read more

Vegan in Vegas. Day one. Where We Nerd and Food.

We’re actually visiting New York right now, but we’re not on vacation mode and we’re taking time to relax a bit more. Those moments seem like a good time to talk about our recent trip to Las Vegas. Especially after I’ve had a bit of time to digest it all. One of my favourite parts about Vegas is that it has a Frys Electronics. I’m sure some people would say gambling, or the night life, or just expect me to talk about the food, but I like two things most of all – vegan food, and embracing my inner and outer nerd. Frys Electronics is like the Radio Shack of yesteryear. All the electronic bits and pieces you could ever want in one place. Do you need a torx screwdriver? It’s there. Soldering gun? Yup. Need more batteries for any of your devices? Covered. Motherboards? You got it. We don’t have anything quite like Fry’s in Toronto – there is Canada Computers, and Tiger Direct, but it’s not quite the full discount nerd experience. So whenever I go to the west coast – it’s worth at least one trip. The best part about the Vegas Frys is that it’s close to Whole Foods. Generally, I’m not that enthusiastic about Whole Foods, at least in Canada, because I know of most of the lovely vegan friendly independent stores in my community, but most of the time I have no idea where to shop when I’m anywhere in the USA. We went…

Read more

Back from Las Vegas!

We’re back from a week in Las Vegas and while this trip was mostly focused on attending one of my favourite conferences (DEFCON) we still managed to try a lot of new places to eat, and I can’t wait to share the experience a bit more beyond random Instagram updates. Highlights include a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon, a quietly vegan-awesome Italian restaurant by the Las Vegas airport, venturing to downtown Vegas for pizza, Nerding, the traditional visit to Ronald’s Donuts, and actually eating at Las Vegas buffets for the first time ever. But for now, we’re taking this “Civic Holiday” (Which I still know as Heritage Days’ from Alberta…) and decompressing a little, cuddling with our kitties (who did actually seem to really miss us), and getting ready to leave Toronto for a second time this month later this week. It’s nice to leave sometimes, but it’s so very nice to be home right now.

Read more

Las Vegas – Komol Restaurant – Vegan friendly thai cuisine (Throwback Tuesday)

It’s been a long and lovely trip of reminiscences, but as of this post, my throwback tuesday Las Vegas posts are over. Our final restaurant visit before going back home to Toronto was Komol. I’ve been to Komol on every Las Vegas visit since the beginning of my Vegas adventures. It’s one of the original vegan friendly offerings in the city, so I just keep going back for more. This time, JC and I walked over, but since Vegas was unseasonably cold, it felt like an extra long walk (when it wasn’t *that* bad). Komol is a few blocks away from The Strip, and located in the Village Square Commercial Center. Most people would probably bus/cab/drive over and I’d recommend it (and have recommended it.) My own words from 2010: “It doesn’t seem like it’s all that far away when you look at the map, but it’s worth taking a cab or bus (it cost about $10+tip one way.) “ Anyway, the food is spicy and tasty. In addition to a fairly substantial non-veg menu, they have about four pages of mostly-vegan options. Tradition dictates that I must start my Komol meal with soup and the vegetarian combination plate, so that’s what we did.

Read more

Las Vegas – Throwback Tuesday – Vegan eating at Sinatra

Sinatra was our extra special night out for New Year’s Eve. It’s (of course) a Frank Sinatra themed restaurant in the Encore Tower in Las Vegas, and once you walk in you just might get the vibe you’ve travelled through time to years gone by. Frank Sinatra music plays en loop, you will get people demonstrate the wine with all the flourish of any other fine dining establishment, and while they have a vegan menu, they will be surprised that you want it (or at least they were in our case.) First of all, they bring a basket of bread – remember to ask for Earth Balance or say you’re vegan from the beginning. It does make it easier. We started with the Insalatina deli’ Imperatore, but I’d just call it a Caesar salad. Spears of fresh crisp lettuce, a sharp flavourful caesar dressing, and a few spears of thinly sliced toasted bread. I’m not generally a salad lover, but this was an excellent start to the meal (and just happened to be delicious.)

Read more

Las Vegas – Two different vegan pizza experiences. CPK vs A Slice of Vegas – Throwback Tuesday

One thing that our trip to Las Vegas taught me was that all pizzas are not the same. People have been telling me this for years, but since I don’t think I ever had a particularly terrible pizza so I didn’t really get it. As far as I was concerned, the formula is pretty much the same, dough, sauce, toppings, but how those otherwise simple ingredients are executed can make a huge difference. Not really feeling fancy, and feeling hungry before the New Years Eve Eve (yes eve eve) Deadmau5 concert at XS we went to California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) in the Fashion Show Mall. Even Vegas has reduced hours on Sundays, it was surprising how many places were closed early. I had been to CPK before around two years ago, and enjoyed it. Maybe it’s because my experience of Vegan pizza has vastly improved since that visit, but this time CPK was not great or awesome, it was just soft crust and tomato and vegetables without any thing special about it. This time around, our server was really awkward, and overtly made a face when we asked for the pizza to be cheese-less. The food wasn’t awesome, the experience wasn’t awesome, and we left feeling pretty disappointed (and kind of hungry.) During the same trip, we also went to A Slice of Vegas in Mandalay Place. A Slice of Vegas had recently added a vegan menu to their regular rotation (another sign of the veganization of Vegas that’s been going…

Read more