So last week we talked about having our first Bloody Mary and shared a few sights from our Eat Picks Goes to Vegas trip. This week we are going to share our series post: Eat Picks Goes to Vegas Part 2: Finding Bobby Flay. That's right, you will want to hop a plane to grab your own AMAZING meal at Mesa Grill after reading about and seeing pictures of the lunch that made us cry. Want more awesomeness? Then keep reading all the way to the end of this post because we also tell you about a few more flavors to cross the taste buds; and this was only the first day! Forks ready? Well then, Dig in!
I’m a huge fan of the old school Food Network cooking shows; you know – Barefoot Contessa with Ina Garten, Good Eats with Alton Brown, and Throw Down with Bobby Flay with of course, Bobby Flay. I like Flay’s cooking style & when you see the gears churning in his head creating new flavors, it makes me want to eat whatever is finally served on the plate. The sad thing is I can’t reach through my TV screen with my fork. So the first thing I wanted to find when arriving in Vegas was Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill, to finally savor his recipes.
Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill is a MUST Stop When in Vegas
Mesa Grill is located in Caesars Palace through the lobby & casino floor. My husband and I found the cool neon of Mesa, and thought it a bit retro for a southwest place. Now, I am not anywhere near an interior designer, so take my opinion about this with a true grain of salt, but what I lack in design I more than make up in knowing a superb meal when placed in front of me.
We were seated quickly and were steered toward the signature margarita as a choice that we would not regret. Big words-so, of course, challenge accepted. As we waited for our kick-ass drinks, a basket of warm bread appeared with a jalapeño yellow and blue marbled corn muffin, a slice of pepper and cheese bread and a slice of cranberry studded bread nestled inside. The crumb on all three was perfect- dense and slightly chewy, soaking in every molecule of butter smeared across the top.
Our Partida Margarita arrived and with the first sip, I was transported back to a trip my husband and I made to San Antonio, where I believed to have consumed the perfect margarita ever made. That was until mere seconds ago. This cocktail was in fact the new crown holder of the Perfect Margarita prize. It was scary good.
Our server read our hunger cues perfectly and suggested we split an appetizer and lunch dish which helped subside our hemming and hawing over what to order. We went with the Black Bean and Barbecue Chicken Quesadilla and Smoke-Rubbed Shrimp Tacos. Three sips into our margarita and lunch was served.
Our first bite made us question whether it was really THAT good; what transpired next was almost too much to comprehend. Not only was the first bite delicious, but each and every chomp following. The quesadillas were filled with the perfect bean to chicken ratio with a slightly sweet barbecue sauce finish. The tortilla was crispy and topped with fresh guacamole, shredded fresco cheese, red pepper sauce and shaved toasted garlic chips. The shrimp tacos came with 6 generous sized rubbed shrimp, grilled to perfection, topping a homemade slaw and accompanied with 3 dipping sauces; mango pepper, guacamole, and salsa verde. It was so good it made us cry- tears of joy to have enjoyed such a feast and tears of sadness that eating came to an end.
You may think I’m exaggerating when I say that this was the best meal I have ever had and my rebuttal would be – don’t judge until you have your own plate of this goodness. Do you SEE these pictures?? They are with my phone camera, taken just before eating- no fancy lighting, no nothing. If you are anywhere near Vegas, Flay’s Mesa Grill should be a MUST STOP on your visit list.
Casa Fuente Serves Cigars and Perfect Mojito
We decided to take a nice walk through Caesars Palace and wound up at the small, unassuming cigar bar Casa Fuente. When the bartender overheard me say that I’ve never had a mojito (it’s true), she quickly chimed in that the drink was the specialty of Casa Fuente. I decided since this Vegas trip already gave me a first at a Bloody Mary and the perfect margarita, I might as well keep the streak going and ordered a tangerine mojito. Complete with muddled lime, tangerine segments, rum, simple syrup, Grand Marnier & fresh mint; this would be my favorite drink to sip pool side or enjoying a nice summer day on the patio. Absolutely delicious.
Late Night Eats at Todd English P.U.B.
My husband and I decided to go back to the hotel to check in, get settled and make a game plan for the evening. We decided to walk over to check out the new Aria and Cosmopolitan and after an hour or so, were hungry for a late dinner. Remember, we are from the East Coast, so by this time it was around 8 or 9pm Vegas time, but the body clock was saying it was really 11pm or 12am! Deciding it best to pull a 24hr to get the most of sleep, we stopped at Todd English P.U.B. and found a nice table in a cozy corner adjacent to the bar; perfect for people watching and sports on the TV.
With an extensive beer list, it was hard to choose, but both of us finally decided on a pint of Speakeasy Prohibition, an amazing brew from San Francisco, CA; light, malty hops with a burst of citrus. Needing only a bite of this and that, we decided to split the crispy chicken pot stickers and mini beef sliders; both courses were outstanding-the pot stickers were crisp yet tender, and the sliders, complete with caramelized onions and mini brioche buns, were juicy and delicious.
Having 24hrs of straight fun is something I haven’t done since college and I guess can only happen in Vegas! Our first day was fantastic in every way and we could not wait to put our exhausted selves to bed. I really couldn’t imagine our trip getting any better, but in the days to follow, it did.
Check back next Friday for our third installment of Eat Picks Goes to Vegas! We will recap our TypeAVegas Conference, Affiliate Summit West Experience and more food surprises!
If you have any questions on the places outlined in this series, please do not hesitate to ask! For more great Vegas travel tips, check out Fodor's Travel Guide. Just click on the picture.
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