Las Vegas: A journey of culinary excess

Now that I'm older, I realize there are two versions of Las Vegas. There's the Vegas of my youth, where my girlfriends and I would split a room four ways, play penny slots, and frequent clubs where, if we were lucky, men bought our drinks all night.   

Lavo deep-fried Oreos

Now that I'm older, I've seen a different side of Las Vegas. The sleeping situation is decidedly less cramped, with no air mattress in sight. Penny slots are replaced by roulette tables, and instead of flirting for cocktails, a woman in a little black dress made a tableside old fashioned to the tune of ....$150. 

old fashioned cocktail

Let's face it, these two versions of Vegas aren't based on age; it's money. My father is what they call a "whale" in the gambling world. They comp his hotel, dinners, and shows to pull him into the casino, and he does this all around the world. Cruises around Europe, Asia, and if he'd like to make a jaunt over to Atlantic City, a limo gives him a ride there and back. 

My father's version of Las Vegas is extravagant and eye-opening. Vegas was already an over-the-top, blinking beacon of excess, with billboards promising you beautiful women, lucky slots, and a stack of pancakes two feet tall for $2.99. And while the casino was classier in the wooing of my father, it was no less excessive. Dinners were at restaurants affiliated with celebrity chefs, and there was always a tableside show where things were made fresh

chef making bananas foster

If you think people that order sizzling fajitas steal the show at restaurants, in Vegas they use actual fire. At Delmonico's, our bananas Foster was a pyrotechnic wonder, as our extremely formal chef used Cognac to set our dessert ablaze. At Cut, a torch was used to smoke wood, which was infused into our bourbon. 

I wanted to share images of these culinary delights and remind everyone that summer is just around the corner. Perhaps there are vacations planned. Food is such an important part of travel. It introduces you to different flavors and local favorites. Have fun researching highly-recommended places and peruse the menus. Lock in reservations for peace of mind, and when you get there, honey, eat your heart out. 


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