Mon Ami Gabi

Las Vegas is known for many things but one thing that can be swept under the rug is its delectable cuisine.  Located in the Paris Hotel and Casino off of Las Vegas Boulevard is Mon Ami Gabi, a French restaurant known for its unique atmosphere and scrumptious food.  While many sit down restaurants in Vegas require a more formal attire, Mon Ami Gabi can be considered more comfy casual.

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(photo via thetravelmentor)

I went for brunch and had a bloody mary. While the prices are higher in Vegas, for what I paid I got my money’s worth as you can see below.

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TIP: If you go to Mon Ami in the future take a look at the menu before you go. I can sometimes be an indecisive eater, but their menu was of no help. I had a very hard time deciding what I wanted because every option was so unique and sounded so good.

True to the French feel, I went with a savory crepe stuffed with chicken, brie and sliced apples.  In my mind I felt like this wouldn’t be enough to eat since most crepes I have had are on the smaller side, but boy, was I wrong. Lesson learned!

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(photo via tripadvisor.com)

Mon Ami has many good side options to supplement your meal so I went with a side of brioche toast and jam.  In complete honesty I didn’t even touch the toast.  When my crepe arrived I realized I had bitten off more than I could chew– literally.  The crepe was so filling and perfectly balanced of sweet and savory that the toast was completely unnecessary.

If you are looking to eat at Mon Ami Gabi, make a reservation.  It is pivotal that you call ahead to make a reservation because it is very popular spot on the strip.

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Another tip: If you have the choice, ask to sit outside.  The patio overlooks Las Vegas Boulevard and is perfect for people watching on the strip.

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Mon Ami Gabi gets a 10/10

Slappy Cakes

As if breakfast couldn’t get any more fun, it just did.  Slappy Cakes is an international restaurant chain that started in our very own Portland, Oregon.  This individualistic restaurant has been featured on The Cooking Channel, Rachel Ray, Woman’s Day Magazine, and recognized as “America’s Best” by Food Network’s Alton Brown as one of America’s top ten destinations.  Pictured in this post is the Maui, Hawaii location.

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In the center of every table, you’ll find a griddle to make your own pancakes.  The batter is served in a squirt bottle, making it easy for those creative individuals to shine.  Some of their favorite designs are shown on a slideshow in the waiting area near the front of the restaurant.

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Choices of “fixins” such as macadamia nuts, kula strawberries and papaya are just a few from the list of 20 fresh and local ingredients you can add to your pancakes.

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Slappy Cakes also gives you the option of different toppings such as Lemon Curd, Lavender Honey, Coconut Peanut Butter and more.  And if that wasn’t cool enough, you can even choose your batter from buttermilk, whole grain, vegan/gluten-free, seasonal and chocolate.

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Want a funky drink to go with your super fun breakfast? They’ve got that too.  Above is the Lavender 75 made of gin, lavender simple syrup, lemon juice and bubbly (delicious) placed next to their french press coffee.

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I absolutely love this place. Such a fun idea! The service was great and the atmosphere was so upbeat and vibrant that even the most anti-morning person there (aka me) enjoyed it!

Slappy Cakes gets a 9.5/10.

Bella Napoli

It doesn’t get more authentic than this.  Located on Brookside Boulevard is a cross between an Italian grocery and pizzeria. Bella Napoli will make you never consider Olive Garden to be Italian ever ever again.  With deliciously fresh Italian produce, Bella’s menu makes you feel as if you’re at a cafe on the corner of a cobblestone street in Italy.

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While the menu may be a little difficult to decipher, since much of it is written in Italian, every worker there is more than willing to help you figure out what you’re looking for.

Pictured below is the Caprese salad with beautiful heirloom tomatoes and fresh made mozzarella and garnished with fresh basil.

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Bella provides many options and combinations for their well-known 10-inch pizza.  Below is their Parma pizza topped with prosciutto cotto, basil, and mozzarella.  DELICIOUS.

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For dessert, you can’t go wrong with the Tiramisu. Also, Bella makes the best cappuccinos, ask for one to finish off your meal, so good!

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I give Bella Napoli 10/10.

The Grilled Cheese Bistro

Are you mentally prepared to have your childhood desires fulfilled in this next post?  I can tell you I wasn’t.

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The Grilled Cheese Bistro is exactly as it sounds…only better.  Located in Norfolk, VA the GCB provides grilled cheese combos that may seem a little more sophisticated than your at-home attempts, but don’t you worry the classics are there, too.  In a very urban setting, The Grilled Cheese Bistro is a cute little location on Granby Street that expertly balances its modern decor in a homey atmosphere.

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I went with the Johnny Appleseed, which included apples, cheddar cheese and local applewood bacon.  Both appetizing and totally shareable this sandwich is perfect, especially if you’re planning on enjoying a side with your meal (which I recommend).

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As our side we went with the standard fresh cut fries, but we were eyeing the truffle fries across the room that looked equally delectable.

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And if the food isn’t enough, their coke products are served in the bottle… Do I need to say anything else?!

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Such a fun little location.  I wish there was one in the Kansas City area!

I give The Grilled Cheese Bistro a 10/10.

iPhotower Vietnamese-French Bistro

A quaint location in downtown KC, iPhotower Vietnamese-French Bistro was an eye-opening experience for me. IMG_8362

This blog has made me become much more adventurous in my eating.  This location is a prime example.  I would never have had the guts to try Vietnamese but felt that it would be a disservice if I was selective in my locations based off of fear.  Boy was I happy that I went! I had no idea the amount of influence French had on Vietnamese cuisine.  The name of the restaurant is a play on words (Eiffel Tower- iPhotower). I went with the house special version of the Bahn Mi sandwich.  Served on a French baguette and your choice of two meats (I believe I went with beef and pork), lettuce, pickled carrot, cilantro and (don’t miss this!) jalapeño… As in the biggest jalapeño I’ve ever seen and thank goodness I didn’t miss it and was able to take it out before I dove in since I don’t like them! IMG_8360 As the lunch special, I went with a bowl of Pho soup, with my half of the Bahn Mi.  Served with rice noodles, beef broth, and garnished with onion and cilantro it was so wonderfully flavorful.  You also have a choice of main ingredients here as well.  The list includes:

  • Steak
  • Brisket
  • Shrimp
  • Beef Meatballs
  • Chicken
  • Vegetarian

I believe I went with the combo on this as well (per my server’s suggestion) with brisket and meatballs. IMG_8361 Brought and placed on the table was a bowl of additional garnishes that you may want to add, including lime, bean sprouts and many others to cater to your specific preferences.  Also something to keep in mind is how filling this meal can be.  When I say I went home with a quart container of Pho I’m not exaggerating, because with the combination of the sandwich (mind you- it was only a half!) I couldn’t even attempt to finish it.  A full bowl of Pho might look like it would not be filling, but that is not the case.  Just a FYI! Another added surprise was Vietnamese iced coffee, Aka- HEAVEN.  I think I drank it in less than 10 minutes… that might even be generous.  Most definitely the most delicious iced coffee I have ever had.  I could just tell by its wonderful taste that there was nothing good for me about it, yet I had no care in the world.  YUM. IMG_8358

If my honest surprise at how much I enjoyed this meal wasn’t enough, the service would make me come back.  The most friendly and downright helpful service made me feel completely comfortable in a restaurant I had never been, eating food I had never tasted before.  That’s how good service should make you feel.  You really don’t get that too often.

I would give iPhotower a 10/10.

Lion’s Choice

Straying to the other side of my home state, a weekend spent with a friend and her family in St. Louis introduced me to a St. Louis original, Lion’s Choice.

In a world of burgers and chicken sandwiches, Lion’s Choice is a fast food chain started in 1967 to provide an alternative to the commonly consumed fast food options.

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Sandwiches that are prepared with top round beef and slow-roasted every day in the store, Lion’s Choice was different than any other fast food I had experienced.  I went with the classic roast beef sandwich, with a side of au jus and horseradish dipping sauce.

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If you’re ever passing through the area and want to grab a quick bite that is unique and different, I suggest stopping here!

I would give Lion’s Choice a 6 out of 10.

Beer Kitchen

A place that I’ve heard nothing but great things about is Beer Kitchen, located in Westport. I decided to take a look for myself.

Located on the corner of Westport Rd and Pennsylvania Ave, Beer Kitchen is known for its distinct menu and extensive beer list (around 70 different bottled beer and 16 on tap).  All of which are listed on a wall within the restaurant.

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True to the Westport feel, Beer Kitchen’s atmosphere is very modern.

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I went with the Bravo burger, described as “crispy prosciutto, maytag blue cheese, fontina, sun-dried tomato relish, baby arugula & roasted garlic aioli on brioche bun” I couldn’t say no. Let me tell you, it lived up to its description.

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As for my side, I split a small order of the truffle fries with the roasted garlic dipping sauce, which was a perfect size to split!

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Another distinctive feature inside Beer Kitchen is the taps hanging from the ceiling as decor.  This was probably my favorite part (other than the food of course).

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I have heard many raves about the build your own mac n cheese, but felt like going a little outside of the box. I must say though, that I will for sure be returning and the mac n cheese will be my next victim!

I would give Beer Kitchen a 10 out of 10. Such a cool place!