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Mesa Grill + Vegas Eats

August 10, 2009

Back from Vegas! We had great eats and stayed fairly active throughout the trip. We wanted to get some hiking in at Valley of Fire, but it was 100 degrees! There was no way we would have made it trekking across the dessert. Instead, we enjoyed the beautiful scenery from the inside of our A.C car 🙂 Nevertheless, I felt great during this trip and was able to still enjoy a very decadent meal at Mesa Grill.

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I have seriously been looking forward to this day for a very long time, as I am a huge fan of the Food Network, and love Bobby’s southwestern style of cuisine. Just by looking at the menu, I knew this was going to be a good meal. Seeing how I wanted to try everything on the menu, I hit up the hotel gym and pounded out 5.5 miles on the treadmill and did a 25 minute weight session. I have to give huge props to the Marriott. When I worked there, they were just starting to renovate their “look” from classic old-school style to modern and chic. Every cardio machine was equipped with your own personal T.V, and they had medicine balls, yoga mats and weights. In each cup holder was a neatly folded up towel for each guests to use. I don’t know, I love these personal touches! When I traveled to Phuket, Thailand and stayed at the JW Marriott, they had a guy stand next to you while you worked out and handed you a towel every time you needed it. Yeah, it was a little creepy and distracting, but I guess that’s what you get for a $200/night room. Talk about service! That Marriott ranks #1 for best hotel I have ever stayed at. I mean, check out these pictures!

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Hopefully I will be able to travel there again, B and I have plans to go tour Asia in 2 years when we both graduate from law and business school.

Anyways, that was my little advertisement for the Marriott. Upon arrival at Mesa Grill, we were immediately greeted by two severs. One was our waiters asked if we knew who Bobby Flay was. I laughed and told him I had been waiting a long time to eat here and that was pretty much the only reason why we came.  The other waiter cleaned our table after each plate was served. Let’s just say, we were a little embarrassed after we finished our bread basket because our table looked like a 4 year old had eaten there. In our defense, I have to say this was no ordinary bread basket! It had jalapeno muffins, corn bread, some chocolate pastry and raisin oatmeal scone. It was kind of funny because we had plans to go to Lake Mead after lunch to feed the crazy fish and since I had forgotten to steal bread at the buffet the previous night, we were just going to use the bread at this lunch. You can imagine how surprised we were when this basket of bread came out. We both agreed that this was too fancy for the lake fish and proceeded to polish off the entire basket and then some.

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For the appetizer, the waiter recommended

SMOKED SALMON + DILL QUESADILLA
Red Onion + Creme Fraiche
or
CRISPY BACON + HASH BROWN QUESADILLA
Fried Egg + Spicy Tomato Salsa

I knew I didn’t really have a choice between the two, because anything with bacon, Brennan has to have. I think if I wrapped bacon over tofu, he would probably eat it, but it would have to be like 5 peices of bacon to 1 peice of tofu lol.

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This was seriously the best quesadilla ever. What bacon dish isn’t good? This wasn’t a traditional quesadilla though. I think it had 3 pieces of crispy tortilla layered with cheese, bacon and sauteed onions. There was more cheese on top and it was all baked until the cheese melted. The tortilla was so crisp and each bite was heavenly. On top was a poached egg that gave a nice contrast to the salty bacon. I love poached eggs with runny yolks! We devoured this way too quickly, unfortunately.

I was definitely ordering with my stomach and wanting to try everything, so we ordered another appetizer. After a small breakfast and a hard workout, we were both starving when we arrived, so yes, we were little piggies and pretty much cleaned our plates, despite all the food we ordered. I thought a soup would pair nicely with the quesadilla so I ordered

TOMATO-TORTILLA SOUP
with White Cheddar Cheese, Avocado
+ Cilantro

I thought this would be the standard chicken tortilla soup, with a chicken broth base, but instead, it was a rich and flavorful tomato based soup. B was a little hesitant about the avocados, but there were only a few tiny peices on top. This soup was really light and packed so much flavor in each bite. I loved how the main feature were the tomatoes, and they didn’t smother the soup with cheese and tortilla chips.

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Yup, we polished off both the appetizers and at that point, I was getting pretty full. For the main entree, I couldn’t decide between the

BLUE CORN CRUSTED ALASKAN HALIBUT
+ SALSA CRUDA
Sweet 100 Tomatoes, Capers
Nicoise Olives, Fresh Basil + Oregano
or
ANCHO CHILE-HONEY GLAZED SALMON
Spicy Black Bean Sauce
+ Roasted Jalapeno Crema

I decided to go with the halibut since B isn’t a big fan of salmon and since we were ‘sharing’ our food, it would be selfish of me to get the salmon right? The halibut was dipped in egg wash and coated with a blue corn tortilla topping, then pan seared for a little bit before finishing off in the oven. The fish was cooked perfectly and the crunchy tortilla was great texture contrast to the white flaky fish. The halibut was served on top of a rich sauce of cherry tomatoes, capers and olives. There was definitely Mediterranean flavors running throughout the dish and the salty capers and olives paired perfectly with the mild fish. Surprisingly, this dish was very light and refreshing without weighing me down.

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Brennan wanted to see what a Bobby Flay burger would taste like, but I told him he could get burgers anywhere, so he went with

NEW MEXICAN SPICED
PORK TENDERLOIN SANDWICH
Grilled Red Onion, Arugula
Ancho-Chile Mayonnaise
+ Southwestern Fries

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I tried a bite of this sandwich and it was really good. It kind of looked like a panini that had been pressed and the pork was really tender and juicy. The ancho-chili mayo packed heat to the sandwich and served as a good binder. The fries looked tempting and B tried to persuade me to eat one saying how these weren’t ordinary fries, they were “Bobby Flay fries”. Lol, I resisted though, not about to break my 10 year streak.

Needlesstosay, after all this food, we were stuffed and ready to be rolled out. I think the waiter was really surprised at how two people could eat this much food and joked how we made his job easier by polishing off the plates. Oh well, it was an indulgent meal, but worth every bite. This meal ended up lasting over 7 hours before we even thought about dinner, and even then, we weren’t that hungry. Overall, great restaurant and I can’t wait to go back and try more dishes!

The rest of the Vegas trip included a Criss Angel/Cirque du Soleil show (very strange man), Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, Valley of Fire and a night exploring the new Encore/Wynn. Unfortunately, I think all the weekend trips caught up to me as I came back yesterday with some eye infection and spent the majority of the day with a band-aid taped over my right eye. No pirate jokes please! Yes, that is the cheap way of dealing with an eye infection because I am too lazy/cheap to go out and buy an eye patch or actual medical gauze. I couldn’t wear my contacts and had to buy a new pair of glasses that felt completely weird to me. I think there is something wrong with the lenses because I felt really dizzy and kept bumping into things! Oh yeah, I had a training session yesterday and didn’t want to look weird with one eye taped shut, so I wore sunglasses inside the gym. If that didn’t look strange enough already, the sunglasses kept falling off because of the sweat and my balance was completely thrown off not being able to see through one eye. I can say it was one of the most challenging workouts ever! Here are some pictures of our trip

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Has anyone seen this frog show at the Wynn?! Omg, it is the weirdest thing ever. We didn’t even know about it until we went to check out their waterfall and this huge frog was sitting on top of the waterfall singing! It was halarious and at the end a huge cloud of smoke covered up the frog as it went down.

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