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Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast, Ep. 11 - 5 Las Vegas Restaurants Dan Pattee Thinks Can't Be Missed

This week on the Restaurant News and Reviews Show, The Wife and I have a very special guest, Dan Pattee! You’ll get to find out a little bit on who exactly Dan Pattee is and we’ll also talk about some Recent Eats and 5 Las Vegas Restaurants Dan Pattee Thinks Can’t Be Missed.  Then we’ll have a special edition of The News With The Wife where we have a little preview of the restaurants opening with The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, we’ll reveal the TLV Cheap Eats Of The Week and so much more!

Click Here To Listen To Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast, Episode 11

Check Out Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast on the iTunes!

Dan Pattee (Guinness), Mike (Fat Tire) and The Wife (Newcastle) At Sierra Gold

Dan Pattee (Guinness), Mike (Fat Tire) and The Wife (Newcastle) At Sierra Gold

Please support our fabulous sponsor Vegas Mate!

Get more information about the best app for Las Vegas at http://VegasMate.com

Follow Vegas Mate on Twitter at @VegasMate

Joints That We Talked About:

  • Salt Lake City
  • Sambalatte
  • Wazuzu
  • La Cave
  • Hofbrauhaus
  • Burger Bar
  • Bachi Burger
  • Weiss Deli
  • Naked City Pizza Shop
  • Sierra Gold
  • Fukuburger
  • The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
  • Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill
  • China Poblano
  • Comme Ca
  • D.O.C.G
  • Estiatorio Milos
  • Holsteins
  • Jaleo
  • Scarpetta
  • STK
  • The Henry
  • Va Bene Caffe
  • Wicked Spoon Buffet
  • AGO

Tha’ Links:

Check out Crossings by Nathan Tanouye and the Las Vegas Jazz Connection on CDBaby.com

Follow The Wife on Twitter at @TLV_TheWife

Join us on the Facebook at http://facebook.com/TastingLasVegas

Follow Dan Pattee on Twitter at @DanPattee

Follow Chef Jet Tila on Twitter at @jettila

Follow Fukuburger on Twitter at @fukuburger

My first thoughts on The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is here

My updated thoughts on The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is here

Follow The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on Twitter at @Cosmopolitan_LV

—–
Mike Dobranski is a professional musician, amateur blogger, eater of good food, poker junkie, master of the inappropriate comment and bad husband to a wonderful wife.

Follow Mike and Tasting Las Vegas on Twitter at @TastingLasVegas

Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast, Ep. 09 - 5 Las Vegas Restaurants We Rarely Talk About That Can't Be Missed

This week on the Restaurant News and Reviews Show of Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast, I’m joined once again with The Wife where we talk about a recent trip to Walmart, some Recent Eats and 5 Las Vegas Restaurants We Rarely Talk About That Can’t Be Missed.  Then, of course, we’ll have The News With The Wife, The TLV Cheap Eats Of The Week and so much more!

Click Here To Listen To Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast, Episode 09!

Check Out Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast on the iTunes!

Pasticcio from The Fat Greek

Pasticcio from The Fat Greek

Please support our fabulous sponsor Vegas Mate!

Get more information about the best app for Las Vegas at http://VegasMate.com

Follow Vegas Mate on Twitter at @VegasMate

Joints That We Talked About:

  • Walmart
  • McDonalds
  • Bachi Burger
  • First Food and Bar
  • Wazuzu
  • Fleur by Hubert Keller
  • Amore Pizza
  • The Fat Greek
  • Siri Thai
  • Crazy Pita
  • The Palm Restaurant
  • The Cupcakery
  • Retro Bakery
  • Three Square
  • Simon at Palms Place
  • Botero
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Fukuburger

Tha’ Links:

Check out Crossings by Nathan Tanouye and the Las Vegas Jazz Connection on CDBaby.com

Follow The Wife on Twitter at @TLV_TheWife

Picture of fake Twilight characters at Walmart

My post about Three Square is found here

The Communities In Schools Of Southern Nevada is found here

The Center for Biological Diversity’s Bluefin Boycott is here

Rob Mrwoka on KLAS with the lovely Dayna Roselli is found here

—–
Mike Dobranski is a professional musician, amateur blogger, eater of good food, poker junkie, master of the inappropriate comment and bad husband to a wonderful wife.

Follow Mike and Tasting Las Vegas on Twitter at @TastingLasVegas

The Weekly Bad Picture Of Good Food: Saganaki From The Las Vegas Greek Food Festival

Fire is fun.  I like to set things on fire.  I like to sit next to things that are on fire.  I even like to work with things that are on fire.  But most importantly, I like to eat things that were once on fire…and there are few things on Earth that are better than some good old fashioned Greek flaming cheese!  And no, this blurry mess wasn’t caused by the raging flame of the brandy burning off, melting the iPhone’s camera lens. By this point in the evening, the abused iPhone was probably slathered in Loukaniko fat, Spanakopita filling and Pasticcio goop, thus making the Saganaki from the Las Vegas Greek Food Festival this week’s Weekly Bad Picture of Good Food.

Saganaki from the 2010 Las Vegas Greek Food Festival. Opa!

Saganaki from the 2010 Las Vegas Greek Food Festival. Opa!

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The 2010 Las Vegas Greek Food Festival
(September 24 – 26, 2010)

St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church
5300 S. El Camino
Las Vegas, NV 89118

(702) 889-6376

http://www.lasvegasgreekfestival.com

—–
Mike Dobranski is a professional musician, amateur blogger, eater of good food, poker junkie, master of the inappropriate comment and bad husband to a wonderful wife.

Follow Mike and Tasting Las Vegas on Twitter at @TastingLasVegas

Behind The Scenes: How My 2010 7 & 7 Restaurant Picks Were Picked

I don’t know about you, but when I see Top (insert number here [that's what she said]) Lists, my blood usually starts boiling.  I often find myself thinking, “Are these people fucking stupid, corrupt, or a little bit of both?”  Whether it’s a Top 5 Greek Restaurants in Vegas list that doesn’t have The Fat Greek (yes, I’m still breaking your balls on that, Vegas Chatter) and a restaurant that hasn’t opened yet in a hotel that hasn’t opened yet, no less; or, a Top 5 List of Late Night Eats that have places that close by midnight at the latest and/or serve utterly heinous food (yes, I’m looking directly at you Haute Living)…it usually takes all my willpower to not throw my laptop across the room when I see these awful lists.

Oh…and while I’m here…..can we PLEASE get rid of the word, “haute”?!? Enough is fucking enough with everything being haute.  First of all, the god damn word is pronounced “oat,” so trying to be clever by substituting “haute” for “hot” either means you’re ignorant or you sound like a retarded Scotsman.  Balls, that just irritates the shit out of me.  Yes…I know…I’m an angry man.  Ok…back to the subject at hand…..

Always Thinking Of A Way Out...

Always Thinking Of A Way Out...

So obviously these lists, more times than not, piss me off…and now here I am, doing one of my own.  Oh boy.  I was ready to take the heat as karma was cracking its knuckles getting ready to do work.  However, much to my surprise, the overall reaction to the list was overwhelmingly positive.  People really dug the list.  The restaurants picked (obviously) REALLY dug the list.

By the way, if you have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s a direct link to The 2010 Tasting Las Vegas 7 & 7 Restaurant Picks for the Blogworld and New Media Expohttp://www.blogworld.com/2010/09/21/the-2010-tasting-las-vegas-7-7-restaurant-picks/ If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out first and then come on back.  A few of you have asked how I settled on the restaurants I settled on and the thought process behind it, so I thought I’d try to share what was going on in my brain when I put it together…

Tasting Las Vegas Panel Discussion is on October 16 @ 2:45pm!

Tasting Las Vegas Panel Discussion is on October 16 @ 2:45pm!

As an invited speaker to the 2010 Blogworld and New Media Expo to be part of the “Tasting Las Vegas” panel discussion along side the Queen of Buttercream, Kari Haskell of Retro Bakery, The Strip Podcast himself, Steve Friess and Ms. Vegas Chatter, Julia Buckley; I was asked to do a post for Blogworld’s blog as well as a dining guide.  I decided on killing two birds with one stone.

My goal with the 7 & 7 list was to come up with as diverse of offerings as I could that really showed off the special culinary offerings we have here in Las Vegas.  I wanted to show off our different cuisines, price points, locations, meal times, etc. and approach the whole thing from a visitor’s perspective.  If I’m a visiting a place, I want to have an experience that I can’t have at home.  Originally I was going to do 5 restaurants On The Strip and 5 off, but I couldn’t narrow it down that much….and technically I didn’t really narrow it down to 7 and 7 either with all of the little bonus mentions…but I did the best I could.

Some people have asked why I included Off The Strip restaurants on the list if it’s intended for visitors.  My answer is that I think there’s enough people out there that want to stay away from the resort corridor and drive through the neighborhoods to see where us locals eat.  It’s a weird town.  Visitors need to know that there’s good eats off The Strip, and locals need to know there’s good eats on The Strip.

The two most difficult things about putting the list together was (obviously) deciding on the final 7 & 7 and also not using dick and fart jokes.  It was a self-imposed ban on my trademark dick and fart jokes with varying degrees of foul language.  I don’t know how real writers do it.  I figured without my dick and fart jokes, people won’t even get past the third suggestion!  I suppose that’s why I rarely get through an entire restaurant review in a “legitimate” publication. So boring.  Oh well…here’s to hoping…

Lobster Pot Pie from Nobhill Tavern: Tastes A Lot Better When It's 2-for-1

Lobster Pot Pie from Nobhill Tavern: Tastes A Lot Better When It's 2-for-1

Settling on the final list was agonizing.  There were restaurants that were on the list until I slept on it overnight, then took them off.  Two On The Strip joints that didn’t make the final edit was Nobhill Tavern at the MGM Grand and Payard Patisserie & Bistro at Caesars Palace.  I wanted to find a place on there for Nobhill Tavern, but if I put them on, then why not all of the other Mina restaurants, Bradley Ogden, Sage and the list goes on and on.  What ultimately decided why Nobhill Tavern didn’t make it, is because I see it more as a restaurant on The Strip that is better for locals.  The 2-for-1 entree deal they used to run for locals upped its appeal and since the true extraordinary nature of their service is seen on multiple visits, it stayed off this list for once-a-year convention goers.

Payard Patisserie and Bistro: Good Macarons Made Here

Payard Patisserie and Bistro: Good Macarons Made Here

Payard was tough.  They have a fabulous 3-course prix fixe for lunch that hovers in the $20 range.  They also have the best macarons in town, and also would have given the Harrah’s empire some recognition on the list.  If Silk Road wasn’t so damn magnificent, it would have been on there…but by limiting myself to 7-ish picks on The Strip, there wasn’t enough room for two Breakfast and Lunch joints.  Also, having Silk Road on there gave me an angle to throw out a bonus shout out to Sensi with the Heierling connection.  I almost said fuck the whole 7 & 7 angle and included Payard, but with this being Vegas, 7 being lucky and 7 & 7 being the well-known adult beverage that it is…I couldn’t pass it up.

Yes, a few pointed out that while the individual properties were diversified on the list, MGM Resorts had a landslide victory.  That’s because MGM Resorts have better restaurants.  I can’t help that.  Take away Caesars Palace and Harrah’s is a steaming pile of shit when it comes to restaurants.  I can’t put Guy Savoy on there when there is Robuchon. Rao’s is decent, but the prices are too jacked for me to send a bunch of bloggers there, and while Bradley Ogden is fine and dandy, I can’t have a restaurant on there just because they make the best burger in town.

Fabulous Pistachio Crusted Lamb Chop from Sirio Ristorante

Fabulous Pistachio Crusted Lamb Chop from Sirio Ristorante

Another glaring omission is that there was no On The Strip Italian joint.  This was more due to a diversity in property rule I tried to adhere to, and there was no way in hell I wasn’t going to have Julian Serrano on the list to make room for Sirio Ristorante.  Sirio is fabulous, though, and when people ask me for a suggestion for Italian on The Strip, that’s always where I send them.  The Goat Milk Ricotta Ravioli with Sage Butter and Pistachio Crusted Lamb Chops are out of sight.  If it wasn’t for Silk Road, Sirio would be the must underrated restaurant in all of CityCenter.

Funky Toro from Raku

Funky Toro from Raku

Off The Strip was just as agonizing, if not even worse.  I could have easily put Ichiza, Archi’s, Raku and Soyo on there, but four out of seven slots be Asian (five if you include Bachi Burger)?  That ain’t right.  Some may argue that Raku deserves to be there over Ichiza, to which I say this;  Raku is overrated. There, I said it.  Yes, the guy has brilliant knife skills and is an artist when it comes to presentation, but sometimes the best, most fresh ingredients aren’t used.  I’m not saying that Ichiza does either, but Ichiza never pretends that it does.  And I’m not saying that Raku is bad by any stretch of the word….but I think it’s about time to stop giving Chef Endo the neverending blowjob that so many in our restaurant community give him.  Give your tonsils a break, boys!

Fukuburger: Good Food and Good Times Served Here Nightly

Fukuburger: Good Food and Good Times Served Here Nightly

Another tough call was if I should give a nod to a food truck on there or not.  Fukuburger is most deserving and does wonders considering they’re cooking that shit in a truck, but comparing flat out burger-to-burger, there’s no contest between Fukuburger and Bachi Burger.  Like I said, it was a tough call.  It really comes down to personal values in dining out, and I guess when it comes down to it, for me….food trumps the hang.  Fukuburger is indeed made of awesome.  Great hang, great guys working it, great prices, certainly one of the best burgers in town.  Like I said…tough call.

Marche Bacchus: Good, but there's probably Better

Marche Bacchus: Good, but there's probably Better

If I have one regret on the list, it’s putting Marche Bacchus on there.  It’s another overrated place.  Don’t get me wrong, the food is good there, although inconsistent.  I’ve had a perfect pork chop there and I’ve had a raw one.  If the setting wasn’t so nice and if there was anything else in the vicinity that I knew better, it probably would have been on the cutting room floor.  It’s my own fault for not knowing the non-Asian restaurants on the west side enough to be able to recommend something else.  Yeah yeah yeah…I’m working on it, damn it!

Like I said, I’m surprised more people didn’t give me shit about the list.  Maybe this post just opened up the can of worms…who knows.  I’m glad it was so well received and that it went viral in a hurry on Facebook and Twitter.  I hope the people that read it eat well from it.  Many thanks to Babette Pepaj of Bakespace.com fame for including me in on the fun.  I’m looking forward to this Blogworld and New Media Expo and getting to hang with Kari, Steve and Julia.  Good times are inevitable!

—–
Mike Dobranski is a professional musician, amateur blogger, eater of good food, poker junkie, master of the inappropriate comment and bad husband to a wonderful wife.

Follow Mike and Tasting Las Vegas on Twitter at @TastingLasVegas

Monday Mise en Place: Las Vegas Greek Food Festival Begins This Week

Las Vegas Greek Food Festival at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church

Las Vegas Greek Food Festival at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church

Well, I’m sort of sad that allergy-driven stabbing pains in my head forced me to withdraw from dealing with the crowds at San Gennaro this time around, but come hell or high water The Wife and I will be going to the Las Vegas Greek Food Festival!  My favorite of the ethnic food festivals I’ve been to, the Greek Food Festival, held on the grounds of St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church runs like a machine, has a decent amount of open space and features some kick ass Greek food! The festival runs Friday, September 24 through Sunday, September 26. For more information visit http://www.lasvegasgreekfestival.com.  If you haven’t been to this one yet, bring cash and an empty stomach!

Chef Jet Tila: Loosen Up, He Packs A Big Roll!

Chef Jet Tila: Loosen Up, He Packs A Big Roll!

With the flurry of events last week, I am remiss that I forgot to give a shout out to Executive Chef of Wazuzu at the Encore resort, Jet Tila, for doing something no other Asian man has done; get in the Guinness Book of World Records for something regarding length! I’m talking about Chef Jet’s successful attempt to break the record for the World’s Largest California Roll at UMass Amherst!  Check out this video to see the monster (and the record breaking roll):

I think the roll was originally planned to be 400 ft., but it squeezed out an extra 22 ft. once it saw the cans on that sorority girl at 1:42 in the clip!  Congratulations, Jet!  Maybe next up is a Spicy Tuna Roll with the most girth?  Ladies like girth…or so I’ve been told.

Diane Greene of Herbs by Diane

Diane Greene of Herbs by Diane

Chef Ryan Taliaferro, formerly of the Ritz-Carlton of Lake Las Vegas and Diane Greene of Herbs by Diane in Boulder City are teaming up to do Basil Day at the UNCE Orchard in North Las Vegas on Saturday, September 25 from 9am – noon.  At this event, you’ll learn how to grow basil, how to prepare basil, and how to evaluate 17 different varieties of basil that grow in Las Vegas!  A $5 donation will be asked at the door to cover cost of prepared food. All RSVP’s for the event are asked to be made by Thursday by calling the Master Gardner helpline at 702-257-5555.

Dos Caminos at the Palazzo: Good Mexican Food Made Here

Dos Caminos at the Palazzo: Good Mexican Food Made Here

I think Mexicans roll with some of the best breakfast food on the planet, so I’m happy to hear the news of  Dos Caminos at the Palazzo resort now offering a Mexican Breakfast Buffet seven days a week from 7am to 10:30am.  On the buffet will be items like Pan Torrejas, Huevos con Chorizo and Chilaquiles.  The buffet itself is $19.95 and then drinks can be ordered from the bar at additional cost.

Hash House A Go Go Logo

Hash House A Go Go Logo

Congratulations to Hash House A Go Go which will be celebrating its 5th Anniversary of it’s location on Sahara Ave. on Thursday, September 23rd!  Some specials they’re offering on their special day include getting their famous Snickers flapjack for $5, any of their one-pound stuffed cheeseburgers for $5 and a happy hour that runs from 5pm-6pm that will have nickel draft beers and complimentary appetizers. Now that’s a party!

Time is running out! Please vote for me once each day from now through 09/30/10! Thanks!

Time is running out! Please vote for me once each day from now through 09/30/10! Thanks!

As of the writing of this post, there are only 10 days left to get my entry for Anthony Bourdain’s Medium Raw Challenge into the Top 50! From there it is on to the publishers to pick me as one of the best 10 entries and then Tony Bourdain himself to pick the winner.  I want to thank each and everyone of you that have taken the time to vote each day and to put up links encouraging your friends to do the same.  It really means a lot to me.  I don’t get a dime for this pig yet, so your support is what I run on.  Soon enough I won’t be begging for your votes anymore….but I’ll just be begging for something else!  But for now…..vote!

A direct link to read and vote for my essay, ‘Cooking Well is First’ is here – http://bourdainmediumraw.com/essays/view/1409

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Mike Dobranski is a professional musician, amateur blogger, eater of good food, poker junkie, master of the inappropriate comment and bad husband to a wonderful wife.

Follow Mike and Tasting Las Vegas on Twitter at @TastingLasVegas

The Weekly Bad Picture of Good Food: Braised Lamb Shank with Buttered Orzo Pasta from The Fat Greek

Even in the best of lighting situations, the slightest wiggle of the iPhone while taking the picture can be all that’s needed to turn a mouthwatering “Opa!” into a blurry “Oops!”  Behold the abstract representation of the deliciously tender Braised Lamb Shank with Buttered Orzo Pasta from The Fat Greek, humbly submitted for this week’s installment of The Weekly Bad Picture of Good Food.

Braised Lamb Shank with Buttered Orzo Pasta from The Fat Greek

Braised Lamb Shank with Buttered Orzo Pasta from The Fat Greek

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The Fat Greek
4001 S. Decatur Blvd. #34
Las Vegas, NV 89103

(702) 222-0666

http://FatGreekLV.com

—–
Mike Dobranski is a professional musician, amateur blogger, eater of good food, poker junkie, master of the inappropriate comment and bad husband to a wonderful wife. Follow him on Twitter at @MikeDobranski.

Follow Tasting Las Vegas on Twitter at @TastingLasVegas