Local Eats: eat Summerlin

You may be familiar with eat from its original location in downtown Las Vegas. The breakfast and lunch restaurant recently opened a new location in Summerlin.

Here are a few things about the original location. The original restaurant on Carson Street consistently gets great reviews. Second, the backstory on Natalie Young is inspiring.

I’ve never been to the downtown Las Vegas restaurant so I made this visit to the farthest reaches of Summerlin because of recommendations. I’ve lived just outside of Summerlin for more than five years and had no idea where the restaurant was located.

After driving around 3 or 4 roundabouts and two shopping centers I finally found eat. Ironically, the restaurant is 10 minutes away with no loops if I take the highway. (This is a reminder for myself).

Eat Summerlin feels cozy but isn’t small. We sat in the front and I was later informed that there’s a large back area of the restaurant. I had work to do (drink coffee) and didn’t feel like exploring. Sorry.

Good morning!

I was told that I must get the pancakes and I take direction well. So, I ordered pancakes without looking at the menu. I don’t eat pancakes often but the pancakes at eat were probably the second best I’ve ever eaten.

The batter is very good and the pancakes are light and fluffy. I like my pancakes a little more crisp around the edges. DuPar’s pancakes at the Suncoast remain my favorite for this reason.

However, the meal as a whole was spectacular.

I ordered my pancakes with an adorable turkey-apple sausage. It was the best thing on the plate. The coffee was even better. It was a nice mild but hearty breakfast blend. The coffee is good enough to solicit a return visit another time.

The syrup that comes with each order comes in a small jar. Eat charges $1 for each additional jar. I’ve never seen this before. The policy doesn’t bother me because the jar was more than enough. It’s just really annoying.

The staff was great and we saw Chef Nat hanging out with some customers on the way out. The breakfast menu for both locations is the same if you’re a fan of the downtown restaurant.

I live about 10 minutes from the Summerlin location and maybe 20 minutes from downtown Las Vegas after I find parking. I’ll opt for the easy parking in Summerlin if I have a choice. Good breakfast and lunch restaurants seem to be popping up in the area every few weeks. That’s not a bad thing in my eyes.

Good breakfast and lunch restaurants seem to be popping up around Summerlin and Spring Valley every few weeks. I’m into it.

eat is at 1910 Village Center Circle

Local Eats: Dirty Fork

Last year Dirty Fork opened in the restaurant space on Durango formerly occupied by Norm’s Diner. I didn’t visit Dirty Fork for a while after they opened as I mourned Norm’s leaving. Later I realized Norm’s was just down the street and moved on.

I was more than happy with the food and service at Dirty Fork after my first visit. That was repeated during my second and third visits. During each visit, I tried a different meal that fit perfectly for the day.

Brunch

Dirty Fork French Toast
YO!

I finally visited Dirty Fork when I was asked to join some friends for brunch. I was told that I need to try the Dirty Fork Breakfast Special. After reading the description this sounded like a meal that was perfect for the day.

The Hawaiian sweet bread French Toast was topped with egg, fried chicken, and syrup. This is the perfect hangover cure. The Hawaiian sweet bread French Toast, with egg in the center, was topped with fried chicken and syrup. This is the perfect hangover cure. This was my first time having chicken for breakfast/first meal and it was great.

I’ve always been turned off by fried chicken and waffles because of the large size of the chicken and waffles. The bite size pieces of chicken was a perfect topper to the light and sweet French Toast. I could eat individual flavors or have a bite with everything. Perfect!

I think I finally understand the sweet and savory thing for breakfast. I was so turned on by this dish that I’ve returned multiple times.

Lunch

Dirty Fork Burger
Dat burger!

My second visit to Dirty Fork was for lunch. The menu is creative and was a bit too confusing for my mood. I’m always up for a burger when a menu confuses me, so I tried the Dirty Fork Burger.

The burger comes with a choice of fries or salad. While the Breakfast Special filled me, this burger STUFFED me. Not only is the burger big but it’s delicious.

My burger was a perfectly cooked medium. The beef was flavorful and juicy but not to the point where it was oozing everywhere. I even enjoyed the super crispy fries, which I’d normally just leave on the plate.

Breakfast

Dirty Fork Breakfast
Simple and delicious!

After two great meals, I met a friend for breakfast at Dirty Fork. I wanted something simple so just ordered bacon, eggs, and coffee. The bacon was nice and crisp, which is how I like my bacon. The eggs were phenomenal. I’ll have to ask if there’s some magic recipe for the eggs the next time I visit. I believe they use Lavazza coffee which is neither amazing or bad.

I believe they use Lavazza coffee which is neither amazing or bad.

The menus (breakfast, lunch) are creative and have a unique assortment of dishes. I was upset when Norm’s moved out but I’m more than happy to have Dirty Fork in the neighborhood. I’ll be back shortly to try something new. Well, maybe something new.

Dirty Fork is at 3655 Durango. Visit DirtyForkLV.com for more information.

Griddle Cafe At SLS Las Vegas Out, Northside Cafe In

Griddle Cafe At SLS Las Vegas
RIP – Griddle Cafe At SLS Las Vegas

When I stayed at SLS Las Vegas in December the Griddle Cafe became my favorite restaurant. $20 was a little pricey for breakfast but the food and coffee were fantastic. Griddle Cafe is closing and will reopen as Northside Cafe which will be operated by the casino.

Griddle Cafe was the one restaurant at SLS Las Vegas that was consistently busy. This closure isn’t a reflection on the restaurant. Rather it’s a reflection on the financial state of the property as a whole. There are a lot of rumors about bad things happening at SLS Las Vegas and I don’t know what to make of them all. One thing is for sure, this won’t be the last change.

If nothing else, they’ll be keeping pressed coffee on the menu. Here’s the press release with more enough spin to make you vomit.

January 29, 2015 – SLS Las Vegas today announced the Feb. 1 opening of Northside Cafe. With breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night menus inspired by Las Vegas’ classic coffee shops, Northside Cafe will be open 24/7 and serve as a property hub for SLS guests, players and locals alike.

Northside Cafe will occupy the centrally located space formerly home to The Griddle Cafe. Jodi Hortze, Founder and Owner of The Griddle Cafe, made the decision last year to close the restaurant and operate The Griddle Cafe brand in-house. Jodi added, “The unilateral decision to close The Griddle Cafe at SLS was a difficult one, but ultimately my focus is on growing the brand in new markets, operating as I have successfully for the past 15 years on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, California. Being part of SLS was a great learning experience, one I will always have with me.”

“We experienced great success with The Griddle Cafe and wish Jodi only the best as she grows her incredible brand in new locations,” said Scott Kreeger, President and COO, SLS Las Vegas. “With Northside Cafe, we’ve created a casual 24-hour dining concept that will serve as a gathering spot for locals and guests in the heart of our property.”

Northside Cafe will serve up generous portions of delicious, home-style comfort food made to order. Breakfast favorites will be available around the clock, in addition to salads, burgers, sandwiches, authentic street tacos, pastas, steak, and seafood—along with French-press coffee, fresh juices, and quality cocktails.

Coffee Tip: Order A Grande In A Venti Cup

Coffee Tip: Get a grande in a venti cup
Order a grande in a venti cup

I’m going to pass on one of the best tips I ever received in Vegas. I’ll never forget the moment I learned about getting a medium coffee (Grande) in a large coffee (Venti) cup. As an avid coffee drinker this changed my life forever. I even used this tip today!

I was wandering around the casino at Planet Hollywood way too late one night trying to drink a cup of coffee. As I was spilling the hot coffee I walked into a Starbucks employee who stopped to pass on a great coffee tip that I’ll never forget.

He said that I should order a Grande coffee in a Venti cup. 

The next cup of hot coffee I had that weekend was ordered that way and I’ve never looked back. In fact, I ordered my coffee that was this morning as I type this from a casino.

The extra room almost makes the cups stumble or wobble proof. Likewise you could also ask for extra room in your large coffee but why not save a few pennies?

May your future visits to the casino be without any burns from your coffee!

Photo: Flickr

PS: This is also a great tip for drinking hot coffee in your car.

Monopoly Luxury Diamonds Slot Machines By WMS Gaming

Monopoly Luxury Diamonds Slot Machine By WMS Gaming
Monopoly Luxury Diamonds Slot Machine

I saw this Monopoly Luxury Diamonds slot machine at G2E last year and was more impressed by the fact that it was a new take on an old school mechanical reel slot machine than by the gameplay itself. That’s not to say I didn’t like the game. This the kind of game I’d play in the morning over a cup of hot coffee. I was just impressed with WMS Gaming keeping the older type slot machine alive.

This is a line of slot machines that WMS Gaming is making for people not totally ready to move to video reels. I touched on the re-emergence of higher limit slot machines last year for Vegas ChatterMonopoly Luxury Diamonds will be available this summer.

What do you think?

The D Hotel Review

Bed At The D Hotel Las Vegas
Queen Bed at The D

I say often how much I enjoy gambling at The D but, until last week, I hadn’t stayed at the hotel or experienced more than the bars and gaming. My King room at The D is possibly the best $40 hotel room I’ve ever had. In fact, I’ve already made another reservation. You may have sensed my excitement for the room with my sharing of a 6 second tour right after my stay.

The photo tour will culminate with a 60 second video tour.

The D Hotel - King Room Entry

When I entered the room I could see that this was a large and clean room. Most of the rooms in Downtown Vegas are fairly small because the buildings are old. That wasn’t the case with this room in any way. The space in the sleeping area of this king room felt like as if it was converted from a room with two beds. The corner rooms are $10-$15 more per night and are supposedly larger if you like having extra room. I may have gotten lucky with a larger room but if they’re all this size I don’t see the need for an upgrade.

The D Hotel - King Room Bathroom

The bathroom is immediately to the left of the entry. There’s nothing fancy about the bathroom but it seems as if the renovations included new granite and glazing of the sink, toilet and tub. That’s a small touch that many inexpensive hotel room renovations (like the Fab room at Flamingo) should do because it makes the room look clean. Side note, I love the smell of the lotion that they use.

The D Hotel - King Room Seating Area

Looking past the bed all the way to the other end of the room is the seating area. The chairs are low profile and easy to move if you want to put your feet up or charge a device while using it. Wifi is $10 and if I wasn’t hungover the morning after I would have stayed in the room to do a little work. The room has a number of simple amenities to make The D stand out from the pack.

The D Hotel - King Room Lamp

The lamps at The D have outlets. With this being an older room there aren’t many outlets with easy access to charge phones, tablets or laptops. I had my laptop and phone with me and was able to charge both while using them whenever I wanted. This is another amenity that every hotel room should have. The only other room I’ve stayed in lately that has a similar feature was my suite at Encore.

One of the downsides of staying at The D is that there isn’t a quick serve coffee joint, like Starbucks. The D has that kinda covered.

The D Hotel - King Room Coffee

Few hotel rooms offer free coffee anymore but multiple cups of coffee for $2.50 isn’t bad. If you bring your own K-Cups you can make coffee for free. I have to remember that for next trip. Later I learned that you can get coffee to go from the coffee shop on the 2nd floor but it’s not very good.

The D Hotel - King Room Air Conditioning

One of the only problems I had with the room was with the air conditioning unit. It was an older style unit which actually cooled the air just fine. My issue with is was how loud it was. I could barely sleep with it on but I couldn’t sleep with it off. Next time I’ll have more vodka. Speaking of sleeping…

The D Hotel - King Room Bed

The bed was clean, firm and comfortable. The pillow situation was a little strange because they were all tiny. The pillows are somewhere between throw pillow sized (the red one) and normal pillows. Now that I think about it maybe the pillows are the reason I couldn’t sleep and not the air conditioning.

The D Las Vegas Hotel Room King View

Besides the super loud air conditioning unit the only real negative of the room at The D was the view. The view of the El Cortez and Fremont East area was obscured by the building wrap. This would be a big deal if I cared about a view but I don’t often sit by the window just looking out at a nice view.

Overall, I was impressed with the king room at The D. The renovations were nice and there was plenty of room with a lot of places to charge my mobile devices. Comparing apples to apples this is easily one of the nicest rooms I’ve had in downtown Vegas or anywhere for $40.

That said, it’s not a $200+ room at The Palazzo or Encore who’s rooms suites cost 5 times as much per night not including resort fee.

I forgot to take a picture of the TV but it had one of the best HD signals I’ve seen on a TV. The tour will culminate with a video of the entire room. Leave a comment if you have any specific questions.

The D King Room from East Coast Gambler on Vimeo.

I’ll Be Guest Starring on “High Rollers” Next Year

If you read my writing enough, you’ll know I love coffee and I go to coffee shops to write pretty often. A couple weeks ago I was craving a hazelnut latte and there’s only one place I’d get that from – Sambalatte.

Besides having the best coffee in Las Vegas, Sambalatte makes great flavored latte’s because they only gently flavor the drinks. Most places add too much syrup and overpower the latte. Of course, they’re usually trying to hide their mediocre coffee.

Sambalatte

Sorry to digress, I just love Sambalatte and encourage any coffee lover in Vegas to stay away. It’s small and crowded. I need my space. Seriously, you should go to Sambalatte…It’s awesome.

Back to “High Rollers”. I was writing up a couple entries for Get Vegas Apps when a TV crew walked into Sambalatte. They were hanging signs and warning customers that they would be shooting a reality TV show in a little while, so if we didn’t want to appear on the show we should leave.

The production crew didn’t know the name of the show, but said it would be like Real Housewives of Vegas. A little research showed me that the show would be called “High Rollers” and would feature poker pro Jenn Harmon and some rich broads.

I’ve been on TV before so I wasn’t bothered. At minimum I’m in the background of the deep conversation the show (photo above), but who knows. If you want to find me look for the guy in the NY Yankees hat when the show airs on TLC next year.

A Little East Coast Love Comes West

If you’re an east coaster like I am you are very familiar with Dunkin Donuts. Dunkin Donuts may have the word donut in the name, but they’re known for their coffee more, if not the same as the donuts.

The donuts may not be the best you’ll find in any city, but they’re usually passable. However, their coffee is smooth and not harsh like Starbucks. I like strong coffee, but I don’t necessarily like bitter coffee.

I love my coffee and when I want a simple, not complex cup I’ll head to one of three Dunkin Donuts in Las Vegas. I have about 15 closer coffee shops closer than The D (one of many nicknames), but none offer similar cups of coffee.

If you follow me on twitter you know may know that I live near the best coffee in Vegas, Sambalatte. Sambalatte is fantastic for a high quality brew, but it doesn’t offer the same experience that DD does.

Every cup of coffee tells its own story in its own way. Dunkin Donuts is like a big hug from my friends back east with a New York or New Jersey accent.

Dunkin Donuts has been growing a lot over the past few years. This week @DunkinDonutsLV launched and I immediately followed to keep up with my local Dunkin. While I was working Monday they hada twitter contest and I was lucky enough to be chosen as a winner!

Sprinkles, Dunkin Donuts Las Vegas’ mascot (above) paid me a visit and brought along with a box of donuts (below)….

Box of Dunkin Donuts
Box of Dunkin Donuts

and thermos of their new Black Cocoa Creme Iced Coffee (below).

Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee
Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee

I drank the entire thermos of coffee and almost ran through a wall. The Black Cocoa Creme Iced Coffee isn’t something I’d ever think to order, but it was awesome. It was like an iced mocha without the gnarly aftertaste you often get.

Dunkin Donuts has no idea that I have a blog or that I write as they found me on my personal twitter account where I rarely talk about my writing. I don’t care if they find out, but I’m not going to showboat that I spent 20 minutes writing about this experience.

Whatever the case may be, this gave me an excuse to talk a) about coffee and b) Dunkin Donuts. Two things I like…a bit too much.

PS: You can always feel free to donate $3 to my coffee fund so I can get all caffeinated.

Vegas Vacation Notes

I used to take notes when I went on trips to Atlantic City and even sometimes in Las Vegas but I haven’t done it in a while. Last week a friend was in town and I took notes and caught much of what I did. As always there are a couple holes in my memory, but that happens. I’ll be writing up most of the trip between AC2LV and Vegas Chatter.

The photo above is the view of CityCenter from my room at Planet Hollywood.

UPDATE: This story was retitled from the original “staycation”, because I hate that word.

Sat
Car broke
Harrahs Check in
Upgrade
Diamond Lounge 1 drink turns to 4
Room old, but nice
Diamond Lounge 1 drink turns to 3. Waiter remembers us.
Craps, down $97. Then $3 hard 6, $5 hard 6, $5 hard 6, $5 hard 6 out. Bets for the boys and shooter.
Cosmo packed.
QOTSA
Henry Sucked. Music Sucked. Biggest buzzkill.
Cab line 20-30 minutes.
Walked to PH, no cab line.

Sun
Coffee
.25 BP VP
Room
Coffee
BJ
Check in to PH
Room fine
Cochon – AWESOME
Chandelier Bar
Caesars Craps Lesson & VP
PH
ZZZZZZ

Mon
Room coffee bad
Drop car to be fixed
Coffee Bean – Hard chairs, slow wifi
Afternoon – something sober
Striphouse – good steak, spicy wine
Peepshow – Almost fell asleep
Drinks/VP @ Sportsbook bar – bad
Hangover slots – mesmerizing, but too much $$$
UPDATE: PH BJ, TX woman, Staying on 12, BAD JUJU, lose
Gigantic Sevens – awesome
Dragons Spinning – awesomer
Heinekin Light
ZZZZZZZZZ

Tues
Early rise
Room coffee still bad
Starbucks diamond line returns
Starbucks now has wifi
Afternoon – something sober
Diamond Lounge – Vegas Bomb, snacks
Caesars – Casa Fuente – cigars & sangria
Caesars – Drinks @ Lobby bar
Cosmo – Pizza, girl burp loud
Cosmo – Girls like shoes
PH – ZZZZZZZZ

Weds
Early rise
Room coffee – put in machine, forgot to make it
Starbucks – Alcove near mall – write
Lunch @ Holsteins – Cereal Bowl Shake, Mike Tyson, Roberto Duran
El Cortez – $3 single deck BJ, $5 Pai Gow, $3 Craps, Dudes on Don’t = jerks
3 bands playing
Four Queens 2-1 buffet
6:5 blackjack
penny 100 play video poker
back to PH
ZZZZZZZ

Thurs
Early rise
Room coffee – still nasty
Starbucks packed – TGFD!
Late Check out
Pack
In and Out
Airport
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