Local Eats: Baguette Cafe

Baguette Cafe
Trio of bites for lunch at Baguette Cafe

I cover mostly touristy parts of Las Vegas for work. I started Local Eats to write about restaurants around Las Vegas that are away from the Vegas Strip. Most of these restaurants are on the west side of town since that’s where I live. The majority of the restaurants and cafe’s are new to me since I don’t eat out around here often.

Since visiting Baguette Cafe I’ve learned that this unassuming French cafe in an office plaza is one of the hidden gems in Las Vegas. Somehow, the name never made it to me until this summer. The cafe wasn’t easy to find as both Google and Apple maps took me to different entrances to the office plaza.

I was invited to lunch by two people who looooooove Baguette Cafe so I let them order. We shared an eggplant curry sandwich, prosciutto sandwich, and a veggie Quiche. I would never have ordered any of these items but I’m always up for a new experience. Everything we ate was very good. Like very good.

This was my first time eating Quiche. The veggie version was delicious and probably the best thing I ate at Baguette Cafe. Veggies usually turn me off but I tasted some kind of smokiness in the eggs and it was fantastic.

The prosciutto sandwich was also very good. This is the lone item I might order on my own. I’d add from fresh mozzarella and a little olive oil but that’s my personal taste. The star of this sandwich was actually the delicious bread. I think a dab of oil would have made me flip the table over with exuberance. It’s probably a good thing it was a dry sandwich for this lunch.

The biggest surprise was the eggplant curry. This sandwich was also very good but it had a weird effect on me. I enjoyed the little piece we shared but I’d never order a full sandwich. Curry is just not a flavor I crave.

I’ve never heard of curry on a sandwich before. I appreciated the unique option to eat curry. The curry sauce helped to highlight the delicious bread. If you like curry, you must try one of these sandwiches.

Overall, I really enjoyed Baguette Cafe. The “problem” here is that it gets so busy at noon when the office buildings unleash the masses for lunch. Thankfully, the wise Baguette Cafe veterans knew this and set an early lunch time so we had a table and didn’t wait for food. I’d stop here if I’m in the area looking for an early lunch or early dinner during the week.

I’d stop at Baguette Cafe again if I’m in the area looking for an early lunch or early dinner during the week. It seems as though are many very good French bakeries on the west side of Las Vegas. Nothing wrong with that.

Baguette Cafe is at 8359 West Sunset Road.

Visit baguettecafelv.com for more information.

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: Happy Hour At Hawthorn Grill

Happy Hour At Hawthorn Grill
Happy Hour At Hawthorn Grill

Hawthorn Grill is located inside the J.W. Marriott in Summerlin. The hotel is attached to Rampart Casino through a hallway but technically the buildings are separate. This is a relatively new high-end steakhouse that opened earlier this year.

The restaurant prices are appropriate for fine dining in the area. It’s expensive but not out of line. However, the food and drinks on the bar menu (select bar & lounge) are 50% off for Happy Hour.

The burger was a perfectly cooked medium. It was juicy and flavorful. The fries were surprisingly good although I wouldn’t add the mojito sauce next time. Overall, this meal is probably worth $15.

Forget that, the burger and fries were only $7.50. That wasn’t even the best part of Happy Hour at Hawthorn Grill.

I seriously might use Uber or Lyft the next time I visit Hawthorn Grill. Many of their signature cocktails and beer are 50% off. Paying $3-$4 for a Fat Tire or Stone Pale Ale is good but 50% off a $13 Chimay is a great deal. I love beer from Belgium and this Trappist Ale was perfect on a hot day.

$10 for a Happy Hour dinner of a beer, burger, and fries is an excellent deal. Being able to upgrade the experience with a Chimay for a few more bucks is great. I’ll definitely be back and odds are good that I’ll be drinking a few beers this time.

 

Downtown Vegas Is Taking Me Away From Casinos And I Don’t Like It

Outside Of The Fremont Street Experience Downtown Las Vegas
Outside Of The Fremont Street Experience

It’s funny, gamblers always say that the Vegas Strip can learn something about keeping gamblers in their casino by offering better odds like Downtown Vegas casinos. I think it may be the other way around. Maybe the Downtown Vegas casinos need to improve their bars and restaurants like their counterparts on the Vegas Strip to keep gamblers like me happy.

A couple of weeks ago I spent a day and night in Downtown Vegas. I stayed at the Fremont Hotel because they always offer low room rates and no resort fee. My hotel room for the night was $32 after taxes. Not bad.

I went into this day away with no plan. My solo trips to Downtown Vegas have always been similar to someone going on a bender. I’d eat, drink and gamble way too much for a 24 hour period. This time my night in Downtown Vegas was different. I had a great time but it was a different kind of great time.

If you read this blog last week you saw daily updates of where I spent my time in Downtown Vegas.

  • I had a beer and chicken parm sliders for dinner at Triple George.
  • I grabbed a few beers and had some fun conversation at Nacho Daddy.
  • I had a flight of beer and then some at Banger Brewing.

Wow, I drank a lot of beer. There’s one thing missing from my night in Downtown Vegas. I hardly spent time in a casino and I barely gambled! This is very unlike me and I reflected on this on my drive back home to the burbs.

The casinos on the Vegas Strip are re-inventing themselves with new restaurantsbars and clubs to keep you on their property. My visits to the Vegas Strip haven’t changed. New restaurants and bars draw me to casinos on the Vegas Strip where I’ll inevitably end up gambling a little.

Eat, Drink, Gamble in one place – that’s my kind of fun. Let’s go back to Downtown Vegas.

Most of the new bars and restaurants are outside of the Downtown Vegas casinos. When I’m eating a great burger and drinking great beer at Pizza Rock there isn’t anything that says that I must go back out to the casino and gamble. The casinos in Downtown Vegas feel as though they’re becoming less relevant to me. They’re out of sight while I’m having fun eating and drinking and that puts them on the back burner.

Besides Andiamo Steakhouse at The D and Du-Pars at Golden Gate there really isn’t a restaurant destination inside of a Downtown Vegas casino that I feel like I ever need to visit. On the flip side every bar and restaurant I visited on my last trip to Downtown Vegas will be visited again.

As Downtown Vegas continues to re-invent itself the casinos may need to take note from the Golden Nugget and refresh their restaurants and bars every couple of years to keep old customers like me and attract new customers.

Many of my favorite casinos to gamble are in Downtown Vegas so it’s not like I’ll be avoiding the casinos there but I will certainly spend less money in those casinos when there are better bars and restaurants a short walk away.

It’s funny, gamblers always say that the Vegas Strip can learn something about keeping gamblers in their casino by offering better odds like Downtown Vegas. I think it may be the other way around. Maybe the Downtown Vegas casinos need to improve their bars and restaurants like their counterparts on the Vegas Strip to keep gamblers like me happy.