Sunday, April 5, 2009

Yummy, yummy food

I don't really have a lot of knitting news to share right now since I'm busy working in Lake Tahoe. I have tons of pictures to share with everyone but I won't be able to do that until I get back home. I have so much great stuff to share but it will have to wait until I get done with this tourney and the next one. However, I decided that I would share something with y'all. Inspired by one of my best friends ever, Val, I have compiled a list of my favorite places to eat around the country. I guess since I travel so much and I'm on the road right now I want to offer something that is relevant to my travels.

I will start in Las Vegas since that is where I started my journey as a professional traveling poker dealer. Now it is important to keep in mind that I have very few high-end restaurants and eateries on this list since those are not the type of places that I normally eat at. A few times I have been treated to some very special places but that only happens every once in a while. So here we go.

Las Vegas:
Roberto's- This is a great chain/fast food type place. There are mostly Mexican dishes but as per usual with Mexican and Italian and Chinese places they offer some "American" dishes like hamburgers and such. One of the reasons that this is on my list is that the food is very simple but well prepared. I am a huge fan of this process.

Sammy's Woodfired Pizza- Sammy's is a bar and restaurants. It is great because they have unique and fun food along with tradition items. It is also a chain but a semi-local chain. They have branches in Nevada, California, and maybe a couple of other states. Probably the best part is the "Tapas" because after I get off of work it is after 2am and during that time at Sammy's the tapas/appetizers are half priced. The bartends are always really cool here and the pizza is phenomenal. They have found all sorts of neat things to do with pizza and they are personal sized pizzas but are enough for two people if you both aren't super hungry.

P.F. Chang's- Or B.F. Wangs as my friends and I sometimes call it is one of my fave places to eat period. Another chain...I seem to be obsessed with this type of dining facilities. It is family style dining with an excellent menu. All of the dishes are very well prepared and super delicious. I always look forward to a meal at P.F. Chang's. When you go you absolutely have to eat the chicken lettuce wraps and try the mini desserts that come in shot glasses.

Edit: Mushasi's- This has to be one of the best restaraunts in the universe. Seriously any of you that EVER go to Vegas must try this place out. It is on Paradise and Corporate. It is a Japanese grill so the food is prepared right in front of you. There is even some entertainment and fire used in the preparing of the food. Between midnight at 3am there is a half-priced menu for food. Ridiculous! The food is some of the yummiest that I have ever had. The owner/head chef is named Tiger and he is hilarious. He makes everyone feel welcome and laugh the whole time. Some of the greatest food ever...seriously. Please go and tell Tiger I said hello and I miss his cooking and him. :)

Seattle, Washington:
Buca di Beppo's- The first time I went to Seattle with two of my greatest friends we ate here because one of said friends used to work at a Bucas. He is a chef and an amazing one at that. Anyhow this is another chain, and another family style dining place. This place barely makes the list because I am so damn picky about Italian food. There is a simple explanation for this...nobody makes it like Grandma used to.
There is another place that I really like to eat at in Seattle but I have no idea what it is called. I will do a little research and get back to you.

Oregon Coast:
Mo's- A semi-local chain with literally the best clam chowder and chili bowls on the planet. I actually did not start eating clam chower until I had it here a couple of year's ago. It is also a fun place to eat because it is usually right on the water and they have a neat gift shop area.

The Seaside Candyman- This isn't exactly a restaurant but they have really awesome Salt Water Taffy. And if you got to the Oregon coast you absolutely cannot leave without trying some. It is one of the greatest candies on the planet. It is also just a fun store to go in and look around in. There is a lot of specialty candies and things that one might remember from childhood but can't find anywhere else.

Reno, Nevada:
Claim Jumpers- Basically everything here is home-cooked type stuff but it is very well prepared and there is a little mix of fine-dining thrown in there. They try some really fun stuff with the sauces and flavoring in the most traditional American family meals. Things like baked potatoes, turkey dinner, meatloaf, various roasted chicken dinners, and mac and cheese. There is also a good selection of fabulous desserts.

Chicago, Illinois:
Blackbird- This is my first experience at very fancy fine-dining establishment. The service was unique to only these type of restaurant and the experience itself was something new and different. The food is French-inspired but it is also fairly progressive and was the first time that I have eaten French food and it was great. I think my fave part of this experience was the wrap that they gave me when I went outside to smoke. It was so fabulous I considered stealing it, but of course I don't do that. It was a cashmere D&G wrap that was so soft and comfortable that I kind of felt like I was on a cloud in heaven.

Biloxi, Mississippi:
Waffle House- I had only heard stories of Waffle House and when I finally got the opportunity to go down South for the first time I had to try it for myself. It is amazing. One of my favorite places to eat on the planet. All of the food is very simple and traditional but is exceptionally prepared. Most of the stuff is breakfast stuff but they also have steak and things like that for lunch/dinner. I ate here almost everyday when I was in Biloxi.

Cracker Barrel- Very similar to Claim Jumpers only they aren't as creative with the dishes and they also have a neat gift shop area to check out after eating with all sorts of fun and unique gifts.

Lake Tahoe, Nevada/California:
Rigoerto's- Pretty much just like Roberto's only there is only one and it is right here in Lake Tahoe.

Wolfgang Puck Express- I did not know such a place existed. This is what I had for lunch today and it was great. Again it was everything I want out of a restaurant. It is kind of a fast food place because it isn't a sit-down restaurant. You order at the register and get your food yourself when it is ready. All the dishes are traditional Italian and American dishes with Wolfgang's fine dining flair. I had a penne pasta with ham and goat cheese that was super awesome.

As you can plainly see I love food and love to try new things. There are a lot of places out there to eat that I may or may not have heard of that I have always wanted to try. Traveling as much as I do and to as many places as I go to affords me the chance to do just this. I didn't used to think I was such a small-town, country girl until I started discovering all of this great food that is out there that most other people already know about.