Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Eat: Bouchon Bakery & Holsteins in Las Vegas

This is the last installment of my Las Vegas food posts. The best for last, as they say. Well, the best food anyway, not necessarily the best post. I make no promises about this post.

So, let's see. Our Saturday in Vegas started with a second helping of Wicked Spoon yumminess. As you already know I give it two thumbs up; any breakfast that ends in macarons is A-OKAY in my book. Thanks to the occasional nibble (Krispy Kreme!) and nosh (Cupcakery!) here and there throughout the day we didn't end up having lunch, which seemed like a good idea at the time. We already had a reservation at  Sirio for dinner so we were trying to eat light so as not to jeopardize yet another dinner reservation. But as luck would have it (sigh...) I developed a migraine aura somewhere between Harrahs and the Venetian casino. A flicker of light just so in my eye and the damage was done. I realize now that the conditions for a migraine were pretty optimal; time zone change, sleep disruption, travel stress, meal time & quantity change, alcohol & caffeine levels, etc. With great disappointment I took my migraine medication within a couple minutes of recognizing the symptoms, knowing full well that the meds have some yucky symptoms of their own. Marc sat with me in the Venetian shopping area (along the canal, a pretty romantic place for a migraine!) until the aura and vision problems mostly subsided. Knowing how sick I was going to be over the next few hours, we decided to cancel dinner and head back to the hotel. But know this...despite my debilitating migraine aura, I spotted a sign for Bouchon Bakery as we were leaving. Even with a migraine aura in force and a headache coming on, I made us pit stop (with Marc leading me by my elbow as I could barely see) to pick up a box of macarons to go. That's how much I love them!

Hello Lover

Cancelling the reservation was disappointing, to be sure. It was touch and go as to whether or not I would throw up in the cab on the ride back to our hotel, so I guess it was the right decision. I'm glad to say I managed to keep it together. When we arrived at the hotel I stripped down to my underwear mid stride en route to the bed and burrowed myself into the massive hotel pillows for the next three hours. The lights were out and the pillows were placed just 'so' on my face to minimize pressure and yet I still felt every sound, smell and bright light that occurred over the next few hours. That's the way it is with migraines; every sense in your body is amplified to painful proportions. I felt a bit better knowing that Marc could take the opportunity to hang out in the casino, so at least he wasn't completely put out. At 8pm or so he came to check in on me but I was still feeling queasy and weak so he went back to the casino and I continued to drift in and out of sleep. About an hour or so later I made a decision to get up otherwise I would never sleep though the night. I started to nurse my way through a cold bottle of water while watching Extra Virgin on the Cooking Channel and by the time Marc came back after 10pm I was actually doing a lot better. Which is remarkable when you know what having a migraine can be like! I was starved and nauseous all at once (a bad combination) so Marc offered to go down to a restaurant in our hotel called Holsteins and pick up something for us to eat rather than paying the exorbitant price for room service.

When he came back with this huge bag of food it was like manna from heaven. It's a weird feeling to be starved and queasy at the same time. I ended up shovelling food into my mouth in bursts and then sitting back for extended periods of time to wait out the queasiness. Marc brought us back a veritable feast of tasty nom noms from Holsteins. We ended up with the Korean hot dogs (pork belly wrapped dog, kimchee, kalbi glaze & chili mayo), fried pickles & herb caper mayo, southern fried chicken fingers with a buttermilk dip, the Hen House burger with a fried egg on top and french fries. It was a food orgy. Everything was delicious! The pickles were astounding; I have no idea how they get that batter to adhere to the pickle but it was perfectly coated. It was fatty/tangy perfection. The chicken was also battered perfectly, and the meat was moist. It went really well with the buttermilk dressing. The fries were to my level of saltiness, can't complain. I didn't really want to try the Korean hot dog because Kimchee is not my thing but I'm glad Marc convinced me to give it a shot. The chewy pop of the hot dog exterior, the steamy pillowiness of the bun and the different sauces combined to create a textural delight. Seriously, it was Barry White voiceover kind of good. I didn't try the burger because I just physically couldn't ingest any more but suffice to say, I flipped out over the food.

Dill Pickle POWER!!!

The macarons made it through the trip home the next day. They were a tad stale but that was most likely due to being stored at room temperature and such for over 48 hours. Despite that, they were quite tasty. I think I still prefer Point G Macaron and La Maison du Macaron in Montreal but that probably has more to do with freshness than flavour.

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