Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Vegan in Vegas - starting 2014 off right!

So I've neglected this blog too much, and I would like to start the new year off on the right foot by getting back in the swing of it. Not only do I love reading other blogs (I still read my faves everyday though don't post my own...) but I love having Vegan Gal as my home for everything I've done vegan and sometimes not vegan-related since way back when.

Although 2013 has been an amazing vegan-filled year, there is one trip that I have been wanting to post the most. Jason & I celebrated his 30th birthday in Las Vegas in June and we had a complete blast. Not only with all of the fun lights, atmosphere, and being cheap gamblers, but all of the fantastic vegan food!

We stayed at the Stratosphere - which was a bit far down the strip but had the best views! Here is a view from the top which we had access to since we were staying there:  photo IMG_1192_zpse78501dd.jpg

We had no complaints at all about staying at the Stratosphere - we spent a couple days in the afternoon lounging around the pool, which wasn't too crazy-crowded. The rooms were comfortable, and they had a Starbucks and a Deal or no Deal game there! It was a good bit to walk to the other casinos, which we did sometimes when it wasn't too hot in the evenings (during the day it reached 112 degrees!) but the bus pass was super cheap and very easy to use!

We arrived in Vegas on Jason's birthday, and I made a reservation at the Wynn's Sinatra restaurant that evening. The owner of Wynne and Encore has vegan menus in all of his restaurants, so this made it super easy to find something delicious to eat.
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The menu had many options to choose from..but I wanted to go with something that we didn't typically make at home.
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I was excited that the waiter let us know the breads that were vegan and came with a separate vegan butter!  photo IMG_1156_zpse70c272d.jpg
I started with a vegan caesar salad - I miss caesar salad a lot so this was a great treat.
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For my entree I chose the Agnolotti - pretty much ravioli with an amazing pesto sauce.. so good! We were actually too full for dessert that night...but we made up for it the next morning :)

No trip to Las Vegas is complete without a stop at Ronald's Donuts. I had read reviews of this place online and knew that we had to make a stop. Boston Creme donuts were my absolute favorite prior to being vegan, and I remember eating them with my family from Dunkin Donuts when my grandparents would visit. Vegan Treats, about an hour away from us in PA has them, but that isn't always convenient so I was excited to make donuts a part of our trip!
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We had to take a cab from our hotel to get there, since it is in the Vegas "Chinatown" but it was well worth the trek!

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Donuts! It was tough to make a decision.. we both ended up with bostom crème donuts and split an apple fritter.

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Just look at that crème!! I've been dreaming of going back for this :)
Another night we made a long walk to Bar + Bistro @ The Arts Factory (in a pretty sketchy area off the strip - I HIGHLY recommend not doing this and getting a cab instead..we didn't feel too safe). This place was vegan friendly and had a great relaxed atmosphere, as opposed to the restaurants on the strip.  photo IMG_1194_zpsd936f9c7.jpg
The menu had many things to choose from, and we chose a few of the tapas to split so we could try a bunch!
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These were the Grilled Vegan Tacos. The sauces and condiments that came with them were great and all tasted wonderful together!
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These are the Vegan Tempura Alcachofa - which was artichoke hearts fried tempura style with a sweet chili sauce. I have a hit or miss relationship with artichokes and their hearts..but this was a hit! I really enjoyed these and the crispy-ness was perfect. :)
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Although we have an awesome vegan cheese pizza place near us in PA, The crispy crust and gooey vegan cheese pizza was just calling my name here! This is the Vegan Margherita pizza - which had tomato, vegan mozzarella (I think it was Daiya) and Thai basil. So delish!
I would absolutely go back to Bar + Bistro for some vegan small plates- they had so many more options I would love to try! Definitely make the trek out there, but take a cab if you're not near Fremont street! :)
For our last dinner in Vegas, we found another restaurant off the strip (but took a cab this time!) - Komol, which is a vegetarian Thai restaurant.
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We started with the Fresh Spring Rolls with Soy Chicken & Vegetables - these were very light and fresh! We really enjoyed the sauce that came with them as well.
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For my entrée - I had the Sweet and Sour Tofu Chinese Style - which had fried tofu with sweet and sour sauce, onion, bell pepper, and pineapple! Jason went for the curry menu and ordered Vegetarian Panang. Both of our entrees were great and we'd definitely go back again when in Vegas!
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I liked all of the vegan friendly articles and posters around the restaurant as well!
We had a blast going from casino to casino and taking in all of the views and different areas. My favorite may have been the Cosmopolitan - just for the name and the beauty of the décor! Here is a photo of me in front of the awesome chandelier bar!  photo IMG_1226_zps2d8125f1.jpg On our final day, we had a 2:30PM flight - so I made a reservation at another Wynne restaurant for brunch at 11:30 before we made our way to the airport- Tableau.
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The menu looked great - we started with some mimosas while looking over the menu. Eggs benedict was something I've never actually tried - so I was excited to try a vegan version!
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These were amazing! English muffins topped with vegan sausage and tofu scramble with a vegan benedict sauce. I want to recreate this at home - so good!!
We both had an amazing few days in Vegas - and luckily we may be going back due to a work trip Jason has in March...I have my fingers crossed!!  photo IMG_1222_zpsba94c3a2.jpg


Bianca said...

Wow! So much vegan food in Vegas!! I might be going there this coming October, and if I do, I will definitely refer back to this post for ideas on where to eat!

Theresa said...

Happy 2014, Lauren! Who knew Vegas would be so vegan friendly? It all looks amazing - what a great getaway.