Tree Story Bakery & Cafe

Pumpkin Twist

Yeasty goodness swirled with pumpkin and plenty of spice, it’s a bit like a cinnamon bun with spiced pumpkin filling in for the cinnamon swirl.  And, the toasted pumpkin seeds and almond slivers encrust every inch of the top of this tasty treat.  We both loved it.

The Chestnut Loaf

Normally, Christmas morning in our house means thick slices of panettone stuffed with loads of candied chestnuts and cappuccino for breakfast.  It’s our favorite tradition.  This year Christmas rushed into town in a wildly busy haze.  So, we forgot to buy our yearly tin.  This was a lovely (yet lighter and leaner) substitute.  We’d definitely make this substitution again in a pinch.  Turkey sandwich material?  Oh yeah, the sandwiches were delicious.  But, they were a bit on the messy side.  Chestnuts, chestnuts everywhere…

Baby Buttons

Stuffed with sweet bean paste, these were devoured posthaste.

Tree Story Bakery & Cafe
2550 Pleasant Hill Road
#415
Duluth, GA 30096
678 584 0000

Dos Madres Cantina

Guacamole & Chips

Salsa, Too

Baja Pescado

Beer (Three Taverns Brewery, Prince of Pilsen Pilsner) battered fish, freshly creamed sweet corn with roasted poblano peppers and goat cheese, and a small mountain of jalapeño slaw generously filled both of our plates.  Piping hot out of the fryer, the beer batter was crisp, yet delicate and airy light.

Late Lunch, Very Quiet

Dos Madres Cantina
340 West Ponce De Leon Avenue
Decatur, GA 30030
404 687 0663

Las Vegas — Neon Boneyard Park

The Neon Boneyard Park

The Duck Greets You

And, Neon Art Follows

We will visit again and again.  Not just for the neon art.  But, also, for the stories…

Every guide spins their own narrative about the signs and their history.  And, these stories rich with history are just as mesmerizing as the glowing neon art.  For the nighttime tours, the signs are lit.  Without a doubt, we’ll be doing that next time.

Exit Through The Gift Shop

Actually, you enter and exit through the gift shop.  And, you’ll be tempted to buy at least a t-shirt or two.  We left with a couple Ugly Duckling t-shirts.

One Grey…

…And One Blue

Loved it!

And, we love our shirts, too!

The Neon Museum
770 Las Vegas Boulevard North
Las Vegas, NV  89101
702 387 6366

Las Vegas — Serendipity 3

Sin City Frozzen Hot Chocolate

Even for two to share, this is pretty ginormous.

Sin City Frozzen Hot Chocolate
AKA Sin City FroHo
(AKA Frozzen Hot Chocolate Plus Liqueur Of Your Choice)

We chose Amaretto.  And, we’re pretty sure they added even more Amaretto into the hot chocolate, too.  We left very happy each morning.

Do we feel guilty adding a dessert to breakfast? Nah, we didn’t do it EVERY day of our vacation… only every other day.

Crab Cake Benedict

Each crab cake was loaded with big chunks of gorgeously sweet crab.

The Chocolaccino

What’s a Chocolaccino?  Well, you add a small handful of chocolate shards to a mochaccino.  And, no, we didn’t count this as breakfast dessert number 2.  Though, in retrospect, we probably should have.

Oh well…

Wagyu Benedict

This was someone’s favorite.

Take one poached egg.  Toss it in corn meal and deep fried it.  Then, place it on top of one beefy rich, delicious burger and add crispy bacon strips.  Then, top that with both hollandaise and country gravy.  It’s dangerously delicious.

So was this…

The Chocolaccino With Chocolate Coffee Beans

On this day, they added espresso chocolates in the shape of coffee beans to the Chocolaccino.  So, yeah, we should probably be counting this as a dessert.  More hot chocolate than coffee, but, it was seriously delicious.  Loved it!  Several espresso chocolates fell to the bottom of the cup.  That made for several deep dark hot chocolate sips at the bottom.  In a word, those sips were heavenly.

Another day, another Sin City FroHo…

On this day, they blended all of the Amaretto into the hot chocolate.  And, they were clearly very generous with it.

Fried Eggs Benedict

Poached eggs, deep fried with a biscuit and country gravy dotted with breakfast sausage pieces.

To say that thee staff at Serendipity’s is friendly would be an extreme understatement.   They’re SUPER friendly and incredibly sincere in their desire to make your visit special.  And, from our experience, they really went out of their way to remember all of their guests and their needs.  (We were probably labeled the “day drinkers”.)

One day, we ordered the s’more hot chocolate.  They were out of marshmallows.  So, they whipped up a warm marshmallow sauce “fondue” to make up for it.  So sweet…

Good food… and a really fun way to start a vacation day.

Before 10am, everything was very quiet.

Sin City Frozen Hot Chocolate

(Psst, it’s hidden in the cocktail menu.)

Brunch Every Morning

We accomplished something in Vegas.  We ate every type of Eggs Benedict on the Serendipity Brunch menu.  Yay!! What do we win?  Oh yeah, a few hundred extra miles on the treadmill.

Drugstore Sundaes

It really was divine.

Serendipity 3

Loved it!

Serendipity 3
(Ceasars Palace)
3570 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
877 346 4642

Right in front of Caesars Palace, just follow the marble (and faux marble) sculpture trail out front.

Las Vegas — Ramen Sora

Deluxe Sora Ramen

Incredibly tender pork and rich miso broth, this was divine.

And…

Screaming For Vengence

We devoured every fiery hot bite.  And, Loved It!!
(The chashu was partially hidden at the top of the bowl by the spicy pork.  That spicy meat was chock full of red hot pepper slices.  Just look at all those red slivers hiding in there.)

Sake & Kirin

Less than a dozen tables, all were full upon our arrival.  The smart bet says wait.  So, happily, we did.  About 15 minutes later, we were ready to order.

Mmhmm, Screaming For Vengence, you’ll want to handle it.

This sugar free green tea helped to fan the flame.

Did we mention that we love Ramen Sora?  On our next visit, this will be a mandatory stop.

Ramen Sora, Loved it!!

Ramen Sora
4490 Spring Mountain Road
Las Vegas, NV  89102
702 685 1011

Las Vegas — Pink’s Hot Dogs

The Showgirl Dog

Relish, Tomatoes, Onion, Sour Cream, Bacon, & Sauerkraut

Yeah, we know… it’s a weird and unique combination.

Surprisingly, this was the best of the Pink’s Hot Dog bunch.  (To clarify, we mean out of the hot dogs that we tasted.)  We would never guess that you could put sour cream and sauerkraut on the same hot dog.  And, magically, that hot dog would somehow be edible.

We threw about half of polish sausages (see below) away.  Yet, we were fighting for the last bite of this strange hot dog.  We believe the (thankfully) light handed use of the sauerkraut was key to the success of this hot dog.  And, it was the only light handed use of any of the Pink’s hot dog toppings.

All of the toppings are used excessively.  It’s their thing… their gimmick.  But, it’s definitely not our thing.  More does not equal better!

The Planet Hollywood Dog

Polish Sausage, Bacon, Nacho Cheese Sauce, Grilled Onions, & Grilled Mushrooms

Not bad, but, we’re not fans of Pink’s Polish Sausage.  The flavor was… off.  And, the sausage itself was unpleasantly chewy (as if it had been simmering in water for some time… quite some time).

The Vegas Strip Dog

Two dogs, Chili, Nacho Cheese Sauce, Gaucamole, Onions, Mustard & Jalapeños

This one was “ok” as a novelty.  But, the bun was very soggy under all of that chili.  And, who needs more than one hot dog per bun?

The Spicy Mohave Dog

Polish Sausage, Nacho Cheese, Gaucamole, Tomatoes, & Jalapeños

Eh, another overcooked polish sausage… Two or three bites in, this hit the trash.

The Fries?

They were worse than horrible.  What’s a word for that?  Let’s go with inedible.  Imagine, if you will, the type of crinkle cut fry that comes straight out of a freezer bag.  To add insult to injury, these were barely cooked, gritty textured in the center and cold.

Cost per dog?  $7 – $9

The above meal was about $43.  And, it was easily our least favorite meal in Vegas.

…by far

We’re not fans.

Pink’s Hot Dogs

Las Vegas — Grand Canyon Road Trip

The Grand Canyon At Sunset

Now, that’s a view.

Priceless and unforgettable, it’s just not possible for a picture to capture the true beauty.

Earlier in the day…

Las Vegas — Max’s And Mt Zion National Park

Max’s Restaurant
Cuisine of the Philippines

Lechon Kawali

Deep Fried Pork Belly With Liver Sauce

Kare-Kare

Beef Shank & Oxtail Stew In Peanut Sauce With Shrimp Paste

Halo-Halo & Buko Pandan (In Back)

Halo-Halo

This classic Filipino dessert tops shaved ice with assorted fruit preserves, flan, two types of beans, condensed milk, young coconut slivers, gelatin, rice flakes, and Ube (purple yam ice cream).

Buko Pandan

Macapuno (coconut) ice cream scoops blend with pandan (screwpine) leaf gelatin, shaved young coconut, tapioca, and cream sauce with sweetened condensed milk.

Loved it!!  We could eat this every day.

So much good food in Vegas…

But, we’ll never forget Max’s!

Max’s Restaurant
Cuisine Of The Philippines
1290 East Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, NV 89119
702 433 4554

Road Trip

 

In the mood for a flashback in time?  Visit the Hoover Dam.

If not, skip it!

But, DO NOT SKIP Mt Zion:

Las Vegas — Thai Noodle House & The Random

Just a short drive away…

Thai Style Noodle House’s Pad Ped Red Snapper

Full of big pieces of deep fried snapper…

And Duck Fried Rice

…with big slices of tender duck

Thai Style Noodle House
3516 Wynn Road
Las Vegas, NV  89103
702 873 8943

Retro Vegas — One On A Small Strip Of Antique Shops

Five minutes off the strip you could be in any sunny town, USA, if not for all the neon.

Then, back to the surreal…

Complete With Holiday Lights & Tree

Isn’t the entire city one big gift shop and adult playground?

Fake Sky

Real Sky, No Color Correction

…just beautiful

Wicked Spoon & Red Rock

We aren’t the only ones here.  It only looks that way.  Like most things in Las Vegas, this place is huge.

Eggs Benedict With Beef Hash

A nicely cooked egg makes everything look better.

Croque Madame

Chestnut Risotto

Roasted Marrow Bones

Deep roasted, rich and buttery, it was sinful.

Pork Belly With Sweet & Spicy Grilled Peppers

The yellow and orange peppers were sweet.  The red peppers were spicy.  They were all delicious.  And, the cured pork belly was meltingly tender.

Wicked Berry Smoothie

(Today’s flavor:  Blueberry, Mint, Mango, & Banana)

In a word, it was divine.

Sidenote:  This is the point in the meal where we should have been rolled out the door.  Instead, we wandered around and oogled the food.

Smoked Salmon with Capers, Egg & Flower Petals

Salad With Quail Egg, Tuna, Peppers, Radish & Tomato

Salad With White Anchovy Fillet

BLT Cone With Pesto & Roasted Tomato Jam

Crispy Pork Belly

Spice Rubbed Brisket

House Cured Pork Belly Slabs

House Made Sausage

Roasted Sweet & Spicy Peppers

Fresh Orange, Honey, Mint, Pistachio, and Chocolate Slivers

Goat Cheese Mousse With Wine Soaked Pears & Candy Brittle

Greek Yogurt With Granola & Berries

Apple Donuts

Assorted Cookies

Cherry Tarts

Nutella Tart

Pear Custard Tartlets

Chocolate Tart With Raspberry Gelee

Then, it happened.  We spotted the gelatos & sorbets.

The nice man behind the counter will tempt you with a taste.

“Have a little taste.”

Strawberry Gelato With Greek Yogurt & A Balsamic Reduction

As you can imagine, it was rich, creamy and delicious with an absolutely perfect pop of delicate acid.  We loved it.

And, the next thing we know…

We’re sent off with one tray full of “tastes”

Wild Berry In Front, Orange Blossom In Back

We instantly fell in love with both of these.

Berry Sorbet Perfection!

And…

Freshly Made Doughnut Filled With Chocolate Hazelnut Cream

When we say freshly made, we mean it was still warm.

Warm Chocolate Hazelnut Cream = Heaven On A Plate

Wicked Spoon

The Other Buffet Worth Visting In Las Vegas:

Bacchanal

Have you just consumed an insane number of calories?

Go immediately to Red Rock.  Do not take a nap.

The View From The Visitor’s Center

“Hey, look at that.  Those little dots are rock climbers.”

It’s like another world.