Dispatches From The iPhone: The Food Situation in Vegas

The food situation in Las Vegas is…strange. The food opportunities range from the highest quality at outrageous prices to the lowest quality at even more absurd prices for what you are actually getting. As an example, while at the NCTE conference this morning, I had two options: a Starbuck’s latte and cherry danish for $10 or the MGM Grand Champagne brunch buffet for $25. I don’t know about you, but part of Vegas is supposed to be the bad, cheap buffet, so I figured that despite my figure and the fact that I had a luncheon in two hours time that I would go for the buffet and try to make the best of it.

What did I get for $25? Three flutes of terrible sparkling wine (ummm not so bad that I did not drink three of them), a coffee, and two plates of food that I tried to make as healthy as possible. Yes, there is bacon and fried chicken on my plate, but it is on a bed of Israeli couscous with figs, a side of broccoli and a bit of hummus. On my other plate I had a bit of fried tilapia, another piece of chicken and a blue potato salad…but I did not eat most of that plate. Still, compared to the Starbucks option, I think I did pretty well.

What else have I eaten? One hamburger a night at the Grand Lux Cafe. What? Yes, I decided that the best way to enjoy myself in Vegas was to find a place that I liked in the hotel and just frequent there. The Grand Lux is a simple bar that produces the highest quality burgers for the best price ratio. For a mere $13 I have been getting a solid chipotle avocado burger that may well be the tastiest burger I have ever had. I may be missing the cuisines of Emeril, Mario, Flay, Keller and others, but I have eaten their food at their flagships in New York, Napa and New Orleans; nothing more to build on there. Plus, the cost of a meal at one of their Vegas spots is clearly for high rollers and honeymoon couples.

The real challenge is to make sure that I do not gain weight during my stay. I have been working really hard to exercise, eat well and take care of myself these days. Perhaps it is because I feel like there is so much more to live for these days, perhaps I just like the way I have been feeling. Either way, I feel pretty solid, and have been at the gym, the pool and am walking a couple of hours a day. One more day until I hit home, and I am so looking forward to getting back; that should say something to anyone who knows me. It certainly tells me volumes.

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