(Catching up on some travel posts– a local review tomorrow!)
I am generally not someone who “ooohs” and “aahs” over Food Network television programming, these days. Despite the recent Guy Fieri furor, I miss the days of David Rosengarten, when Emeril wasn’t a caricature, when Bobby Flay just grilled, and Rachael Ray didn’t exist. Oh, for the good old days! However, in Vegas, it’s hard NOT to go to a Food Network Star’s restaurant, if you’re staying in one of the big casinos (so far, we’ve been spared a Paula Deen restaurant on the strip, but they’re popular in Harrah’s regional casinos). On a trip in November, we stayed in Caesar’s Palace (which is lovely and rather central, which is helpful) and Terry and I did brunch at Mesa Grille on Sunday, as we had quite a bit of time to kill before our redeye home.
First things first: brunch must involve alcohol of some kind, and a margarita isn’t a terrible way to do it. Theirs are good, taste fresh, and pack a bit too much of a punch for a breakfast drink, but I’m not complaining. It is Vegas after all; you’re allowed a margarita for breakfast.
To soak up the margarita, they brought an excellent basket of assorted breads: biscuits, a blueberry coffee cake, a raisin-nut muffin and a piece of jalapeno cornbread. It was a nice assortment– something that could appeal to everyone.
I got a Southwest-style eggs Benedict. Poached egg, green chili hollandaise, and sweet potato hash– much better than the “traditional” with ham, egg, and an English muffin. It’s one of the best interpretations of Eggs Benedict I’ve had in a very long time.
Terry got a burger– one of the benefits of brunch is the fact that you can, indeed order a burger and a drink and not appear strange– and was very happy with it. Flay has a whole restaurant devoted to burgers, and you can tell that he (or really, the chefs that actually run the restaurant) take their burgers seriously. This one was topped with horseradish mustard and vidalia onions. It was nice and juicy, and the fries were great– slender, crispy, and topped with Southwestern spices. I’m somewhat surprised that the Mesa burger was so… un South Western, but it was good,
Find yourself stuck in Vegas on a Sunday? This is a great place to go, if you can make it past the stumblers from the nightclub at Caesars, and if you don’t get trapped on the Pussycat Doll gambling floor (really, Vegas?).