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Viva Las Vegan!

June 6, 2011

Ah Las Vegas. A city that I oh so love. It is so over-the-top, that it is truly awesome! I mean, what is there not to like? What makes a city great, truly?

  • People – In Vegas, everyone is on vacation. Every time I come, I meet people, they are always in a good mood, and we have a good time!
  • Culture – You mean, besides all the Cirque de Soleli? There are thousands of shows, exhibits, events, all going on here. Heck, some of the things that I have paid to see in Toronto are currently here in Vegas (Bodyworlds and Titantic Artifacts). Yeah, there is culture
  • Nightlife – you are kidding, right? I can’t even count the amount of bars, pubs, clubs, and other nonsense that exists here. Every major DJ in the world I think was playing over the course of the week I was there (of course, it was Memorial Day in the US)
  • Sports – granted, there is no major sports team here. So you have college, and UNLV. Outside of that, there are a billion casinos with a trillion sports televisions and sports book to watch, not to mention all the bars that carry sports. And as long as you don’t want to see a ‘big 4’ sport, there is always boxing and MMA bouts going on in Vegas. There is lots of sports here.
  • Something different or unique – yeah, Vegas has it in spades (pun intended). I mean, hello, gambling anyone? Adult Disneyland? For those inclined, there is the whole ‘seediness’ side of life, so those so inclined. There is plenty of it.
  • Weather – really? It is the freakin desert! The weather is great! That is, if you like warm weather and sunny days.
  • Nature – The Mojave Desert? The Grand Canyon? Yeah, there is nature around. Not to mention all the imported nature that Vegas has!
  • Food – Yes, they have it. There are literally thousands of restaurants in Las Vegas – and that is just on the Strip. Everything from fast food to fine dining exists here.

Everything that is – except Vegan. For some reason, Las Vegas seems to be lacking in Vegan restaurants. Which is puzzling when you have some of the most famous people and Vegans in the world (Mike Tyson anyone) who hang out and basically live there.

Now, I knew coming into this whole adventure that there were 3 things that would test my ability to stay Vegan – and travel was the biggest one. Also, I was not travelling alone – it was my parents’ first time in Las Vegas. I don’t want to get into it, but let’s just say that one of my parents is a picky eater. So if I suggested a nice Indian place, where I know I can keep Vegan, the answer would be no.

So I decided that I was going to do my best to keep Vegan, and if I can’t be Vegan, then at least Vegetarian. Fortunately for the blog, I tend to keep a journal of my travels, so I have the details of what I ate over the week.

Monday

  • Before flying out, I had a big bowl of Kamut Puffs, with my Almond Milk. No clue what I will find in Vegas, so might as well start out right!
  • At airport, had a black coffee and banana
  • On the plane, ate peanuts, drank water
  • At the hotel, went to the casino buffet

I did some research before I went. What I discovered is just because something should be Vegan in Vegas, it is not necessarily so. For example, say you went to a restaurant and they had steamed veggies. You would assume that they were steamed with water, right? Not necessarily true in Vegas – they may have been steamed, but also were coated in butter to give them that smooth taste. So next time you have a carrot, and it is the best carrot in the world, it is because of the butter. So in Vegas, all the food tastes amazing – because of butter. Nothing like fattening up the populace!

Anyway, we made it in time for the lunch buffet – and they had a whole slew of things for me (I hope). Bean salads, lentil salads, green salads, etc. Plus, some grilled veggies (yes, they had grill marks on them), and other such goodies. Lots of veggies. I filled up. Probably broke Veganism, but stayed Vegetarian. Afterwards while wandering, drank Corona. According to Barnivore.com, Corona is Vegan. Excellent.

Later that night, we went grocery shopping, as we had a kitchen in our hotel suite. Organic Peanut Butter, High grain bread, almonds, almond milk, bananas, apricots, and Heineken – all Vegan choices. Plus, now breakfast was covered going forward. Always a plus!

Tuesday

  • Breakfast of champions (from the grocery store).
  • For my other meal of the day, we ate at a Wolfgang Puck restaurant. I had an apple and pear salad, with a vinegarette dressing. It had almonds and other vegan goodies in it. Then I had homemade spagetti with tomato sauce and basil. Now, what I have learned is that you can totally make dough without milk or eggs. Do they make it that way? I am guessing not. However, I did not have any cheese on my pasta. So, as long as I don’t see it, I am still doing okay.
  • For Wine, we had Irony. No idea if it is Vegan or not – Barnivore does not list it. Probably not, but whatever.

 

Wednesday

This was the tour of the Grand Canyon day. No control at all, as we were on a tour. Had my breakfast of champions. Brought some of my snacks with me. But lunch was an entirely different matter. After the Canyon, we stopped in Hualapai, which is a Wild West town. Basically, there is one spot to eat, and the food is prepared in advance. So you line up, and say Chicken or Ribs, and you get a plate with 2 sides. Naturally, I went up and said No Meat.

They gave me the pu-pu platter of sides – peas and carrots, corn on the cob, mash potatoes, and rice. It came with corn bread and a cookie (which I gave away). Now, a part of me thinks that there was likely butter and milk in the potatoes. But a part of me is not so sure – I mean, they also had cole slaw, but they did not give it to me, as it had creamy dressing. The potatoes came with gravy, they didn’t offer me any. The corn bread was not melt-in-your-mouth like corn bread usually is. Is it possible there was no butter in there? Who knows?

My consumption for the rest of the day was Coronoa, which as we know, is Vegan.

Thursday

A completely different day here. It turns out that my father knew someone from back in the day who moved to Vegas, and owns a restaurant here, called The Sicilian Ristorante. Anyway, this restaurant as you can tell, is Italian. How am I going to manage this one? Not badly actually. So after my Breakfast of Champs, it is off to get some food for dinner.

For starters, we had Caponata Siciliana, with peppers and olives. We also had the antipasto Misto, which was cold cuts and cheeses (that I didn’t eat), with peppers, and eggplant, and a host of goodies. So far so good. Then for dinner I had Pasta & Broccoli. This of course assumes the pasta does not have egg in it. Also, stupid me forgot to say ‘No Cheese’. So on this one, I totally messed up. But it was delicious. Dinner was followed by an espresso and some Sicilian Ice (the real stuff, not that creamy stuff from Monday – and it was amazing!)

To drink we had 2 bottles of Vecchia Cantina – which of course is not on the menu at Barnivore. I am sure it is not Vegan. That being said, it was from a region in Tuscany where I just was – when this adventure started. So I had to have it. It was worth it!

Anyone who is going to Vegas, if you are looking for a great meal off the strip, I highly recommend this place. www.siciliancaffe.com. The rest of the night was Corona-filled…

Friday

Final day. I ate my usual Breakfast, and made some PB sandwiches for the plane. Friday was 100% Vegan!

So that is basically the trip. After 19 weeks of hardcore Veganism, I finally had my second FAIL of the year. Much like the first one (in Italy), it happened while travelling. Oh well, back on the horse – the positive is (because coming back up in money from gambling) I did manage to keep the workout going! And, I did maintain my weight in the city of indulgence. So there are some positives to add to the negatives.

VIVA LAS VEGAN!

From → Vegan Frank

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