Category Archives: Gelato

Viva Las Vegas Day Three- Carnival Buffet at the Rio

So after a night of over-indulging of many, many, many, never-ending diuretics, we definitely needed some carbs and protein in generous variety. We failed at agreeing as to where to do Sunday Brunch Buffet so with the help of friends already waiting in line we moved on to the Carnival World Buffet at the Rio.

After waiting in line for an hour we finally made it inside and didn’t even bother to warm the seats. Here comes plate #1.

I proceeded to chew. The chow mein were hard and cold, an expected disappointment. The shu mai were also hard and cold. The turkey sausage from the breakfast line was salty and cold. The har gow was a better bite as they just came off their steamers, were still hot, and filled with plump shrimp.

Seeing as my plate looked nowhere near empty, I knew I needed more than a taste here and there. So I went for plate #2. The fried catfish was actually pretty good. The batter was light and crunchy, with a touch of Cajun seasoning as well as salt and pepper. The fish inside was still warm and flaky. I also wanted eggs with my mimosa to complete the brunch’s plated environment. This was not egg. And no, I do not consider boxed, diluted eggs ideal. The pork sausage was a little too salty even for sausage standards, but had a good snap and was surprisingly still warm on the inside. But the best part of my plate was the prime rib. With a perfectly salty crust on the outside and a tender, medium rare meat. I needed no assistance from my knife as my fork did the job just fine. I thought two slices were more than enough but I was proved wrong. But there were more to come so I had to make room for plate #3.

I was really on my way for desserts but for some reason I wanted to walk around some more. I saw a friend waiting for the roasted duck that’s still sitting on the chopping board waiting for the butcher’s knife to strike. I had to try it. Feeling the plate so empty with just one piece of duck, I had to get some more carbs with it, and pasta seemed to be the untried dish of the whole vacation. The pasta was overcooked but the bolognese was well-seasoned and packed with flavor; subtle hints of thyme, garlic, basil, with a touch of spicy-most likely cayenne. The duck was unexpectedly good. It was glistening with the good oils, crispy skin, and the fat in between melted in my mouth. The meat was cooked perfectly with a balance of salty and sweet. Delicious.

I knew I had room inside my stomach for sweets. After all, their spread looked so enticing I felt my feet flying effortless towards their display. The cheesecake was sour. And it wasn’t a lime cheesecake. The gelato had to be tried. The tiramisu was actually bland, and did not taste a tiramisu at all. It had a very indescribable after-taste. The coconut gelato was actually ahead of both, although the coconut tasted like the syrup vs the fresh one, but an artificial taste more comparable to the real one. Moving on again.

But of course, I will not leave without my own version of my bread pudding. Bread pudding, topped with vanilla ice cream this time and hot chocolate fudge drizzled all around. Their pudding is less dense as the Hilton’s but with more cinnamon and vanilla flavor. And the chocolate fudge was still warm and sweet, elevating this humble plate to a masterpiece inside my mouth. Delicious indeed. I’m sorry, I really can’t help but brag about my sugar overload.

Whew. I didn’t think I would survive outside of the buffet. The mimosas were overflowing and the food was gluttony at it’s worst. But the prime rib, duck, and bread pudding were all worth coming back and waiting in line for an hour. In fact, I would get multiple servings of each, and even with only these three I would chew without regret. Ignoring the rest of the hundreds of dishes will not be a painful undertaking.

Goodbye Vegas. Until I see you again, which will be soon. After all, over-indulgence is a magnetic pull hard to resist. And everything in Vegas is evident of excess.

 

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Filed under American Food, Beef, Breakfast, Buffet, Chinese Food, Dessert, Drinks, Duck, Dumplings, Fish, Gelato, Noodles, Pasta, Sausages, Shrimp

Spitz, Eagle Rock

As soon as you walk in to Spitz, your eyes are drawn to two things. One: the vertical meat broilers; look closely enough and you’ll see the juices from the meat ooze out and drip down to each tender, protein crevice. Two: the gelato display, from the indulging white chocolate decadence and the staple butter pecan, all the way to the unfamiliar blackberry cabernet. 12 flavors that is certain to confuse your cravings, surely the savory meal time is not enough to decide which gelato to pounce on first.

But looking will not make any tummy happy, so we  moved on up to the counter and ordered. A classic wrap with french fries. A falafelite wrap with sweet potato fries. A side of their dollar fried pita strips with hummus.

Let us elaborate and add to envy. The classic is half lamb and half doner beef with fresh slices of lettuce, tomatoes, onion, green peppers, and cucumber mixed with a Tzatziki and chili sauce. The falafelite comes with the same base except for slices of falafels. And the pita strips are deep fried and best dipped in their homemade hummus. They’ve added a new style to your kebab of choice. Spitz has now a “street cart” array of sauces to add-on to your meal. Extra Tzatziki, spicy, Mediterranean, and zesty.

The classic has always been consistently good. The lavash wrap was soft, chewy, and soaks in all that garlic sauce. The lamb and beef combo inside the wrap was just tender and flavorful despite the onslaught of sauce and vegetables. It does get messy, but sometimes sauce on your shirt is worth the trouble. Note-worthy were the fries. The well-seasoned, deep-fried french fries were crispy, with obvious specks of seasoning stuck to a yummy yellow outside. Each bite was almost enough to convert me into abstaining from anything else on the menu.

The falafelite was still slightly crispy on the outside. The falafel itself was packed with flavor. It does tend to get dry but not this one. The sauces inside the wrap helped in keeping it soft, warm, and with never a dry spot. The seasoned sweet potato fries were salty on the outside, soft and sweet on the inside. (I’m not really a fan of sweet potato fries, or anything that threatens to replace my Yukon obsession. So this is as much as I am willing to vouch for it.)

The fried pita strips were oily and crispy, a very deadly combo. And the hummus was chunky and obviously made from scratch. They are like partners in crime and they will steal away your health-conscious sanity if not careful.


The gelato was unremarkable. Although enticing to the eyes and the flavors were interesting enough to make one want to try them all, they were not good enough for a big cup with no sharing privileges. The blackberry cabernet was sweet and bitter. The double espresso was just like strong coffee with a sweet finish. The dark chocolate was milk chocolate in disguise. The texture was a little too rough, almost sandy but try one and let me know if I have to change my mind.

The wraps are cut in half yet each are huge portions enough to satisfy even the most hungry. Take the half home if you can’t finish and 4 minutes later in the oven and you have the perfect midnight snack.

Spitz is the spot for unique comfort food. Try out their many other choices: chicken, veg, doner plates, get a wrap or a sandwich and for sure you will come back for more. Be careful though, you might be wrapped in their yum and fail to leave.

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Filed under Dessert, Fries, Gelato, Hummus, Ice Cream, Mediterranean Food, Pita, Wraps