The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

Exploring our curiosity for In N Out

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on June 8, 2010

Since arriving in Las Vegas, the Husband and I have wondered what all the hubbub is about with In-N-Out Burger.  We’d heard from all sorts of friends and acquaintances from the west coast that it’s the “best burger” in the world (or at least the fast food world) and that they crave it when they can’t have one.  When they come home, it’s one of their top to do items while in the area.  Well, to us that sounded like a lot of hype that we needed to check out.  When our friends and family were in town last week, they also wanted to see what all the rave was about so we decided to get a quick meal before heading out to Red Rock Canyon for a hike.  What better way to fuel a hike than a burger? 😉

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Using our trusty Google Maps, we determined which location was the quickest from the house (the one near Galleria and Costco on Sunset) and made our way there.  It was a beautiful day and the place was crowded.  Being as sunny as Las Vegas normally is, we decided to sit inside to avoid anyone getting sunburned while we ate.

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The basic menu is quite simple.  We also heard from friends that there’s a “secret” menu which you can actually find easily online.  The Husband and I each got a Cheeseburger, an order of fries to share, and a grilled cheese (from the secret menu) for the Husband.  The burgers come with lettuce, tomatoes, and “special sauce” and come with the option for onions.  The grilled cheese is essentially the cheeseburger without a burger.

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Verdict? We’re not sure what all the hubbub is about.  It tasted fresh and we generally liked the addition of lettuce and tomato (though truthfully I prefer my cheeseburgers to be meat, cheese, and bun… anything else hides the flavor of the basics).  I was impressed with the fact that the special sauce was on a separate bun from the cheese.  A pet peeve of mine when it comes to cheeseburgers is when condiments (which I generally don’t want) are ON the cheese – totally ruins the cheese! (Who knew someone could have such strong feelings on cheeseburger composition?!?!) 

With the grilled cheese turning out to be a cheeseburger without meat, the Husband was a bit less impressed there as well.  We liked the fries, but didn’t love them – that might be because we’re so used to traditional fast food fries.

I enjoyed the packaging of the food.  The fry holder had all sorts of fun facts about In-N-Out Burger.

IMG_2371 At the end of our meal, our friend Michelle decided to get a milkshake which in turn enticed the Husband’s sister-in-law and myself to do the same 🙂 I can’t remember the last time I had a milkshake! They had the basic flavor options and while I would normally go with strawberry when given the chance, I went with chocolate.  It was good, but actually slightly too thick for my taste.IMG_2372

Overall, we enjoyed our first In-N-Out Burger experience but don’t feel it was anything to rave about.  While it tasted fresher than McDonalds, Burger King, etc., it doesn’t stand up to Five Guys in our books 🙂 I don’t imagine we’ll be back any time soon, if ever.  However, if you’ve never been to one, it’s worth checking out.  The service, at least at this location, was great.  The staff was all very friendly and the food came out in a relative manner to the crowdedness of the place.  I’m glad we’ve checked this off of our to-do list!



In-N-Out Burger on Urbanspoon

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I love Sushi lives up to its name

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on June 6, 2010

As we’ve mentioned in a few posts, we’ve been looking for some reasonably priced, good sushi in the Henderson area.  We’ve received some recommendations that we still hope to check out soon, but we made our way to I Love Sushi in Henderson this week for lunch.  We met up with a friend and his wife for an impromptu lunch.  The Husband had been there before with the friend but didn’t blog about it.  I personally forgot my camera but used my trusty iPhone as back up (I apologize in advance for some of the photos).

IMG_0235 Seeing the name, I thought it was quite pretentious of themselves and I was wondering if they could live up to it.  Upon entering the restaurant, we found a very large sushi bar and a good number of tables.  Since it was lunch time, it wasn’t crowded, but it definitely wasn’t empty.

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IMG_0237 We took a brief look through the menu but was distracted by catching up with each other.

IMG_0238 I noticed the sushi boat selections – I love when a handful of selections are already made for you in a sushi place as I often have a difficult time choosing.

IMG_0240 There were also lunch specials, but we decided we definitely wanted sushi.

IMG_0241 Under the table glass, there was a sushi a la carte menu.

IMG_0243 We decided as a group to share the Sushi Boat.  Our friends had split the boat for 2 in the past and advised that it was way more than enough food for two and we should get one for the four of us (a boat for 2 that is).

IMG_0244 A boat for two came with two house salads and two bowls of miso soup.  Both were good.

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IMG_0246 Since there were only two salads, we ordered two more salads so everyone could have one.  The Husband ordered the seaweed salad.  I had a handful of bites and thought it was amazing.  So very good! Definitely what I’ll order as a salad in the future if given the opportunity.

IMG_0247 Here’s the best photo I could get of the sushi boat.  It was huge! How can they expect only two people to eat this whole thing?!?!

IMG_0249 This plate shows one of each type of piece minus the sushi pieces (fish on top of rice).  The sushi boat included a tuna roll, a California roll, a Spicy Tuna Roll (made differently than others I’ve had but definitely spicy), Philadelphia Roll (great especially after eating the spicy tuna roll as a palate cooler), a Tempura Roll, an Alaska roll, six pieces of sushi (tuna, salmon, yellowtail, albacore, and white fish), and nine pieces of sashimi (just fish – Tuna, Yellowtail, and Salmon).

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The food was excellent.  I personally didn’t use any soy sauce (something I’ve started doing at sushi restaurants – I don’t want to overpower them with the salty sauce).  It was so very fresh and at room temperature which we all loved (brought out the flavors more than cold sushi).  The boat was a bit expensive for two people (about $60) but for four people including some pieces left over to take home.  If you haven’t been here yet, we definitely recommend it!


I Love Sushi on Urbanspoon

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Pinball through the ages

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on June 5, 2010

As we’ve mentioned in a couple of blog posts, we had our first group of friend and family visitors (aside from the Husband’s dad) come to visit us this past week (well technically, they came to celebrate our friend Jeff’s 30th birthday… we were just lucky enough to already live here 🙂 ).  Normally, when we’ve visited Las Vegas in the past, we’ve spent most of the time on the strip though a lot of the group has also been to Hoover Dam before.  Since we have our cars here, we decided to try to entertain our friends with things off the strip that are a bit less touristy (only a bit less).  Using the Husband’s Roadside America iPhone app (which tells us of lesser known tourist attractions in a town), we found out about the Pinball Hall of Fame museum.  It was located near the Liberace Museum which we were also interested in visiting (until we learned it was $15 per person).  So, just to the Pinball Museum we went!

The museum itself is in a non-descript warehouse looking building.  If you didn’t know what to look for, you’d miss it (and of course I didn’t get a picture for you so, good luck!).

According to their website, the Pinball Hall of Fame was created by the Las Vegas Pinball Collectors Club to house and display the world’s largest pinball collection.  All of the games are fully operable and range from 25 cents to $1.00 per game depending on the age (I think).  There’s no entrance fee and all pinball profits go to local charities.  How cool!?!?!

Upon entering the building, we were immediately in awe of all of the pinball machines.  But first, we bought candy! 🙂

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As promised, proceeds support local charities.IMG_3081 On to the pinball machines… I walked up and down the aisles to see what was available.  They had old machines and new ones.  The older ones had index cards providing background on them which was just fascinating.  I personally was most drawn to those from the 50s and 60s!IMG_3083 This one had a stand-up baseball player.  A blower blew a ping pong ball up and you pressed a button to make the batter swing.  A tad on the slow side of course but so cool!

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IMG_3085 Some of them needed to provide us directions.  I definitely found myself in front of a handful of machines that took me a few minutes to figure out.

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IMG_3087 In addition to pinball machines, there were some old school and unique general arcade games.  In this skiball game, in addition to trying to get the balls in the slot, there was a target to hit.  If hit, the alien sank (like a dunk tank!).  He even taunted you 🙂

IMG_3088 This pinball machine was for two people.  It rotated angles for each player.  Lots of fun!

IMG_3089 We could have spent hours in the Pinball Hall of Fame, but a bunch of our friends needed to check into the hotel so we had to end at some point.  Before we left though, we enjoyed popcorn from a 1960s popcorn dispenser and I grabbed a Throwback Mountain Dew made with real sugar! I personally can’t stand the taste of HFCS so I love finding sodas with real sugar.  This didn’t disappoint!

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In the back of the building, it looked like there was a kid’s birthday party going on.  I don’t know the details of setting one up, but it seemed like a great place to do so.  We will definitely be back with more visitors!

Do you have a favorite pinball or arcade game? I personally fell in love with some baseball pinball games with actual guys that ran around the bases.  It was quite fun!

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Paris Buffet Takes the Top Spot

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on June 4, 2010

Ever since the Husband and I met, and on each trip to Las Vegas prior to moving here, the Husband has proclaimed the Spice Market Buffet as the best buffet in Las Vegas.  Each trip to the city, we would visit it and while the variety was nice, I never LOVED it the way he did.  This week we went back again as part of a birthday celebration for our friend Jeff and a handful of friends and family that came to celebrate this past week.

We decided to sign up for the Buffet of Buffets, 24-hour buffet pass sponsored by Harrah’s.  Tuesday night we headed to the Spice Market buffet.  The food was fine (like our last visit), but the service was quite poor.  After waiting over an hour to be seated (thanks to the popularity of the Buffet of Buffets), they were constantly out of plates and they seemed to be understaffed or our waiter was just bad at his job.  We didn’t get any drink refills and our plates took forever to be cleared.  So very frustrating.

Wednesday night we headed out for an early dinner in order to get it in before our 24 hours was up 🙂 We decided to go to Le Village Buffet at the Paris Hotel, a buffet I’ve wanted to try out for a bit.

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As was expected, there was a line, but at 5:30pm, we only needed to wait a half hour or so.

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IMG_3095 Inside the “building,” the buffet decor continued the rest of the Paris theme recreating Paris streets (love!).

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IMG_3097 The Husband and I sat with his brother and sister-in-law “outside”…

IMG_3098 …while the rest of our group sat “inside” one of the buildings.

IMG_3099 Surveying the buffet, I loved the overall set up.  Each buffet section had a lovely sign with a French theme.

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I find that buffets are hard to photograph.  This buffet had a large pasta section (yay!), a large seafood section with amazing sushi, some meats (I didn’t try any) and lots and lots of veggies.  While choosing what to have, I thought that this would be a great buffet for vegetarians.

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We each like to get a small spoonful of a number of items – try many, taste a little.  A few pics of some of the plates we had.  As I mentioned before, the sushi was SO good.  Very fresh.  We both liked the smoked gouda and bacon mac n cheese, although it was a tad dry.

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The salmon was cooked well and I loved all of the grilled veggies.

IMG_3111 A whole plate of pasta samples.  Heavenly! I don’t normally like pesto, but I enjoyed the Pesto Farfalle. The risotto was actually the worst item I tried and I loved the spinach & cheese ravioli.  It had large pieces of red pepper flakes so it was nice and spicy.

IMG_3112 After my fill of pasta, I headed back out to survey the dessert section.  First there was ice cream (as expected but I loved seeing the cones).

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IMG_3114 I believe these were macarons which I saw floating around the blog world a few months ago.  I had one and I believe it had raspberry filling.  The filling was perfectly sweet but the outside wasn’t my favorite texture.  Not having had one before, I don’t have anything to compare it to unfortunately.

IMG_3115 In addition to my macaron, I also decided to get a crepe.  Thus far in Las Vegas, I have NOT enjoyed any crepes I’ve had (I’ve had them at Jean Phillipe and at the Spice Market Buffet).  There was a great assortment of fillings to choose from (apples, bananas, blueberries, and strawberries).  The chef seemed sweet as she made them 🙂

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Unfortunately, the picture I took was quite blurry, but the crepe was so good.  The Husband and I added fresh whipped cream and chocolate sauce to it.  Yum!

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The service was also excellent! Our waitress was always available when we needed her and we never needed our plates cleared or drinks refilled.  The whole group came to a consensus that this buffet has now moved to the top spot on our lists 🙂

Do you have a favorite Las Vegas buffet?

Le Village (Paris) on Urbanspoon

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