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Los Sarapes (Manchester, CT): What's the scoop?

We went last August - here are my notes with a few photos included:

Unbeknownst to us, we scheduled a Sunday brunch at this restaurant for the same day as Cruisin' On Main Street was held. We were fortunate in securing a parking space in a private lot on south end of Main Street which was closed to traffic. Los Serapes is a small restaurant that has been nicely decorated with wall murals though the furnishings and table settings are inexpensive (cheap). Our pleasant server eventually made her way to our table and provided menus. We were served a bowl of chips accompanied by a pair or salsas. The salsas were on the watery side, but that is fairly typical for a Mexican restaurant serving authentic cuisine. My wife chose huevos rancheros ($9.99) while I settled on a chicken tacos ($12.99) plate with tomatillo sauce, Spanish rice, refried beans and a little lettuce/tomatoes. The beans were richly flavored and the rice was at least moist though basically flavorless. On the negative side, the trio of enchiladas were dry and almost flavorless without copious amounts of sauce. My wife's huevos rancheros were very disappointing as the eggs were way overdone. Given the humble fare and décor, menu prices were anything but authentic. Service throughout was cheerful, but very slow though the restaurant was almost empty.

Mar 18, 2015
westie in Southern New England

Dinner recs for a Monday and Tuesday (3/23-3/24)

FYI - David Clawson is closed on Mondays

Mar 15, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

BYOB in Portland

Saeng Thai House is BYOB

Mar 08, 2015
westie in Northern New England

Desyree leaving Art of Flavors

The business will be closing on 2/28.


Feb 25, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

Chada Street

According to Eater Las Vegas, Bank is opening up a new restaurant sometime this spring that will feature street food.


Feb 07, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

Mint Thai Cuisine (Wethersfield, CT)

On Monday night, as the "blizzard of 2015" was just beginning, we dropped in for takeout. This time ordering Chinese broccoli and pad ped with chicken. Each featured high quality fresh vegetables, tender chicken breast and a portion size such that we ended up having the leftovers for dinner the following evening.

Jan 28, 2015
westie in Southern New England

Pot Liquor Contemporary American Smokehouse

Las Vegas Grille also closed.

Jan 26, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

Urban Turban?

Uhockey did a recent review


Jan 23, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

70th Birthday Dinner (max $75 per person)

If Charlie Palmer's cut of the week does not appeal to some of your group, a 2nd 3-course prix fix is offered. The Tribute to Michael Jackson menu is offers more variety and includes wine pairings with the 1st 2 courses - priced at an affordable $49 pp.

Jan 20, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

Wishing and hoping for this in CT

chefstu - I think you may be referring to Tortilleria La Michoacana which closed last year.

Jan 19, 2015
westie in Southern New England

Wanting to eat good without breaking the bank

Here are a few ideas.

Think lunch for your main meal. As previously mentioned, Milos has a $23 3-course lunch that is excellent.

Ellis Island is a short walk behind Ballys. There is steak special that is hardly gourmet, but it comes in at a $7.99 price tag and includes sides. You will need to sign up for a free slot card and then play $1 through a slot machine. Then go to one of the kiosks and print our a coupon for a $1 off. Draft beers are only $2 each, $1 during NFL games. Their in-house brewed root beer is also very good. Breakfasts are great.

There is also a popular BBQ restaurant in Ellis that offers a full rack of ribs with sides for $13.99 while a 1/2 rack with 1/2 a chicken comes in at $11.99. Once again, you will need a slot card and swipe at a kiosk.

Happy Hour @ Julian Serrano @ Aria, 4-5:30P Sun-Thur for tapas that run $4-$7.

Hop on the shuttle to the Gold Coast. It operates from 9:30AM to 12:30AM - pick up is at Ballys.

At the Gold Coast you will find reasonably priced Chinese at either Ping Pang Pong or Noodle Exchange. The Cortez Room offers a 10-ounce prime rib which includes a house salad or soup plus a choice of potato for $18.

Using the Gold Coast shuttle, you could walk across the street to the Palms. Lao Sze Chuan is more upscale, but still offers affordable Chinese in a nicer setting. We enjoyed our 2 entrees of sole filet w/black bean sauce ($15.95) and chef's special dry chili chicken ($13.95).

Don't discount using either the bus system or monorail which will open up many additional options for affordable dining.

Happy anniversary. I am sure you will enjoy your trip.

Jan 16, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

Best value upscale dining in LV

Travelzoo has an offer for Andre's: a 5-course dinner for 2 for $135 (regularly $220). Offer must be used by April 3rd.

Based on the reviews by Uhockey and others), you may want to include David Clawson Restaurant in the mix.

Jan 10, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

Mint Thai Cuisine (Wethersfield, CT)

My last comment should have read I have not dined at Puket so I cannot compare the restaurants.

Jan 09, 2015
westie in Southern New England

Mint Thai Cuisine (Wethersfield, CT)

I have dined at Puket so I cannot compare the restaurants.

geminigirl - don't fret - Puket is not closed, it has relocated to 945 Cromwell Avenue in Rocky Hill.

Jan 08, 2015
westie in Southern New England

Move over Ronalds - Ace Donuts just upped the ante for the west side of Las Vegas

It's unfair - you had me salivating on your first visit.

Jan 03, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

Salsa's Southwest Grill (Plantsville, CT)

It took me more than a year following its opening to discover this small, hole-in-the wall restaurant that serves authentic Mexican fare, but, find it, I did. On entering I was warmly greeted by the friendly staff and ordered 3 street tacos - al pastor, chorizo and chicken tinga at the counter. I grabbed a soda from the cooler and sat at one of the tables and in short order a large basket of chips and fresh, in-house made salsa made its way to my table. Each of the double tortillas were amply filled with meat and topped with fresh cilantro and onions. A squeeze of fresh lime followed by a drizzle of either or both of the tomatillo or chipolte salsas and I was flying high. You can try twisting my arm, but I won't reveal which of the tacos I favored because, like children, each was unique and worthy of unconditional love.

Dec 30, 2014
westie in Southern New England

Mint Thai Cuisine (Wethersfield, CT)

The size of the restaurant is deceptive because of its small frontage, but the dining room extends back to a small bar and the kitchen.  The room was largely empty on the Monday night of our visit and the room itself was bordering on cold.  We were soon welcomed by our waiter and presented with glasses of ice water and menus.  Vegetarian steamed dumplings were ordered as a starter and entrees of sauteed eggplant with shrimp and kai soi with chicken.  The latter is not included in the restaurant's online menu so I was happy to discover it under the noodles section of the printed version.  After a reasonable wait, we received both entrees and our appetizer which was cold, but otherwise excellent.  We asked for extra plates in order to share our entrees and the waiter thoughtfully brought both plates and small bowls for the kai soi.  Both entrees were well executed using high quality ingredients so I suspect we will be returning in the not too distant future.

Dec 30, 2014
westie in Southern New England

Breakfast at jean Philippe at aria?

My wife and I have enjoyed the souffle mixed berry crepes on two different occasions - highly recommended.

Dec 26, 2014
westie in Las Vegas

Any great hummus in Vegas?

Cleo in SLS Las Vegas may be your best bet. Both Michael U and John Curtas were highly complimentary of the restaurant and Curtas specifically recommended the hummus with tahini.

Dec 19, 2014
westie in Las Vegas

Cheap Eats for Teen Foodies

To clarify the requirements for the Ellis Island steak special. As previously mentioned, it requires 2 coupons to get the $7.99 price, but the first coupon is valid for the entire party. It is the 2nd coupon that requires you to play at least $1 on your club card so the 2 adults would have to pay $7.99 each and the children would be charged $8.99.

Dec 15, 2014
westie in Las Vegas

CT food finds 2014: our year in review

I think the dough at Passions may be a bit thicker and it looks like theirs has more filling than Zieleniak. I was planning on stopping in at Zieleniak the next time I visit Kashia's Bakery & Passions.

I have never tried the chocolate topped Bavarian cream donut at Neil's, but it looks scrumptious.

Dec 15, 2014
westie in Southern New England

CT food finds 2014: our year in review

Thank you for starting this list. Here are a couple of mine.

Kensington Market (Kensington) - when you live in a town for as long as we have, you pretty much know all the possible sources of nourishment - WRONG. It was only after a casual acquaintance mentioned the market's grinders that I stopped by. We are now regulars, not for the grinders, but other ready-to-go savory treats like our weekly eggplant Parmesan fix or the Italian sausages.

Vero Pizza (Southington) - thanks to SaveNowCt, we discovered this small gourmet pizzaria this year and have returned 4 times with plans for yet another pizza before year end. We are working our way through the menu, but so far I can recommend both the Sophia's and the, recently introduced, Toscana pizzas. As a oonus, it is BYOB and there is an adjacent package store.

El Pulpo & Tapas Bar (Southington) - so impressed were we that we dined there twice in one week in order to take advantage of the Taste of Suburbs menu. What was very good to excellent you ask - everything.

Tacos mi Nacho (Meriden) - Having discovered street tacos several years ago while visiting Las Vegas, I was happy to discover this nearby restaurant in 2014. Not to be missed are the chicken tamales.

Berlin LunchBox (Berlin) - two young Johnson & Whales graduates opened this tiny restaurant on the Berlin Turnpike that serves both lunch and dinner. Check their facebook page for daily specials, but you cannot go wrong with any of the wraps or perni y arroz, a frequent special.

Sahadi's Hotties (New Britain) - I have never been a fan of Capitol Lunch, but I no long despair now that I have discovered Sahadi's. Hot dogs, kelly dogs, breakfast sandwiches, kielbasa on a roll and excellent hand cut fries keep me going back. There is not much in the way of indoor seating, but a pair of outside picnic tables are available when the weather cooperates.

Passions Baking Company (New Britain) - the best fresh (potato & cheese) pierogis in little Poland.

Hen House BBQ (Southington) - I eat fried chicken about as frequently as Donald Trump eats crow, but the next time I decide to toss my diet to the wind, I will be returning.

Taqueria Mexico (Wallingford) - before I discovered Taco mi Nachos, I made a pair of long distance drives to this restaurant for street tacos. You can save a few $$ by purchasing a restaurant.com certificate.

Max Fish (Glastonbury) - an excellent happy hour.

Neil's Donuts (Wallingford - Google best donuts in CT and the first hit will be Neil's. Google westie and happy camper and the first hit will be a Bavarian cream donut from Neil's.

Cheap Eats for Teen Foodies

I would recommend dropping PF Changs in favor of any number of more authentic Chinese restaurants including China Mama, Asian BBQ & Noodles (cash only) and Bund Shanghai.

A fun option for Chinese would be a dim sum brunch at either Ping Pang Pong or Chang's Hong Kong Cuisine

Inexpensive Thai restaurants abound in Las Vegas including Thai Food to Go, Weera Thai, LOS, Pan Asian etc.

Street tacos are fun. Some of the best can be found at Tacos el Gordo (Charleston Blvd) or Taco y Taco (Eastern Avenue or Tropicana. A fusion option is KoMex which now has 2 locations.

Opus Too in The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Las Vegas in Henderson is a student run dining room/kitchen that serves bargain priced 3-course lunches Tue-Thur when school is in session. Beginning in January 2015, a Tue-Thur dinner service will be initiated.

Another student run dining room/kitchen is the Russell Restaurant in College of Southern Nevada on its Cheyenne Campus. When classes are in session, lunch is served Tu-Fri and dinner on Thursdays.

Crab Corner - serving Baltimore style crabs. On Thursdays you can get $3 medium crabs. Both locations participate in restaurant.com.

An alternative to Cafe Berlin is the Bavarian Castle in Henderson. Both receive good reviews. Should you choose the latter, stop in at the German Bread Bakery on Eastern for some rum balls (99 cents each) or other German baked goods.

Korean BBQ & Rolls in Henderson. Dinner for 2 came to $29 including a more than generous gratuity. We ordered 2 entrees and were served the following complimentary sides: cream of chicken soup, 4 banchan, salmon salad, 2 rice balls, large portions of kimchee and seaweed salad and rice tea to conclude our meal.

How about breakfast for $1.99 - head off to the Rainbow Club in downtown Henderson and then make a stop at Chef Fleming's Bake Shop on the same road for some desserts.

Shish Kabob House on W Flamingo is inexpensive, participates in restaurant.com and is located in the same small shopping center as Manan Bakery. Note: Manan Bakery is currently offering a LivingSocial deal.

A couple of comments on previously mentioned restaurants:

Ellis Island - you can still get the Ellis Island steak special @ $7.99, but you will need to print two coupons at the kiosk. The first by just swiping your slot card and a second after playing at least $1 in any slot machine with your card inserted. I am not sure, but maybe both you and mom will need to obtain the card so everyone can get the steak special for $7.99.

Los Molcajetes - be aware it is cash only. The restaurant now participates in restaurant.com.

Dec 10, 2014
westie in Las Vegas

Dinner for 2 @ $125

Palmdoc1 - You obviously had a bad experience at David Clawson. I have read nothing but favorable reviews so I would be very much interested in your take on this relatively new restaurant.

Dec 04, 2014
westie in Las Vegas

West Hartford: Which Whole Foods?

I agree.

Sampling Ethnic Las Vegas TR

The last line should have read "This proved to be by far the worst meal of the entire trip." (2 Forks)

Nov 20, 2014
westie in Las Vegas

Sampling Ethnic Las Vegas TR

A couple of additional photos that I neglected to post.

Nov 19, 2014
westie in Las Vegas

Sampling Ethnic Las Vegas TR

Feast Buffet - Green Valley Ranch Resort

October 22

I had a MyVegas reward for 2 breakfast/lunch buffets so prior to departing for home we
stopped in for breakfast. Our server immediately took our beverage order and I was was soon preparing my first plate which included fresh melon and strawberry yogurt. I noticed in the Mexican section that there were fresh flour tortillas, refried beans and salsas so I inquired if hot rancheros sauce was available so I could assemble an order of huevos rancheros, but was told no. I went to Plan B which was a thin spinach and cheese omelet which was prepared sans the cheese. I also feasted (pun intended)on bacon, hash browns and 3 cookies. Overall, the food was pretty ordinary given the fancy surroundings.

Nov 19, 2014
westie in Las Vegas

Sampling Ethnic Las Vegas TR

Moko Asian Bistro

We arrived near the end of happy hour and discovered we were its only customers this evening. We started off with Fat Tire drafts and ordered the spicy chicken appetizer - yogurt and sake marinated thigh, Kimchi, sweet potato, sweet and spicy sauce along with a cold eggplant salad - grilled eggplant, cherry tomato, grilled shishito pepper, moko dressing. The eggplant salad was refreshing, but the chicken thigh proved to be the star.

Our server, Ryan, turned out to be the owner who took special care to explain each ingredient as it was served. Next we ordered the 30 hour braised Berkshire pork belly - Korean soybean paste marinated pork belly, carrot, cherub tomato, Kimchi crepe, black raspberry marinated salt and the pan fried Chilean sea bass, mung bean sprout, carrot, onion, hot spicy sauce. The fish was so good I questioned Ryan if it really was Chilean sea bass, he assured me yes. Both dishes were amazing though Jack Sprat and my wife may have found the pork belly too be too fatty, but I had no problem licking the plate clean.

Nov 19, 2014
westie in Las Vegas

Sampling Ethnic Las Vegas TR

Nielsen's Frozen Custard

October 21

We each ordered a chocolate concrete, a shake you eat with a spoon, that includes a choice of one add on. My wife chose cheesecake, I chose coconut, neither of us could taste the add on. Our concretes were very good though we should have shared one.

Nov 19, 2014
westie in Las Vegas