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Pho 501 (East Hartford, CT)

We arrived around noon on Sunday and discovered an almost full parking lot and packed restaurant. Not sure how to order, we approached the counter and were told they were out of pho gia (chicken noodle soup), a Sunday-only special, to seat ourselves and someone would be with us shortly to take our order. Shortly turned out to be 20 minutes as one table after emptied before they cleaned them and started taking orders. Several parties arriving after us were seated and then told they were sold out for the day. As it turned out, we were the next to the last party served. Ordering from the abbreviated menu is simple - 3 size options (small, medium or large) and 2 types of pho (shrimp or beef). We both chose medium with my wife settling on shrimp and me the beef. Accompanying our bowls of pho was a plate of extremely fresh sprouts, Thai basil and lime. The broth was nicely flavored, but I cranked it up a notch via liberal doses of both siracha and hoisin sauces. Prices are more than reasonable with our total tab $16 plus gratuity less a $15 SaveNowCt coupon.

El Pulpo - Middletown

We first dined at the Southington restaurant last September during the Taste of the Suburbs and enjoyed our meal so much that we returned a few nights later. Here is a link to a pair of printable coupons for their new location.

https://www.localflavor.com/el-pulpo-...

Jun 27, 2015
westie in Southern New England

Mikado, Middletown, CT closed?

Groupon has an offer for Mikado.

Jun 15, 2015
westie in Southern New England

My Vegas Trip Report

Dave - it recently opened. The owner's niece formerly rented the space when it was known as Taiga Modern Japanese and Thai. He mentioned that he also operates a Thai restaurant in San Diego, but I did not catch the name.

BTW - A new upscale Thai restaurant has opened in the Commercial Center (next Komol), Arawan Thai Bistro & Dessert. The menu looks very interesting. http://arawanthaibistro.com/

Jun 10, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

My Vegas Trip Report

Michael - LOL. It is now embedded in my brain, I made the same stupid error when I went there. We took the tram from Bellagio to Aria, presented my Las Vegas Advisor coupon to the cashier and was told "you are in the wrong casino". I told the cashier "I knew that, what was I thinking?"

Jun 10, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

My Vegas Trip Report

Pot Liquor CAS
Town Square

Prior to departing for a 2-week vacation, I checked the restaurant's website and confirmed that a 25% discount on the entire menu was being offered during happy hour. On being seated I asked our waiter if the 25% off the promotion was still in effect and he said no. I sad oops, see you later because we are headed to Brio. He said give him a minute to confer with the owner and then signaled for us to return to our table. We accepted and ordered a rack of Memphis dry rub spare ribs plus sides of Hoppin John and mac and cheese. The ribs tasted very good and were mammoth in size though hardly falling of the bone. We found the portion to be more than we could comfortably handle so a few ribs were left behind. I would have preferred baby backs, but those only come wet. Though I am not a fan of mac and cheese, unlike my better half, our order was gooey goodness. The Hoppin John was okay, but not anything I would choose to order in the future. 3.5 Forks

Jun 09, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

My Vegas Trip Report

Cleo
SLS Las Vegas

This large Mediterranean restaurant has received rave reviews since opening. Located in the middle of the restaurant is an open kitchen dominated by a wood burning oven. We started off with an order of lebaneh (Lebanese yogurt cheese) with feta that was served with fresh baked laffa bread that we could not stop eating. This order also included eggplant, fennel and chili prepared in the oven. Next we requested chicken kabobs, spanokipita and lamb tagine with couscous. The chicken was well seasoned, moist and the best we have ever experienced. Though spanokipita was on the small side given its price tag, it too was delicious. We were a little less thrilled by the lamb tagine with apricots, silan, sesame seeds over couscous principally because the couscous was bit on the dry side. 4 Forks

Jun 09, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

My Vegas Trip Report

Grand Cafe
Green Valley Ranch Resort

I had a $10 off coupon on a $20 purchase so decided on having breakfast here. My wife chose bananas Foster French toast, not a total surprise to me. Though the entree included 3 slices of Texas toast, she wants everyone to know she only ate two. I chose a Mediterranean frittata from the spa section of the menu - egg whites, spinach, fresh tomatoes, feta and pesto accompanied by a whole wheat muffin. I admit I cleaned my plate though the muffin was more warmed than toasted. 3 Forks

Jun 09, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

My Vegas Trip Report

Hollywood Noodle Thai Cuisine
310 E Warm Springs Rd

We started off with shrimp rolls - egg rolls imbedded with an entire shrimp that were light and tasty. For entrees my wife chose Thai BBQ chicken and I the grilled sea bass in banana leaves. We also mistakenly ended up with 2 servings of rice - one being jasmine and the other a combination of jasmine, brown and red. The BBQ chicken was juicy, but the taste fell a little flat in comparison to the sea bass. I used a Groupon. 3 Forks

Jun 09, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

My Vegas Trip Report

Table Thai Bar & Bistro
3130 E Sunset Rd

Seeking a lighter dinner, we canceled plans for dining at a steakhouse and headed to this recently opened Thai restaurant. My better half ordered pumpkin shrimp (red) curry while I chose the spice herb catfish entree. Her curry was rich in flavor and contained several good sized shrimp while my entree was bursting with flavor. Menu prices are more than reasonable considering the quality of the ingredients. Highly recommended. 4.5 Forks

Jun 09, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

My Vegas Trip Report

Taco y Taco
9470 S Eastern Ave

Seeking a light lunch, we headed to this restaurant again for the al pastor tacos. What separates this restaurant from its competitors is the expanded condiment that includes a variety of salsas, grilled jalapenos and scallions, pickled carrots, radishes, beans and more. 3.5 Forks

Jun 09, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

My Vegas Trip Report

Border Grill
Mandalay Bay

We have frequented this restaurant ever since it first opened, but our recent visits have been for the highly regarded weekend brunch. After signing up my wife for the VIP club, I printed off a 2 for 1 entree coupon that we decided to use for dinner. We were started off with a bowl of fresh taco chips and 3 salsas. Each of us decided on chile rellenos for an entree - the roasted poblano peppers were enormous with each accompanied by 2 types of rice and earthy refried beans. Service throughout was very good. 3 Forks

Jun 09, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

My Vegas Trip Report

Jeane Philippe Patisserie
Aria Resort & Casino

We have been to this patisserie on each trip in recent years and always order the same dessert - berry crepes souffle-style. The souffle is a vanilla cream filling upgrade that takes the crepes from good to excellent. 4.5 Forks

Jun 09, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

My Vegas Trip Report

Salvatore's Ristorante Italiano
Suncoast Casino

I took my wife to the restaurant for Mother's Day dinner. We started by sharing a large artichoke stuffed with herbs, bread crumbs, Parmesan and EVOO that proved to be dry and taste deprived. My wife entree was chicken involitini - a chicken breast stuffed with prosciutto, spinach and mozzarella topped with a mushroom and tomato sauce while I settled on veal scallopini marsala. Both entrees were no better than average though the accompanying garlic mashed potatoes were good. The restaurant was not quite full, yet the kitchen developed a back up with no explanation provided by our server until I inquired some 20 minutes after finishing our appetizer. Service overall proved to be a disappointment.
2.5 Forks

Jun 09, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

My Vegas Trip Report

Fat Choy
Eureka Casino

I had planned on taking my wife to another restaurant for Mother's Day, but discovered earlier in the morning that only a buffet was going to be offered so I turned to Plan B - Fat Choy for the Sunday-only brunch. My wife ordered French toast with assorted berries and I the Fat Benedict - eggs Benedict with pork belly. I suspect the meat masquerading as pork belly was actually a thick slice of pork shoulder which detracted from the taste of the Benedict. I used a 2 for 1 coupon from the Las Vegas Advisor. 2.5 Forks

Jun 09, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

My Vegas Trip Report

The Great Greek
1275 W Warm Springs Rd

The restaurant was very busy on the Saturday evening, but a table opened up just as we approached the counter to place our orders. My wife and I each each chose the Great Greek gyro - lamb and beef gyro meat wrapped in pita bread along with lettuce, tomato, tzazki and feta. At a nominal additional cost, these were upgraded to a platter that included a small Greek salad and soda. We were more than happy with our dining chose this evening. 3.5 Forks

Jun 09, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

My Vegas Trip Report

Buddha Belly Deli
50 North Valle Verde Dr

We were looking for a light lunch and this Asian fusion restaurant came to mind. We each order a bowl of the Thai clam chowder - clam chowder prepared with coconut milk and healthy douse of heat fit the bill. Of note, the small staff was very friendly. 3.5 Forks

Jun 09, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

My Vegas Trip Report

Todd's Unique Dining
4350 E Sunset Rd

Owner/chef Todd Clure celebrated the restaurant's 11th year anniversary by sending out $20 off 2 entrees' coupons via emails to his regulars including yours truly. We received a bread basket with 2 types of butter. We next shared a pear and blue cheese salad that included cranberries with a fig balsamic dressing that proved to be refreshing. Todd is noted for bringing in seasonal fresh fish and so my wife ordered the evening's special of Pacific swordfish with couscous. My entree was Alaskan halibut in an artichoke and caper sauce accompanied by bok choy and a decorative mix of fresh herbs and vegetables. Hers was very good, mine was excellent. 4 Forks

Jun 09, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

My Vegas Trip Report

Manan Bakery
6620 W Flamingo Rd

I had an expiring Living Social coupon so we ordered a slice of mocha cake (dry - 2 Forks), tea cup chocolate mousse (so smooth - 3.5 Forks) and chocolate ganache (chocolate yummyness - 4.5 Forks) to go. Based on our last 2 visits, I will never again order a pre sliced piece of cake from them.

Jun 09, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

My Vegas Trip Report

Baguette Cafe
8359 W Sunset Rd

We have been fans of this out of the way, weekday only, breakfast and luncheon spot for several years. Olivier was handling the cash register and offering comments and advice while his parents were in the kitchen. I answered the question - do real men eat quiche by ordering the vegetable quiche prepared with spinach, tomatoes, zucchini and goat cheese while my wife chose traditional with cheddar and Swiss cheeses plus bacon. Hers was very good, mine was even better. 4.5 Forks

Jun 09, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

My Vegas Trip Report

David Clawson Restaurant
2840 Bicentennial Pkwy

I made a reservation online and requested seats at the 20-seat chef's counter. This new American small plates restaurant has been praised by just about every Las Vegas reviewer since its October, 2014 opening. We started off by ordering Mary's free range chicken which included prunes, capers and olives plus an order of garlic and more garlic noodles that were very good. These were followed by orders of asparagus with meyer lemon, romaine lettuce and white anchovy that did not do much for me and sea bass with white miso, kabayaki and bok choy that was excellent. Perhaps the best was saved for last when we ordered the sticky apricot pudding with vanilla cream and rum toffee. With our check we received a pair of toasted caramel, chocolate and almond truffles. Though each dish was impeccably prepared using the highest ingredients, we found none that included a wow factor though most were very enjoyable. 4 Forks

Jun 09, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

My Vegas Trip Report

Feast Buffet
Sunset Station Casino

We were surprised to find long lines on a Thursday morning, most likely attributable to some type of promotion for locals. The line moved quickly so it did not take long before we were seated. After ordering OJ, I went searching for fresh cut fruit and only found orange and watermelon segments to which I added canned peaches and ambrosia. I then assembled a plate of huevos rancheros using easy over eggs and rancheros sauce provided by one of the chefs. My last plate included bacon, corned beef hash and Brussels sprouts. This buffet represents a good value and has been a fixture on the Las Vegas Advisor's Top 10 Values. I our case, it was free using a MyVegas reward.
2.5 Forks

Jun 09, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

My Vegas Trip Report

Yatai Japanese Grill & Pub
4865 S Pecos Rd

Our dining experience proved to be less than stellar. An order of kimchi proved to be pretty ordinary - read disappointing while (2) orders of coconut shrimp were very good. The karage (deep fried chicken) looked pasty though at least chewable while the garlic calamari was tougher than shoe leather and eventually removed from our bill. Twin orders of bacon wrapped scallops were good as were orders of grilled asparagus, but the twin slices of grilled sweet potato were beyond blah. The chef came by our table most like expecting compliments, but ended up with a critique he probably did not truly appreciate. 2 Forks

Jun 09, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

My Vegas Trip Report

Anise Tapas & Grill
3100 S Durango Dr

It was Cinco de Mayo so where better to dine than at a kosher tapas restaurant? The restaurant offers an interesting mix of kosher and Mediterranean small plates though not all of the online menu items were available on our visit. A complimentary flat bread with spiced marmalade was served that we could not stop eating. We initially ordered moussaka sliders (fried Japanese eggplant medallion and grilled fresh tomato atop a lamb and angus beef patty served with cilantro and tzatziki sauce) which were on the well done side, but very good. We subsequently ordered drunken avocado empanadillas (crispy egg rolls filled with seasoned avocados and fresh cilantro accompanied by Patron jalapeƱo agave sauce) that were a delight to both the eye and palate. The sole misstep this evening was our last order, paella Para Mi', Spanish rice, flame grilled tomatoes, chicken and lamb sausage, that sounded more interesting than it tasted.
3.5 Forks

Jun 09, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

My Vegas Trip Report

Bronze Cafe
The Center
401 S Maryland Pkwy

We discovered this restaurant on our last trip so I made our return a priority. Not being particularly venturesome, we both ordered the same sandwiches as last time. My wife ordered the Tree of Life pita (roasted red peppers, avocado, mixed greens, tomato, house-made pickled onions, house-made vegan cashew "crema", brazil nut crumble, and mango cilantro ginger vinaigrette). I, in turn, chose
the LGBTQ (house-made bacon jam, maple-glazed bacon, mixed greens, tomato, cucumber, basil aioli and lemon vinaigrette on a ciabatta). Both sandwiches, made with impeccably fresh ingredients, were as delicious as we remembered. Will we be returning next trip? Of course! Note: restaurant.com participant.
4.5 Forks

Jun 09, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

My Vegas Trip Report

Wicked Spoon
Aria

We decided to give this buffet offering small plates with heavy emphasis on ethnic cuisine a try late on a Monday evening courtesy of the Las Vegas Advisor's 2/1 coupon. Even though it was off hours, there was a short, slow moving line. After being seated, we made our beverage request followed by a quick walk through before settling on a few dishes to sample. I pretty much avoided standard American fare in favor ethnic dishes. Mussels cooked in coconut curry sauce, a caterpillar roll, sesame chicken and BBQ shrimp and grits were my initial choices with each recommendable though man of the mussel shells were unopened and needed to be discarded. I selected bone marrow, among a number of other dishes, on my next run through, but it was uneatable due to overcooking. More successful were the shrimp sushi and a variety of vegetable dishes including beets, fingerling potatoes and mixed vegetables. The number of dessert offering was not overwhelming, but I found several to my liking including gellato. Overall, I enjoyed the buffet, but would not return without another sizable discount.
3.5 Forks

Jun 09, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

My Vegas Trip Report

German Bread Bakery
9255 S Eastern Ave

Prior to embarking on this trip I had received a $20 gift certificate from an internet friend so early in our vacation we made our way to this bakery. On our first visit we grabbed a pair of rum balls which have to be, at least for us, the best 99 cent desserts ever created. On a subsequent visit we ordered a cream ring and a slice of apple crumb cake.
The cream ring has a cherry filling that is delicious while the apple crumb cake was just fair. On the last full day in town with a $10 balance remaining on our gift certificate, we ordered 7 rum balls to take home and one last cream ring that did not make the return trip.
4 Forks (rum balls 5)

Jun 09, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

My Vegas Trip Report

Images
Rainbow Club & Casino

We enjoyed two breakfasts at this popular cafe inside the Rainbow Club in downtown Henderson during our 2 week vacation. Expect a line during peak dining hours, but in our experience the wait has only been a few minutes. The wait staff is very efficient so we were soon provided menus and our requested ice water and a coffee for my wife. On each of our visits we ordered the $1.99 casino special of easy over eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast. The eggs have been a little underdone both times, but otherwise no complaints. On our second visit I was admonished first by a waitress and then by a security guard for taking photos. 3 Forks

Jun 09, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

My Vegas Trip Report

Green Dacha Grill & Hookah
5795 W Tropicana Ave

We went to this restaurant expecting Russian and Mediterranean restaurant fare so it came as a surprise to find the menu has been expanded to include American and Mexican fare at the expense of several dishes we wanted to try. Since we were the only customers on a Sunday evening, I would hazard a guess that the menu changes are an attempt to attract a broader customer base. We began with a delicious beet salad that included both cabbage and seasoned carrots followed shortly by varenki, Russian style dumplings generously filled with melt-in-your mouth potatoes and sour cream. For an entree my wife ordered schnitzel, an Israeli style chicken fillet that had been rolled in panko and fried, adding a small house salad at a nominal cost. I chose beef stroganoff served in a cream and mushroom sauce. Both entrees included a good sized portion of roasted young potatoes that were delicious. Unfortunately the entrees were less successful with the beef being a little too tough and the chicken on the dry side.
2.5 Forks

Jun 09, 2015
westie in Las Vegas

My Vegas Trip Report

Garnachas Mexican Street Food
3111 S Valley View Blvd

We could not determine where best to park or even if the restaurant was open so we entered via the adjoining/connecting Chi'Chica'Ron Sports Bar. The restaurant was not busy on the Sunday afternoon of our visit, but we did witness a few people coming in for takeout orders. After reviewing the menu, we placed an order for (1) chicken and (3) al pastor street tacos at the counter. Taco chips and 2 fiery salsas were brought to our table while we waited. The tacos came with lettuce, guacamole, salsa, and cilantro. These were pretty good, but with several more conveniently located restaurants serving better fare, this will likely be our last visit. 2.5 Forks

Jun 09, 2015
westie in Las Vegas