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Reference our pre show excitement here.
So our few observations from our trek through Food Network’s Fabulous Food Show held in Cleveland November 12-14, 2010:
1. For a town that’s ALWAYS accused of being overweight and WAY into food, this show was not well attended.
Just walking around, it seemed a bit empty.
2. We have one of the industry’s greatest resources for farm fresh veggies right in Ohio…but yet, no where to be found on the roster.
3. People that build gingerbread houses are amazing.
Mine NEVER turn out like these.
4. Vitamix surely pushes their wares hard.
We’re just waiting to see the famous Live to Cook at Home blogger Dave Whittaker doing a demo.
5. The wine garden was not worth it.
Do you know what $20 can buy you? Seriously? Help a fellow foodie out!
6. Who the hell comes to a “Food Show” and buys a scarf?
That’s like going to a strip club because they have the best roast beef sandwich in town.
I know you have to sell space…but this one was a bit far-fetched.
PEOPLE! It’s about food. That’s why you’re reading this blog right? FOOD!
Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms…
While in Vegas, we opted to check out a Lotus of Siam (cause that’s what everyone does for food in Vegas right?!?!?!?)
Recommended by true foodies like @cleveland222 and @khwatts – our adventure began late one night.
Located at 953 E. Sahara Ave in Las Vegas (702-735-3033), this place from Sahara Ave, is NOT well-marked. Additionally, the 3 bums in the parking lot begging for money to gamble accompanied us as we basked in the subdued neon glow of their sign. Never the less, we found this entrance in the rear of the strip plaza. A hidden entrance, unmarked building, strip mall – clearly a good marker for good food.
The food menu was thrown down on the table, clearly an impressive work from Copy Max. But as you slowly peel back the NUMEROUS pages of their food menu, you realize why there are multiple framed James Beard Foundation Awards nominations hanging on the walls.
Glancing over, the restaurant, we notice the goliath wine case parked in the middle of the restaurant. WTF? Our waiter kindly explains of their collection of the best sweeter wines to pair with any of their dishes. Then he slides a more gargantuan heavier wine menu BOOK and suggests any German Riesling to enjoy with our food. Show-off. #DAAAMMMMNNNNN.
And yes, it’s hard not to notice the YEARS of Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence to Lotus of Siam. Kudos to their Wine Director.
Chef Saipin Chutima‘s speciality is northern Thai food and let me assure you, she does not disappoint.
We started with the Chef’s recommendations of the Koong Sarong (Prawn in a blanket): Marinated prawn wrapped with bacon and won ton wraps, deep-fried, served with homemade sweet and sour sauce ($10.95).
Slightly overdone, we thought for sure this was a lame attempt at wrapping anything in bacon for service – cause we were wrong. The bacon was cooked well and imparted its smokey flavors into the prawns.
The outside was a bit more golden than we prefer, but the sauce was an excellent dippage compliment. Sweet, sour, salty, and savory all in one dish. Order again please.
We then moved to, what we consider as the marker for Thai food – the Pad Thai. This ubiquitous dish consists of over 30 ingredients is served at almost every Thai restaurant and we use it as the judgement marker for good/bad food. Menu item-102: Pad Thai – Classic Thai small rice noodle stir fried with egg, green onion, bean sprouts and chopped peanut ($8.95).
Clearly the more al dente noodles were different…more spongy…but much better to soak up the sauce with. We wished there were a few more green onions and peanuts for more crunch. Additionally, the chicken was slightly dry, but the bean sprouts were crunchy and overall the flavors were bold.
Because of the slightly dry chicken, this Pad Thai, is second only to Penny’s in Chicago.
Another recommendation was the drunken noodles. So many restaurants stake their claim on these “drunken” noodles, but sadly, less than 5% of them really deliver. We opted for duck. Crispy Duck on Drunken Noodle: Crispy duck topped with homemade fresh chili and Thai basil. Serve on top of pan fried flat rice noodle ($20.95).
This dish was perfect….absolutely perfect. Superb mix of veggies perfectly cooked and mixed with Chefs special chilis. Perfectly balanced dish and as you can see, the duck was succulent, tender, basically mouth watering and oh so juicy.
But the icing on the cake? The piece de resistance? The show stopper? Ladies and gents, I give you…the skin.
Noodles? Unlike most places, these drunken noodles were perfectly al dente and not oversauced. Prior, we never had pan seared or cooked basil but we are now a huge fan of the slightly crispy add on this +5 hotness dish. Total nirvana.
Seriously, call 702-735-3033 and order it now. We’ll wait.
Amongst the other items ordered…
Menu item-6: Sa-Tay Chicken with fresh herbs and spices, grilled on skewers, served with peanut sauce and cucumber salad ($8.95)
Menu item-11: Garlic chicken wings deep friend until crispy then sautéed with a lot of garlic, black pepper and seasoning ($8.95)
Menu item-79: Pepper Garlic Sauce sautéed in our garlic cilantro pepper sauce, served on bed of green ($8.95).
In observing the early 1990s decorated dining room, there wasn’t much talking…just alot of people furiously shoveling food as more patrons streamed in – close to the 10:00pm closing time. They must be regulars as our entire order appeared in less than 10 minutes.
Don’t let the indoor/outdoor latticing fool you either. The interior wood paneling and Jolly Green Giant colored lattice is a true focus…on food, not decor.
Can’t tell you where to go or who you should do while you’re in Vegas…But friends, what I can tell you is that this crispy duck drunken noodle dish was earth shattering life changing.
If you don’t believe us, just ask Gourmet Magazine food critic Jonathan Gold who calls Lotus of Siam as “the best Thai restaurant in North America”
I can assure you that any trip to Vegas would not be complete if you didn’t go to Lotus of Siam.
Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms…