My first DELICIOUS gluten-free cupcake

The first time I experienced a vegan/gluten-free bakery was a few years ago when I took (T), a friend of mine out for her birthday.  I forgot the place.  Somewhere in Los Angeles, near Pico or Adams.  Any-who, it was…ok, little dry, odd and different from everything “normal folk” who eat the “normal stuff” would think about “those types” of cupcakes.  I was open to the idea of it, it didn’t kill me, but I also didn’t need to return .

Years later, here I am in Vegas and I was helping a friend with a bridal shower and she happened to order vegan cupcakes.  I thought, “Oh, well maybe I’ll eat a quarter of it and give the other portion away”.  NOPE, NOT AT ALL FOLKS!  These cupcakes were SOOOOOO DELICIOUS!  What flavor did I try?  Carrot I told you I’m on a roll people since my Bundtly Delicious Blog. They were from Gluten Zero Bakery.  We ordered chocolate, carrot cake, red velvet and lemon.

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Now I must admit I wasn’t a fan of the chocolate and learned that with these specialty desserts, the moist and tasty ones are those containing additional ingredients such as fruit and vegetables.  Getting back to those carrot cupcakes, I could have sat and eaten them all night, alone, in a corner and with no distractions.  If and whenever is Las Vegas, take the trip to visit this place.  And trust me, GET THE CARROT!

  • Amenities (parking, location, seating, menu selections, etc) ***
  • Customer Service (greeted, helpful, polite, checking-in, etc) 
  • Cleanliness 
  • Experience (themed, music, atmosphere, energy, etc) 
  • Taste ***
  • Price 

I didn’t pick up the cupcakes therefor can not comment, but friends say it’s a great place!

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Babystacks

I just don’t understand.  I mean, I just really don’t.  I’ve gone to so many breakfast places here in Vegas and none of them seem capable of offering something painfully delicious.  Clearly I am on the wrong road of breakfast foods.  <sigh>  I just thought, besides going to the over priced spots, I could find that fun, mom and pop spot that all the locals know about and the food is always good.  WELL, haven’t found it…which is very sad.

(M) wanted to go Babystacks, a place that was on my foodie list.  Here’s the deal, I already went, but forgot lol.  (S) and I went two months ago and it was just ok.  I was not impressed with anything and clearly the memory of the establishment was a blur.

We walk towards the building.  “I’m so excited, can’t wait to try the french toast” I share with (S).

She agrees with a huge smile and begins listing her pancake options.

“Oh, she’s here!” someone shares across the table.

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Another Average Dropout

A friend and I went to visit Culinary Dropout.  It’s located inside the Hard Rock Casino here in Las Vegas.  I came across it by reading some online reviews of good places to eat.

Well, my or our experience was just ok.  Now, the service was great, clean environment and the decor was FAB within their open layout.  I sooooo loved the bar centered in the room, black leather booths and the wall paper that consisted of popular celebrity names…”Look, Michael Jackson!” Oh, and you must check out the pool area out back.

However, as far as the food, we weren’t that impressed – another average dropout.  It looked great, sound great, but wasn’t great.  It was just ok and man I was so excited to try their breakfast.  We both went with the Cap’N Crunch Crusted French Toast served why cereal milk custard and fresh raspberries all for 10 bucks.  It wasn’t horrible, just expected better.  The texture of the bread was typical, meaning the usual bread offered at most restaurants.  I’m not a fan of raspberries for they’re a tad too tart, but that didn’t ruin the meal for me.  I’m also glad I ordered a side of eggs and bacon for I eat a lot and desire that sweet and salty combination on my tongue.  I will admit I thought it would be crusted similar to how it was served at Blue Jam Cafe in LA, but oh well.

culinary drop out-jpeg“Are you enjoying your meal?” I asked.

“It’s fine,” she responded.

Over all, what was missing was a stronger flavor.  There needed to be more of a punch either in the egg batter or the custard sauce.  A dash of vanilla or almond, something!  Maybe the hype was more on their dinner items or appetizers.

Amenities (parking, location, seating, menu selections, etc) ***
Customer Service (greeted, helpful, polite, checking-in, etc) ***
Cleanliness ***
Experience (themed, music, atmosphere, energy, etc) ***
Taste **
Price **


RECIPE

CAP’N Crunch French Toast

Toast3/4 cup heavy cream
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 to 10 slices thick-sliced white bread
Butter for cooking
For the topping:
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups frozen wild Maine blueberries defrosted

  • Mix the cream, eggs, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk until combined.
  • Put the cereal in a storage bag and use a rolling pin or the flat edge of a large knife until it resembles cracker meal. Transfer it to a shallow dish.
  • Dip a couple of slices of the bread into the cream mixture until soft but not completely soaked. Let excess liquid drip from the bread, then press into the cereal crumbs to coat evenly. Place on a sheet pan and repeat with the remaining slices.
  • Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat, add butter as needed, and cook the bread until it is caramelized on both sides, about 6 to 8 minutes total.

 

Recipe provided by: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2009/02/sunday-brunch-capn-crunch-french-toast.html

Finally made it to Cinnaholic

We were driving and driving.  D happened to be in town.  The original objective was to seek out fried Twinkies and Oreos, but to our surprise Mermaids went out of business.  “Well this sucks,” I shared out loud while seeking for other venues offering the same pathetic goodness.  So now we all know that as of June 2017 there are NO MORE FRIED TWINKIES in downtown Las Vegas!!! Horrible news, just horrible.

“Well, so now what?” D was basically asking.

Thinking quickly on my feet, “Hey, do you like cinnamon rolls?”  Mind you, I keep a sugar log of places I must try and Cinnaholic was on it.  From what I understood, it was basically Cinnabon and Yogurtland fused together…I was right.

We continued back on the dusty road, but this time to seek out these rolls of yeast with varied frosting and toppings.  The northern/west location we visited was under contraction, but still open for business.  We weren’t too sure at first.  The outside didn’t look so welcoming, but the inside was clean while in its transitional stages.

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Greeted by the display case once you enter, you are soon drawn to the cinnamon roll creations to choose from.

“Oh boy, what’s that one?”

“Hey, check that one out!”

“<hmm> I don’t know about peanut butter and jelly?”

 

If none of the pre-made items move you, you can continue down the counter picking and pointing at the varied frosting and topping selections posted on the wall to explore.  A few of the frostings included banana, cherry, maple, pina colada and butter pecan.  Toppings ranged from almonds, brownie bites, pie crumble, pretzels to strawberry jam.  Sure, it can be overwhelming, but nonetheless satisfying. IMG_4244.JPG

“So, do you all hate cinnamon rolls?” I ask out loud to all the employees.  Together they respond, “PRETTY MUCH!”  We all laughed.  I always find it funny when employees cross that point of overload concerning products they sell.

 

So for about $25 I purchased four cinnamon rolls <chuckle> .  Three for myself and one for D.  He went with a Oreo cookie crumble with fresh-cut Strawberries and drizzled Chocolate.  

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I raised the bar ordering from top to bottom, Mango frosting with fresh Blackberries.  Next I went with the Peanut Butter frosting, loaded with Chocolate Chips.  And to top it all off I chose the Coffee Cake from the display case, which included a sprinkling of brown sugar and oatmeal.

“Hey, you want to try some of this?” I asked.  “Sure!” D replies.

We went back and forth cutting from each cinnamon roll.  Needless to say, I started to become sick <lol>.  However, do you know what’s interesting, Cinnabon doesn’t make me feel sick.  As much crap as they put in those rolls, I am able to handle it.  I guess it’s because they only offer a frosting rather than a strong flavored frosting plus toppings.  With Cinnaholic, three bites of the first one was already much.  It’s as if they went a little too far.  I’m not against the toppings, I respect the gimmick, but you don’t want to over do something either.  I would want to offer the best ratio with the idea of enjoying every bite rather than scraping off half of the toppings because it was too much.  What if I said I wish there was more focus on raw flavor than sugar?  Let’s take the peanut butter and chocolate.  For my New Years (birthday) I’m now always making a chocolate peanut butter cup cake which contains a chocolate fudge cake, peanut butter cream icing and gnash.  Oh and the candy on top – how can I forget.  And I don’t feel overloaded.  I can eat a lot of it and feel satisfied/pleased.  I can’t put my finger on it, but something was weird about their peanut butter or the two selections combined.  So could it be their ingredients or preparation of their items?  I think I was just disappointed because of this crazy high expectation I formed in my mind – NOT to say it was nasty or horrible.  I mean, the dough was nice and soft, no complaints.  Customer service was great and I enjoy the concept of the shop.  I even had the chance to sample a frosting. Will I return?  Sure, but…I think I’ll be a little more mindful as to which flavors to choose and to tell them to hold back on the amount of frosting.

Check their site to see if there’s a location in your state.

 

Don’t worry, I did not eat them all in one setting.  D took his home and I packaged up my three and picked at them the following night…while home alone…in the dark…while watching tv (BIG SMILE).

Amenities (parking, location, seating, menu selections, etc) **
Customer Service (greeted, helpful, polite, checking-in, etc) ***
Cleanliness ***
Experience (themed, music, atmosphere, energy, etc) ***
Taste **
Price **

A morning of cinnamon rolls

So I decided to get up and go to church, followed by treating myself to breakfast afterwards.  I looked up some breakfast spots nearby and came across Biscuit Cafe in Las Vegas.  Keep in mind I already researched this spot days ago…because that’s what I do.  Remember, I always prefer to read the menu in advance.

I drove and drove wondering if the trip was wroth it.  “Jeeze, how far is this spot?” I kept asking myself.  Enjoying the breeze, music playing, all while giving head nods of acceptance to the other drivers.  Parked, that was easy.  The people seemed nice, very clean and no wait at all – great yet odd for a Sunday.  Usually I have my posse or The Eagle, but this rodeo was done all alone.  I walk inside.  “OMG she’s here in Vegas,” a voice yells out.  Little do they know, I’ve lived here for a while.  I just travel a lot.  The surroundings, typical booths and silver rounded back chairs pushed up at the tables, nothing fancy.  I tried not to get distracted by the artificial cinnamon rolls at the front counter, but they caught my attention.

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