I woke up Sunday with a smile on my face, still giddy from our fabulous modern French dinner and ear-shattering concert the night before. I hoped that this day would also be filled with good eats and fun.
We have a Border Grill of our own in Santa Monica, but we've never been. With so much cheap authentic Mexican food around, we've had little motivation to try fancified Mexican food in Santa Monica, even when prepared by Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger of recent Top Chef Masters fame.
So why'd we go to Border Grill in Vegas? Another restaurant.com discount! This time we had a $25 gift certificate that we bought for just $1.
We sat on the patio overlooking a portion of Mandalay Bay's lazy river.
Fresh guacamole and chips ($9).
Hass avocado, cilantro, red onion, jalapeño, lime. Very nice. But would I get it for $9 if I didn't have a gift certificate? Hell no!
Sparkling pomegranate limeade, sparkling white peach lemonade ($5 each).
Santa Fe enchiladas ($19).
Achiote chicken, guajillo sauce, Mexican cheeses, black beans, two fried eggs, guacamole, mizuna salad. Smoky and heavy.
Shrimp and chorizo Anaheim chile relleno ($22).
Sauteed shrimp, chorizo, Oaxacan string cheese, caramelized shallots, tempura batter, chipotle cream sauce, seasonal salad, guacamole. Definitely out-of-the-ordinary with the use of tempura batter.
Was this any better than the Mexican food we usually eat? It was prettier and made with quality ingredients. The answer, however, is no. We certainly enjoyed our meal, but I was glad we didn't pay full price.
After brunch, we went to the Bellagio to check out the lavish Christmas decorations. They were really colorful and larger than life, but I won't post those photos because it's April. I doubt any of you want to see snowmen, polar bears, reindeer, and toy soldiers right now.
While at Bellagio, we stopped by Jean Philippe Patisserie, home of the world's largest chocolate fountain certified by the Guinness World Records.
Before we left Vegas, we both got some awesome discounted spa treatments at Qua, which I highly recommend. Special thanks to Mr. Monkey's former co-worker's cousin, who is a manager there!
But this is not the end of Vegas. This is just the conclusion of our December weekend. Stay tuned for our recent April trip!