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After a week in Las Vegas, I am definitely in need of a major food detox. Las Vegas is home to oversized drinks, endless buffets, and a lot of really good eats. Beyond all the hype and sin of this city, there are a few memorable spots I wouldn’t mind revisiting in the future.

Frozen daiquiri at Paris. DRINK OF THE WEEK: Eiffel Tower (Paris).
One of my favorite drinks to get in Las Vegas is from Paris– a blender full of frozen strawberry daiquiri (pina colada also available) filling an “Eiffel Tower”. For $14.95, I would say it’s definitely worth getting at least once. Plus, walking around the strip with an oversized drink seems only appropriate on a hot day in Vegas.

The window for this drink is located next to the Le Village Buffet. My first experience with this frozen delight was last summer when I turned 21. I loved it then, and it was a refreshing memory sipping it again this summer.

WARNING: This drink can cause brain freeze. So sip responsibly!

BUFFET OF THE WEEK: Studio B (M Resort & Casino).
From my trips to Vegas, I’ve eaten at a buffet at pretty much every hotel & casino. Okay, may not that many, but I’ve had my fair share of food quest along The Strip. There are some pretty good deals for buffets like the $19.95 all-you-can-eat sushi at Ah Sin at Paris. But, this time around, I was really going for variety. This past week, I encountered not one, not two, but three dinner buffets. Yes, I said it. Three.

The best dinner buffet I’ve been to thus far is at Studio B at the M Resort & Casino. The M Resort & Casino, home to Top Chef: Las Vegas, is relatively new and located about 10 minutes (driving) from The Strip. Although, it seems somewhat out-of-the-way from the Las Vegas scene, it was nice to have a meal without getting caught up in the congestion of The Strip. When I first stepped inside the casino, I noticed a complimentary self-service beverage station– soda, water, and other non-alcoholic drinks. This was the first place I’ve ever seen that offers an amenity like this. It was wonderful! If you can believe it, some people will come and go just for a drink!

Studio B at the M Resort & Casino.

There are a few aspects I look for in a buffet: atmosphere, variety, and quality. Buffets always generate mass amounts of people trying to get their feet in the door. Studio B is no exception. However, surprisingly, the line diminished quickly with a only a short wait time. The atmosphere was perfect! The decor and the overall presentation of the buffet was very clean and enjoyable. It wasn’t difficult to grab food from any station and fresh food was constantly brought out. There was tons of variety, too. From Asian to Italian and comfort to light, there were definitely enough options to please any palette. I tasted a little bit of everything. The sushi was beyond the basic California Roll. The flat bread pizza was light and not greasy. The pastas were rich and flavorful. The salmon and prime rib were juicy and not dry. But there were two things I really enjoyed at this buffet that marked my ultimate satisfaction. Firstly, Studio B offers unlimited FREE drinks, including wine and beer on tap that can be retrieved from a station. The glasses are kept in a refrigerator until someone approaches the counter and is served. Secondly, the dessert bar was amazing! I have never been much of a dessert person, but I loved this dessert bar! Freshly made crepes, pies, soufflés that were already plated. Cookies and meringues. At least 20 flavors of gelato scooped to order in a cup or cone. And expresso, latte, and cappuccino also made to order!

As far as atmosphere, variety, and quality, Studio B did the best job at meeting my expectations. In the battle of Man v. Food at Studio B, food won that night as I left severely struggling to get back to the car.

MAN V. FOOD MOMENT OF THE WEEK: Nascar Cafe (Sahara).

Adam on the Wall of Shame.

Nascar Cafe Specials.

My Vegas trip wouldn’t have been complete without retracing the steps of my favorite food tv star, Adam Richman of Man v. Food. So, of course, I had to check out Nascar Cafe where Adam tackled the B3 Burrito. Once I got to Sahara, I noticed that Nascar Cafe is all about the specials. As represented by the signs, Nascar Cafe was offering a 180 oz. BREW TOWER. Only $20 for light beers like Miller Light and Bud Light. The prices increased with the quality of beer but not by too much. Or, for single drinkers, a 50 oz. football souvenir cup of beer choice starting at $9.

I approached Nascar Cafe and found a man dining in a small, roped-off area. He was looking sicker than ever and about halfway (possibly less) through the B3 burrito. Then minutes later, two guys from ESPN announced there would be a B3 burrito competition taking place. The two big guys entering the competition seemed to quickly outshine the failure sitting at his table for one.

The 6 lb. B3 burrito is only $19.95 if not for competition. But, honestly, it was way too much burrito for me to even consider at that moment. So, I evaluated the other choices on the menu. Burgers, sandwiches, sausages. And sides like curly fries, curly cheese fries, curly chili fries, curly chili cheese fries, chicken wings, boneless chicken wings– all priced by the 1/2 LB. or LB only!

2 x 4 Burger.

Eating my 2x4 burger!

mmm good.I decided on the featured 2-by-4 Burger, which came with a big helping of curly fries. I split the meal, knowing that I shouldn’t take a 1 lb. burger to the face– 1/2 a lb. made me feel a little less guilty. But wow, that first bite was absolutely delicious. I devoured that burger, loving every second I still had it in my hands. The mound of curly fries was so overwhelming and really did me over after the burger. Needless to say, I don’t think I could have finished it all alone.

Unfortunately, there were some other diners at Nascar Cafe who weren’t chowing down with as much liberty and pleasure. The competitors were up front and each attacking the B3 Burrito under a shorter, 40-minute time constraint while a number of people watched them stuff their faces.

men v. food

a B3 mess!

One of the guys grabbed the whole burrito by his hands and went for it. the fork and kniferThe other guy tried the fork and knife, slow and steady approach. Neither finished. Neither were half as close as Adam! The winner of the competition was determined simply by who had polished off the most of the B3. Competitor #1 on the left won. The lesson here is this: in food challenges table etiquette just doesn’t cut it. The more of a mess you make, the less you will have to actually eat and, thus, one step closer to victory. Kudos to anyone brave enough to attempt the 6 lb. B3 Burrito. I sure have thought about it.. maybe as a last hurrah before hating burritos forever. But really, I wouldn’t mind that free t-shirt for not finishing– even if it does say I’m a Certified Weenie.

Overall, Nascar Cafe had exactly what I was looking for that afternoon– good prices, hearty food portions and, unexpectedly, live entertainment! I wouldn’t mind going back. Thanks, Adam!

There is endless excitement, variety, and pleasure roaming Las Vegas. This city has so much to offer, it’s simply impossible to uncover everything in a single trip. But, I would mark this food mission as a success. I dined at the M where Top Chef: Las Vegas took place and Nascar Cafe featured in Man v. Food. Although the Top Chef season has already finished filming and I didn’t order the B3 like Adam, I am happy that my love for food television led me to some wonderful new experiences. And, with that said, next summer’s trip is already planned…

nom nom nom.

B

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