Vegan Vegas Baby!

Recently, I had a work conference in Las Vegas.  This would be my first “road trip” as a gluten free vegan.  I was looking forward to some good hotel grub – I requested meals for my diet and usually hotels do a pretty good job.  But, I knew there would be group dinners and I was a little concerned about finding something I could eat.

Googled vegan fare in Vegas and became even more concerned. According to several sites, Las Vegans (not to be confused with vegans) apparently put chicken fat in the buffet veggies (why!?!) and don’t have many options at their world famous restaurants.  Better pack some nuts and Lara Bars.

My first Vegas vegan treat was a little round stack of a roasted red pepper, zucchini and a tofu “coin”.  Unfortunately I only got one – they were delish. All the rest of the passed goodies were not on my diet.

So, feeling a little hungry, I head to the first group dinner. For meat eaters, this place was the bomb, but for me, well, the waiter and chef bombed. Not one thing on the menu was vegan or vegetarian. Crap!  I told the waiter I was vegan and he said, “No problem, I’ll tell the chef and we’ll make you a vegetable plate.”  “Hooray!” I think, until they bring me this beautiful plate of veggies – drizzled in BUTTER.  My heart sank, but I really didn’t want to make a fuss amidst co-workers and vendors, and I was really hungry after a day of travel and one tiny hors d’oeuvre.  A little butter won’t kill me – at least not quickly.

Day 2 – Fruit and fruit juice for breakfast.  Lunch was a buffet and the veggies looked buttered. They did have a nice salad and I used a little of the clearest dressing.  Wish they would have labeled the ingredients like they do at Whole Foods buffet.  Good thing I brought along Lara Bars and nuts. Woman cannot live on lettuce alone.

Dinner was a hotel event, so I was hoping for something decent.  I got a slightly larger version of the little round hors d’oeuvre – only this one was square and had a little red sauce on the top. It was literally 1.5” x 1.5” x 1.5”.  Teeny, teeny tiny.  The table had a really good laugh and one of my coworkers commented that I would be the only person to lose weight on a trip to Vegas.  Again – thank goodness for packed snacks.

Day 3 – Fruit and fruit juice for breakfast.  Lunch was another hotel event.  What could it possibly be?  Yes, you guessed it! The same stupid hors d’oeuvre, but this time a little bigger and round and again no tofu.  Really?  The lack of creativity was pretty comical and I ate another Lara Bar later.

Dinner was another group event at Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak at MGM. At this point I had pretty much given up hope of having anything decent, but to my surprise – this restaurant was A++.  I asked the waiter if I could order the vegan surprise and he laughed and said YES! They brought me a phenomenal plate with two different types of mushrooms, potatoes, carrots, zucchini, red peppers, asparagus and no butter. I cleaned my plate and enjoyed my first real meal in three days.

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