Grandma Daisy’s

Grandma Daisy’s has plenty of old school charm to go with a wide variety of sweet treats, some made in house while many others are created by outside vendors. You’ll find ice cream, truffles, candy, fudge, popcorn, novelty gifts, and more. The truffles, made by Sweet Shop USA, would have been better with a softer… Continue reading Grandma Daisy’s

Tail and Fin

The second location of Tail & Fin opened up in the Trails Village — a part of Summerlin mostly devoid of good eateries. They took over the space formerly occupied by Dairy Queen and they’ve done a great job modernizing it. The interior is beautiful with a clean, contemporary look. Their brand is more developed… Continue reading Tail and Fin

Garden Cafe Buffet

Located on deck 12 of the Norwegian Jade, inside by the elevator banks but still close enough to serve most of the people visiting the pool, Garden Cafe is the ship’s buffet, serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast has plenty of cold and hot options. Cereal, fruit, pastries. Pancakes, french toast, oatmeal, bacon. I… Continue reading Garden Cafe Buffet

Blue Lagoon Cafe

Blue Lagoon is a small cafe on the Norwegian Jade across from the Brazilian steakhouse, serving what they call “comfort food.” What that is, is typical bar fare and classic American favorites like burgers, hot dogs, potato skins, buffalo wings, and chicken tenders. Their grilled beef burger was better than the one found at Topsider’s… Continue reading Blue Lagoon Cafe

The Thirsty Cougar

The Thirsty Cougar is located in Cozumel (the first stop on our cruise) on the main street leading to and from the ship. It’s a tourist trap for sure but we gave it a shot anyway. We took a chance and tried a margarita on the rocks, and luckily didn’t get sick. This small restaurant… Continue reading The Thirsty Cougar


Topsider’s is the bar and grill located poolside on deck 12 of the Norwegian Jade. Throughout the day they’ll have several items to grab and go. For lunch, for example, they’ll have hot dogs, grilled chicken, salad, bratwurst, and hamburgers with toppings ranging from cheese to pineapple and bacon, or bleu cheese. The pineapple bacon… Continue reading Topsider’s


Our first dinner during a cruise onboard the Norwegian Jade in December was at Alizar, one of the restaurants included in the price of the ticket. It’s an elegantly decorated space that seemed to have some Asian design influences, but the menu was fairly diverse with French, Italian, and American dishes. What we observed later was… Continue reading Alizar

Big Dipper Ice Cream & Yogurt

There weren’t a lot of options popping up when I searched for ice cream shops in Page, AZ. The most promising was Big Dipper ice cream, a locally owned spot that sells both Dreyer’s and Farr ice cream. With flavors both well-known and popular, this isn’t a spot to find anything unique. But, what they… Continue reading Big Dipper Ice Cream & Yogurt

Biscayne Steak, Sea and Wine

Stopping by on a Monday night before seeing the “Raiding the Rock Vault” show at the Tropicana, Biscayne was virtually empty. The hostess let us seat ourselves in their lounge/patio area, which is a narrow space outside the restaurant that looks out into the hallway. Not exactly a great atmosphere. Scallops were artfully plated on… Continue reading Biscayne Steak, Sea and Wine


Another decent AYCE spot. This one takes over the space formerly occupied by 808 Tapas in the plaza at the corner of Ft. Apache and Sahara. Hanabi has a fairly large menu with some items only available a la carte. Nigiri is the way to go here. The quality is pretty good for an AYCE… Continue reading Hanabi

Trattoria Reggiano

You may not know the name Frank Bonanno, but chances are you’ve eaten in one of his food courts in an MGM property or grabbed a quick bite at one of his franchised fast food spots like Johnny Rockets, Haagen-Dazs or Nathan’s Famous. Trattoria Reggiano is Bonanno’s foray into a more upscale concept, with their first… Continue reading Trattoria Reggiano

Umami Burger, Beer Garden & Sports Book

Umami, the California-based casual eatery, is part of the slowly sinking SLS Las Vegas. This typically empty hotel and casino was hopping when I stopped by several weeks ago for the NFL kick-off to see the Pats-Steelers game. Despite the unusually busy night, we managed to snag a booth. The room, with its industrial-looking exposed… Continue reading Umami Burger, Beer Garden & Sports Book

Ha’Penny Pub

Located inside the Embassy Suites in Irvine, this is the lone restaurant in the hotel. While it’s styled as an Irish pub the place takes a “jack of all trades” approach to dining with a menu featuring Mexican, Italian, and American dishes to please the masses. I typically don’t like dining at places like this,… Continue reading Ha’Penny Pub

Tapas by Alex Stratta

***Update: business closed*** When a restaurant’s two biggest issues are price and food, you’re in trouble. I never had the opportunity to dine at Stratta’s Michelin-starred restaurant at Wynn/Encore, but expected much from his new tapas place in Angelo Sosa’s former Poppy Den spot in Tivoli Village. Dinner for two was over $100, a bit… Continue reading Tapas by Alex Stratta

Cletus Chicken Shack

Located in Universal Studios, Cletus’ Chicken Shack will give you a glimpse into life in Springfield. And, apparently Springfield is pricey. Like the rest of Universal, you’ll spend a pretty penny on any meal. With no kid-sized meals the youngin’s have to pay full price for meals they’ll eat a fraction of. A chicken and… Continue reading Cletus Chicken Shack

Stewart + Ogden

***Update: business closed*** Located in the slowly sinking ship know as the Downtown Grand, I can only imagine that Stewart + Ogden was a cut above when Todd Harrington (formerly of Central, now at Yardbird) was at the helm. Now, it’s just slightly bette than your typical Downtown casino bistro/diner/all-purpose restaurant. Walking in from the… Continue reading Stewart + Ogden

CRAVE Restaurant

This midwest chain recently opened in the new Downtown Summerlin complex. It claims to be chef driven — and maybe it is — but the quality and execution is on par with similar chain restaurants. The duck confit flatbread ($15.95) was one of the more interesting sounding dishes, but there wasn’t enough duck to balance… Continue reading CRAVE Restaurant

Serendipity 3

***Update: business closed*** This popular facsimile of the iconic New York outpost is a tourist trap, no doubt about it. But it’s a trap that is still fun to take the kids. Desserts are the main draw here, with plenty of frozen hot chocolate and sundae options available. Portion sizes for desserts and all other… Continue reading Serendipity 3

Oriental House

The menu at Oriental House is overwhelming with plenty of Chinese, Thai, and Japanese options. They would benefit from a more streamlined selection of dishes to focus on what they do best. What that is, I don’t know. The satay chicken ($7.95) was a good portion for the price with about five skewers. The Kowloon… Continue reading Oriental House

Rainbow Asian Cuisine

Attached to the Best Western in Johnson City, we dined here after arriving around 10pm. Tired from a long drive from northern Virginia to Tennessee, this was our first stop in a cross country trip with our final destination being Las Vegas. There’s a dining area complete with typical Asian motifs; a pool table; bar;… Continue reading Rainbow Asian Cuisine

Doraku Sushi

After our stellar experience at another, much smaller, Japanese spot a few days earlier, Doraku  couldn’t live up to our expectations. Located in a large mall full of high end shops and tourists around every corner, this is the kind of trendy, style-first restaurant that most people will either love or hate. It was created… Continue reading Doraku Sushi