BLU BASIL Restaurant

Saigon Noodles is one of our favorite restaurants. When we heard that they were opening a new restaurant, we were so excited. The new restaurant, BLU BASIL opened this week. This restaurant was highly anticipated by many. This was clear within a few minutes of the doors opening. We arrived right when the restaurant opened. 

BLU BASIL took over the old Chung King building. Upon entrance into the building, we were blown away by the transformation. The restaurant had been gutted and redesigned with a modern/contemporary feel. The inside was beautiful. 

There is a wall waterfall on the right side. The bar area was on the left side. One of the things I like is that the bar is sort of separated from the restaurant. 

In addition, there are Flat Screen Televisions near the bar. Which will be a great hit. Especially during those major sporting events. This is also great for those who may be dining alone. 

All of the wood and brick accents in the restaurant gave it more of an upscale feel. The restaurant is similar to there other location, yet very different. This restaurant was much larger in size. Very spacious. A lot of thought went into the new design and decor of this restaurant. 

We dined with our daughter and the restaurant is both for Date nights and Family dining. The restaurant had a very warm and friendly environment.  

The restaurant gives every table Shrimp Chips. The shrimp chips are crispy with a texture similar to that of Pork Rinds. The Chips weren't bad at all. Nice treat for the table. 

We ordered two teasers/small plates. The Banh Mi Bites. This is a bite size toasted french bread sandwich. You can choose from grilled chicken, pork or beef. The bread was not hard like your typical french bread. The bread is topped with a spicy mayo, cream butter sauce, shredded carrots, cucumber and cilantro. The sandwich was light. I liked the veggie selection for the topping on the sandwich. The spicy mayo/cream butter sauce was delicious on the sandwich. The only down side is they called it bite size, so I envisioned something a little smaller. But overall it was a delicious small plate. 

The other small plate was called Rock "N" Roll. The small plate was similar to that of an egg roll. It was stuffed with pork and deep fried served with a homemade duck sauce. This was pretty good, but I will say, I wasn't blown away. The bib lettuce and sliced cucumber and shredded carrots really enhanced the presentation of the dish.

The only complaint concerning the small plates was that we were not given small plates until we were almost done eating. The server recognized this on his own.

BLU BASIL has a kids menu. Which is always a plus in our eyes. The kids menu is reasonably priced as well. My daughter ordered the Steak PHO which consisted of a delicious broth with sliced steak and clear noodles. My daughter absolutely loved it. The PHO kid options were chicken or pork as well. The other options for kids was the rice bowl or vermicelli noodles bowl with egg roll and the choice of beef, chicken or pork. 

I ordered the BLU LAMB. The dish included grilled lamb chops, steamed white rice, side soup, two sides. I choose the fried egg and pickled carrots and cauliflower and bib lettuce topped with shredded carrots, cherry tomatoes and purple cabbage and a in-house made BLU BASIL sauce. 

My husband ordered the Hu Tieu, which is a clear noodle soup. The soup consisted of quail eggs, shrimp, pork in a pork broth and clear rice noodles. The dish was packed with flavor. Also green onions, cilantro, bean sprouts, lettuce and jalapeño peppers. 

Overall our experience at BLU BASIL was awesome. The service was incredible. The restaurant was very pretty and classy and clean. I would suggest they work on their homemade lemonade because our drinks were watered down and very sour. One other suggestion would be a sign as to where the restaurant bathroom is located for moms with children. 

Vietnamese cuisine is very different and not for everyone. But we are a family that loves many different cuisines. Vietnamese cuisine has become one of our favorite food to dine on. I definitely recommend that you would try this restaurant. 

The menu also offered Vegetarian Menu Options. 

The restaurant had a consistent flow of people from the time we arrived till we left. When we left the restaurant was packed and there was a line of people waiting for a table. So I would definitely suggest you arrive early for dining or call for reservations. 

BLU BASIL is located at 5451 Johnston Street. 

Blu Basil Wine & Grill on Urbanspoon

Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen & Bar

Most of us know Guy Fieri from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Guy travels all over the country searching for the best dishes. He also as a show call Grocery Store Games, Celebrity Cook Off and Kid Cookoff with Guy and Rachel. He's a foodie on steroids. 

When we found out that he had a restaurant in Las Vegas, we knew we wanted to try his restaurant. This restaurant is located in the Linq Hotel & Casino. The Restaurant is known for their Casual Food. Dishes like Wings, Burgers, Tacos and many other shareable dishes. 

As I read over the menu one of the things that most people were ordering was the Burgers. But that day, I didn't feel like eating a Burger so I passed. But there was one Burger that I kept seeing which is the Macaroni and Cheese burger. It looked amazing, but I wasn't in the mood for a Burger.  

We took a little while to decide what we wanted to eat. But while waiting we enjoyed the restaurant and the layout. The restaurant had a really nice casual atmosphere to it. There was Televisions everywhere, both inside and outside. The inside offered a nice Bar area with Rawhide like chairs. They appeared very comfortable.

The outdoor seating area was to die for. I loved it, because I could people watch while talking to my husband and daughter. The air was cool and refreshing outside. The outside area also had Flat Screen Televisions. A very nice, wide open area.

The kitchen area was very open as well. I could see the food being prepared as I passed through the dining area. Personally, I thought it was very nice to be able to see the food being prepared and ready to be delivered to each table. The workers didn't seem bothered by me taking pictures. They were both comfortable and polite.

One visual item that I loved was Guy's UNLV Culinary Coat was displayed. He is a UNLV graduate. Guy's decision to open up this location to pay tribute to his Alma Mater. The restaurant opened up earlier this year. So it is a new restaurant.

After a few minutes of studying the menu, we decided to order shareable appetizers. Below is the Double Barrel BBQ Wings coated in a blend of Guy’s signature bourbon brown sugar BBQ sauce and chipotles, served with crispy fried onion straws, tangy ranch + raw veggie medley. These BBQ wings were shaped like lollipops. They shaved down the wings and shape the wings like lollipops. The sauce was absolutely delicious. The presentation was beautiful. I was blown away by the presentation. I love the choice of veggies and how the veggies were cut and placed in a small wooden display. The dish was served with a side of homemade ranch dressing.

We also ordered the Guy-talian Fondue Dippers. The pepperoni-wrapped pretzels were served with smoky provolone and Italian pork sausage cheese dip, topped with fresh diced tomato and basil. This dish was just ok for me. But our little girl loved it. But she is a cheese and pepperoni lover. The presentation on this dish was gorgeous. The cheese dip was a little too thick for me. If it was a little thinner I think it would have been better. The pepperoni wrapped pretzels were ok as well. The banana peppers were a nice touch. 

Below is the Dragon’s Breath Chili Cheese FriesThe fries consist of a mountain of waffle fries covered in Guy’s “low and slow” cooked chili topped with melted cheddar, pico de gallo, sour cream and scallions.  Beautifully presented dish. The waffle fries were overcooked and too crispy. The chili topping was delicious. The homemade cheese sauce was very good. The toppings on this dish were also good. The flavors balanced out well together. 

Overall the items we chose were pretty good. My least favorite menu item was the Pepperoni sticks. One of the things I disliked about the restaurant was that there was not a kids menu. But the waitress did offer to do a kids hamburger. I would suggest that they build a kids menu. 

The other thing was that after we were seated the waitress took too long to come and take our drink order. We had to ask for a waitress after 10 minutes of waiting.  She did apologize and was an amazing waitress and pretty funny.

Our dining experience was good and the food was delicious. I would definitely dine there again. The burgers will be on the agenda next time.

Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen + Bar on Urbanspoon

Serendipity 3, LAS VEGAS

Serendipity 3 is located near Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. This nice, cute, cool hot spot definitely delivers. Serendipity 3 reminds me of an old fashioned ice cream shop. Known for its delicious desserts, specifically Frozen Hot Chocolate. We decided to dine at Serendipity 3 on Valentine's Day. Surprisingly this spot was consistently busy and had back to back reservations. Thankfully we thought ahead and made reservations. When we arrived at 5:30 there was a 30 minute wait. It appeared that as the night progressed the wait became longer and longer. But that did not deter the people from coming. Being that it was Valentine's Day, I never expected that the business would be so busy on Valentine's Day.

The atmosphere is very casual. Perfect for the entire Family. It was the perfect way to enjoy a night with my Husband and our baby girl on Valentine's Day.

We started with an appetizer. The All In Nachos. The Nachos start with there House Made Tortilla Chips, topped with Mexican Cheese, Beef, Black Beans, Sour Cream, Pico De Gallo & Avocado Cream. The Nachos are absolutely delicious.  One thing I loved is that the chips weren't greasy. Great appetizer and the presentation was on point.

Our Daughter loves Grilled Cheese. She's a connoseuir when it comes to grilled cheese. In her opinion, the Grilled cheese was yummy and she loved the gooey cheese. I love that they took put in just as much effort  to plate the kids food as they do the adult plates.

I choose the Crab Cake Salad Jumbo Lump Blue Crab Cake, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Avocado, Corn & Red Onions. Topped with Mache & Frisee Salad tossed with Herb Vinaigrette. The salad presentation to me was just ok. I think that they could have plated it a bit differently. I would have place the Mache & Frisee Salad first and topped with the grapefruit, avocado, corn and red onions with the herb vinaigrette. The colors would have popped beautifully.

The salad overall was very good. The salad was a little under dressed with dressing. But the waiter happily brought me out a little more for my salad. I have never eaten grapefruit in a salad before, but I must say that all the ingredients balanced well together. The crab cake was delicious. The crab cake was made of real crab. Delicious salad. This light salad allowed me to be able to eat light, in order to enjoy a dessert.

My husband chose The One and Only Las Vegas Strip Steak Sandwich. The sandwich consist of a  10oz. New York Strip Steak, with Sunny Side Up Eggs, Smoked Bacon, Cheddar & Jack Cheeses on Garlic French Bread. The sandwich looked delicious. Unfortunately the dish lacked seasoning. A little salt and pepper would go a long way. But my husband enjoyed it. Though it was called a sandwich, he said that the bread was too hard to eat. He was pleased with the dish other than that. The coleslaw was tasty. The dish comes with fries, sweet potatoes or coleslaw.

For dessert we went with the Frozen Hot Chocolate. The item is big enough to share. We ordered the 2 serving size which was enough for all three of us to share. We didn't finish it all.

It was very rich, but so so good. Only for chocolate lovers. If you are not a big chocolate drinker, I wouldn't recommend it. But I will say that everyone should try it at least once. A genius creation.  The dessert menu is not limited to only Frozen Hot Chocolate. Serendipity also has Cakes, Pies, Milk Shakes and Tea. So many options to choose from. You can even create your own dessert.

Overall the restaurant was nice. The service was A -Plus. Our waiter definitely did an incredible job. We were completely satisfied. Price points for this restaurant is more on the moderate side. Be prepared to spend at least a $100 or more for a family of 3.

In addition, the restaurant carries the traditional items an ice cream parlor would. For example, hot dogs, hamburgers, but more elevated toppings and dressings.

My daughter also loved the fact that there is a Gift Section, where there are all sorts of Gifts available for purchase. Definitely a hit for the kids, but also a good way to shop for Souvenirs.

Every time we come to Las Vegas we will be sure to visit Serendipity 3.

Serendipity 3 on Urbanspoon

1895 Cajun Cuisine and Pub

1895 Cajun Cuisine and Pub recently opened in the shopping center near Party Time & Counter Culture. We were originally planning to have lunch at Counter Culture this particular day, but one of my friends Tammy saw this restaurant and asked if we had ever tried this restaurant. Well we decided to give this restaurant a try. 

Honestly, as a food blogger, you would have think that I knew about this new place. But, I am shame to say that I had never heard of this place. This past few months have been super busy for me, but I am picking up blogging again. Looking forward to some great places that have opened lately. 

Upon entrance into 1895, I must say that I was very impressed with the setup. Nice and clean restaurant with an elegant look. There was a good crowd of people there at lunch time. We were greeted by a friendly young lady who seated us immediately. 

She went over the special for the day and left us to look over the menu. The menu was very impressive there was such a variety of options to choose from. Because we had work to do afterwards, I decided to do something light so I wouldn't be stuffed. Lol

I decided on the sausage and chicken gumbo with rice, potato salad and a roll. If a restaurant can cook a good gumbo in my eyes, there other food will be delicious as well. Boy was I correct. The gumbo was superb. The gumbo was prepared with chicken breast that was shredded and andouille sausage. The roux was a beautiful brown. The taste of the roux was not heavy but amazing. The andouille sausage had a little kick. Great spice level. 

The rice, potato salad and bread were served on a plate. The potato salad was delicious as well. The bread was a french bread. I am not a fan of french bread but the bread wasn't bad at all.  

Daphne tried the special which consisted of pork tender loin or the pork roast with the green beans, yams and bread. Her plate looked amazing. Good ole' creole looking plate. Looking at the picture right now makes me want to go and cook some creole food. Lol. 

She said that her food was delicious. It definitely looked awesome! I did taste her yams and the yams were very good. I'm picky about my yams, but it was pretty good. The green beans looked awesome. I think that they were prepared with bacon and a little butter and seasoning. The meat had a beautiful brown color to it and appeared to be juicy and not dry on the inside. This plate was both colorful and presented well. 

My friend Tammy had the gumbo as well. She enjoyed her food as well. She decided on the cup of gumbo but even with the cup along with the rice, bread and potato salad wasn't a bad idea. Because it was a nice portion size as well.  

Overall 1895 was a nice place. My only complaint was that the chicken and sausage gumbo needed a little more shredded chicken. The food was fantastic. The restaurant is nice and clean. Great set up and friendly employees. I would definitely eat there again. I highly recommend it. 

The menu items range from fish tacos, sandwiches to po-boys, burgers. As well as Fish Acadiana, Pork Tenderloin, Tiliapa Lafayette, Appetizers. The list goes on and on. 

If you are looking for a quick meal for lunch this is a great place or even if you want a nice restaurant to enjoy with your loved ones or friends. This restaurant offers this versatility. 

The food was bought to the table fairly quickly and there are lunch specials to keep you on a budget. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

The hours of operation for 1895 are Mondays 11am-2pm, Tuesdays- Thursdays 11am-9pm and Fridays-Saturdays 11:00 am-10pm & Sundays 11am-2pm. 1895 is located at 1895 West Pinhook Road, in Lafayette, 534-8955. 

1895 Cajun Cuisine & Pub on Urbanspoon

Norma Joes-Small spot but delicious

Norma Joes is a new drive thru restaurant located on the Northside of town. I have passed by this place several times and wanted to try her food. Well this particular day, I was headed to a meeting on that end of town and I had not eaten lunch. I didn't want fast food, so I decided to give Norma Joes a try. 

Upon arrival into the driveway, I had no idea what she served so I began to look over the menu. She has a menu posted on her building which gives the customers a chance to preview the menu and decide on what to order.

Upon arrival into the driveway, I had no idea what she served so I began to look over the menu. She has a menu posted on her building which gives the customers a chance to preview the menu and decide on what to order. 

I was undecided on whether or not I wanted the Creole wrap or the Smokey Bacon Chicken Wrap. The Parmesan Crusted Catfish topped with Cream Basil sauce also stood out to me. Lol.  I was on a health kick so I wanted something a little healthy. After a little deliberation, I chose the Creole Wrap. The Cajun Creole Wrap consisted of Creole Shrimp Sauce, Fried Catfish, crunchy iceberg lettuce in flour tortilla wrap with fries.  

Upon view of this tortilla, I was impressed. It looked amazing and the portion size was awesome for the cost. Pictured below is the wrap. The tortilla was toasted and cut in half. My first bite was absolutely delicious. She fried the catfish and made a creole sauce. The flavors were awesome. All of the ingredients together balanced each other out and complimented each other well. I couldn't eat the entire wrap. The fries were ok. Nothing over the top, but they were good. 

Norma Joes has a variety menu. Anything from burgers to wraps to Praline Chicken, Hot Dogs, Chicken sandwiches, etc.. Her menu is very creative and different. She has a lunch special each day that showcases one particular item along with her other menu items. Pictured below is her to go menu. 

Overall I was very impressed with Norma Joes. She was very friendly and the service was great. I am looking forward to trying something else at her place. I hope that she has great success, because her food is definitely worth every penny. 

The cost of her food is inexpensive for the type of food that she prepares. Mrs. Norma Joes is located at 406 Garfield Street, Lafayette, LA, 337-233-5958. They are opened Sun-Mon 10:30-2:30 Tues-Fri  10:30-3:00.  

Norma Joes on Urbanspoon

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