11 New Places Where I Ate

Making progress on my quest to try 40 new places to eat before my next birthday!

19. Samurai Sam’s, 4/20. Of all the new places I’ve tried, this is the only one I really didn’t like. The service was dour (a young woman and a middle aged man who both seemed profoundly depressed and uninterested in us), the food was dry, and the menu was as uninspired and flat as the lackluster decor. My fish wrap was mostly rice, and poorly cooked rice, at that. There’s a Teriyaki Madness literally across the street–go there instead.

20. Waffles Cafe, 5/3. A decent place, surely, but I just couldn’t finish a sandwich on a waffle. If you can, more power to you. The traditional breakfasts would probably work better for me. Good value (but not great), though; worth trying.

21. Taqueria La Casa Del Pastor, 5/10. This is the new taco truck on the SE corner of Las Vegas Blvd. and Bonanza, which opened after the superb Taqueria El Buen Pastor moved kitty corner (NW corner) and expanded their operation. This place is, obviously, very similar, and while I liked it, I put too much spicy sauce on right away and kind of ruined the meal–my bad. Still, they clearly have everything one would want. Two corners on one intersection now have powerhouse taco trucks!


22. Rick’s Rollin Smoke BBQ, 5/21. Enjoyed a huge nacho meal from here with my English department at work, and there was enough left over for another meal! Fresh, flavorful, abundant good stuff made this a great, meaty treat. 


23. Thai Basil, 6/1. A popular place, but I just don’t like sushi, which came with my sampler plate. No matter how often I try, nothing called a “roll” without yeast and flour sits well with me. What I liked, I really liked, but overall I guess I didn’t see the point. 


24. Mega Tom’s Charbroiled Hamburgers, 6/8. Swung by the drive thru with my son during halftime of the NBA finals, and glad we did! The burgers were great (though not in the superior realm of something like Fatburger or Five Guys, but far better than the fast food average), and the fries were spectacular–perfect seasoning. The meal was a decent value, and the service was super friendly. Definitely plan to return!

25. Riliberto’s, 6/15. Another drive thru run, this spot on Nellis and Bonanza is convenient and more than decent. Enjoyable taste and variety. Fish taco was quite good.

26. Gamaldi’s, 6/21. A New York pizza theme here, and it’s the kind of place where they have big black and white photos of NY landmarks on the walls. A bit ritzy and pricier than I would have wanted (we had a coupon, of course), it was still a cool place. Another spot with excellently friendly service (every one working there appeared to be a woman in her 20’s, for some reason), what we got was solid, great pizza. I’m a sucker for a sweet pizza sauce, and their’s was totally worthwhile. Great spot for a date!


27. Tony’s Mexican Food, 6/28. I got this to go, but next time I’ll sit and stay a while. Very pleasant place, quiet and clean, decorated tastefully. Everything on the menu looked great–I want to go and try more than just what I did. A very nice restaurant, and a great find for locals. 

28. Tacos El Tapatio, 7/9. In the back of the gas station on Ann and Clayton, by my house, so close I decided I had to try it. Well, meh. The menu is about the same as a bunch of other places, but as this place is literally a hole in the wall, they couldn’t quite stack up. The limes were all absolutely dry. The burrito I splurged on was a huge disappointment–just mediocre; not bad, but far from great. My wife tried a bite and agreed. I would have been better off at Del Taco! Nothing here even tasted especially fresh. 

29. Chicago Style Taco Shop, 7/13. Yes! This is the place! I just took my wife here for lunch today, and everything was amazing! I had the three taco combo (a strong value at only $8.50, with rice, beans, and a drink from an impressive variety of choices): I had barbacoa, chorizo, and pastor, and all were sweet, juicy, and super, super fresh! It took a bit long to make, but it was completely worth the wait! I tried both the spicy green and the mild green sauces, and they were both fantastic. Even the rice and beans were superior. Wife had a torta and was also very happy (she’s quite the torta connoisseur). I really loved this place and can’t wait to go back and try those Windy City Fries! 



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