Travels with a Gourmet

a food lover's travels, memorable meals, culinary trials and gastronomic experiences

Another favorite while in the states is the endless opportunity for retail therapy and Vegas with its’ high-roller visitors is one of the cities in the U.S., aside from New York, that has the complete collection of high-end boutiques and brands – from Chanel to Louis Vuitton to a Ferrari showroom plus high-end department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus and all these can usually be found under one roof – the mega shopping center – Fashion Show Mall on the Strip and across the street from the Wynn and the soon-to-open Trump Tower.

I broke my eyeglasses in half across the bridge (my favorite pair of Toulchies from Montreal with the changeable frames in fashionable colors) and rushed over to the LensCrafters (glasses in an hour) at the mall to get some new eyeglasses fitted for the rest of my stay while I mail my broken frames back to get them repaired. While my new frames were being fitted with lenses, I decided to scope the mall out and plan my retail attack the following day. I zigzagged from Saks to Neimans to Macy’s then Nordstrom’s and ended up having lunch at one of the few restaurants at the mall, the newly-opened Stripburger.

After several days pf pure Asian cuisine, I decided to go all-American. Stripburger’s tagline is “Burgers, Shakes and Cakes” and they deliver all three in a simple outdoor set-up with stools and bar-height tables overlooking the Strip. I actually enjoyed being outdoors for a change instead of inside air-conditioned, carpeted corridors at the hotels. in spite of the heat, it was pleasant to lunch al fresco with fans and misters above all tables at the restaurant.

The menu is limited but has something for everyone with burgers being the main thing, a few other sandwiches and lots of great sides to accompany them – fries, crispy onion rings, guacamole and chips. There’s also a green salad and a bucket of cocktail shrimp in case meat isn’t your thing. I ordered a classic cheddar cheeseburger which came garnished with tomato, pickle, onion, lettuce and mayonnaise in a thick waxed paper pocket. The burger was done medium-rare like I asked and was very tasty. I also ordered some crispy onion rings on the side which were fantastic and almost like the best onion rings I’ve ever eaten at Mustard’s Grill in the Napa valley which come with their home-made tomato-apple ketchup. My meal was complemented with endless refills of lemonade and in the heat, it was a big relief. After my meal, my new eyeglasses were ready and I was all-set to hit the shops the next day and buy a few things before heading back to expensive Europe next week.

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