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Saturday, April 15, 2017

More Cheap Eats in Las Vegas

By now you know that I hit up Sin City at least twice a year. It's not because I love to gamble, though I do, and it's not because I love to eat, which I also DO, but because we have family there, the Travel Goods Show takes place there and we go with friends to watch NBA Summer League games there. I just got back from the Travel Goods Show last weekend, and I'll be bringing you an ungodly amount of reviews in the next couple of months, but I also strayed from my business travel a bit to get out and enjoy Vegas during the three days I was in the city.

how to eat cheap in las vegas
Gelato flower from Amorino on the Linq Promenade
Vegas changes so frequently that one year you may find something awesome and then find it gone, and even replaced, when you go back the next...or even months later. I found two new restaurants that weren't even sort of there when I was there in February. Crazy. I just wrote a post on eating for cheap in Las Vegas when I got back from that trip but there are more ways to be a high roller at the food table without spending like one.

Northside Cafe SLS

Northside CafĂ© & Chinese Kitchen
I was dependent on my feet and the monorail for transportation on this trip, because I was spending almost all of it at the Convention Center. Well, I was lucky enough to decide breakfast was needed and noticed that the SLS hotel and casino had a 24 hour cafe and it was just the next stop on the route. I made it to a couple appointments I had scheduled and then headed over to check out Northside (and the SLS that I had never been to) and start the rest of my morning right, before talking to more people at the show. It was a great decision. 

Northside Cafe SLS

Northside Cafe SLS

The cafe is a modern version of your favorite 50s diner and they gave me a whole booth to myself. Everything on the menu is around $15, which is a score by Vegas standards now. I ordered the popular banana pancakes and crossed my fingers. They came out fairly quickly and had large pieces of banana baked into the pancakes. You get 3 large cakes per order and you can easily share with someone else if you aren't starving or are looking for something to soak up your bad choices in the middle of the night. The pancakes came with a dollop of real butter and a bottle of warm(!) syrup. I was in love. I'm definitely looking forward to forcing people to return with me for another meal (or two). 

{If you're looking for a good coffee shop, The Perq is right around the corner in the SLS and one of the best I've found on The Strip.}

El Dorado Cantina las vegas

El Dorado Cantina*
When you hear that a restaurant shares a parking lot with one of the largest strip clubs in the city, you do a bit of a double-take. I mean, why? But I'm open-minded and have been to my fair share of strip clubs, so I'm willing to check it out. Also, the restaurant was the site for a media dinner, so how could it go wrong. My Uber driver on the way there told me "You're going to love the food here!" My driver on the way home asked how the strip club was, because he'd never heard of the restaurant. El Dorado is continually included in the top 10 best Mexican food restaurants list, so it's a must try. It has its own entrance, so don't wander into the strip club looking for it.

El Dorado Cantina las vegas

The owner of El Dorado is lovely and the chef came out to give recommendations. He's from Mexico City and gives an upscale twist to classic street foods. Your guacamole is fresh made tableside. My phone decided to hate all video, so I only got a few stills of it being made. I was told that I MUST try one of their margaritas. You can order the house margarita or one of a handful of other kinds. Not being a big drinker, I ordered the strawberry margarita, which came with a beautiful fresh strawberry on the salted rim. 

El Dorado Cantina las vegas

They brought us out a sampling of the restaurant's appetizers, which we all dug into. All the offerings were delicious, but I could have made an entire meal of the bacon-wrapped seafood-stuffed shrimp. O. M. G. I can't wait to go back just for those. We all tried to order something different so we could taste a bit of everything (bloggers, right?). I had looked online at the menu beforehand and was interested in the cactus tacos (total yum!). My new friend to the right of me ordered the lengua (tongue) tacos (spicy yum!) and another new friend across from me ordered the carne asada. Everything was amazing and HUGE. 

El Dorado Cantina las vegas

Go with friends, order an appetizer, split some mains and then you'll hopefully have room leftover for dessert. If you like flan, and even if you don't, this is some of the best I've ever had. I often refer to flan as 'slimy', but this one was creamy and thick and the way I always want to eat flan. They also serve mini churros with caramel and chocolate dipping sauces, tres leches cake (ftw!) and deep fried ice cream. By the end of our meal we were all clutching our stomachs, but we still grabbed spoons to taste all of the desserts. You know, for science. Most of the entrees run $13-16 and are totally shareable if you have a smaller appetite or order something else to go with. 

Seattle dog

Haute Doggery
I love strolling the Linq Promenade. You can watch people, find desserts, duck into several casinos, get a drink (hello! Vegas.), have your Instagram pics printed, go shopping, ride the High Roller, and stuff your face. I was on my way to meet family and friends at The Flamingo for a birthday celebration, so I hopped the monorail and got off at the Linq to try the new Haute Doggery. They have fancy dressed hot dogs and are right next to Gordon Ramsay's Fish & Chips. The decor is bright and fun and it's hard to choose from their assortment of mouthwatering sounding dog selections. 


I finally settled on the Seattle Dog with grilled onions, cream cheese, chili aioli and jalapenos. I also got an order of fries and a soda, all of which only cost me $16. The fries could easily be shared between two, because I certainly couldn't eat more than half of them. My dog was perfectly dressed and I was actually able to eat it without the fork and knife I thought I needed. It wasn't so overstuffed that everything fell out onto my lap when I bit into it. The crinkle fries weren't anything special, but they were a great match to the flavorful dog. 



The restaurant is small, but your food comes in a nice little box tray in case you want to wander down the promenade to find somewhere else to enjoy your haute dog. I liked that the dogs didn't have that hard snap that people often love, but I find off-putting. All dogs run around $6 and some change, but you can also order a burger or other sandwich.

That's my round-up for food from this trip, though I did eat other places/things. These are just the ones that stood out and I would return for, especially for the price. 

Do you have a favorite cheap eat in Vegas?

*Disclaimer: my meal and drinks were comped for this visit to El Dorado, but all opinions are 100% my own and I will be returning because I enjoyed my entire meal.
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