Home, reflecting, and feeling blessed to have been able to escape to Sin City for a few days. Popularized by gangsters and people with larger than life ambitions, Las Vegas continues to attract people from all over the world as a tourist destination, offering each of its visitors a non-stop ticket to a state of suspended disbelief. The gung-ho family focused growth and subsequent marketing campaigns that were commonplace during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, have now taken a turn back toward the debauchery and excess that first characterized the Vegas mystique. There is truly something for everyone in this city; all one needs is a will and some money, and Las Vegas can become a platform for making any dream come true.
Our dream? Do you really have to ask? Without question our number one goal and the sole reason behind this whirlwind trip was to make sure that the old man smiled, laughed, and generally had a good time in celebration of his 60th year on Planet Earth. Lucky for us the birthday boy happens to enjoy good food just as much as we do. So while our days were filled with roller-coaster rides, pool time, gambling, searching for discount liquor shops, and people watching, our nights were spent sampling delectable dishes from well respected restaurants; both the BIG-name “on the strip” variety, as well as some more remote “local” haunts that are able to pull hunger-lusting tourists such as ourselves away from the bright lights of the strip.
From the moment we stepped off the plane, the birthday boy instilled his full trust in yours truly to act as guides on our gastronomical adventures. We honorably accepted this bestowed role, and did our best to choose establishments, based on chowhound/foodie research, that might deliver memorable experiences. For now I am too tired/hung-over/jet lagged (take your pick) to recount exactly what those memories were. What I can say though, is that our travels once again reinforced how fantastically unique Portland is as a dining mecca, and how lucky we residents are to be able to call this city home.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the food is Las Vegas wasn't amazing, because it was. It’s just that when it comes to real ingredients, passion, and creativity, Portland can hold its own, and then some. Yes, Las Vegas was fun, but it tastes good to be home.
to be continued...