Easter Jazz Brunch at Sammy’s Restaurant & Bar!

Easter at Sammy's 2015 WEBHey Everyone!!!

How is 2015 treating you so far? I cannot believe it is MARCH already…how in the world did that happen?!?!? Things have been really busy for the past several months…hardly time to catch my breath…but now, all of a sudden, they have slowed down a ton and I have an opportunity to get caught up a little. Good and bad. Good because I FINALLY have time to write a little something on my blog again (can I even claim to have a blog anymore if I only post once or twice a year???), but bad because it means not a lot of money coming in this month. That’s okay, I know things will pick up again soon…they always do. Which brings me to the following:

Cocho Arbe (on keys) and I are super excited to be returning to Sammy’s Restaurant & Bar for their EASTER JAZZ BRUNCH on Sunday, April 5th, from 11am – 3pm (live music from 11am-2pm). If you have never been to this location, you need to check it out (we played there New Year’s Eve and it is absolutely beautiful…you can click here for a really cool VIRTUAL TOUR of the restaurant)! They have an incredible MENU and a TON of gluten-free options as well (bonus for ME). :-) Sammy’s Restaurant & Bar is located at 1501 North Green Valley Pkwy, Henderson, NV 89074 and their phone number is (702) 567-4000 (I would recommend calling to see if you need reservations…if it’s anything like NYE, they will be BUSY!). Great food, great cocktails and JAZZ…what more could you want?!?

So, that’s about it. We have a few other little things here and there (Ron and I are doing a show called “FLOPS!” with a few friends at the ONYX Theater on March 29th and we are hosting the “Toast of the Town” Variety Show on Sunday, April 12 at 1pm…BROADWAY SHOWS OF THE 1960’S!), but overall, a pretty slow month.

How about you?? What does YOUR month look like? Maybe we can get together for coffee…looks like I have time!! ;-)

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NEW Gluten-Free Bakery in Las Vegas!!!!

I had a chance to visit the NEW totally-gluten-free bakery here in Las Vegas, Beau Monde Bakery, twice in the past week (they just opened last Tuesday) and the place is awesome! Really, really delicious baked goods…you’d NEVER know they were gluten free! I haven’t had a chance to try everything yet, but 2 of my favorites so far are the banana bread and the coffee cake…so good! I also got to try some of their artisan bread…REALLY good, and light (not heavy, like so many other gf breads out there). I was really blown away. They also have hamburger buns, pizza crust, cinnamon raisin bread, brownies, cookies, cupcakes, etc, etc, etc!

Please, PLEASE go by and check them out, and give them as much business as possible. And then tell all of your friends! I would love to have this bakery be around for a long time…and like all businesses here in Las Vegas (particularly those who cater to gluten-free), they need community help and support to get the word out there! It’s located at Smoke Ranch and Buffalo (Smoke Ranch is a smaller street located between Cheyenne & Lake Mead). And for those visiting Las Vegas, it’s only about a 20 minute drive from the strip! On a side note, they’ve also done a BEAUTIFUL job with the decor…it’s really nice in there. The owner is named Melissa Zimmerman and she’s super sweet…introduce yourself and get to know her!

Business hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10am-5pm.

Beau Monde Bakery is the first international subsidiary of GF Patisserie (THE most well-known, most delicious GF Bakery in Canada)!!!

BEAU MONDE BAKERY
2380 N. Buffalo, Suite 110
Las Vegas, NV
(702) 331-1515
www.beaumondebakery.com

Really GREAT Gluten-Free Pizza: Radio City Pizzaria at Tivoli Village!

Radio City Pizzaria - Gluten-Free Pizza

YUMMY Gluten-Free Pizza!

Those of you who need to eat gluten-free (or simply choose to once in a while for health reasons) will hopefully be as excited as I was to find a TRULY SPECTACULAR Gluten-Free Pizza here in Las Vegas! I found it at the newly opened Tivoli Village at Queensridge (across from the Suncoast Hotel & Casino) at Radio City Pizzaria. Okay, let me start by saying, my husband is the HUGE pizza fan in our family…honestly, I can take it or leave it. Never have been a big fan…even before I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. BUT I AM NOW! Wow, sooooo good! I have been back 4 times in the past 3 weeks…and am hoping to visit again this weekend! Now, if you like a really thick, greasy crust, then this may not be the pizza for you…BUT if you like a relatively thin, crispy crust with fresh, healthy ingredients…YUM! Aside from gluten-free pizza, they also have a full gluten-filled regular menu (for those “lucky” members of your family who don’t have to watch everything they eat), but they take all the necessary precautions against cross-contamination and I haven’t gotten sick once…not even a little bit (and as many of you know, I am REALLY sensitive to gluten). Plus they serve Coca-Cola in REAL glass bottles!!!! Um, hello…love that!

You can check out their FULL menu on their website:
www.RadioCityPizza.com

Radio City Pizzeria
410 S. Rampart
Las Vegas, 89145
At Tivoli Village at Queensridge

Leticia’s Mexican Cocina – Good for Gluten-Free!

As many of you know, I am always on the look-out for FANTASTIC new restaurants who are able to safely accommodate those who need to eat Gluten-Free. Well, I am SO happy to announce that I have found a new one and, after eating there 3 times now, I can ABSOLUTELY recommend it! It’s Leticia’s Mexican Cocina, located in the Centennial area of North Las Vegas. Truly delicious, AUTHENTIC, Mexican food…amazing Margaritas (1/2 price at the bar during Happy Hour, 2-6pm Monday – Thursday)…VERY accommodating & friendly wait staff…in short, a GREAT restaurant all around and PERFECT for those who need to eat gluten-free!

Here’s a description of the restaurant from their website:

“The experience begins at the door as a warm, personal, and sincere welcome is offered to each patron.  Indoor dining or al fresco on our stunning patio will define your experience and bring you back to the warm family experiences of your youth. Enjoy the outdoor air on our charming patio while the sounds of mariachi music flows from above. Our Mexican Restaurant is dedicated to making your experience one you will want to enjoy time and time again. Located in an attractive, picturesque village, Leticia ’s Cocina will create a sense of family, fun, entertainment, and community…our dining experience reflects the age-old tradition of Tu Casa, being treated like you were part of the family. Your table service and wait team pay special attention to your dining experience as if you were in old Mexico.  Your salsa and sauces are made each day with fresh produce which is roasted and blended with the perfect combination of ingredients that will send your senses for a journey through Mexico.  You will smell the aromas through-out our Mexican Restaurant as our hot delicious tortillas and chips are served to your table….the only restaurant in the Centennial area whose menu reflects the rich and deep authentic family style Mexican food and service of traditional Mexico. Our Mexican Restaurant offers a fully stocked bar which serves Margaritas that are made to order with fresh squeezed limes and other top ingredients that will compliment any meal. For you beer lovers we also have a wide range to choose from served with your choice of a chilled glass or mug. Tequila! Yes our bar boasts over 50 types (and growing) of tequila. Ask about our tequila club! With a capacity of over 200, old Mexican Colonial decor, music, weekend entertainment, sports, and cultural events scheduled throughout the year, you will soon define Leticia’s Cocina as the location to celebrate special days in your life.”

Our Yummy MARGARITAS!

Keep in mind, obviously, that everything on their menu is NOT gluten-free…however, I would say that you could safely eat at least 50% of the items on the menu, provided you talk with your server and/or the manager about your needs prior to ordering. Each time I went, the wait staff was EXTREMELY helpful in going through the menu with me and discussing my various options. Unfortunately, any of the fried items are off limits, as they don’t have a dedicated fryer as of yet. However, there are TONS of other “safe” items on the menu, and their fresh tortilla chips are cooked at a close by, off-site location so there is no risk of cross-contamination there.

I would like to say that I have tried LOTS of different items, but the gluten-free version (make sure you ask for it “gluten-free”…they alter the sauce slightly) of their Grilled Top Sirloin Steak Fajitas with Corn Tortillas was SO GOOD that I have ordered it EVERY TIME!!!! Absolutely yummmmmmmmy!

So I would LOVE for you to check out this great, little restaurant and let me know what YOUR favorites are! Let me know which gluten-free items you’d recommend and I will absolutely add your recommendations to this blog post!!!!

Leticia’s Mexican Cocina
http://leticiascocina.com/
7585 Norman Rockwell Lane, Suite #1
Las Vegas, NV 89143
(702) 445-7722

OMG! A Delicious Gluten-Free Pizza! No way!!!!

The BEST Gluten-Free Pizza I've Ever Had!

So last week my hubby and I FINALLY had the chance to head over to Marc Rich’s N.Y. Pizza & Pasta to try out that famous Gluten-Free Pizza that we keep hearing so much about. Seriously, I think I have heard from at least 20 different people in the past few months that I needed to check this place out! Unfortunately, every time we planned on going, something always came up.

Well, we finally did it…and WOW, am I ever glad we did!!! It was absolutely DELICIOUS! In fact, I have been craving it every day since we went…really! And I am NOT normally a pizza-person. My husband, however, (the non-Celiac of the family) is a complete and utter fanatic when it comes to pizza…it is his absolute FAVORITE food! So if HE even liked it, you KNOW it had to be good.

Their Gluten-Free Pizza is 14 inches (a good size for 2 people to share), has a fabulously thin and crispy crust, comes with your choice of 2 toppings, and is $17.99.  Maybe not the cheapest pizza in town, but SOOOOO worth the money. We will absolutely be going back!!! We went to the location in Summerlin (just West of the 215) but discovered that they also have a location a bit closer to us in the Centennial Shopping Center…yippee! Just a quick note…they do recommend that you call ahead before you go, just to make sure they have enough of their gluten-free crust in stock (apparently it’s becoming so popular that they occasionally run out…AGH!!!!).

I DEFINITELY recommend checking this place out…I promise, you won’t be disappointed!

Mark Rich’s New York Pizza & Pasta

http://www.markrichnypizza.com/index.html

Centennial Center Shopping Center
7930 W. Tropical Parkway Suite 130
Las Vegas, Nevada 89149
Phone: 702-645-3337

Albertson’s Shopping Center – Vista Commons
11710 W. Charleston Boulevard Suite 150
Las Vegas, Nevada 89135
Phone: 702-898-7424 or 702-363-7272

DISNEYLAND Great for Gluten-Free!

A couple of weeks ago, Ron and I headed down to California to celebrate our friend Dennis’ birthday at “the happiest place on earth,” Disneyland! I’d heard recently that Disney had been making some changes to their menu offerings in order to accommodate their Gluten-Free guests, but I had no idea just how MUCH they were doing. Boy, were we ever impressed!!!

To begin with, we met Dennis and his family at Downtown Disney for dinner on Sunday evening. As I usually do, I called ahead to the restaurant to check on the menu and make sure there would be something I could eat, and I was told by the hostess that all I needed to do was inform our server that I needed to eat gluten-free and that they would absolutely be able to accommodate me. Good answer! When we arrived at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, we were seated in a FABULOUS little private dining room upstairs (there were about 15 of us in the party) and I talked with our server about my options. There were a TON of choices for me! I decided on the Barbecue Gulf Shrimp (minus the French bread croutons) appetizer and the Seafood Jambalaya for dinner. Wow….talk about delicious! The Jambalaya was absolutely AMAZING!!!  I highly recommend this restaurant.

Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen: Located in the Downtown Disney® District, our two story replica of traditional French Quarter architecture includes a ground floor, interior, open-air courtyard flanked by a quick service dining facility (Creole Cafe) and a New Orleans-style jazz club (Flambeaux’s) Upstairs in the Carnival Club you’ll find traditional New Orleans dining rooms and an outdoor ‘Jazz balcony’ with seating that overlooks the revelry of Downtown Disney. For over fifty years, Ralph Brennan and his family have proudly served the finest Louisiana ingredients and our Chef, Darrin Finkel, has peppered those celebrated flavors throughout our menus. The Jazz Kitchen boasts festive, ‘Big Easy themed’ private party facilities and comprehensive event planning services. From our mouthwatering Louisiana cuisine to the live jazz played at Flambeaux’s every night, every detail of the Jazz Kitchen delivers on the promise of New Orleans. Pricing is moderate with entrees at lunch in the $7 – $15 dollar range and at dinner in the $13 – $25 dollar range. A full wine list, wine by the glass and a full bar are available throughout the day.

The next morning we caught the shuttle from our hotel (got a GREAT deal, once again, from Priceline.com…had a fabulous SUITE, with microwave and refrigerator included, at the Hilton Suites Anaheim/Orange for only $60 per night!) to the Disneyland resort. After picking up our 1-Day Park Hopper tickets from will-call (a BIG thank you to Dave Overcash for the tickets!!!!), we stopped by the Disneyland City Hall to pick up our complimentary Gluten-Free Guide to the Disneyland Parks & Resorts (an 11 page print-out describing all of the places you can eat gluten-free at Disneyland, California Adventure, and their 3 hotels!) and met up with our friends for a fabulously FUN day!

Oh my goodness, I can’t even begin to describe how many restaurants and vendors at Disneyland and California Adventure offer gluten-free options now…it was amazing! I was actually able to get a Hamburger with a DELICIOUS Gluten-Free Bun and French Fries (cooked in a separate fryer) at the Village Haus Restaurant in Adventureland. To be honest, I can’t even REMEMBER how long it’s been since I’ve had a hamburger WITH bun! I felt just like a “regular” person!!! :) Some of the other options available at different restaurants were Gluten-Free Cheese & Pepperoni Pizza and Gluten-Free Pasta (at Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port in Tomorrowland), Quesadillas made with Corn Tortillas (Rancho Del Zocalo in Frontierland), Gluten-Free Waffles (Plaza Inn), Hot-Dogs with Gluten-Free Buns (Coke Corner) and SO MUCH MORE!

Kudos to Disneyland for all they are doing to accommodate their guests with dietary issues, like those of us with Celiac Disease. It’s so wonderful to know that we can enjoy a vacation somewhere without having to worry if there’s going to something to eat! Thanks Disney!!!!!!!

Tournament of Kings Show at Excalibur: EXCELLENT for Gluten-Free!

Getting ready to enjoy a FABULOUS dinner at show at "Tournament of Kings" Excalibur Hotel & Casino

Getting ready to enjoy a FABULOUS dinner and show at "Tournament of Kings" Show at EXCALIBUR Hotel and Casino

I just have to tell you about our recent trip to see the Tournament of Kings show at Excalibur Hotel in Las Vegas!

It has always been one of my niece and nephew’s favorite places to go, and when they come for their annual visit it is of course the FIRST thing they want to do.  The last time I went with them was a couple of years ago, BEFORE I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Well, my husband was recently cast in the role of “King Arthur” in the show, so of course THIS year we wanted to SURPRISE them by taking them to see the show (without telling them ahead of time that their Uncle was in the show).  Anyway, as many of you know from some of my past posts, I get EXTREMELY sick from even the slightest bit of cross-contamination…so needless to say, I was a nervous wreck thinking about going.  I mean, I could always go and not eat, but at $60 a ticket, what fun is that???

Well, I had NO NEED to be worried! They were SOOOO accommodating…in fact, I think my gluten-free meal was possibly even better than what everyone else got to eat! :)

Here’s what we did to ensure a wonderful, and SAFE, experience:

  • We bought our tickets a day or two ahead of time, AT the box office, in person.
  • When we did so, we informed them that we had two people in our party with Celiac Disease (my mom and I) and would need two gluten-free meals, and would they be able to help us?
  • I brought along a copy of my Triumph Dining Card (outlining what I could and could not eat), so that we could leave it with them if necessary.
  • From the box office, they actually called their food and beverage manager to talk with us in person about the menu, and she went through every single item and ingredient, just to be safe.  She was fairly knowlegable about Celiac, but said she didn’t want to take any chances.
  • Instead of the soup appetizer, she suggested a Salad with balsamic vinegar & oil on the side — which was beautifully prepared. QUICK NOTE: Although we had informed our server upon arrival that we had two gluten-free meals (which he had already knew), when the soup came out it was brought by a food “runner” who didn’t realize we had special meals.  My mom wasn’t with us when we made the reservations, so she didn’t realize we weren’t having soup and almost ate it. Fortunately, the server and I caught the mistake before she had any, so all was okay. In case this happens to anyone in your party, just remember, the tomato soup is NOT gluten-free.
  • When preparing my Cornish Game Hen they used just salt & pepper.  No extra seasonings…it didn’t need any, it was FABULOUS with just the salt & pepper.
  • I had a large Baked Potato with butter & sour cream on the side, instead of the fried “potato boats.”
  • The meal came with steamed Broccoli, which was fine.
  • For desert they prepared my mom and me a HUGE plate of fruit (fresh watermelon, strawberries, cantelope, honeydew, grapes & pineapple)! We had several people around us asking how we got so lucky to get Fresh Fruit!

Tournament of KingsTo top it off, we were all able to get in on a “locals” discount of 2 FOR 1 (so about $30 per person, with tax, and that INCLUDES dinner & show!), which they do quite often…you just need to be sure and ask when you make your reservations if they have any locals discounts.

So, it turned out to be a WONDERFUL experience. My neice and nephew were totally surprised (and haven’t stopped talking about it for a week), the food was AWESOME, and the show was FANTASTIC.  Very, very fun! I would highly recommend it.

To find out more, please visit the “Tournament of Kings” page on the EXCALIBUR website by clicking HERE!

To order your own Triumph Dining Cards for safe, gluten-free ordering in ANY restaurant, visit their website: www.TriumphDining.com

Marche Bacchus and SC Prime Steakhouse: EXCELLENT for Gluten-Free!

Dinner at "Marche Bacchus" in Desert Shores

Lunch at "Marche Bacchus" in Desert Shores

As most of you know, I am always on the lookout for great restaurants that offer gluten-free options.  For those of us with Celiac Disease (a genetic autoimmune disease that affects approximately 1 in 133 and requires strict adherence to a 100% gluten-free diet for life), eating out SAFELY can be difficult and extremely frustrating at times (actually, MOST of the time).  Since even a minuscule, stray crumb of gluten left on a counter or in a pan can make me horribly ill, I have to be extremely careful.  So when I come across a restaurant where they actually KNOW how to prepare items gluten-free (and I don’t have to give them a 30-minute dissertation on what I can and cannot eat, and how extremely careful they need to be…which I absolutely HATE having to do), I am SOOOOOOOO excited!  I found TWO of these places this month!

Marche Bacchus French Bistro & Wine Market

Marche Bacchus French Bistro & Wine Market

The first is located in the Desert Shores community of Summerlin, and it’s called “Marche Bacchus.” Not only was the chef aware and extremely knowledgeable about Celiac Disease, but so was the manager on duty AND the server (I’m not saying ALL of the servers there would be, but this one was)!  In fact, the executive chef, Jean Paul, actually came out to the table to speak with us before AND after the meal, and seemed genuinely excited to prepare some things special just for my mom (who is also Celiac) and me.  We had Moules Mariniere (Mussels in a white, chardonnay, butter, garlic sauce) for an appetizer, La Piece De Boeuf Du Boucher (a Pan-Seared, Butcher’s Cut Steak, which was so tender and FABULOUS!) served with potatoes (substitute the Pomme Frittes for Pan-Roasted Potatoes) and vegetables for our entree, and the Grand Marnier Chocolate Cake (a gluten-free Flourless Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Coulis) for desert. YUM! And the ambiance was so spectacular, sitting right on the lake…so peaceful.  We went for a late lunch, and the prices were extremely reasonable.  We will definitely be back!

My GLUTEN-FREE Dinner!

My GLUTEN-FREE Dinner!

The second restaurant is the brand new SC Prime Steakhouse & Bar, located at the Suncoast Hotel in Summerlin.  With floor to ceiling windows revealing a breathtaking view of the Las Vegas skyline, this elegant restaurant is among the most beautiful in town.  And the food…AMAZING! We got an incredible appetizer of Barbeque Shrimp with Spicy Chipotle Sauce (served without the toast points), 8oz Filet Mignon and Shrimp Scampi (with a lemon, garlic, butter sauce made specially without flour) with Creamed Corn and Cheddar Broccoli on the side, and Lemon Sorbet with Fresh Berries for dessert!  Are you hungry yet?????  Not only was the food amazing, but the service was absolutely top-notch!  We loved everything about it.  It may be a bit more pricey than most people can afford on a regular basis (we were fortunate to have received a COMP for the entire meal as a bonus from when Ron hosted the Suncoast’s “Barrels of Cash” give-aways last month), but for a special night out (anniversary, birthday, etc…) I HIGHLY recommend it!!!!!

Dinner at SC "Prime Steakhouse"

Dinner at SC "Prime Steakhouse"

To find out more about Marche Bacchus French Bistro & Wine Market, visit their website: www.MarcheBacchus.com

Visit the SC Prime Steakhouse & Bar webpage to see their full dinner and dessert menus here: www.SuncoastCasino.com/dining/sc-prime-steakhouse-bar

To find out more about Celiac Disease and gluten-intolerance, visit www.Celiac.com

Lunch at Nora’s “Wine Bar & Osteria” in Summerlin

Our Lunch at Nora's in Summerlin!

Our Lunch at Nora's in Summerlin!

A couple of weeks ago, Ron and I headed out to Summerlin with the Michaels family for an amazing lunch at Nora’s Wine Bar & Osteria.  Talk about an experience!  This wonderful little bistro features over 350 bottles of wine and 60 different wines by the glass, plus an incredible (and very reasonably priced) Italian menu (they even offer Gluten-Free pasta for those like me!).  In fact, each day from 11am-6pm they have “happy hour” where you can get lunch items for as little as $7.00 a piece.  How can they afford to do that?  Because they know that once you come in and sample some of their great wines (they sell 3 or 6 ounce samples of most of their wines for you to taste), you’ll end up spending more on wine than you do on the food! :)

That’s what we did anyway!!  But it was totally worth it….great friends, great food, great wine, great conversation…great time!

To find out more about Nora’s Wine Bar & Osteria, visit their website at www.NorasWineBar.com.

Mom’s Birthday Dinner at Maggiano’s!

moms-birthday-at-maggianos-8

On Sunday we picked up Ron’s mom and brother at the airport (they are visiting from Georgia through the New Year), and later that evening we all (including my mom and dad) went to dinner at Maggiano’s at the Fashion Show Mall to celebrate my mom’s birthday.  I won’t tell you what year this is for her, but it’s a BIG one! :)

Oh my goodness, I just LOVE this restaurant!  Chef Darrin is AMAZING and makes the greatest Gluten-free versions of his signature dishes for anyone who requests it.  We started with Mussels in a gluten-free tomato, basil (and I think Garlic) sauce that was to DIE for, and then my mom and I shared an order of Gluten-Free Pasta with Meat Sauce and Chicken Parmesan with a potato chip crust that literally melted in our mouths.

Dinner at Maggiano's!

Dinner at Maggiano's with the family!

My mother-in-law got a dish called “Mom’s Lasagna” (can’t miss with a name like that!), Ron’s brother Gary ordered Chicken Marsala, my dad had some chicken dish that he can’t remember the name of (but he said it was wonderful :) ) and Ron indulged in an incredible Lobster Fettuccine — of course, none of THEM had to order gluten-free…must be nice!!!  Although at THIS restaurant it doesn’t matter — even the Gluten-Free dishes are AMAZING!!!

After dinner, the waitress even brought out a complimentary Creme Brulee with a candle in it, especially for my mom, that we all shared.  Very nice!  And the best part??? The entire gourmet meal for six people (WITH 2 rounds of drinks) came out to LESS than $200!!!  Can you believe it???

Lisa and Ron SmithRon and I highly recommend this wonderful restaurant (whether you need to eat Gluten-free or not)!!!

To read more about Maggiano’s and their MANY locations across the country, please visit their website at www.Maggianos.com

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!