Friday, July 5, 2013


By the end of our first day in Las Vegas, we were pooped. We had spent the previous two weeks seeing both San Francisco and Mexico city almost entirely by foot and didn't give a second thought about doing the very same in Nevada. Well, if you've ever spent a minute in the relentless Las Vegas sun, you'll know that walking up and down that strip is going to test a man's limits! I wonder if that's what those architects had in the back of their minds when they designed each hotel/casino? That the design was an altruistic one: putting everything you could possibly need under the one roof, so that patrons would be shielded from that harsh, dry heat outside. Somehow, I think the design of those places is less about me and you and more about the fellow who owns the joint but that night, these tired bunnies were happy to simply press an elevator button in order to get to a decent restaurant with the big, fat steaks we were craving.

Named after the Colombian artist Fernando Botero, and housing some of his most popular works is Botero. It's situated within the Encore, with every single window commanding a view out to the gorgeous pool area I told you about in my last post. We arrived after nine, while the place was fairly quiet and figured that this must be what a weeknight in Las Vegas feels like! But we soon learned that turning up for dinner at 9pm in Vegas is like turning up to dinner at 5 or 6 anywhere else in the world: it wasn't long before the place started buzzing. It was quite the people watchers treat: there were more than a few mature-aged slicked-hair gents with shirts unbuttoned almost to the navel, wining and dining their bandaged-dressed Lolitas! Not to mention a sprinkling of athletes and a few ladies who wouldn't look out of place on the set of Real Housewives. Average Joes like us must have looked pretty exotic! Anyway, let's get back to Botero:

We perched ourselves at the bar and perused the cocktail menu on iPads, no less. I can't recall the names of these two, but let's just say they constituted only the first round that night:

As it was James' first time drinking alcohol on the whole trip, this next photo of me is a little beer goggle-y:

Just kidding.

While we decided on our meals, the waiters brought out the prettiest little bread baskets for us to share. Before I had the chance to feel envious of my wheat-eating companion, the waiter asked if we had any specific dietary requirements. I took a chance and asked for gluten-free and, before I knew it, the waiter had raced off and brought me back my own plate of delicious gluten free bread to start. I've never had that happen before!

The very same thing occurred with the amuse-bouches. James got something delicious and crumbed, while I got a totally wheat free and equally tasty one. Nice work, Botero:

Another round of cocktails later and our steaks arrived! I had the petit (in reality it was not-so petite) filet, while James  had the bone-in rib eye. Both were absolutely incredible. We had intended on sharing the whipped potatoes and wild mushrooms but poor James couldn't fit anything in after his huge hunk o' steak!!!

More for me, then!

A strange pattern of skipping dessert had begun taking place on our holiday and that evening was no exception. We made our way back to the comfort of our room to rest our stuffed bellies and get a decent night's sleep before a day of exploring the strip. More on that tomorrow!

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