Great Crepe Expectations

I spent the last day of 2015 with good friends, under the moonlight and bright lights of Las Vegas Blvd, watching the fireworks. After a night like that, how can I make the first day of 2016 as special as the last?

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In my dreams, I’d grab my passport, hop in my private jet and dash off to Paris to grab some drinks and breakfast someplace in view of the Eiffel Tower. In lieu of that option, I headed down Eastern Avenue to Crepe Expectations. Champagne check. Nutella check. View of the Eiffel Tower, nope, but this place has so much character you’ll forget you’re on Eastern Avenue. Walk past the outdoor seating and step into a charming room, accented with a dark wood bar that faces the crepe making station, stone detail around the counter, and purple walls.

Being the first meal of my day, I opted for a breakfast crepe, The Monterey, to be exact. Bacon, scrambled eggs, tomato, red onion, mild Serrano peppers, Jack cheese, and since I wanted to start the new year out on a healthy note, I added spinach. While the menu describes the Serrano peppers as mild, they definitely have a noticeable kick which works well with the slight sweetness of the crepe itself.

Usually, when I go to Crepe Expectations, I’ll choose a pot of warm jasmine tea or a glass of fresh squeezed OJ with my crepe, but today I went with the Mimosa Trio Sampler. My choices: pomegranate, blood orange and strawberry.

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After my breakfast crepe and trio of mimosas, my stomach wasn’t quite bursting at the seems yet, so I tried to convince my eating companion to go half on another crepe, something on the sweeter side, maybe the Avalon or a Simple Delight. We decided not to give in to gluttony and just savor the experience of breakfast. When I finally returned home and the “itis” settled in, I was glad we had taken the less gluttonous route.

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The Monterey Crepe with a side salad and Mimosa Sampler

The owners got it right in describing Crepe Expectation as “Yum in Action,” their trademark. With 3 categories of crepes to choose from: sweet, savory, and breakfast (served all day), plus an ample selection of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, there are several reasons to love Crepe Expectations, and to keep coming back.

Crepe Expectations
<$8/person
9500 S. Eastern Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89123
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May You Have Nothing But Good Fuku

I’ve travelled to several places in the world, and I can tell you that some of the best food I’ve tasted is often street food. Well, Las Vegas is no different.

Street food in Las Vegas, is of the food truck variety. While there are several food trucks in Las Vegas serving up good eats, my current infatuation is with Fukuburger (Fuku comes from the last name of truck co-owner Colin Fukunaga and means luck in Japanese). While the Fuku patties themselves are yummy, cooked to perfection and made with beef from a local butcher, Larry’s Great Western Meats, what keeps me coming back is the unique Japanese inspired flavor combinations. Ingredients like kabayaki sauce, wasabi, ginger and kaiware sprouts, add unique flavor kicks that change the ubiquitous hamburger, into something oh so special.

If I had to give Fukuburger a rating, it would be 5 mics. That’s right mics. Anyone who’s a fan of hip hop, or who’s ever read The Source, knows that 5 mics is the highest honor an album can receive. It means an album is a classic. Something that you can throw in your CD player and listen to all the way thru, without skipping any tracks. You might have your favorite song on a given day, but you love the whole album. That about sums up the way I feel about the menu at Fukuburger. And then, just when I think I might be getting bored with the menu, they’ll serve up an amazing special. It’s like the food world’s version of a mix tape.

One day, I might be yearning for the smokey, sweet flavor of the Buta Burger, a Fuku patty with applewood smoked bacon, American cheese, pickled red onions, red ginger, japanese bbq sauce and wasabi mayo.

On another day, I might feel the urge for a Tamago Burger, a Fuku patty topped with a fried egg, teriyaki, wasabi mayo and finished with crispy onion strings. The egg is fried over easy, so when you bite into the soft yolk, yellow egg juice goes running everywhere. Make sure you catch it in the little paper tray they serve the burgers in, so you can sop up a little of that creamy yellow egg juice, with each additional bite.

If you want something to make your taste buds tingle, try the “spicy” Karai Burger, or an all beef hot link Naga Dog. And don’t worry, if you’re not in the mood for beef, Fuku Burger still has you covered, with the Chicken Katsu; a panko crusted chicken patty, topped with shredded cabbage, katsu sauce and “crack” sauce. Yes, “crack” sauce, aptly called because it will have you fiendin’ for more.

Buta Burger aka "Pig" with Jazz Fries

To accompany your Fukuburger of choice, you can’t go wrong with either the Togarashi Garlic Fries or the Jazz Fries (shown above). The Jazz Fries are also topped with some of that “crack” sauce, and gravy.

Currently, there is a Fukuburger restaurant in LA, but as they say, All the fresh Hollywood food places always start off as a good little hood thang. So, pull up a bucket, have a seat, and enjoy your burger.

Fukuburger Truck 
At a location near you –> schedule
$6-$10/person

Fukuburger (Mobile Truck) on Urbanspoon

Hello Fast Food, We’re Estranged No Longer

About 5 years ago I swore off fast food, it was the day I rented Super Size Me to be exact. One of the special features on the DVD really grossed me out. It compared McDonald’s food, versus “real” hamburgers and french fries when left out to let nature take its course. I’ll spare you the gory details, but let’s just say the McDonald’s food went through some very unnatural changes, to say the least. That was all I needed to say goodbye to fast food, at least until I moved to Las Vegas.

On trips here in the past, I’d seen the blinking In-N-Out Burger lights from across the Strip, but I had sworn off fast food so I never even thought about trying one. That was until one of my friends from back East, who had moved out this way, convinced me that In-N-Out Burger was different from anything we had at home. So I broke my nearly 5-year renunciation of fast food and had my first In-N-Out Burger.

The first day I entered In-N-Out Burger, I was shocked that there weren’t any heat lamps or microwaves and someone was in the back actually cutting french fries from whole potatoes. And then I bit into my burger and fell even more in love with this place. The pickles were crunchy like in the pickle commercials, the lettuce was crisp and cool, the tomatoes juicy, the cheese gooey like real melted cheese should be, and the buns were plump and glistening like they were just pulled out of the oven. As much as I enjoyed my burger, I felt somewhat slighted that those on the western half of the country had kept this secret from the rest of us.

I still consider it fast food, but with “Quality you can taste”. I don’t think they could have picked a better slogan. I’ve even caught on to their “secret” menu now. That will be one burger, animal style with fries.

In-N-Out Burger

Various locations throughout the Valley

<$5/person

 In-N-Out Burger (West Side) on Urbanspoon

In-N-Out Burger on Foodio54