Two-Dollar Tasty Tacos de Tijuana

I had my first experience of these amazing tacos when I visited family in Chula Vista (San Diego), California. But just like my first experience, the Las Vegas site continues to show me why Baja California’s amazing tacos are just that incredibly good!

Tacos El Gordo is simplicity done right!

It’s cafeteria-style ordering system can be somewhat confusing but have no fear, plenty of the friendliest people, however much English they chose to speak, are willing to help you understand. Facing the counter, the far left window is the lady making the freshly pressed, homemade corn tortillas as well as the grilled, perfectly caramelized green onions and peppers.

The guy just to the right of her is grilling and serving up the incredible carne asada. When I mean incredible, I mean carne asada done right. Thinly sliced steaks, grilled, and then thinly sliced for your taco-eating pleasure. This ain’t Roberto’s or Fausto’s where they have huge pieces of beef (top round/beef chuck) that they thinly slice and then cook up on the flat top. This is perfectly grilled and seasoned, smoky steak!

To the right, my favorite stuff, are all the other pieces of beef and pork that you would never see in any other restaurant, let alone a Mexican restaurant. Buche (Pork Stomach), Saudero (many definitions but I’ll go with something like brisket), Lengua (Beef Tongue), Cabeza (Beef Head), Sesos (Beef Brains), Tripa (Beef Tripe). If you’ve never had any of these cuts of meat, you need to try it, at least once. They are all perfectly clean-tasting cuts of meat. They know how to serve up their innards, if you know what I mean. Quick tip…you have to order the tripa and ask them for the crispy tripa. IT WILL ROCK YOUR WORLD, PROMISE!

Finally, to his right, the ‘piece de resistance,’ the pork Adobada. Meaning “marinated,” the adobada is what you MUST get if you ever visit Tacos El Gordo. It’s pork marinated in a red chili sauce with vinegar and oregano. It’s slow roasted with sweet pineapple (which you have to ask for a piece of when ordering the adobada, it raises the bar), on a contraption that a New Yorker would think it was a gyro on the spigot. Slowly rotating around a flame so that the natural pork juices keep running down the meat, keeping a nice crust on the outside to keep the juices in. The taco de adobada is topped with a salsa rojo and this heavenly avocado cream.


“Con cebollas y cilantro?” “Si, con todo!” Unless specified, all the tacos are topped with raw white onions and cilantro. The adobada and the innards (as I call them) are also topped with a special salsa rojo. But the adobada alone gets the special avocado cream. Sandwiched between two freshly made corn tortillas, just ask for a plate of carmelized green onions and peppers and your done! Oh, don’t forget to let them know if you want it ‘to-go’ or ‘for here!’ You can also get these meats topped in a Sope ($4), sandwiched in a quesadilla ($4), or topped on a tostada ($2). For $10, you can get any of the pork Adobada or the steak Asada with fries topped with guacamole and crema fresca…that’s best for ‘midnight munchies!’

For only $2 a taco, this stuff is the cheapest, best tasting, late night Mexcian food at its best! Open from 9AM-2AM Sunday-Thursday and 9AM-4AM Friday & Saturday, this is thee place to fulfill your Mexican cravings!

Thank God its clear across town because if it was any closer, El Gordo is exactly how I’ll be for the rest of my life!

Holsteins Zero, In N Out Won

Burger joints have been popping up across the country as if there’s an epidemic of meat-hungry Americans needing a beef fix, ASAP! Vegas has its own plethora of burger joints all-around town that are competing to win over locals’ stomachs. Las Vegas offers up restaurants brought to you by America’s finest gourmet chefs such as BLT Burger by Chef Laurent Tourondel at the Mirage and the Burger Bar by Chef Hubert Keller at Mandalay Bay. Then, we have the good ol’, simple-as-they-come burger joints that pride themselves in what the beef has to offer. From In-N-Out and Fatburger to Five Guys and Fuku burger, the local burger food truck. No matter what corner of Las Vegas you end up on, there’s a burger palace up for the adventurous appetite.

At The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, the newest Las Vegas Strip Hotel & Casino, Holsteins Shakes & Buns is what they have to bring to the table for our beef-eating, patty-lovers. They bring us their “Bad-ass burgers and milkshakes that we won’t find anywhere else in Las Vegas (or in the world for that matter!)”

Walking into the restaurant, we were greeted by the infamous pink cow branded with “HOLSTEINS” on the side. It just screams BEEF right when you walk into the door.

They offer a nice array of “Bam-Boozled Shakes” for the 21+, such as the Strawberry Shortcake: cheesecake chunks, graham crumble, strawberry swirl, and Absolut vanilla vodka and the Oreo Milkshake: Oreo Cookies and Bailey’s Irish Cream. They surprised me with an amazing selection of 12 “Big Buns” choices from the Classic to the Korean ‘Bull’Gogi featuring marinated beef, fried egg, kimchee slaw, and a chili mayo. For an extra $1 or $2, you can add their “One Dollar Cheese” or their “Two Dollar Cheese,” clever huh? They also have toppings from a fried egg for an extra $1 all the way to lobster meat or Foie Gras Torchon for $7 each. Holsteins also provides “Snacks” and “Tiny Buns” as their appetizers and sliders.

Appetizer: Southern-Fried Chicken Fingers-N-Waffles (w Maple Syrup and Ranch Dressing), Daughter: Virgin Oreo Milkshake, Kids Grilled Cheese & Shoestring Fries, and Me: Plain Iced Tea and the Hen House Burger (medium)

As excited as I was to try Holsteins, the faster I was let down.

Southern Fried Chicken Fingers & Waffles: First off, they never came. Well at least before our entrees showed up, as I asked. The runner showed up at our table with our burger and grilled cheese. The look on my face was priceless and then our server, Alicia, comes scurrying behind with our chicken fingers. She apologized because the kitchen never saw our appetizer ticket until after our entrees. Now, I have all my food on my table at the same time. What do I eat first? Which item should I endure cold, the chicken fingers or the burger? This is definitely a decision one should never have to make. Needless to say, I had the chicken fingers and waffles first. It probably didn’t matter if I had it after the burger because I’m sure it would’ve been as uneventful either way. The taste of fried, previously frozen, chicken fingers with a ranch dressing that tasted too much like blue cheese dressing was not worth the $11. Ever heard of Raising Canes? Cheaper and taste way better!

The Burger: The Hen House (Beef, a fried egg, smoked bacon, lettuce tomato, mustard and ketchup) on a whole wheat bun served w/ steak cut fries…At first look, this burger was going to make my lunch worthwhile. Juicy, vibrant, and had the sweetest smell! Upon tasting it, it was another world. First off, the bun was way, too dry. When I took a bite of it, all it tasted of was grease, mustard, and ketchup. So then I gave it another go but this time just took a taste of the beef patty. I ordered it to be cooked to medium. Either it was because I had my chicken fingers first or because it was just left under the heat lamp (hence my bun felt like it was toasted) but the patty was cold and worst off, tasteless. Tasted of dry, cold, ground meat. I have had way better burgers at In-N-Out and it wasn’t even “Animal-Style.” Over to the fries…steakcut!? Aren’t these called wedges? And in this day and age of burger frenzy, why wouldn’t you make fresh steak cut fries? Is our economy that bad that we have to use frozen fries?

Do you really want me to continue onto my daughter’s order? Let’s just say that the Virgin Oreo Milkshake was the best thing she ordered. The grilled cheese was cold, flavorless cheddar cheese and once again, from frozen, shoestring fries.I don’t care how crisp you can get them but a frozen fry is a frozen fry, you can’t mask it. Now there are plenty of places that sell frozen fries, McDonald’s & Burger King, but when you sell fries for $5 as a side order, you’ve got to do better than frozen!

There’s a definite reason this place doesn’t have the word ‘burgers’ in its name but I really feel they should change it up to…”Holsteins Shakes, PERIOD”

Tweet Worthy Wine

It’s less than two weeks away from summer and Whole Foods Market has released their Top Ten Wines for the summer season. Whole Foods Market vows that these ten wines are

“Top-Notch Wines at Easy-To-Swallow Prices.”

Along with the rest of the nation’s Whole Foods stores, team members at Whole Foods Market in Henderson, NV hosted an amazing Twitter Tasting, pairing of top whites and reds that summer has to offer.

Will & Kendra from WFM

Will, a Specialty Team Member and Kendra, the Marketing Supervisor, offered up six of their top ten wines and four various cheeses that were too good to pass up.

My top picks… 

#1. The 2009 Vitiano, a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sangiovese blend from the Falesco Estate in Umbria region of Italy.  

2009 Vitiano Cabernet Sauvignon & Sangiovese Blend

This bold wine shows incredible legs and nice smokey and peppery notes. This Vitiano shows off great body, fruity flavors and authentic Italian traits. This screams, “Molto bene!” I took this one home with me! I enjoyed it with an amazing Penne Alla Vodka with grilled chicken from my favorite Italian pizzeria in Vegas, Rocco’s NY Pizza! What an awesome pairing!

#2. For a great poolside, summer wine, Argentina’s Innovac!on Torrontes Pinot Grigio is ready for the sun bathers of America! Ramona from Bravo’s Real Housewives of NY would scream for this pinot! 

Innovac!on Torrontes Pinot Grigio

This bright and tart pinot grigio is packed with florals. Innovac!on, yes, it’s really spelled with an exclamation point, is packed with notes of stone fruit like peaches and apricots! Speaking to the other customers at the Twitter Tasting, this was a definite favorite! A little summer tip, freeze some peaches or grapes, and drop them into the bottom of the glass before pouring yourself some Innovac!on!

To see the rest of the Top Ten Wines go to

Check out the Twitter Tasting hashtag #WFMwine , follow @WFMHenderson, @WFMWineGuys, @WholeFoods

NY Pizza in Vegas? Fuhgeddaboudit!!

It’s like Donnie Brasco said,

But then, it’s also like if something’s the greatest thing in the world, like “Minga! Those peppers? Fuhgeddaboudit!


Since I moved here 5 years ago, I’ve been to more than a handful of Vegas pizzerias hoping to find the best NY-Style pizza I grew up with or any good pizza for that matter. For the longest, I have to say I had my doubts. Some came close, there’s Metro Pizza, Napoli Pizzeria, Villa Pizza, Boston Pizza, Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza, Big Mama’s & Papa’s, Eastside, Manhattan and maybe the two that were the closest, Grimaldi’s on S. Rampart & Marc Rich’s in Summerlin!

Even with Marc Rich’s coming close in the race and even though I take my daughter there every other Sunday after a hike at Red Rock and before church, another pizzeria takes 1st place in my book!

A small restaurant at the end of a shopping plaza, Rocco’s New York Italian Deli & Pizzeria is the #1 Vegas joint servin’ up a great piece of NY’s best invention!

It’s perfectly thin, no more than a 1/4″ thick [with the sauce]. It’s perfectly crisp! Dough is flavorful! Sauce is sweet and acidic [like any good pizza sauce should be]! It’s NYC pizza in the heart of Summerlin, a planned community in Las Vegas! Fuhgeddaboudit!!

Rocco’s NY-Style Thin Crust Pizza

So if you want to enjoy a little piece of home while your in Vegas, stop by Rocco’s at 10860 W. Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas, NV (702) 796-0111. or visit

Eat And Lose Weight! I Promise!

A friend is in a weight-loss challenge at work similar to the “Biggest Loser.” He asked me what is the best way to suppress those unwanted mini cravings between meals.

In reality, having cravings are our body’s way of notifying us that our body needs more energy[calories] to keep going. This is where hunger and appetite differ. Hunger is the NEED to eat and an appetite is the WANT to eat. We are the only one in control of our cravings and we need to figure out whether we are hungry or have an appetite. So realistically, we need to take our mini-in-between-meal-cravings as a sign of hunger and that our body needs a little more energy to move on.

We need food[calories] in order to properly function every single day. When I say function, I mean walking, thinking, tweeting, facebook-ing, exercising, digesting, metabolizing, shopping, sleeping, texting…basically everything that our body does while we are awake or asleep!

An apple, bananas with fresh peanut butter, ‘power’ bar, green veg & fruit smoothie, or yogurt and granola, whatever small snack you want to have, make it as fat-free as possible. Remember, it’s just to get you by until your next full meal! But, I HAVE A BETTER SOLUTION! If you up your fiber with green-leafy vegetables with all your three meals in the day, I promise you no mid-meal cravings.

It’s as simple as this: take your (preferably circular) plate, draw 3 imaginary slices of pizza. Make one slice about 60% of the circle, and divide the other half into 2 slices. (20%/20%.) Now take your 2-20% slices and fill it with a protein and a grain.Then, take your 60% slice and fill with a mixture of leafy-greens and other vegetables. Make a delicious, colorful salad with kale, chard, tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, and broccoli. The more raw it is, the better for your body[digestion]!

When you transform your meal to have at least 60%, raw andleafy vegetables, you will increase your body’s intake of fiber and nutrients, as well as decrease your mid-meal cravings.  Likewise, increasing your fiber and nutrients will aid in your healthy metabolizing, digesting, and eventually, weight-loss!