Anthony Bourdain has ruined me for celebrity chefs.
It didn't used to be this way. There was a time when I tuned-in to "that other network" just about every night. I loved the educational Good Eats with Alton Brown, never missed an episode of Iron Chef, and Giada...well, have you seen Giada?
It wasn't until my man crush for Mr. No Reservations blossomed that I grew wise to the sham put on by the Food Network. I was merely a pawn in a giant marketing machine, orchestrated by celebrities who no longer cook, and adding to their wealth with just about every trip to Bed, Bath, & Beyond. So when my wife insisted that we visit Bobby Flay's outpost in Sin City, it nearly caused a throw down in our own home. I would have chosen Senor Frogs next door over lunch with a Food Network persona, so I asked her for good reason why we should visit Mesa Grill in Las Vegas. She replied... "Bobby Flay is hot, that's why." Conversation over...
|The Awesome Bar|
I planned our lunch at Mesa to follow my misadventure at the Caesar's Palace sports book. If I had to eat somewhere because the no-show chef was supposedly hot, then I was going to exact some revenge by first subjecting my wife to two hours of soccer. After depositing a few more of my hard earned dollars to Vegas, we headed over to Mesa, which is conveniently located adjacent to the Caesar's sports book.
|The Dining Room|
We were seated at a comfortable table with a perfect view of the big screens in the sports book, allowing me to watch more soccer while my wife imagined Bobby slaving away on her appetizer. The theme throughout the dining room matched the southwestern cuisine, but was subtle and not over done.
|The Goat Cheese Queso "Fundido"|
After debating for a while what appetizer to share, we decided to make things easy and each get our own. My wife started with the Goat Cheese Queso "Fundido," while I opted for the Tuna "Nachos." We both thoroughly enjoyed the queso, and the tuna was great as well, although I wasn't a fan of the "nachos" idea. Masking the taste of ahi tuna with tortilla chips just seemed wrong, and my taste buds agreed.
|The Tuna "Nachos"|
For our mains, it turned out we were both in the mood for a good burger. Thankfully, Hunky Bobby offers two different versions on the menu at Mesa. My wife went with the Green Chili Burger and she confirmed it tasted just as good as it looked. Meanwhile, I went with the signature Mesa Burger, which more than satisfied my craving for cow on a bun. What I looked forward to most were the fries, given my fond memories of Bobby's truffle fries at Bar Americain in New York. The Mesa Grill version didn't disappoint, and were awesome when dipped in the burger's horseradish mustard.
|The Green Chili Burger|
When planning where to dine on vacation, there are all sorts of factors that go into my decision making. This was the first time I've picked a place because my wife thinks the chef is hot. One good meal is certainly not going to change my opinion of celebrity chefs - especially when my wife has the hots for them - but in the end I'm glad we stopped into Mesa Grill.
|Where's my brownie points?|
The question for all of you is...Bobby Flay? Hot? Really?
~Insert Dude-like Closing Here~