(This is a guest post from one of our favorite contributers, Elizabeth.)
My teenage daughters and I recently returned from a two day mini-vacation at one of the wonderful five star resorts in Las Vegas, aptly named the Wynn Las Vegas.
I started salivating when I read the room service breakfast menu. My eyes immediately drifted to and fixated on the Japanese breakfast, beignets and smoked salmon bagel. This would be a beast of a breakfast (or so I thought). For those who have never had a Japanese breakfast, it consists primarily of broiled salmon, steamed rice, rolled omelet, nori, miso soup and various pickled vegetables all served ceremoniously on Zen inspired Japanese dishes. Oh, what fun we would have while watching subtitled Korean soap operas while enjoying the multiculturalism offered by the Wynn!! Room service soon arrived and I was presented the check for $90. Breaking down the bill, I quickly discerned that the food came to $67 while the “fees” came to $23. I was grateful that our cheerful waiter advised us that a 18% gratuity had already been added (as a “courtesy”).
We promptly sat down to tuck into our breakfast. In my exuberance, I grabbed the container of chocolate sauce adjacent to the beignets and artistically drizzled it over my perfectly cooked piece of salmon all the while excitedly exclaiming to my daughters, “look, thick soy sauce!!” I so felt like Jackson Pollack at that special moment. I then proceeded to pour the miso soup (which had been delivered in a tea pot) in my tea cup. You can imagine my surprise when I took the first bite and sip of my $50 (after fees) breakfast item. You must be wondering, did she send it back (no) or did she eat it (yes).The euphemistically titled “rolled omelet” had been divided in the kitchen and each piece was the precise size and thickness of a band-aid (in contrast, my salmon was the size of an actual egg). I have never, ever, had an egg garnish before. The nori (dried seaweed) was enclosed in a cellophane wrapper and measured 3 1/2″ by 1 /14″ inches. The thickness (thinness?) instantly reminded me of the wafers I ate when I accompanied my best friend from elementary school to Sunday morning services at the Mormon church she belonged to (she promised me bread and wine). The “Jewish” bagel breakfast was equally skimpy. For $20 (before fees), one would think they would include a block of cream cheese. This brought to mind the Yiddish word “schmear” as they skated the bagel with a FILM of cream cheese. The “airy” salmon had been carefully shaved in curlicue patterns and fluffed up on the plate giving the appearance of volume. Not even a real Jew is this cheap and no real Jew would ever skimp on cream cheese (since I am a Jew, I can say this).
The beignets were not the Cajun style New Orleans beignets I had been anticipating, but rather snooty original French beignets (and where was the cafe au lait on the menu because anyone who has ever visited n’Orleans KNOWS that cafe au lait and beignets go together like pastrami and Dr. Brown’s soda).
I find that the more expensive the restaurant, the smaller the portions and the more exotic and ridiculous sounding the fare, like foie gras frappe, frogs legs meuniere with sour cream gelato, braised bunny…). I guess I like my cuisine a little more down and dirty and less hoity-toity.
It turns out that my breakfast was not really $90 because I was able to finagle a $50 resort credit prior to checking in and was additionally able to turn my $20 gambling budget into $50 winnings the first night and $100 the second (4 aces on video poker!!). Now, if I can figure out how to finagle a real bagel, beignets and another Japanese breakfast. I’m still hungry.
(I don’t understand half of the words in this but it is still a great story. Thank you!!!)