Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants in Las Vegas: Do they live up to the chef’s reputation?

Note from Gordy: This great post was written by someone who isn’t me. I love getting contributions. If you want to write about a fun place to visit or great food to try, email me (gordygordyblog@gmail.com) or send me a message in my comment box (click the link). 

Gordon Ramsay has been a household name for sometime now. He’s not only popular in the US but in many parts of the world due to his many successful television shows. He’s currently a judge and the “demon chef” host in the critically-acclaimed show Hell’s Kitchen.

Ramsay has several restaurants in Las Vegas and they are being used as a key component to attract foodies to the city. Apparently, Las Vegas is facing many financial burdens at the minute, what with online casino and bingo platforms slowly overtaking the land-based entertainment options that litter Sin City’s iconic Strip. Bingo halls aren’t as popular as they used to be in the early 90s, thanks to online bingo providers’ various reward promos and innovative games centered on popular TV and movies. It’s the same for Las Vegas’ casinos, as people don’t need to travel to Nevada anymore because of live dealer apps on smartphones. Because of this, Las Vegas is trying hard to attract customers through other means, and this includes hosting restaurants that bear the name of Michelin-star chefs such as Ramsay. So far, Ramsay seems to be the popular choice in Sin City as he currently owns two restaurants in Las Vegas namely Gordon Ramsay Steak and Gordon Ramsay BurGR.

Gordon specializes in beef dishes. Not only do his restaurants in Vegas use said protein, but also his signature beef wellington dish is well known on Hell’s Kitchen. Let’s see what the people are saying about his dishes.

Gordon Ramsay Steak – Paris Las Vegas

It seems that the Michelin-star chef lives up to his legend with this restaurant as most people seem to be satisfied with the service. Opentable has an overall 4.4/5 rating for the restaurant, while Yelp users gave it a 4/5. According to the reviews, the Beef Wellington Steak is always a winner, and is as tasty as it looks on TV. Other steak offerings such as bone-in rib eye and Kobe fillet are also the best sellers of the restaurant.

Gordon Ramsay BurGR – Planet Hollywood Las Vegas

His BurGR restaurant seems to be a winner, too. Among the 6,240 plus reviews of the restaurant on Trip Advisor, he was able to get a 4.5/5 rating. On Yelp, it’s 4/5. Some people are calling Gordon’s burger “The best BurGR they’ve ever tasted.” His truffle fries seem to go really well with the burgers, too. The place sells bacon made from duck meat, and it seems to be one of the reasons that keep people coming back for more.

Love him or hate him, Gordon seems to walk the walk. He may have a potty mouth but the people’s feedback is testament to his abilities as a world-renowned chef.

Looks like crap

POOP IS FUNNY. POOP-THEMED RESTAURANTS ARE VERY VERY FUNNY.

Note: To fully enjoy this post, you need to know that squatter toilets are common in Asia and what they look like.

poopsquat

Voila. (But never ever this clean.)

Just like any good joke, poop jokes have to be surprising, out-of-place, and so wrong they seem right. And that’s why having a restaurant where all the food looks like poop is funny.

Modern Toilet is located in Ximen, one of Taipei’s biggest shopping districts. If you have trouble finding it, just look for the giant toilet outside.

poopmoderntoilet

Modern Toilet’s idea is simple: put normal food in bowls and dishes that look like toilets. The rest is magic.

Enjoy delicious golden curry while being reminded that poop isn’t always brown.

poopcurry

Enjoy some refreshing shaved ice while reminiscing about the last time you filled a toilet to maximum capacity.

poopcream2

Have some chocolate soft serve while embracing what you’ve always thought about it.

poopcream

Not only does the food look like crap, but everything in the restaurant reminds you of the special time you spend on your cell phone.

The walls.

poopwall

The lights.

pooplights

The seats.

poopseats

Even the bathroom (aka the “VIP Lounge”).

poopbaday
This is a fancy potty that squirts water on your bum-bum.

Modern Toilet serves hot pot, curry, pasta, and ice cream. All meals include a dessert (poop soft serve) and beverage. The prices run from 350 NT (hot pot) to 120 NT (big ice cream) and all the dishes are big enough to split between two people. You have to spend at least 90 NT per person when you eat here (it’s a very popular joint).

If you like poop, you’ll like this restaurant.

pooping
I like poop.

Do burritos make us American?

I’ve been wanting Mexican food ever since I flew into Taiwan. In fact, the last meal I ate before flying to Taiwan was a burrito, chips, and salsa.

So, this weekend, after TWO MONTHS of not having Mexican food (two months and four days to be exact), I found a place called Macho Tacos in Taipei.

I was skeptical of how tasty the food would be and whether it’d be worth my money (you can get a decent meal here for 2 bucks but a burrito at this place was 5ish), but the pictures and menu online looked authentic, so I was optimistic.

macho4

Because the menu and pics online looked so authentic, I expected to see Latinos behind the counter when I walked in (Taipei is pretty international, so I wouldn’t have been surprised), but there were just the usual Taiwanese people. That made me less optimistic, but I figured I’d give it an honest shot anyway. I ordered a macho-sized (large-ish) burrito with taco meat.

Mis amigos, I was not disappointed. The lettuce inside the burrito was crispy and fresh, the tortilla held together well and tasted normal, the ground beef was perfectly seasoned, the cilantro-lime rice tasted just like Cafe Rio, and the salsa had all the right juices and flavors. It was muy delicioso, but could have benefited from some sour cream, guacamole, and a side of chips (which you can order separately and I’ll definitely do that next time).

burrito

While I was eating, I felt a connection with the burrito. It felt like I was eating my people’s food, a piece of home.

I remembered working with other missionaries in Russia to make Mexican food: cooking and seasoning ground beef and chili, making homemade tortillas, chopping and mixing vegetables to make salsa (which we’d eat with crackers since tortilla chips aren’t a thing in Russia).

macho1

Why do so many Americans love Mexican food? Why did we work so hard to make it on my mission?

Americans eat lots of pizza, hot dogs, and hamburgers too, which you can also buy at restaurants here, but I think Mexican food is different. Mexican food has a homemade quality and feel that other “American” foods don’t match. Homemade pizza doesn’t taste the same and to make hamburgers or hot dogs at home, you basically just buy packaged meat and buns. But you can make all the parts of a Mexican meal at home without thinking twice about it (except tortillas — homemade tortillas are a pain).

I understand that Mexicans and Americans eat different kinds of Mexican food: Americans mainly stick with tacos and burritos, along with some of our own spin-offs like nachos and chili, while Mexicans have A LOT more than that. But what we call “Mexican” is actually American to me.

So thank you, Mexicans, for giving us your best.

And not to get political but I’m going to: America is such a great country. Sure I get annoyed that the bread and chocolate aren’t as good as they are in Europe and that Americans like to whine a lot on Facebook (“MY freedoms say I can do this!” “Well MY freedoms say you can’t!”), but comparing it to other places I’ve visited (like Russia and Mexico and even Italy), it’s SO clean, SO safe, and there’s SO much less corruption that it’s selfish and unchristian that immigrating into the US is SO difficult.

I have friends from other countries who have college degrees or have even married US citizens (legitimately) yet struggle to maintain a visa or get a green card. They’ve had difficult lives and worked hard to come to America, leaving behind family and culture in exchange for the American dream, but in America they’re getting even more difficulty and harder work with little reward. If their native governments can’t recognize them for their hard work, then ours should. They can help America out just as much as burritos can.

Anyway, Macho Tacos in Taipei is very tasty and authentic. I saw some Latinos and other Americans there too, so I’m not the only one who thinks so. Walking out of the restaurant, I had to remind myself that I was still in Taiwan, my burrito having temporarily transported me home.

macho2

THE ULTIMATE PROVO FOOD BLOG

When I found out I was leaving Provo, I knew there were a couple friends I needed to say goodbye to (and by “friends,” I mean “foods,” and by “say goodbye to,” I mean “eat.”)
So here it is: the very last Provo Food Blog featuring the very best food in Provo (in no order):
SLABpizza:
Thin, crispy crust and a versatile assortment of sauces and toppings to make your pizza taste like anything from pulled pork to tacos. Even though it’s pricey ($4-7/slab), the slabs (pieces) are HUGE and delicious. (You can read my original review of Slab here.)
Chile Verde (top, my fave) and the Veg (bottom)
Rancherito’s:
Cheap, fast, and tasty,  I once argued that this was the best/most authentic Mexican restaurant in Provo. Since, I’ve found a few places that make good Mexican food, but Rancherito’s is STILL the fastest and cheapest. AND it’s open 24/7. Thanks for always being there when I needed you, amigo. (You can read my original review of Rancherito’s here.)
Even though I’ve been food blogging for years, I’m still not very good at food photography.
Café Rio:
I actually never blogged about this uniquely-Utah Mexican restaurant, but I have to be honest: I don’t love it. The food’s too American in my taste. BUTT their Grilled Steak Salad is something I can’t get off my mind: crunchy, leafy Romaine lettuce, little chip strips on top, a creamy tomatillo dressing with a tinge of heat (you have to pour ALL the dressing on top of the salad for maximum effect), tender, tasty steak in the bottom, all in a delicious chewy tortilla that you can use to wipe up the extra dressing (DON’T waste the tortilla or I’ll SLAP you and when people ask why you have a slap mark on your face you’ll have to say, “Because Gordy thinks I’m an IDIOT.”). P.S. I’m typically against ordering salad EVER (if you’re gonna eat a salad, STAY HOME), but this is the one place it’s worth it.
The one thing at Cafe Rio that doesn’t suck. C O N T R O V E R S I A L.
Kneader’s:
The all-you-can eat French toast here is de-lite-ful. I’m crying just thinking about it. Chewy, sweet, cinnamony bread topped with strawberries and whipped cream, then DRENCHED in THICK  C A R A M E L syrup that’s as golden as the Plates of Nephi. CRYING. C R Y I N G.
TBH: A recycled pic from this blog post. 
So, these are the best places to eat in Provo in my opinion. Thank you, friends, for all you’ve given me (mainly gas and (?) green poo. #WorthIt)
SIDE NOTE: I know some of you may be surprised to not see Guru’s on this list. Well, I went to Guru’s and ordered my fave/usual (the Southwest Chipotle Wrap) and, honestly, it wasn’t as good as I remembered. Either I’ve grown out of it, or it’s grown out of me. Still, Guru’s will always have a place in my heart. (Here’s my review of Guru’s.)

Is the food in Taiwan good????

I kno I already talked about this, but I don’t love the food in Taiwan, BUTT I like to keep things positive on PFB, so I’ll get the negative out of the way real quick:
Do you ever see Asians post pictures of food? No because it’s all just rice.
Have you ever seen a fat Asian? No because all they do is sweat and eat rice (see this post about humidity).
What I’m saying is that all they eat is rice. There’s some steamed veggies and meat too, but everything is rice. I’m able to eat until I’m full, but overeating is a struggle because the food’s not super tasty and that’s what gets me. 🙁
But let’s move on to what’s tasty in Taiwan:
Dragon fruit
Sometimes white, sometimes purple inside, it has the texture of a kiwi and is mildly sweet and juicy. If you eat a whole purple one by yourself, it dyes your poo purple for the next day or two.
Mango
Tbh, I never really had a mango until I came here, so I can’t compare them to the ones in the states, except I know these ones are at least twice as big and (duh) a lot more fresh. Hecka juicy and squishy. So sweet. I love them. FYI: I’m eating it wrong in this pic. The best way to eat them is to try to chop it in half (avoiding the big white pit in the middle), cutting it into squares (like a checkerboard), turning the skin inside out, then eating it. That’s confusing.
Basically any fruit here
It’s all good and fresh and juicy, but pro tip: bring a pocketknife so you can chop up and open the fruit you buy from fruit stands.
Anything mango-flavored
Mango ice cream, mango smoothies, mango shave ice, mango juice, it’s all good. And mangoes are so sweet that I SWEAR they don’t add any sugar if it’s mango flavored. I’ll swear it a million times.
.
Pot stickers and dumplings
They’re the same thing, just pot stickers are fried and dumplings are boiled. They usually have pork or some veggies inside. I prefer pot stickers because SALT butt w/e.
Dolphin water
I don’t really believe in non-water drinks, but in Taiwan you sweat so much (because it’s so HUMID) that it’s worth throwing some random electrolytes back into your body. There are a lot of waters that have extra energy-boosting junk in them. This one is dolphin water and it’s good and tastes like dolphins.
Steamed pork buns
Who knew you could cook a whole bread thing just by steaming it? Asians, that’s who. The steamed roll is really spongy and the pork is side is v tender. It tastes a lot like pulled pork. All it needs is some BBQ sauze.
Asian burrito
It’s just a giant spring roll. I don’t actually like spring rolls, but I know lots of folks do, so I thought I’d show you a pic.
This whatever
Next to mangoes, this is the most delightful thing I’ve had in Taiwan. It’s like a naan bread with eggs, ham, cheese, basil, and a spicy sauce inside. It might be Vietnamese, but it’s REALLY good.
So, even though I’m not gonna get fat here, there are plenty of goodies to snack on. Yes plz!!

Saucy pants

Okay people, so I thought I’d try the thing where I try to teach y’all how to make food again, but this time, I decided to do something that I legitly know how to cook.

Tomato sauce is something that I eat sometimes. It can go on pasta, lasagna, or homemade pizza (but I’d use less warter in the sauce if I made a pizza).

I learned how to make my own sauce when I was in the Russia. We always bought tomato paste, so I learned by ear how to mix the right amount of water and spices to make the perfect sauce. And this sauce is perfect. You start with a tiny can of tomato paste and end up with a whole ton of suited-to-you tomato sauce. Look at you, fancy pants.

Turn this …

 

… into food.

 

Ingredients

6 oz. can of tomato paste
1 cup water
A fistful of onion (about 1/4 of a large-ish onion)
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 Tablespoon basil
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teapsoon pepper

Step 1: The onion

Onions are the basis of taste in so much food. They’re a staple to basically any stove-top recipe. A lot of the flavor in soup, sauce, and stir fry recipes is dependent on the onion. If you’re cooking something and it’s lacking that flavorful boom chicka chicka, chances are you’re missing your onion (or garlic, but that comes later).

Start by peeling your onion. Onions are like ogres: they have layers. The top layer (or two) is papery — you don’t want that. Peel it off and throw it away. The layer beneath that is rubbery. You don’t want that either; throw it away. The layers beneath that should be crisp and easy to cut through: that’s what you want. (This may be “duh” to some of you, but having lived exclusively with guys for the past four years, I know that things like this aren’t always intuitive.) Cut a quarter out of your onion and chop it into baby pieces (like, a quarter the size of a french fry or smaller). Throw it into a pan greased with cooking spray, oil, or butter. Heat it to a quarter or half heat. Cook until the onion pieces start to become transparent. You don’t want them to turn brown or crispy-looking.

I used red onions, butt it doesn’t matter.

Step 2: The sauce

While that’s cooking (you can do this step while the onions are cooking if you keep your eyes on them), y’all need to mizz your water with your tomato paste. Dump the insides of your can of tomato paste into a big-ish bowl (like, a big cereal bowl, nothin’ huge, though). Once you did this, dump that 1 cup of warter on top. Mix with a fork (or hand) and you’ll get a saucy mizzture.
It looks like tomato poop lol.
Tomato diarrhea!

Step 3: Get the Spice Girls

Next, you’re gonna want to flavor your sauce. You can just pour the seasonings into the bowl with your tomato-paste-now-tomato-sauce.

1 1/2 teaspoons of Garlic Powder: Like onions, garlic powder is a necessary part of ANYTHING tasting good. Life would be so bland without it. I hear tell it’s more flavorful than actual garlic but doesn’t make your breath smell abhorrent. Wow. If you cook something, but it’s lacking something, throw some extra garlic powder in to fix it.

1/2 tablespoon of Basil: A delicate herb, it’ll make the sauce taste fresh.

1 1/2 teaspoons of Oregano: Given my extensive knowledge of Italian cooking, I can say that oregano is THE Italian spice. Your tomato sauce won’t taste like tomato sauce without it. Likewise, if you ever has a pizza that needs a pick-me-up, sprinkle some oregano on it.

1 teaspoon of Salt: Not too much, but just the right amount with make all the other flavors come out (#everysundayschoollessonever).

1/4 teaspoon of Pepper: Packs a punch that your sauce will be boring without.

Mixzz all the seasonings with your tomato sauce and stick your finger in it to see if it tastes how you want. #magic

Step 4: Mixzz

Pour your bowl of seasoned sauce into the pan of now-cooked onions and heat until the sauce is warm. Then put it on pasta and eat it.

You turned a tiny can of tomato paste into a panful of tomato sauce. That’s a big deal, saucy pants.

So this is a super easy recipe that’ll save you all the monies in the world and allow you to make a sauce that really speaks to you. Obviously, you can add anything to it that you want (like cooked ground beef or veggies). Is this great or what?