Craft Beer, Fine Wine, Artisan Spirits, and Mouthgasmic Food.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Off the Strip Vegas Activity - Hot Air Balloon Rides

While gambling, eating, and drinking are the typical Vegas activities, there are many other off-strip activities.  For several months prior to the our trip to Vegas, I signed up for some deal sites.  Great activities I purchased included a horse back trail ride, visits to local museums, and race car driving.  Hot air balloon rides were another one of the great activities.  Ballooning isn't an easy to plan activity.  In fact, the first day that we scheduled our balloon ride was the only day that week that we were able to fly.  Tip: Make sure you plan your ballooning trip well in advance.

We took a ride with Vegas Balloon Rides, and yes, it was fun.  We had a few snags here and there due the the weather, but still fun. 

Here's our pilot rolling out the balloon. 

Filling up our balloon.  It is one BIG balloon. 

And up it goes.

This was a pretty amazing shot.  You can't tell from Doug's, our pilot, choice in attire, but it is somewhere in the 20-30's.  I couldn't wait to get close to the fire for some warmth.

This was the balloon next door to us.  Sadly, the balloon next to us did not fly.  The weather patterns were changing to rapidly that they ultimately decided to not take flight. 

Good bye, little body!  People sure look tiny from above. 

Popular backyard amenities in Vegas: golf and pools. 

We had a flag attached to our balloon to show us which way the wind was blowing.  I should have mentioned it earlier.  We were PIRATES!  ARGH!!!

And a picture of our lovely flight crew.  Cheers to a safe landing!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Belated Birthday @CongressAustin Experience

It has been well over a year since Congress Austin opened.  I decided that for @Windaddict / @HopSafari's birthday, we would give it a whirl.  I did learn that I should have adjusted my camera settings more before eating the dishes.  For now, here's a short photo post of what we enjoyed.

Congress Austin offers a three course ($75) and a seven course ($125) tasting menu along with a dessert menu.  I was a little worried that the three course menu would not be enjoy for my endless blackhole of a stomach, but with a few extras and gifts from the kitchen, I was overstuffed. 

The first extra that we ordered was the Golden Ossetra Caviar, Butterfish "Rillette" with Cardamon Yogurt and Rye toast.  If you're the type that enjoys a decadent treat, you'll want to try it.  Even if you do show up at Congress in shorts and flip flops, this dish will make you feel fancy smancy.

My other favorite savory luxurious dish of the evening was the White Lobster Bisque with Tomato-Fresno Jam and Lobster Ricotta Fritter.  It was richer than licking anglaise sauce off of a Tessla.  Don't ask me where I came up with that metaphor. 

This photo is one of my favorites of the evening.  It is the Lime-Basil Sorbet with Yogurt Mousse, Mango, Calamansi, and Compressed Pear.  The basil seeds are very typical in Asian desserts, and the combination with the mango was a great pairing.  I loved the way the light turned this plate into a work of art.

A big thanks to Chef David Bull and the crew for sending out some delicious treats!  @Windaddict / @HopSafari had a great birthday!