Guilty Pleasures #6 – Apryl Lyttle

I saved this post for last for several reasons, but mainly because part of what pal Apryl says here has been echoed by The Hubs and several of my friends who were asked to share their thoughts. To quote one friend, “Food is NOT a Guilty Pleasure for me in any way because I apply no moral value to food. It is simply fuel and I don’t feel guilty about eating anything.”

Apryl writes a VEGAN food blog and you can follow her HERE. If you have been following along, you know that I am an omnivore committed to the consumption of flesh, but I will tell you that the chocolate chip cookies in her recipe archives are SO good, had she NOT told me they were vegan I wouldn’t have believed it. Because I adore her so much I am even girding my loins to eat in a vegan restaurant <gasp>. I said I would do something new at least once a month for my 50th year and that might be on the books for April.

So, my dear friend LeAnne asked me to write something about guilty pleasures. I had a hard time with this piece because I don’t allow food or eating to make me feel guilty. I do, however, realize that I have a guilty pleasure when it comes to food, and that’s EATING OUT.

I was raised by poor people, so eating out was always an unnecessary expense, or a treat. It was also a luxury that we could rarely afford, and I still have a hard time warranting it when we go out to eat. Even though we live comfortably now, I always seem to find myself looking at a menu item and thinking “I could make that for the whole family for less than half,” etc. Frugality steps in and spending a week’s worth of grocery money on one meal still hits my head sideways. I’m working on getting over that.

The flip side of being raised to believe “going out is only for special occasions” is that I always feel super special when I go out to eat. I love being around other people, enjoying food, cocktails and the like. I love the amount of time and attention I can give to my family, rather than fretting over the meal, wondering if everyone likes it, and so on. I like that there are no dishes to do afterward (though Sean usually does the dishes if I cook). I like experiencing the flavors that the chefs bring to the table, and potentially learning new ingredients to incorporate into my cooking.

Lately, my most favorite indulgence has been boozy brunches. There’s something LIBERATING about day drinking, and brunch food is my favorite type of food. My favorite brunch spot is Terrace Pointe Café at The Wynn. They offer fantastic brunch food on both traditional and vegan menus, and they also have a $22 bottomless mimosa and bellini option. It’s perfection. And true to Steve Wynn’s taste, the restaurant is stunning. I recommend it to every one of my tourist friends, as it’s truly an experience.

Terrace Point Cafe Mimosa - photo by Apryl Lyttle
Terrace Point Cafe Mimosa – photo by Apryl Lyttle

I’ve also been trying out new spots near my home in Summerlin as well. Mercadito at Red Rock was a great spot, where we dined on the patio on a beautiful Saturday. The food was good, but my favorite thing there was the V-9 cocktail, which was a delicious cocktail of tequila, pineapple, super greens, ginger, and lime. I felt like I was a little good, a little naughty. Tequila for breakfast? Yes please! I’m also looking forward to trying the brunches at Elements, Honey Salt, Marche Bacchus, and Embers.

V9 Cocktail at Mercadito
V9 Cocktail at Mercadito

What’s your favorite guilty dine-out pleasure? I’d love to read comments.

For those of you celebrating holidays this weekend – I wish you wonderful food memories and peace and joy.