After arriving on luxurious Allegiant airlines (ahem) straight from Bellingham International Airport, extra checked bag reserved especially for shoes and hairspray, we, the Vegan Project, began the first part of our Las Vegas mission: sampling the vegan menus available throughout the gorgeous Wynn Resorts.
Steve Wynn announced his vegan diet last year and decided to offer vegan options in every single restaurant in the Wynn and Encore hotels. And they don’t offer just one or two options – each restaurant has a full vegan menu done extremely well in the particular restaurant theme (speaking to the ones we tried, anyway), mostly designed by each restaurant’s executive chef with help from famous vegan chef Tal Ronnen.
Our first day of menu sampling commenced with vegan breakfast at Encore’s Tableau. We arrived at the gorgeous restaurant at 9am and were promptly seated in a bright and sunny gazebo-style room overlooking a lush, green foliage-dotted patio and pool deck. After perusing the vegan breakfast and lunch menus, we decided to share a few different items, along with some fresh squeezed OJ and soy lattes.
First, we were surprised with an amuse bouche of their Tomato Bisque ($12) with cashew cream, micro basil and crostini, which offered a fresh and savoury start to our meal. Following that, our “Eggs” Benedict ($21) arrived, with Gardein sausage, scrambled tofu and yellow tomato “hollandaise” atop a crispy English muffin.
We agreed that this was probably the most egg-like scrambled tofu we’d had – moist and just the right texture, smothered in the classic tangy flavour of a hollandaise sauce. Gardein (the Wynn’s ‘meat’ of choice) seems to have the meat substitute thing down to a science, as the sausages were seasoned in classic breakfast patty fashion. All in all, it was probably the most realistic vegan eggs benedict we’d ever had – a definite victory in the search for that perfect vegan benny. On the side, we ordered the Signature Tableau Potatoes ($9), which was a medley of purple and new potatoes, herbs and orange peppers.
Straying a bit from the breakfast theme, we decided to order the Vegan “Tuna” Salad Sandwich ($18), made with kombu braised tempeh, toasted nori, lettuce, tomato and avocado on fluffy, barely toasted foccaccia. While tempeh can sometimes be quite heavy, this “tuna” was light, flaky and delicious with just a hint of ocean flavour and mayo-like creaminess. The sandwich also came with fries, which we were quite impressed with since having them the previous afternoon at Society with their AMAZING “Wynn” Burger with Cheese (just like the real fast food thing in all its nostalgic glory, complete with chocolate shake). Due to going a bit overboard and, in Bridget’s case, into the pool at XS Night Club at Encore the night before, we weren’t able to finish the sandwich, and opted to take it to go to enjoy poolside later that afternoon with some coconut mojitos.
In a bizarre turn of events not in line with normal Vegan Project behaviour (as if!) we were somehow convinced to try one of the most mind blowing dessert experiences of our lives: a warm, fresh baked chocolate chip cookie, covered in mango and papaya chunks and coconut ice cream, served with a Malibu rum coconut smoothie on the side. I guess you could say our indulgent few days in Vegas took off with a bang. Be sure to try this dessert before you die!
Special thanks to Wynn Resorts for being such generous hosts.
To check out the full vegan offering at the Wynn and Encore, view all of their Vegan Menus.
Stay tuned for Part 2: Pan-Asian Bistro cuisine at Wazuzu.
~The Vegan Project