Review: Salsa Verde Doritos & Last of Vegas Recap 2015

Junk Food Nation, it’s Friday! And good thing, too – I need sleep. I stayed up to watch almost all the of the March Madness games last night, including that 39-point drubbing of West Virginia by Kentucky. Lordy. That was ugly. I was texting with the guys from the trip, and apparently the line from that game was +13. Kentucky tripled that. Ouch.

Vegas 2015

At some point while I was hanging around the Mirage sports book (like a degen), these Bud Light Girls came walking around, passing out flashing necklaces and these Bud Light Chapsticks! First of all, it was great timing, because my other Chapstick had just been finished. Second, these didn’t taste like Bud Light – it was just normal Chapstick with the Bud Light label.

So what does Bud Light Chapstick taste like? …A little coconut-y.

Vegas 2015

Our second-to-last night found the group at Rao’s, a popular Italian restaurant chain in New York, LA, and Las Vegas. I know them because I eat all of their samples of their homemade sauce at the Summer Fancy Food Show and also because their jars of sauce at my local grocery are always like $9 a jar when Prego is like 49 cents. But I have to admit – it is DAMN good sauce (I grumble as I shell out $9).

Vegas 2015

Rao’s is one of those big meatball places.  Don’t be fooled by the spoon – that’s a big ass spoon, too. These were those baseball-size meatballs like your grandma used to make. I wanted to grab one of these and smash it between two toasted slices of garlic bread. Or throw a weak 46 MPH curveball.

Vegas 2015

Rao’s also has an amazing Fritto Misto. Basically it’s Italian tempura: “Fritto misto is an Italian dish of bits of meat, seafood, and vegetables dipped in batter and fried in olive oil. ” Thanks, Google. Whenever I see pictures like this, it just makes me hungry for fried shrimp. I mean, who doesn’t love fried shrimp? I could kill a few dozen right now, after looking at this picture.

Vegas 2015

My entree was a huge honkin’ piece of lasagna. This is a close-up, but the size of the slice was definitely akin to a small brick. I don’t EVER have lasagna when I’m at home (not because of health reasons, obviously, but haven’t found a good one around DC) so I always go for it when I’m out of town. What better way to eat 4000 calories?

Vegas 2015


Afterwards, we wandered over to the Cromwell, a hot new hotel in Vegas from the Caesar’s group that was the old Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall or Barbary Coast Casino. Open less than a year, I was (1) struck by how massive it seemed, and (2) how, like all the other hotels in Vegas, they managed to get that perfect golden sheen from the uplighting. I mean, seriously. It was puuuuurdy.

Vegas 2015

Vegas 2015

On Saturday, the Round of 32 began, so a bunch of us wandered over to another popular sports book / viewing spot in the Venetian/Palazzo known as Legasse’s Stadium. It’s an amazing lounge-y viewing spot with indoor cabanas and huge leather couches.

Vegas 2015

I talked to the hostess, and she said that these couches during March Madness started to get booked by January 1. Cost? Couches were free, but $300 minimum per person per day. So…a LITTLE cheaper than those couches in the Mirage, but not by much.

Vegas 2015

Still, in a place like this, the cash might be worth it. Less smoky, newer seating areas, and more private. They even had their own sports book, RIGHT IN THE RESTAURANT.

Vegas 2015

Next year, Legasse’s…next year.

Vegas 2015

That night, we ate dinner at the Yard House where I got this amazing stack of onion rings. Reminded me of the debate we had on this blog a while back about french fries vs. onion rings. Tonight, onion rings won. That parmesan cheese sprinkle took these to whole new artery-clogging level.

Vegas 2015

You can’t go all of Vegas without going out at least ONE night, so Irish P took the BC and a few others to the Omnia, which was formerly Pure, at Caesar’s. Irish P, like I mentioned on Wednesday, was like the guy behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz – when I arrived at the Omnia, there were huge crowds trying to get in. Regular line. VIP line. Executive VIP line. Ladies’ line. VIP Ladies line. All of them – unmoving. Irish P made one phone call and suddenly we were past the first two ropes and into the club. It’s the ONLY place in my entire life where I needed TWO stamps to get in. WTF, Omnia?

Vegas 2015

The host took us right to the roof to our table (Uh, what?) and set out a bottle of Absolut Elyx for us. Now, I like vodka, I’m more of a Deep Eddy or a Grey Goose guy more than Absolut…but I’d never even HEARD of Absolut Elyx before. Online, it’s around a $50 bottle of vodka…off the shelf it’s probably around $60-$70. Irish P. informed me that clubs, which always charge a ridiculous amount for bottle service, probably charges around $700 for this bottle. Oh, btw, that’s insane.

Still, when it’s free, what’s it matter? I spilled a little on the ground just to show this Elyx who’s the boss.

Vegas 2015

That evening culminated with a close up look of Questlove spinning amazing tunes. It was pretty incredible – he was pulling out all the favorites. I have only good things to say about this performance. Anyone who can mix Bell Biv Devoe’s Poison into Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit is a genius in my book, even if it’s not that hard.

PS: I have no idea what the chick in the front is doing. She’s got moves, clearly.

And that concludes my recap of my Vegas trip. I left a bunch of stories untold, but I’m sure you’re sick of these recaps by now – next week we’ll get back to arguing what’s better, Wheat Thins or Triscuits? NEITHER! BOTH! CHEEZ-ITS ARE THE BEST!

Any comments? Leave ’em below.

Today’s junk food: Salsa Verde Doritos!!

Salsa Verde Doritos: The Money Shot

Salsa Verde Doritos: The Money Shot

Yeah, I know these aren’t new. But I wanted to review these Salsa Verde Doritos because, for some reason, I ONLY see them on the West Coast and never on the East Coast. And people mention it to me, “Ah…remember when Doritos had the Salsa Verde flavor? Those were awesome. The good ol days…” And I’m like, “DUDE THEY STILL EXIST ON THE WEST COAST.” So finally, while walking back from Harrah’s at like 4:00am the night before I left Vegas, I snagged this bag of Salsa Verde Doritos from the nearby Walgreens. Let’s get to some pictures and then to the review:

Salsa Verde Doritos

Salsa Verde Doritos

Salsa Verde Doritos

Hurray for natural chicken flavor! I thin. Wait, what?

Salsa Verde Doritos

When I opened this bag of Salsa Verde Doritos, the smell of tangy salsa was present. Not overwhelming, but not faint – definitely just a normal smell of tomato powder and a vegetable-y pepper-y smell.

Salsa Verde Doritos

I crunched a bunch of these Salsa Verde Doritos, and remembered why people love these – because they’re effing good, that’s why. The crunch of the Dorito is standard – light, crispy, and flaky. The flavor that immediately danced my tongue was that of a tangy salsa – the tomato powder provided a good amount of tangy bite and while I may have been imagining it, the tang definitely reminded me of the tomatillo flavor in a salsa verde. There was a hint of citrus too, which helped with the tang. Layered on top of that was definitely a vegetable-y green pepper / jalapeno pepper flavor. It mixed well with the tomato/tomatillo flavor and provided a nice pop of spice. In fact, there was more burn than I remembered – these definitely left my mouth tingly.

All in all, just a tasty, tasty Dorito – the flavor was tortilla dipped in salsa, no cheese, no creaminess, no mess. Solid. I loved these.

PURCHASED AT: Walgreens…uh….next to the Casino Royale, Las Vegas?

COST: $3.99 on sale

Thoughts? Please comment below or hit me up on Twitter @junkfoodguy or LIKE my Facebook Page and message me there. I also have Google+!! Let’s hang out.


Junk Food Guy

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Discuss - 15 Comments

  1. Game says:

    *smiles at this review*
    I think I need a west cost food crawl or something.

  2. Sophie says:

    I live in Texas and just started seeing these in my local stores, they sound great

  3. Kahnfucius says: > Questlove

  4. Indigo says:

    I’ve enjoyed your Vegas stories, JFG. BTW, I just purchased a jar of Rao’s marinara sauce at Whole Foods this evening. It’s the only sauce I’ll buy. And yeah, not cheap. But really seriously totally the best. I didn’t know they have restaurants…not that I live anywhere near any of them.

  5. Elisa says:

    Glad you had a blast in Las Vegas! 😀

    Yep, Harrah’s is the hotel with the New Orleans themed signage on the front. It was great walking to the other big name hotel casinos from there!

  6. Chip Review says:

    Sounds like a great trip! And yep, Doritos Salsa Verde are always on our shortlist for best chip of all time!!! Currently, still plentifully available in the Chicago area, so good for us!

  7. Kaitlyn says:

    i don’t like fried shrimp… 😉

  8. runinboise says:

    The BF said those Doritos suck and the regular Salsa flavor is one of the best. Too much fun in Vegas. Jelly!

  9. C says:

    Onion rings 80% of the time. I’m not sure if there is any kind of objective, support-able argument in this matter regardless of who is doing the presentation. Certainly my own argument is purely personal and idiosyncratic to myself.

    I think I’m just tired of french fries, tired of how many times I’ve ordered french fries, tired of how many fries I’ve stuffed in my mouth. I almost always skip fries anywhere except McDonald’s.

    At McDonald’s: fries of course, are the default choice so there’s no way to judge–I don’t know what I’d do if McD’s had onion rings, no comparison possible (due to missing data). I can’t even conceive what a McD’s onion-ring might taste like. Would they be good enough to make me skip McD’s fries? They’d have to be damn good. Really, they’d have to be as good as BK O-rings because that’s primarily the style of O-ring which thrills me.

    In Burger King, I always order O-rings over their fries. BK fries are nothing special. But classic BK O-rings are a treat and a childhood fave. Of course, in modern times they’ve changed them around somewhat, the # of rings-per-box, the type of box, and a couple of other aspects have turned dismal. [This is the way of the world: everything which was ever once good is eventually ruined by fools changing it].

    Anyway, the worst kind of O-ring (O-rings prone to all the flaws JFG mentioned in his post) are always the ‘steak cut onion rings’: those gigantic, awkward, unwieldy style onion ring which clearly have an actual sliced “ROO” (ring-o’-onion) inside. These are usually made by the restaurant that day, wherever you order them. And they’re so easily the bad choice. They’re chewy. Impossible to bite or cut, the soggy batter falls off, and its hard to even get them in one’s mouth.

    But the much better onion-ring [the onion-ring which almost cannot fail] is the BK style ring which is made instead of finely *minced* onion. Classic small O-rings are the best kind of O-ring –the batter is *always* in perfect proportion to the contents–and I tend to order them in almost any fried-food place which serves them instead of fries.

    Here’s why they are to be endorsed so confidently: if you’re eating somewhere new/unknown …and you can’t tell whether they’re gonna even get the burger right…but you see they have BK style fries on the menu (ask if unsure) then its always the safest bet to order the o-rings because those small round classic BK-style onion-rings are nearly impossible to mess up in a fryer. Whereas, french fries can always be done badly by any restaurant anywhere. But by ordering onion rings you are giving yourself a safety. You have a chance to save any meal no matter how bad it is, by ordering rings. You know what you’re getting.

    Another line of reason: condiments. With fries, you’re almost surely gonna douse them with catsup because its the classic pairing. But its overused. Sometimes its just boring. Staid, trite, predictable, overly-familiar, or just plain disgusting. I’m almost through with catsup entirely. Its too sweet, too provincial, and too childish. Alternative condiments for fries? Few. There’s rarely a mayo choice and even rarer is the kind of french fry offered (frittes) which rocks with mayo. As for malt vinegar, (a great condiment) good luck finding that on a table.

    Now, consider the condiment options with o-rings. You can use catsup, mustard, mayo, OR hot sauce, OR soy, OR steak sauce, OR the sauce on your plate from your entree. Every condiment –any sauce at all, really–works with onion rings. You can even ‘mix the o-rings in’ with any entree you ordered. What does fried onion not go with? Nothing. Onions go with anything and they add flavor. Fries…no. Not really.

    So that’s my reasoning and I realize its not great. But it is my reasoning.

    • junkfoodguy says:

      @C: I LOVE THIS REASONING! I agree so much with so many of your points. In a future Onion Ring v French Fry post, I might have to quote you! You’re on notice 🙂

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