First day in Vegas visiting a friend: the Strip at night, cooking tarte flambée

For my trip to Vegas, the best friend of my cousin since childhood from France, that now lives in Vegas since a few years, offered to host me, which was a very nice offer.

Things to do in Las Vegas

For my trip to Vegas, the best friend of my cousin since childhood from France, that now lives in Vegas since a few years, offered to host me, which was a very nice offer.

As she was working until 10 pm while I landed in the Las Vegas airport at around 7pm, I would first join her at her working place, and wait for her to finish her working day.

This would be our first meeting for years, and the start of an awesome stay in Vegas!

Arrival in Las Vegas Mc Carran airport

Las Vegas: Find local activities

The first thing that shocks when arriving in Vegas for the first time, right after exiting the plane at the airport... is the sight of their famous slot machines!

Right inside the airport, it is possible to gamble on different slot machines, just like in any casino.

No need to register or anything, simply put some dollar bills in one of the machines, press the button... and try to win some prizes.

Passing the welcome sign and several groups of slots machines, the next stop is the underground railway, which offers a ride to the airport terminal, and the exit.

I had ordered a  Uber   to join my friend at her working place, as there are no public transportation system, and was happy to pay less than 20$ for the ride.

The access to the  Uber   drop off is very easy to reach from the airport, as there are many signs taking us to the exact place where the drivers will stop to pick us up.

My driver arrived quite quickly, I only had to wait for about 5 minutes, and he was as advertised on the  Uber   application, great to talk with.

It was the occasion for me to see the lights in Vegas for the first time, as I arrived by night, and was surprised by only one thing... they are not as impressive in reality, and The Strip, the street where most of the famous hotels are, like MGM, Bellagio, Stratosphere, and more, isn't actually that big of a street... only a few big hotels are bordering it, but they aren't that impressive in reality.

Mg grand las vegas | MGM Grand® Official Site |‎
Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower - Las Vegas | Hotels in Las Vegas
Bellagio - Las Vegas Luxury Resort & Casino - Bellagio Hotel & Casino

Like many things, it looks much better on TV with good point of views and some image retouch than in real.

However, it is a nice feeling to see all these lights in real.

Dinner at El Dorado Mexican restaurant

We quickly arrived to my friend and host's working place, the El Dorado Cantina Restaurant & Bar, which is actually situated right next to the Sapphire Las Vegas, the world's largest strip club - or so they advertise it, and I will see it later, they do like to call everything the best or bigger in the world, probably without much prior background check.

El Dorado Cantina – Best Mexican Restaurant In Las Vegas
Strip Club Las Vegas, Las Vegas Gentlemen's Club - Sapphire

However, I entered the restaurant, and asked where to find my friend at the reception, after leaving my back pack in a corner.

The receptionist led me to my friend, which was actually having dinner.

She stopped a bit to welcome me, and told me that she'd have to work a few hours more.

No problem, I will wait at the bar, and have a nice fresh beer. The weather in Vegas being actually a little warmer than it was in Orlando, it was definitely more than welcome to get a refreshing drink.

As I had to wait a few hours, I decided to have a look at the menu. The restaurant has been praised by many critics as the best Mexican restaurant in Vegas, and the menu did seem very tempting.

Being on a Monday night, it wasn't so busy, and I therefore couldn't have a peek on other people's plate to get some inspiration.

I stopped my choice on a burrito, as recommended by one of the waiters, and it was indeed delicious, but, what I didn't know before ordering, is that it would be so big!

With the complimentary side tortilla chips, it was a pretty decent meal, at a very affordable price.

Later on, my friend would tell me that just the day before, she prepared guacamole for Steven Tyler, lead singer of Aerosmith music band, and that it is not uncommon to see some famous people coming to eat in this reasonably priced restaurant for its delicious food.

Aerosmith Official Website :: Las Vegas Residency 2019

Driving the Las Vegas strip at night

After her shift, at around midnight, we hoped in my friend's car, and she took me for a road trip on The Strip, Las Vegas' main street bordered by famous hotels and places.

We passed next to famous hotels like The Mirage, which appeared, like other ones, in so many famous movies.

The Mirage: Las Vegas Hotels

As a French citizen, visiting a French native friend in Vegas, it is always funny to see an Eiffel tower replica.. and Vegas has an hotel with one in front of it. It doesn't matter where I see an Eiffel tower replica, I never understand why would somebody do that... probably a lack of creativity?

Paris Las Vegas Hotel - Caesars Entertainment

We continue the tour reaching the south of The Strip, and pass next to what really interests me, the New York New York hotel and casino, which is one of the very few hotels in the world to include... a roller coaster, that's right!

It does looks amazing, and I can't wait to try it. I tell my friends that this is one of the activities that I do not want to miss in Vegas!

New York-New York Hotel & Casino: Las Vegas Strip Hotel

Welcome to Las Vegas sign at night

We then continue our tour to the most famous place in Las Vegas: the welcome to fabulous Las Vegas sign, the place where a selfie or a picture must be taken when visiting Vegas.

If you did not take a picture there, have you really visited Vegas?!

We parked at the nearby and free Welcome to Las Vegas sign parking, and walked a few meters to the sign, which actually... looks so small in real!

Being at night, it was of course the best moment possible to take a picture, as the sign was fully illuminated.

We were there at around 1am, and there was even a small waiting line to take pictures in front of the sign.

About two other groups of people were waiting or taking their turn to make nice souvenirs, and we asked one of them to take pictures of us. In exchange, we did the same, and took off to go home, it was time to take the dog out for a night walk in the nearby park, which was full of wild rabbits.

Sunrise cafe Las Vegas

The next day, my friend had a day off, and we went for a drive around.

Starting with a delicious coffee and breakfast at Sunrise coffee house, an independent coffee house offering organic coffee, recommended by her flatmate, we shared a stuffed croissant.

Sunrise Coffee Las Vegas

It is always funny to see that in other countries they would do such things to croissants... use them for sandwiches with all kind of ingredients, like eggs, cucumbers, or cheese.

In any case, it was a delicious breakfast, and we enjoy it on the terrace, from where we could see planes close to landing at the nearby Las Vegas McCarran airport.

McCarran International Airport Las Vegas

Tarte Flambée recipe with US ingredients

Having some chats about food, my friend told me that she hadn't had a Tarte Flambée, also called Flammekueche, for two years, since her last visit to France.

This delicious traditional meal from our native region, Alsace and Lorraine, is quite simple to prepare, as even if the ingredients cannot be found, it is possible to prepare them using pizza dough, local equivalent of our crème fraiche (a kind of sour cream), onions and pieces of pork meat.

Flammekueche, tarte flambée | Recettes d'Alsace

We decide to prepare them at night, and go for shopping in a Walmart, my first visit to that supermarkets chain.

I take a beer with the groceries shopping, and the lady at the counter asks us both for our IDs.

Well I am 33 years old, and don't have my passport with me, only a copy... which is not accepted by the shop. Americans and their crazy laws. I have to leave the beer at the counter. | Save Money. Live Better.

Taking dog out once a day

We go back to her place, go out for a day walk with the dog, and I use the opportunity to take some picture of the palms and other interesting things around.

The dog is very happy to run on the nearby golf track, and we have a nice walk in Nevada's flora, well kept around the golf.

The nigh slowly falls on Las Vegas, and we can see some picturesque sights, like palm trees surrounded with lights.

Tarte flambée cooking in US

Back at her place, we can finally cook the tarte flambées, which end up tasting pretty good - of course not as good as they do in France with the exact right ingredients, but good enough.

We accompany them with wine, from nearby California, and end up having a lovely evening.

Her flatmate, which tasted our traditional meal for the first time, enjoy it as well, which actually isn't a surprise: who couldn't enjoy this very tasty meal, which can actually be accommodated to anybody's preferences or dietary requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can visitors expect from experiencing the Las Vegas Strip at night, and how can cooking a meal like tarte flambée be a unique addition to the trip?
Visitors can expect vibrant nightlife, iconic neon lights, and entertainment on the Strip. Cooking a meal like tarte flambée adds a personal and relaxed contrast to the high-energy atmosphere of the Strip.

Michel Pinson
About the author - Michel Pinson
Michel Pinson is a Travel enthusiast and Content Creator. Merging passion for education and exploration, he iscommitted to sharing knowledge and inspiring others through captivating educational content. Bringing the world closer together by empowering individuals with global expertise and a sense of wanderlust.

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