22 December 2008

Because it was the only right thing to do, I got the fellas together and we made the annual road trip to Las Vegas to watch BYU's annual appearance in the Las Vegas Bowl.

We've driven the I-15 route to Las Vegas dozens of times. Okay, hundreds.
And nearly every time, at least for the past several years, we've wondered out loud about the quality of the food at the Kan Kun MEXICAN FOOD restaurant located in Beaver, Utah.

The safe play for food in Beaver is, of course, Wendy's. But the large sign visible from the freeway reading MEXICAN FOOD, and the peculiar spelling of "Kan Kun", has piqued our collective interest on many occasions.

We were in no great hurry on Friday afternoon as we headed southward, but greatly hungered by the exertion of making the road trip at midday. When we saw the red sign from the freeway, we knew there was only one option: make an unprecedented stop for lunch at Kan Kun.

Making delicious mexican food is not rocket science, but there is also no shortage of places that serve bad mexican food. Rolling the dice on a freeway-side restaurant in Beaver is definitely on the risky side if you care about the quality of your rice and beans. So you can imagine how my anxiety was calmed as I noticed the restaurant's standard of care conspicuously posted at the entrance:

The menu featured standard mexican fare, combined in standard fashion to allow for platters with enchiladas, tacos, burritos, tostadas, and more. I was tempted to order nachos, but remembered my long-standing rule against paying $6-$8 for nachos when I can have chips and salsa for free.

I opted for the "El Medio" selection from among the Combination Platters. It was a cheese enchilada and a bean and cheese burrito, with accoutrements of rice and beans.

Overall the food was tasty. Not life-changing, but not poor. It's definitely average or better for mexican food, bordering on "worthwhile" if you're considering whether or not to stop in Beaver for a meal next time you're passing through. One word of caution: if you are traveling with Dave Matthews, add an extra 20 minutes to your trip time to allow for him to use the restroom following the meal.

On to Vegas, we arrived Friday evening and encountered about a two-hour wait before we could check in to our luxury suite at the Wynn. Let's be honest: we were staying in a 2,500 square foot suite decked out with the finest furnishings, 4 bathrooms, a separate massage room, etc. And we weren't paying a dime for it. So we didn't mind waiting.

After finally checking in, we made reservations at the Country Club restaurant inside the Wynn, home to the finest steak I've ever had. Don't ever pass up the chance to enjoy the rib chop at the Country Club. I'd also had scallops on my brain for about a week after seeing them featured on the Top Chef television program recently, so I took advantage of this menu item, described as:

Sea Scallops, Spaghetti Squash, Sage, Spiced Walnuts

This appetizer was so incredible that I ordered it again on Saturday night (along with the carpaccio of Kobe beef - also unbelievable).

So, there was a football game on Saturday night. Honestly, I trusted the Cougars to get their act together, generate some emotion and display some pride following the debacle in their last game, and put a win on the board. Excitement was high before the game as BYU fans packed our side of the stadium. We had pretty good seats, as evidenced by the fact that we were sitting two rows behind Lavell Edwards and his wife Patti.

But as has been the case since about mid-October, the Cougars didn't bring the full package to the field. At times they played with emotion and at times they executed well. But the inability to pressure the opponent's QB was obvious once again, allowing Arizona to put together sustained drives combined with occasional big plays.

In the end, the season is marked with an unimpressive effort resulting in a loss. We have 9 months ahead of us to analyze this year's shortfalls and hope that 2009 will really turn out to be the magical season we have been looking forward to for the past year and a half.

The drive home was safe and uneventful. I caught this photo from the car window, showing the rare snowfall that has blanketed the Nevada/Utah border area.

Merry Christmas to everyone. Is 2009 going to be your year?


Scott said...

Great post. I didn't feel wistful about not joining you until I read it.

mumovearls said...

Merry Christmas

Cheeth said...

I'd have loved to enjoy a nice Mexican meal in the Land of the Four Seasons, and the Wynn sounded decent too.

Also, Mama Chu's is gross.

Supercords said...

Sorry I missed out. Looking forward to March Madness and Road Trip Trivia 2.0 It promises to be 100% better than last year.