After camping in the pouring rain and bundling up under grey skies, our spring vacation to the desert wasn’t exactly how I had imagined. Where was my blue sky, warm weather and shorts? After checking into our room at the Imperial Palace, eating a delicious meal at Bartolotta and speed walking back to our hotel in the gusty, 48 degree night, I was beginning to get impatient with little miss spring. I want to ride my bike, and I want to ride it in the sun! The next morning I timidly peered through the curtains, expecting the grey skis and pouring rain the weather station had predicted. What did I see? Clean, blue sky, as far as I could see with not a cloud in sight! True, the wind was kind of cranking (if, indeed, the wind can “kind of” crank) but who cares? It’s SUNNY! Kicking our butts into gear, Jamon and I scurried around getting ready to ride. We headed out to Blue Diamond, a tiny town just outside of Las Vegas, with miles and miles of single track. While the wind was definitely chilly and the temp was only 48 degrees, I was happy to simply have a little bit of sun on my face. The wind bellowed around corners of the canyons and mesas we rode through, sometimes at our backs and sometimes coming right at us, but it really didn’t matter. My butt is still a little sore from our ride in St. George the day before, and consequently we didn’t ride as long as we did the day before.
After riding we headed to Khoury’s Mediterranean Restaurant on a whim. Wow. Best whim my stomach has followed in a long while. From the smell of fresh baked pita bread and the warmth of the lively Moroccan music that greeted us when we walked, I knew we had struck gold. Their menu was filled with staples like falafal, tabouli, babba ganoush, and kebabs, but also more regional Lebanese dishes I had never tried before. We started with the Bamieh (Okra) served hot. I figured it was about time I was probably introduced to okra, and o boy, I could not of chosen a better dish. It was warm, spicy, tomatoey and delicious. I could of eaten and entire bowl of Bamieh and called it good. But, I did move on. Next, I had the hummus with sauteed lamb and almonds, which was also fantastic. If you’re ever looking for a tasty treat off the Vegas strip, I highly recommend Koury’s. Plus, it’s affordable!