Serendipity 3 Las Vegas

by Andie Mitchell on November 20, 2010

To begin day two of the Harrah’s Las Vegas Taste Tour, our group headed out into the sunshine to brunch at Serendipity 3, the sweet eatery most famous for its over-the-top desserts. Namely, the Frrrozen Hot Chocolate.

photo courtesy Scott Roeben

Now, as an admitted sweet-seeker, knowing I was brunching at Serendipity, I woke up that morning with a deep craving for anything and everything maple-syrup-soaked or powdered-sugar-dusted. I figured a stack of pancakes to be in my very near future. I had an extra bounce in my step as I walked up to the hot pink palace.

Once inside, I was met, nose first, with caramel and that nutty sweet linger of freshly ironed waffles. Thick, drifting wafts of espresso cut through the sugar-spun air, and I was thankful for its power to snap me out of the sugar spiral I was winding into.

 

 

The décor inside Serendipity 3 is pure whimsy. Alice in Wonderland meets Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. A girly girl’s paradise. The word ‘cute’ comes to mind. Splashy orange and hot pink just about pop from rainbow pin-striped walls, giving the whole sweet spot a faint pink glow. Tables, heart-backed chairs, molding, and accents are all a clean, crisp white, a welcome contrast to the fluorescence. A big round face is painted on the clock. Light falls from ten or so chandeliers with colorful, large shade drums on the high ceiling, a style that pays tribute to the authentic Tiffany lamps in Serendipity’s flagship shop in New York City.

Serendipity plays upon big and small. Inside the restaurant, the ultra-high ceilings give you a dwarfish feeling, not unlike Alice after she shrank. You become a kid in a pink polka dotted candy shop. It’s a place where things that would naturally be small, like tea cups, are made big, like soup bowls. Not an individual portion in sight. Sundaes spilling out of chocolate treasure chests, milkshakes that require three straws, towers of Belgian waffles with whipped cream. You get lost in the food. It’s what we all dreamed of at age seven. Actually, it’s what I currently dream of.

Serendipity is largely thought to be a dessert spot, the place you go when you’re hell bent on decadence. It’s most famous for it’s signature Frrrozen Hot Chocolate, a blend of 20 different types of chocolate. But what I discovered rather quickly, was that Serendipity’s savory menu is as craving-inducing, if not more, as its sweet selection.

Once seated, each of us was presented with a menu. I love any establishment that provides me with an over-sized laminated menu. Really I do. It reminds me of being young and those big Sunday diner breakfasts I ate with my family.

The menu was just for browsing, though, because within ten minutes, our group was served one whopping order of each item on the brunch menu, so essentially, the contents of a supermarket. And by supermarket I mean Costco.

 

Each platter-ful was impossibly decadent and somehow more extravagant than the one before. As you’d imagine, my excitement level inched upwards at a rather alarming rate.

I should have expected as much, given that the first serving involved a drinkable blend of twenty chocolates, melting mini marshmallows, and graham crackers.

 

 

S’Mores Hot Chocolate

Frrrozen Hot Chocolate

This frozen treat is what makes Serendipity so well known. Or at least, it’s the one menu item I had heard about several hundred times before dining there. I’ve got to admit, I’m a bit of a chocoholic and as milkshakes go, this fell flat for me. It tasted icy rather than creamy, and the chocolate flavor was a bit closer to standard hot cocoa mix than I’d like.

 

Orrreo Frrrozen Hot Chocolate

This version of the frozen treat was much better than the original. It was richer and creamier, with a more pronounced vanilla meets cookies ‘n’ cream flavor.

Saints and Sinners French Toast Log

savory: bacon, sunny side up eggs, breakfast potatoes

sweet: fresh berries, whipped cream

The french toast was memorable. Thickly sliced brioche makes for the perfect egg-soaked, custard-flavored french toast if you ask me. I also like the play between sweet and savory.

Banana Cream Waffles

sliced bananas and cream sandwiched between two jumbo waffles, topped with fresh berries, and drizzled with chocolate

The Hangover Omelet

bacon, french fries, mushrooms, cheddar

Several of the brunch orders were served with breakfast potatoes, which were just about perfect. My largest problem with home fries and hash browns at breakfast spots is that they get soggy and wet with oil, rather than maintaining their fried texture. These little wedges were deliciously salty, crispy yet not greasy, and had a tender mashed center. I would bet they were twice fried.

Central Park Omelet

egg white omelet with spinach, avocado, swiss cheese

 

Fried Eggs Benedict

corn meal crusted fried poached eggs, classic hollandaise, and ham steak, atop sausage gravy and house made biscuit

 

This eggs benedict was outstanding and easily my favorite dish. The freshly made biscuit was buttery, flaky, and tender, a fluffy bed for runny egg yolk and an insanely rich and creamy sausage gravy-hollandaise blend.

Holy Huevos Rancheros

chorizo, black beans, tomatillo salsa, queso fresco, pico de gallo

 

Fried Chicken & Waffles

half of a chicken, bacon waffles, breakfast potatoes, maple syrup, honey mustard

Lucky 7’s

2 pancakes, 3 eggs, 2 sausage links, breakfast potatoes

 

Deep Fried Oreos and Ice Cream

deep fried oreos, cookies ‘n cream ice cream, hot fudge, marshmallow sauce

I don’t need to explain why fried oreos are divine. They’re slightly salty-sweet and tossed in a corn flake batter before frying. My only wish was for them to have been Double Stuf Oreos, but that’s just pure gluttony on my part.

 

Serendipity Las Vegas Treasure Chest

chocolate chest box, filled with assorted ice creams, cookies, berries, cakes…

At a whopping $77, this treasure chest is exclusive to the Las Vegas Serendipity 3, and legend has it that no one has finished it (or it’s never been recorded). The general manager told us that once, a group of twelve men attempted devouring it and failed. This news makes me contemplate entering the competitive eating world. I did my best.

Please note how intently I am taking that photo. That’s the face of an addict, friends.

photo courtesy Scott Roeben

When all was said and eaten, and I had achieved a level of delirium unique to total sugar domination, I found myself asking, “Why is this place only known for the sweets?” Because contrary to my naturally sweet-inclinations, I quite liked the savory. Sure each and every item, savory and sweet, was over-the-top, decadent, and dreamy, but for the most part, the sweeter things like cake, brownies, and frrrozen hot chocolate tasted somewhat standard, and just as I’d expect them to. Tasty but not terrific.
Savory fare, on the other hand, like the fried eggs benedict, the plump sausage links, the savory french toast, and the breakfast potatoes are what would lure me back to Serendipity 3. Those and the chance to spend an hour inside a hot pink palace and feel ten again.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Evan Thomas November 20, 2010 at 8:58 am

12 men couldn’t take that down? Clearly they were not runners, because I think that has my name all over it.

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Jessica @ How Sweet November 20, 2010 at 8:59 am

Envy doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel! Holy cow. That is all so amazing.

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Sana November 20, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Sigh. I need some Frrrozen Hot Chocolate in my life. Asap. It is had to get into hot chocolate season when it is 60+ outside… so this is perfect!

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RhodeyGirl November 20, 2010 at 3:48 pm

YUM.

THAT’S ALL I CAN SAY.

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Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine November 20, 2010 at 4:53 pm

I am so bummed that the most delicious looking item on this post- the Treasure Chest- isn’t available in the NYC restaurant. I looove their frozen hot chocolate though!!

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Colleen November 20, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Oh man, now I really want some eggs benedict! We usually have that for Christmas, but I might have to make some sooner. :)

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M.J. Jacobsen November 20, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Two words: Food coma!

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biz319 November 21, 2010 at 8:00 am

My mouth is watering over the fried chicken and waffles and the huevos rancheros – wow!

I am not much of a sweets person, but holy yum -deep fried oreos??!!

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Kace November 21, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Ummmmm…..yes, please. To all of it.

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Nicole November 22, 2010 at 3:43 am

I totally want to go there!!

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Erica November 22, 2010 at 6:44 am

It is 8:42 a.m. and I am drooling over this post!!

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Shanna, like Banana November 22, 2010 at 8:25 am

Don’t be mad…I totally skipped your text to get to the pictures…I want it all! And I’m pretty sure I could take on that treasure chest. Maybe even two ;)

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Jamie @ Food in Real Life November 22, 2010 at 8:43 am

That treasure chest is just RIDICULOUS! I’ve been to Serendipity in NYC a few times and always had a fun time. The frozen hot chocolate is good, but it’s more of the fun experience I like!

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katecooks November 22, 2010 at 12:21 pm

i’m not gonna lie, i am seriously jealous right now. i could definitely go for a treasure chest and some french toast. i’ve never been to serendipity before but that has GOT to change!

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Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday November 23, 2010 at 7:11 am

I split a frozen hot chocolate at serendipity with my husband last year. I wasn’t impressed at all.

I used to make a better version as a barista at a cafe in my university days.

MAJOR LETDOWN. Or maybe just major hype?

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Jeniece June 12, 2011 at 9:50 pm

This post turned me into Homer Simpson. My keyboard needs a good de-saliva-ing.

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