Las Vegas - The Food Story
Lived & worked downtown for a while in the early to mid 80s at 6th & Carson Hotel & at the weekly places on like 15th & Fremont. And didn't have wheels so food shopping was at Rancho Mkt. or a ways up at the market next to White Cross Drugs. Not to be remiss, loved those free breakfast coupons the motels gave out for the El Cortez.
It seems everyone wishes to turn back the clock. Sure, we miss the attendant pumping our gas. And wow, bags used to fly free. Really. Alas, changes are inevitable and the fact is additional room charges are not leaving. Back to the question at hand, the first resort to hit this $30 fee threshold will be, mark my words, Caesars Palace. They seem to have no conscious regarding raising fees & that award will go nicely along with their now regular dinner buffet charge of $50+ pp. And remember, for tonight at 2 AM, it's spring ahead and time continues to race by. :)
Greetings From Las Vegas Nevada Trader Bill's:
It was the real deal (meaning they actually had some very nice quality stuff) as opposed to the total junk souvenir shops (owned by Schiff Enterprises) that later littered Fremont St. starting in the 80s I believe & to this day. Somehow, I never thought Made in China made a good Vegas souvenir. :)
Present day question: Which Las Vegas resort hotel is the most difficult to navigate?
I vote Planet Hollywood and the MGM. Both are iconic Vegas people mousetraps or more appropriately, mazes. One can seemingly walk around in these places forever and never find a "front door." After valet parking, how long does it take to reach the casino? In my quest, I ventured at least a 1/2 mile journey through an exhausting mall. And in the colossal MGM, is there even access to the Strip? Oh wait, there is a tiny exit but only if you can find it, again after quite a hike. It's the world's largest resort for a reason. If you want convenient parking and easy Strip access, these two definitely take the cake as in "Help! Get me out of here!" But hey, it's Vegas baby and things could be a whole lot worse. :)
Tip: The Harrah's rooms right by the Carnival Court can get noisy in the evening due to the live music there. Also an excellent upgrade and the one to ask for is a "junior suite."
My Harrah's 2 cents: If this casino resort were in any other city, despite its small swimming pool area, it would be rated 4 stars (out of 5) with nightly room rates $150+. And as they are in Vegas, as mentioned above, Harrah's is about location, location, location (simply the best in town). The food & entertainment options are terrific and the employees are about as friendly as they come. Hey, it's Vegas, baby. :)
Ah, Rate the Las Vegas strip resort/hotels. I'm not going to be much help here - trust me. But as a Vegas aficionado, please allow me to indulge: In my lifetime, I've been on over 30 ocean cruises and sometimes, I'm also often asked to rate the various ships. The fact of the matter is I've never had a cruise I didn't like. For real. And for a Vegas trip, no matter where one stays on the Strip, you'll have a fantastic experience. Of course life is a bit like the box of chocolates, but if you are a generally positive person and always seeing the cup as half full, then all the resorts on the Vegas Strip are exactly like the various luxury cruise ships I've experienced. Not a bad one in the bunch.
Barbary Coast definition: Cash Register (for casino owner). No rooms needed. No door needed. Wide open access with the Best "walk by" location in Vegas. And talk about head scratching, the Cromwell will not be taking advantage of this perfect location for a grind joint.
I love these surreal Circus experiences: Vegas Unvarnished. Here is my recent Circus post that appeared on Vegas Rover Feb. 21: Bizarro Circus-Circus. A one-of-a-kind Vegas institution. Hunter Thompson's Fear & Loathing brought to life. True felliniesque: aged casino with circus acts high above, famously bad buffet, gaudy clown-shaped marquee, cheap rooms & the midway where children gamble on toss the chicken & pony races. I call it "must-see." :)
I think they have got the wrong Strip McDonalds to avoid most (as if any of them are actually healthy for you). I say avoid that "most popular one between Harrah’s & Casino Royale" due to the ill-advised logistics of getting in & out. One must take an escalator up the two flights to enter and the truth is that it is "out of order" quite often. OK, good if it's working. But then, after your delish light meal (not), you discover they have no down escalator. You must walk down two flights of steps to return to the Strip after your meal. Oh, they have a smelly elevator tucked away in a corner but really?
They should have a "Survivor Vegas" show. Something like stay a night at every casino/hotel on the Strip, eat at every buffet, every night, attend a different nightclub/dance club and gamble every day for 8 hours minimum. Last one standing - Winner! Now that would take a real survivor. :)
5:05pm. My experience has been "plans" don't often work when on vacation. Especially when visiting Vegas. For example, you plan to go to a certain casino and also see a recommended attraction. OK, then your plane lands, you hit the Strip and the Las Vegas transformation begins - your brain goes...sort of "on hold." You are suddenly like chickens with their heads cut off. Hit the machines, drink, gamb...le more & drink some more. What time is it? Who cares. You may not even make it out of your resort (after getting lost twice). Your head is spinning from the amazing Strip lights & sights and low and behold, it's time to go home. Maybe the lesson here is when hitting Vegas, keep loose & just let it flow. :)
My experience with restaurant.com coupons: While they work without a flaw, the offers with the minimum purchase required equate to BOGO. Still, two for one is terrific but I get the same savings with my LV edition of the Entertainment Book. Just saying...
As mentioned above, you can't go wrong at Buzio's at the Rio. Also the Chart House at the Golden Nugget comes to mind. Really though, most of the Vegas resorts get their seafood flown in daily & have giant "back of the house" fish tanks to ensure freshness so finding a winner will be quite easy. And this is an article that might interest you. Bon Appétit. http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2012/may/29/meet-marine-biologist-who-makes-seafood-science-wy/
Do you visit the Golden Nugget on your Vegas trips?
The Golden Nugget is where I enjoy playing $1-2 No-Limit Texas Hold'Em downtown. Comfortable chairs, low rake, $10 food comp after 4 hours and mostly because of the soft line-up i.e. lots of amateurs & tourists! Hey, we got a seat open. :)
Ah, Casino Royale. Not exactly a James Bond type of place. "Nice place to eat" if you like Subway and the exact food chains you find at home. Here's a tip though: There is a counter at the Casino Royale entrance on Harrah's side that has some of the best prices on the Strip to buy Las Vegas logo shirts, hoodies and other apparel.
Please allow me to indulge my "Ode to Vegas baby" - The Welcome to Las Vegas sign should have one more line: "you're not in Kansas anymore." Now you have license to do all the things you can't do or see at home: gamble, carry drinks around while walking on the street, see the scantly clad signs & handed semi-nude flyers, go fire machine guns, check out strip clubs, etc. etc. Definitely time to unwind and get loose.
The assault on the senses, from the airport baggage claim area with the slot machines and the surround signs with every big show in town thrown in your face to your cavernous mega resorts where you get lost at every turn, this is Vegas baby. Then on to enjoy your vacation which for many would consist of gambling (& drinking), eating (& drinking), shows and/or clubs (& drinking) then repeat. Oh and seeing the sights. And then, all the lights at night seal the deal and confirm it: You are definitely in fantasy land. It's Vegas baby.
We all have so many great memories. Please allow my indulgence as I reminisce how the Treasury & Marina were way out at the time. But close to the RV Trailer Park exactly where NY-NY stands now. I had good friends that owned the Desert Rose Motel right near there and I later worked at Vacation Village for years. We all share memories of days gone by & remember the earlier properties like Hacienda, Boardwalk, Sands, Dunes, Castaways, Old Frontier, Slipper & the 'Dust, Sundance and on & on. Viva Las Vegas.
My opinion: The Mirage is still a top flight resort and really cares about quality in general. I esp. love the volcano show, the atrium, Cirque's Love, the pool areas and the rooms. And this attention to quality extends to Cravings Buffet, where the various food stations surround you, exciting the senses and stimulating the taste-buds. Bellagio, Wynn, Aria, Caesars Palace, Mirage - Vegas is blessed with so many world-class 5-star resorts with premium buffets and it really is hard to go wrong at any of them.
Steak & Eggs 24-hours a day at both Arizona Charlie's for $4.49 (& just 3.99 w/players club card)! Locals' favorite.
Still, if you are going to play, it's a nice deal as these both promotions are added comps & value. FYI: To redeem both offers, "$300 in play" is required but remember, this includes your winnings along the way that you are playing (not $300 put into machines for instance) and also key, as has been mentioned previously, you keep the points. So along with the free prize and the free food entree (up to a $14 value), the player card points you earned doing the promos can be used when you go to eat, like toward any balance. Remember though, it is gambling and the complete steak dinner for $8.99 each makes everyone who visits Ellis Island an instant winner.
What tops your most purchased souvenir list when you go to Vegas?
Fact: The casinos make their own currency (chips) for a fraction of its face value, for instance a $100 black chip costs the same as a $5 chip: about a buck. And folks love to take these home as souvenirs. Pure profit. I wish I could print my own currency.