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Caesar's February 25-28 - Golden Steer, Joe's, and West Coast Tattoos

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by GPZ, Mar 2, 2015.

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  1. GPZ

    GPZ Tourist

    May 10, 2012
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    My Trip Report

    We got to Vegas, escaping the frozen wasteland that is our city currently, and was pleased to find that on a Wednesday evening, the airport was very quiet. No wait for a taxi but I wish they would have parked the plane closer to the taxi line!

    Check in at Caesar's was painless and fast. We had signed up for the "e-standby" upgrade from the Roman Tower included in our package to the Augustus Tower at $36 per night. The clerk said she actually didn't have a record of this but got a manager approval for the upgrade for us anyway.

    The Deluxe King room had everything we were looking for. It was huge, with waaay more space then we needed. Great huge bed, Keurig machine, and a large bathroom with a spa tub more than large enough for two and a stand up shower beside. No view to speak of but we didn't care about that. Plus, at the bottom of the elevator was a Starbucks (perfect for morning) and door to the strip just beside that - and the lobby about 100' away. Very convenient location, even though CP is set far back from the strip, we didn't want to have to march through miles of casino just to get outside.

    Dinner Wednesday night was Gordon Ramsay Pub. It was very good. Service was very good, with a good selection of craft beers. The food was excellent - my gf thought it was one of the best burgers she'd ever had. I had a scotch egg as I'd always wanted to try one and it was tasty. I had a pub pie which was also very good. It was expensive pub food, but for a name-brand place in the hotel we weren't expecting a bargain.

    Weather was beautiful, so nice to be in shirt sleeves again. We got some champagne to go from Bellagio and watched the fountains - I never get tired of that. We played a few slots for fun and enjoyed some drinks before bedtime.

    Thursday was shopping day. We started with breakfast at Mon Ami Gabi and again - no waiting, even for a patio table. Food was excellent, from the toast to the garnish. A great place to have breakfast on a sunny morning. The forum shoppes, the canal shoppes, and the fashion show mall all got a workout. I picked up a piece of art from AFA gallery which, although not a typical Vegas trip purchase, was a really awesome find. We had a snack at Public House and enjoyed some excellent beers and some of the best oysters I've ever had.

    Thursday night was Golden Steer. I'd waffled pretty hard on this as I wanted to enjoy a nice steak dinner and like the idea that the Steer had some history and was just a little off the beaten path. Overall, the experience was good but not great. Service was a little less than spectacular, although our server looked exactly like Robert DeNiro, so much that I would bet he does impersonator gigs on the strip. The escargot was very good and the tableside caesar salad was excellent. I had the new york strip, which was huge, but - there was absolutely zero seasoning on the thing, not a flake of pepper or salt, nothing. Plus the steak is served in a puddle. Not au jus, just the puddle that develops when you let a steak rest after cooking. We had both béarnaise and peppercorn sauce on the side, both of which were on the congealed side, but tasted OK. The sauteed mushrooms were tasty but I had the impression they were sitting around held warm for a while. Frankly, I could buy and cook as good of a steak at home, in my sleep. The bananas foster was tasty. We chatted with the tableside waiter, who was a really interesting character from Romania. He'd been at the Steer for 23 years. I asked the staff about the location - it is north of the Stratosphere and off LV Blvd so kind of not close to anything, even back in the day I thought. He told me that the old casinos like the Stardust, Dunes, etc were actually right around the restaurant so back in the day it was a hot spot which is why all the celebrities went there. That didn't sound right. From what I could find online, all of those casinos were on property where the current casinos sit. They weren't that far north at all. Maybe there were some small ones around there but if anyone has other wisdom on this, let me know. It seemed like all the booths had little plastic plaques on them with the names of the stars who sat there. If there had been photographs of Betty Grable sitting in my booth, I'd be impressed. But frankly I doubted that John Wayne's favourite booth was the one next to the hostess stand. It was nice to get away from the strip but $350 dinner for two I'd like to be blown away, and the Steer didn't get there.

    Friday we breakfasted at the Hash House, which was hopping as usual. We got a bloody mary while we waited which helped a lot. Everytime I go there I am reminded - just get one plate and share it. The plates are huge and there was no way we were eating all of it. The Linq looked really good though. We walked around a bit and the outside mall had some neat stuff. Nice and clean and fresh looking. Good for them.

    We wanted to soak up a bit of sun so wandered down to the pool at CP. There was one small pool open so we just sat in our street clothes and enjoyed a bit of LV sun. I imagine it's really something when it's running 100% in season.

    We played a bit at CP but frankly were underwhelmed by the casino. It seemed a bit tired. We did enjoy some slots at Palazzo that had a panel on the machine to order drinks. That is an excellent invention, and kept us there for a while. I played some blackjack and pretty much lost every hand, including a pair of 8's split and doubled down against a 6, which turned into 21 - those bets really suck to lose.

    Friday night we had appointments at West Coast Tattoos, which was a $30 taxi ride south of the strip (it didn't look that far on Google maps). Kevin Ramos did a fantastic piece on my arm and we were really happy with the shop and staff. I might add that although I don't shop for bargains when getting tattoos, Kevin charged half as much per hour as the now-defunct Vince Neil Ink did, which I'm confident was due to the strip location and the Vince Neil name and not the skill or experience of the artist. If you're looking for a tattoo in LV, check out West Coast.

    After tattoos we had a res at Joe's Stone Crab in the Forum Shoppes. It was one of the best meals I've ever had. The service was spectacular, the waiter knew his stuff inside and out, the food was amazing. Oysters with incredible frozen mignonette sauce, stone crabs, tuna tartare, broiled mixed seafood, creamed spinach, key lime pie….that was a $350 meal that blew me away. Add the crappy Canadian exchange rate and it was a $400 tab. But an amazing meal.

    After dinner we took the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower, which was worth the money. The view was amazing and my iPhone grabbed some really great shots. We missed the Bellagio water show which would have been cool to see from up there. We enjoyed hanging out at Paris - it has a different look and feels a bit more open than most places. It was really nice to get back to the room and sit in the spa tub for a while before turning in. We were a bit disappointed our room didn't get made up on Friday - we were in the room for a nap late afternoon so I called and they said no problem, they'd have it done while we were out for dinner, but it didn't happen. Housekeeping was still working on our floor at the time, too. A little thing, but a little surprising.

    Saturday morning we had to grab our Starbucks and run, but were treated to the most painless airport experience ever. Zero line up at the ariline. Zero line at security. Zero line anywhere. So we had tons of time to have airport breakfast and doze before the plane got there.

    Overall I thought the strip was a bit different. I perceived far fewer card slappers and other sidewalk hustlers. Maybe they started regulating them more? Even the pedestrian bridges only had a busker or two, none of the aggressive types. Inside the malls, however, you almost couldn't walk without the folks in the little kiosks getting in your way with whatever they were selling. I'd stay at CP again but will probably try Aria next. The central location is pretty key and our room and it's geographic were really good. As always, we're already looking forward to the next time.

    Cheers and thanks for reading!
  2. momnkid

    momnkid Tourist

    Mar 6, 2002
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thanks for the report and the tattoo shop info. I was thinking of going to Revolt but I will check out WCT too.
  3. sybgal

    sybgal VIP Whale

    Apr 19, 2004
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Nice report! Thanks for sharing with us :)
    Impatiently Waiting....

    MTMONGO Low-Roller

    Jan 14, 2009
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Doing West Coast on Friday.
  5. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Jan 21, 2013
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Good report!

    Sorry about your experience at Golden Steer. The way you describe it, I wonder if I got a better steak at Ellis Island last week!
    Revisiting my favorite Vegas animal!
    Last Hurrah! Excuse to visit Mandalay Bay's Pool!
  6. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

    Jul 17, 2011
    Northern Nevada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thank you for sharin' your trip with us!!! I too am a Joe's Stone Crab fan!!!
  7. rider_pride77

    rider_pride77 Tourist

    Mar 1, 2014
    Alberta Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Nice report, Last time I was in vegas ended up getting a tattoo at Starlight and Mandalay Bay... it was pretty pricey probably due to the in casino location...
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