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I Ate Sooooo Much

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by DaveP, Dec 11, 2008.

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  1. DaveP

    DaveP VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    Yeah, that was the theme of this trip. Not intentional, but it happened. So many places to try, so few trips.

    Anyway, there's a "holiday" party going on at work today, so I took a break from that to finish up some notes. Here's the trip report, mostly about food.

    When: Sunday, November 16 - Thursday, November 20
    What: Solo trip to relax (not that it ever happens in Vegas)


    Transportation

    Flew Delta through Cincinnati to Vegas for $330. Landed at 5:30 PM on Sunday night, 15 minutes ahead of schedule. I was worried about delays due to the runway repaving project going on, but there was no need.

    There were no delays leaving at 7:30 AM on Thursday morning, although it took about 20 minutes to get through the self check-in. Anyone else remember when self check-in took about 2 minutes? What happened to that? The plane on the way back was great - with an entertainment system in the back of every seat. There was live TV (maybe a dozen stations), recorded shows, movies, music channels, complete albums, games. There was a charge for movies and games from Vegas to Cincinnati, everything else was free. From Cincinnati to Hartford, everything was free. It was a great way to pass time.

    Rental car from Budget. Got a Kia Spectra for four days for a total of $99. That had to be some kind of mistake, because the airport fees on rental cars usually come to more than that, but I'm not complaining.

    Although I didn't know it at the time, it appears I used up all my luck for the trip on arrival. The plane touched down at 5:30. Taxied to the gate. Got off the plane. Go my luggage. Walked right onto a rental car center shuttle bus with no wait. Picked up a car. Drove up to TI on I-15, and was pulling into their parking garage at 6:30. All within an hour. Amazing! But not much luck left for gambling.

    Hotel

    Treasure Island (TI) for 4 nights - 3 comped, 1 at casino rate of $79. The promotion I had received also include 2 buffet meals and $50 in freeplay. Nothing wrong with that. I didn't bother trying the $20 trick. I'm never in the room except to sleep. I got a room up on the 33rd floor (out of 36), and had a room at the end of the hallway, with windows on two sides of the room. One window faced Wynn & Encore, and the other faced Trump and the mountains.

    I really like TI. The regular rooms are comparable to what you would find at a Marriott, which is plenty good for me. I'm there to sleep, and get ready in the morning. Other than that, it's a place to find a safe that sometimes has more money for me. I like the feel of the hotel too. I got a similar offer from Mirage for this trip, and opted for TI instead. I just like the place.
     
  2. DaveP

    DaveP VIP Whale

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    The Food

    Breakfast
    Hash House A Go Go (http://www.hashhouseagogo.com/, 6800 West Sahara Ave) A quick drive from TI at 7:00 AM. But they don't open until 7:30 AM. This was my second trip to HH, and it's worth the drive. This time, I got the Sausage Gravy Pot Pie ($11.95), described as "Sausage gravy pot pie w/scrambled eggs & mashed potatoes". It's a little hard to describe. See the picture in the Bacon thread. The start with some of their home fries to hold the thing in place. The home fries are not as good as everything else offered. They're soft home fries, bordering on really chunky mashed potatoes. I prefer my home fries crispier, or as the hash brown variety. Then, the "pot pie" crust is put at an angle. The crust, shaped like an upside down sombrero, is more like a well cooked pizza crust than a flaky pie crust. Inside the "sombrero", you'll find more potatoes, then a whole pile of sausage gravy. The sausage gravy had lots of sausage in it, many in large chunks. On top of the gravy are a couple scrambled eggs, diced pepper and green onion. I was only able to eat just more than 1/2 before I quit.
    7 Stars (out of 10). Needs crispy potatoes and a lighter pie crust.

    TI Breakfast Buffet ($13 + tax) This is a small buffet with all the basics, and is a good choice considering breakfast in the coffee shop will cost you about the same. For basics, they've got eggs, sausage, bacon, biscuits & gravy, hash browns, waffles, yogurt, bagels, mini-quiche, cheese blintzes. You won't find much of the exotic here, but there was a little - steamed pork buns, kimchi, seaweed salad. There is a dessert station, but I didn't get there.
    5 Stars

    Wynn Breakfast Buffet ($19.34 including taxes)
    Excellent!! My favorite buffet (breakfast or dinner), and a great value. I avoided the standard breakfast fare, and went with the more exotic choices - bacon/egg/cheese pizza, sausage/egg/cheese pizza, chow mein, shrimp wontons, veggie spring rolls, roast pork buns (LOVE 'EM), fried rice, Asian veggies. Other non-standard items included Mexican fritatta, cheese enchilada, toasted tomato English muffin things, a congee station. For the standard breakfast items, there was - country ham, omelet bar, breads & bagels, eggs, egg whites, bacon, sausage, eggs Benedict, pancakes, fruits, granola, cereal, cheeses, biscuits & gravy, lox, herring, waffles, yogurt. And there's a dessert bar which I couldn't drag myself to.
    9 Stars. Bring an appetite, and go beyond the standards.

    Lunch & Snacks
    Roberto's
    http://www.menusearch.net/lasvegas/restaurant.php?name=292, Several Locations in Vegas)
    I headed here to try out the Carne Asada Burrito ($4.90), which Mikey has talked about (search his blog for a picture). I went into this small chain fast food Mexican restaurant mid-afternoon. I was the 1 of 2 customers there at the time. I went to the window to order the
    burrito and a soda, and the guy working the grill responded with "That's it?". I'm hoping what he meant was really "Would you like anything else?" and not a "I'm not going to stay in business if that's all you order". And I'm guessing it is the former, because the carne asada burrito is big. It was good too. The beef was a bit tougher than it could have been, but the flavor was very good.
    6 Start. More tender beef and Coke instead of Pepsi would have helped. Don't expect atmosphere.

    POPS's Philly Cheesesteaks (http://www.popscheesesteaks.com/index.php, 501 S Decatur Blvd)
    You can get a pretty authentic Philly Cheesesteak at this place. You walk up to the window to order, and if you're eating there, you get outdoor seating, most of it covered. I had a Philly cheesesteak, wit (onions), and provolone ($7.99). They've got all the combinations - American cheese, Cheez Wiz, peppers, onions, mushrooms.... Their Web site doesn't have a menu yet, but if you squint, you can read some of it in a picture of the place. Check out the Web site for an explanation of the perfect cheesesteak, and some history of the place. With a soda, the bill was $10.71.
    7 Stars. Very tasty, but it could be a little cheaper or have bigger portions.

    Golden Gate (http://www.goldengatecasino.com/dining.html)
    Stopped in for a mid-afternoon snack of the famous shrimp cocktail. I didn't want to wait to sign up for a player's card, so I paid the $1.99. It's $.99 if you have the card. It was a pretty good value - shrimp, cocktail sauce, no lettuce to take up room.
    6 Stars. Not the best shrimp cocktail, but a very good value.

    Mermaids
    Went to wash down the GG shrimp cocktail with a little deep-fried dessert. I've had the deep-fried Twinkie on the "to do" list for a long time, but when I got in, I switched gears and got the deep-fried Oreos ($.99) instead. You get 3 Oreos covered in a thick sweet batter,
    sitting on top of a combination of powdered sugar and chocolate sprinkles. I was surprised that the Oreos had no crunch left. They very soft, but good.
    7 Stars. Twinkies vs. Oreos? Why didn't I think "both"?

    Dinner
    Isla
    - Dinner on Sunday night. Tried one of their tequila flights - Don Julio Blanco, Resposado, and Anejo ($26). It was served in a little center-piece type arrangement with 5 conical shot glasses - 3 for the tequila, one for thin lime slices, and 1 for a palate cleanser, a type of tomato juice. I liked the Resposado best of the three. Thick chips were served warm, with three salsas - red, green (tomatillo), and fresh - none of which had much heat (complimentary). I was a little disappointed that the empanadas were no longer on the menu, but the crunchy masa cakes ($8) and the pulled pork tamale ($14) were excellent. There were three masa cakes - vegetable, beef, and chicken. Each was about 3" in diameter, and topped with chopped onion, cilantro, and sour cream. The 2 pulled pork tamales were served with rice, black refried beans, and sprinkles of cheese. The restaurant was fairly busy for 8:00 on a Sunday night, but the service was still excellent.
    9 Stars. Excellent service, food, but you pay casino resort prices. But I'm willing.

    Joe's Stone Crab (Caesars Forum Shops, http://www.icon.com/joes/Las_Vegas_home.html)
    My last real meal at the end of the trip (not counting airport food), and my most disappointing. As a crab lover, I've had this place on my "to do" list a long time. I don't know if it was because I didn't have a reservation (Wednesday night), or because I was a solo diner, but I was seated at one of the tall tables at the bar. I came for the crab, so I had to check out the daily "market price" stone crab menu. There was a stone crab cocktail (picked meat) or 4 different sizes of stone crab claws, all served with their creamy mustard sauce.

    I skipped the crab cocktail ($17.95), and looked at the real claw options - Appetizer size (4 select size claws for $17.95), Medium (7 for $29.95), Select (6 for $38.95), and Large (5 for $47.95). I ordered the Appetizer and a Seafood Chopped Salad ($13.95). First the appetizer. This was 4 select crab claws, which came pre-cracked. I tried using the little fork that came with the claws, but I was missing way too much of the meat, so I resorted to fingers. The shells were cracked a little much, and I ended up with shell pieces in my mouth. OK, show of hands - who wants to be picking shells out of your mouth in a fancy restaurant?? Combined, the 4 claws only gave up about a 1/4 lb. of meat, total. The crab was a little bit mushy too, usually an indication that it has been frozen previously.

    The chopped salad was decent - avacado, lettuce, tomato, artichoke hearts, carrots, cucumber, green onion, heart of palm, red pepper, egg. It was topped with 4 very small shrimp and about a tablespoon of picked crab (I opted out of the scallops). On the plus side, the mustard sauce was good, and they gave you a good bread basket with 6 varieties, and whipped butter. There was a hot towel after the crab. Refills on the iced tea were quick - my glass was never less than 1/2 full. But for almost $38, I would say it wasn't worth the trip.
    4 Stars. For crab, go to the Wynn or Bellagio buffet instead, get better crab, plus a whole lot more.

    BLT Burger (Mirage, http://www.bltburger.com/) - Was offered, and accepted, seating at the bar, which they promised would be quicker (and it was). The bar has a good view of the "kitchen", which is really a couple grills and prep station. Being adventurous, I tried something
    new - deep-fried dill pickles ($5). This as 8 or so slices of pickle in batter, that with the batter, were about an inch thick. They were served with a creamy ranch-chili paprika dipping sauce, and were good. I would get them again. Having gotten an American "Kobe" burger at Burger Bar a couple years ago, I did the American "Kobe" burger ($17) here for comparison. It came with lettuce, pickle, onion, tomato, and I added cheddar for $1. The burger was good, but not $18 good. My mistake was all the toppings. If you want to know how good a burger is, you have to go basic - maybe cheese, maybe ketchup. But too many topping can hide the quality. Also got the Skinny Fries ($5). The service was friendly and quick. And cute.
    7 Stars. If you like toppings, don't pay for premium beef. Save room for a beer or milkshake.

    Grand Lux (http://www.grandluxcafe.com/) - Went for a post-show dinner around 10:45, and caught them before they switched over to the after-midnight condensed menu. They were seating everyone in the bar area at this time, but still offered the full menu. A basket of warm, crusty sourdough bread was brought out first. It was good, and you could really tell it's sourdough. I ordered the Greek Salad ($8.95, "Feta Cheese, Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumber, Red Onion, Kalamata Olives and Lettuce. Tossed in Our House Vinaigrette") and Buffalo Chicken Rolls Appetizer ($9.50, "Chicken Breast, Cheese and Our Very Spicy Delicious Buffalo Sauce all Rolled in a Spiced Wrapper and Fried until Crisp. Served with Celery Sticks and Blue Cheese Dressing"), fresh brewed iced tea ($3). The Greek salad, for a side salad, is a little pricey, but it was big and very good. For the Buffalo chicken rolls, you get 3 rolls about 6 inches long each, cut in half on a diagonal giving you 6 pieces. They're served over a mound of crispy fried cellophane noodles. The rolls themselves aren't too spicy, but the Buffalo sauce served on the side was spicy. The bleu cheese dressing cools it off nicely. I would order either on again.
    8 Stars. Good food, good service, reasonable price, lots of options.

    Other Notes
    Didn't eat there, but Francesco's at TI is now called Pizzeria Francesco's. I don't remember the "pizzeria" part before, and I don't know when that happened. The menu still has the non-pizza Italian options, and is priced well over your standard pizzeria.
    Went looking for Schoop's, a place that was picked by locals a couple years back as the location for best burger in Vegas. It was near South Point. It's not any more. Just an empty storefront. Apparently they moved to this new location early in the year, then abruptly closed recently. So much for that.
     
  3. DaveP

    DaveP VIP Whale

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    Entertainment

    Mamma Mia (Mandalay Bay, http://www.mandalaybay.com/entertainment/MammaMia.aspx) This isn't going to help much since the show is going away in early January, but if you can see it, go. This was my 4th trip. I had discount tickets from Goldstar Events (https://www.goldstar.com/). My seat was in the orchestra, center section, row H. I think it's the 10th row, because the theater starts with AA, BB, then gets into the A, B, C.... I was a little disappointed because the part of Sophie (one of the leads) was played by an understudy that night. There were some minor tweaks, and some new faces (part of Sky), but overall, this is still an excellent show. I love to see the audience jump at the end of intermission.

    Ka (MGM Grand, http://www.mgmgrand.com/entertainment/ka-cirque-du-soleil-show.aspx) Got a ticket for $70 at Tix 4 Tonight at the Fashion Show Mall. This was a repeat show. I had seen it a few years back, and loved it. This time, not so much. The good parts are still really good, but there were a whole lot more slow parts than I remembered. And some were really slow. Skip the romance [email protected], this is supposed to be an action show. Give me more action.

    Pinball Museum and Hall of Fame (http://www.pinballmuseum.org/, 3330 E. Tropicana) This was a cool diversion for an afternoon in Vegas. $5 in quarters lasted me about an hour. I played a bunch of 1970's pinball machines, and some 1980's video games (Asteroids, Missile Command, Centipede). There are 4 aisles of machines set up - mostly pinball, maybe 20 video games, and some random things like the love meter. They advertise something like 200 machines, and I'm guessing that's close. But I'm not a teenager any more, and after an hour I felt the carpal tunnel syndrome setting in, and I was done for the day. It's a fun trip, and money lasts lots longer than in slot machines.

    Other Notes
    IMAX at Luxor is completely gone. The area around the theater was walled off and covered with signs announcing the Titanic exhibit, coming soon.

    Gambling
    Not much to report here. It was a typical gambling trip, with no real highs or lows. Lots of video poker and Let It Ride, and a mixture of other games.

    TI poker room closes sometime during the night, and doesn't reopen until 10:30 AM. This seems to be a standard thing, at least during the week. Still, it was a bit surprising.

    South Point has some good odds on their video poker.
     
  4. DaveP

    DaveP VIP Whale

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    Random Thoughts

    • Maybe the markup is getting a little high when soda machine on the hotel floors start taking credit cards, don't you think?
    • The amazing power of the casinos. I'm getting thirsty while walking through Luxor, so I headed up to the food court for a Diet Coke. Everyone I saw was selling Pepsi products. Then I spied a McDonald's in the food court. Knowing McDonald's serves Coke products, I went to get my Diet Coke. No such luck. Just about every other McDonald's in the world sells Coke products, but not here. Pepsi. I asked the manager (in a friendly way) about this, and she told me that Luxor gave them a choice - serve Pepsi products or don't open at the Luxor. They chose Pepsi.
    • I need to stay away from triple play video poker.
    • Those casinos in Downtown are really small, aren't they? I haven't been for a while, and I forget how much it's NOT like the Strip casinos. There's no getting lost in the Golden Gate.
    • Didn't notice any smell Downtown.
    • Sales on Mystere at TI must be slow. I received two automated messages to the phone in my room at TI "from the staff". One was a general ad for Mystere. The other, on my last full day there, was about a special 2-for-1 on tickets that night.

    More pictures to come.....
     
  5. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

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    Dave- thanks for the well organized post. Good read. Great restaurant info.

    later
     
  6. gmoney590

    gmoney590 VIP Whale

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    Great report Dave. I agree with you about trying premium burgers; don't add anything so you can get the true flavor of the beef. So, they only serve Pepsi products at Luxor. I thought MGM/Mirage properties serve Coke and HET properties only served Pepsi. I am obvioulsy wrong about that and will have to remember it when ordering a drink.
     
    Back where we belong
  7. DaveP

    DaveP VIP Whale

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    MGM/Mirage is a mix of Coke and Pepsi. The Coke locations are TI, Mirage, Bellagio, MGM Grand. The others are Pepsi. If you haven't see it before, this map will show you where to get the good stuff: http://www.vegastodayandtomorrow.com/coke-or-pepsi.htm
     
  8. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    There is enough booze...

    Isla is one of my faves. When I order food there, I don't get what I expected, but what I get I really like.

    Nice writeup, and as noted before, really well organized. :thumbsup:
     
  9. sunni

    sunni VIP Whale

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    food

    I feel stuffed just reading your report Dave :ssst: Thanks :thumbsup:
     
  10. Coaster Kikky

    Coaster Kikky Tourist

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    Damn! You stole my idea for the title of my upcoming food trip report!!

    Nicely done otherwise.
     
  11. vegasbound

    vegasbound Moderator

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    Lots of good eats! I need to try Pop's to see how it compares to Philly Steakout, my current favorite place for a cheesesteak.
     
  12. DaveP

    DaveP VIP Whale

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    Here are some more pictures from the trip:

    A couple more of those side-of-the-hotel banners:
     
  13. DaveP

    DaveP VIP Whale

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    TI pool area:
     
  14. DaveP

    DaveP VIP Whale

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    TI Deluxe Room:
     
  15. DaveP

    DaveP VIP Whale

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    TI Bathroom:
     
  16. DaveP

    DaveP VIP Whale

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  17. DaveP

    DaveP VIP Whale

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    Construction Pictures. The first at Palazzo, the rest around City Center:
     
  18. DaveP

    DaveP VIP Whale

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    More construction around City Center:
     
  19. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

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    Will City Center ever be done???:snore:


    "There's no getting lost in the Golden Gate."

    LOL! There sure isn't.:evillaugh

    Thanks for the entertaining report.
     
  20. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

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    Nice TR...I'm also a Coke fan so TI will work for me in April.
     
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