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Las Vegas Zone - TR

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by westie, May 12, 2008.

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  1. westie

    westie VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2002
    Messages:
    4,022
    Location:
    Kensington, CT
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    60

    My Trip Report

    The Westies are about to unlock doors with the key of imagination. Beyond is another dimension – a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. They have 14 days, the doors unlocked offer a multitude of options. One door leads to a corridor with multiple doors, behind each may be entertainment or boredom. A second door leads to a series of stairwells; each may be climbed to culinary bliss or descended into a gastronomic abyss. Another door opens to a long and meandering path that terminates at a fork – one branch leads to monetary gains, the other to financial ruin. As each door is opened, another slams shut, decisions rendered prove irrevocable. Join them as they enter a fifth dimension known as the ……………………Las Vegas Zone.

    04/23 Ziggy-the-Cat has been upgraded from our neighbors’ Le Garage suite, currently occupied by Fred-the-Puppy, to the Winery suite while Max-the-Schipperke has again been housed on Alligator Alley at the Cromwell Vet. We departed from Bradley (almost) International Airport on time and were transported through space to Las Vegas in seven hours. Unlike our December trip, both we and our luggage arrived on the same plane.

    Alamo provided our wheels for $217 including taxes and fees for a compact and we were assured by the manager that Ms. Westie was included as an additional driver at no charge. I upgraded to a full-size Impala for a modest $5 tip and we quickly departed for the Orleans where we were booked for the next 9 nights courtesy of a postcard offer. We requested a room on an upper floor, away from the elevator – our room #1902 was in the old tower, approximately a football field away from the nearest elevator with a view of the Strip in the distance and a close up view of the Seamless Gentlemen’s Club.

    We only had time for one glass of merlot, free as are all drinks mentioned in this TR, before departing for Nora’s Cuisine on Flamingo. Nora’s was the 2007 recipient of the LVRJ’s Reader’s Choice award as the Best Undiscovered Restaurant and has a Zagat rating of 24, 18, 21. http://www.norascuisine.com/ This southern Italian restaurant is very popular and we encountered a long waiting line as we entered at 7PM, but we had secured advance reservations and were promptly seated. We shared a Caesar salad that was on the small side though the menu indicated it would serve 2-3. The salad itself was decent, but the croutons were soft and flavorless. The menu was the same as you would find in any Italian/American restaurant so Ms. Westie ordered the eggplant parmesan while I chose meatballs and spaghetti. Both dishes were satisfactory though typically over sauced and below expectations. ($31.96, 2 Forks out of a possible 5)

    It was 8:30PM by the time we departed so we made a quick stop at a Smiths supermarket before returning to the Orleans and calling it a night. Those paying attention may have noticed the Westies did not gamble on opening day of this trip, limited themselves to but one cocktail each, retired to the room early and did not use a coupon/certificate for their dinner. You are probably thinking if this trend continues the Westies will soon be attending midnight mass.

    04/24 As is my tradition on the first night in Las Vegas, I was awake at 2AM and headed to a casino, but first I stopped by the Bourbon Street Lounge and listened to the band Crush before departing for the Silverton. The Silverton offers FPDW, full pay deuces wild, and was running a promotion where for each 1,000 points earned you receive one pull tab guaranteed to be a winner of meals, slot play, rooms etc. I had difficulty finding the FPDW machines so I played 9/6 JOB for an hour or so, hitting numerous quads and a straight flush. I eventually found the FPDW machines played 2 more hours before hitting my first quad deuces, payoff 1,000 coins, of the trip.

    Breakfast at the Orleans buffet included OJ, skim milk, fresh fruit topped with strawberry yogurt, a small pancake and a dollop of corned beef hash. ($7.49, American Casino Guide (ACG), 2 Forks)

    We returned to the room and read the LVRJ before heading to the Silverton where we lost playing FPDW. On departing we drove to Nothing Bundt on Eastern and shared a red velvet mini bunt. The bundt was moist and flavorful. http://www.nothingbundtcakes.com/ ($3.99, 3 Forks)

    After a few hours of rest and relaxation, we headed downstairs to the Alligator bar and enjoyed a few drinks, Ms. Westie opting for merlot while I settled for Stella Artois. http://www.stellaartois.com/

    Thursday night is our “Date Night†so we drove downtown to the historic El Cortez for dinner at Roberta’s. http://www.elcortezhotelcasino.com/pdf/robertas_entree.pdf It has been 20 years since we last had the courage to dine at Roberta’s, but like fine wine this restaurant has improved with age. What it lacks in ambiance is made up by a friendly staff and moderate pricing. Ms. Westie’s 8 ounce filet, served medium rare as requested, was very good though decidedly short of prime. My Chilean sea bass was perfectly cooked – crusty on the outside and moist inside, and accompanied by garlic mashed potatoes, a small fennel salad and sautéed spinach. ($31.70, LVA (Las Vegas Advisor), 3.5 Forks)

    We signed up for slot cards, redeemed LVA coupons for $10 free slot play and netted $5 each before departing. In addition to being our date night, Thursday is Boulder Blues night so we headed to the Railhead at Boulder Station. John Nemeth was performing this evening and put on a very good show though we split our time between the Railhead and the FPDW machines located immediately outside. http://www.johnnemethblues.com/ (3 Claps) Ms.Westie hit #1 quad deuces of the trip while I lost.

    04/25 I slowly, oh so very slowly, began the process of adjusting to the time change waking up some 30 minutes later than yesterday morning. I again headed to the Silverton where I managed to hit quad deuces #2 and #3 of this trip.

    After returning to the room and showering, we departed for the buffet at the Gold Coast. My breakfast included OJ, fresh citrus, skim milk, bacon and an eggbeaters omelet with spinach and cheese. ($5.33, ACG (American Casino Guide), 2.5 Forks)

    On exiting we drove to the gem of the Strip, aka the Casino Royale, where we parked and walked to the adjoining Venetian to view the exhibit “Modern Masters†at the Heritage- Guggenhiem Museum. This museum recently announced its mid-May closing and has waived entrance fees. We were one of the few customers requesting recorders which made a huge difference in how much we enjoyed the exhibit. Paintings by such artists as van Gough, Cezane, Chagall, Picasso and friends were grouped by genre (e.g. landscapes, portraits, etc.). (Free, 4.5 Claps)

    We again played at Boulder Station before returning to our room for a nap (me) and reading (Ms. Westie). In the late afternoon Ms. Westie took the car to the Gold Coast where she played a little FPDW before returning in time for our happy hour. Ms. Westie started off with a Cazadores margarita and finished with a merlot. Not to be outdone I started with a St. Paulie Girl and trumped her with a Blue Suede Shoes (Sailor Joe spiced rum and Curacao). Ms. Westie made a reach for my glass, but I told her:

    Do anything that you want to do, but uh-uh,
    Honey, lay off of my shoes
    Don’t you touch my blue suede shoes.
    You can do anything but lay off of my blue suede shoes

    Our next destination was Himalayan Cuisine on Flamingo. http://www.usmenuguide.com/himalayancuisine.html
    We previously dined at this restaurant in April 2007 and were anxious to see the changes made after the owner’s son took over. The menu has been upgraded so we shared two new dishes, mahakali mango chicken – oven baked chicken with fresh slices of mango in an onion and fennel seed base which is similar to chicken tika masala. Our second entrée was saag ra dhiido – braised lamb, sautéed spinach and Nepalese cornmeal (grits?). We have had several saag dishes in the past and usually the ingredients are mixed together, but in this dish each item stood alone. We requested a medium heat level, but neither entrée was particularly hot. We also ordered naan and basmati rice. Service was very slow because our server, presumably the owner’s son, also served as maitre d and cashier. In violation of the laws of Westie, I actually settled the bill in cash because we couldn’t wait any longer for our server to return and still catch the Four Tops show. A printable 2/1 coupon found on the Citysearch website was used. ($25.35, 3.5 Forks)
    http://lasvegas.citysearch.com/profile/37520826/las_vegas_nv/himalayan_cuisine.html

    I returned to the Orleans with my “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch†just as the show was beginning. http://delafont.com/music_acts/Four-Tops.htm This group is remarkable in that the original members remained together for 4 decades. The current line-up still includes 2 of the originals plus the son of another. The guys put on a super show that covered songs dating from 1964’s “Baby I Need Your Loving†to 1981’s “When She Was My Girlâ€. (3.5 Claps)

    The night was still young so we headed over to the Bourbon Street Lounge to listen to Crush only to discover they weren’t any better at 9:15PM than when I listened to them at 2:30AM yesterday morning. http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=79682937

    04/26 I retraced my tire tracks to the Silverton early this morning and noticed that it now took $2 of play to earn 1 point. I did not hit quad deuces, but an exceptional number of wild royals kept me in the black.

    We decided to drive out Rancho to the Wild Fire for the $1.49 breakfast special of 2 eggs, toast, hash browns and bacon. ($5.82, ACG, 2 Forks). Redemption of the coupon requires joining the slot club which we did with each of us receiving a free T-shirt and $10 in free play. We did not find any decent pay schedules so we cashed out after running the free play once through the machines. http://www.wildfirecasinolasvegas.com/templates/home_img1.aspx?p=19

    It was a little early for us to head to the Las Vegas Premium Outlets so we drove to Fiesta-Rancho for some FPDW. We played for around 45 minutes with Ms. Westie experiencing a modest loss while I registered a less modest profit.

    On arriving at the LV Premium Outlets we parted company. In short order I picked up a polo shirt at Izod and 9 pairs of socks at Nautica while Ms. Westie returned to our meeting place empty handed.

    We were in quandary; do we make the long drive out to Fort Apache for an Armenian napoleon or try a new bakery? We settled for something new and drove to Provence Bakery on W. Spring Mountain Road. Our shared flan proved to be extremely dense which made me blue. ($4.58, 1 Fork)

    Numerous signs were posted in the Orleans advertising a happy hour starting at noon at Don Miguel’s that feature $1 Margaritas and ½ priced nachos, quesadillas and more. When we ordered 2 ritas and a quesadilla for lunch we were informed that only a limited menu was available at the bar and it did not include nachos. What was that all about? Oh well, we went with the flow and settled on a peach rita for Ms. Westie and a mango for me. Each came straight out of one of those rita machines with a bit of fruit syrup added for flavor. ($3, 1 Fork)

    I returned to the room for some quality nap time while Ms. Westie set out for the Gold Coast’s FPDW machines hitting her #2 quad deuces of the trip in short order.

    Nutritionists recommend that Americans add more nuts and berries to their diets so that is what we ordered for our first round at Ellis Island. http://www.drinksmixer.com/drink665.html
    Like Red Skelton’s Guzzlers Gin, it was so smoooooooth. We were tempted to order the same for round two, but this cocktail goes down way to easily so Ms. Westie settled on a merlot while I chose the home brewed Hefe Weiss.


    We soon made the short drive to McCormick & Schmicks on Hughes Center Drive.
    http://www.mccormickandschmicks.com/ Zagat Rating: 21, 19, 21. A warm beet salad with herb goat cheese in a balsamic reduction served as our appetizer. The serving size was such that I thought our server had misunderstood and brought us each a salad, but it was so good I decided not raise the issue for fear he would take my portion away. Ms. Westie ordered the pan roasted halibut served with a yummy bosc pear chutney on top of spinach and a potato cake. I ordered the Chilean sea bass with a delicious fruit sauce, whipped Peruvian purple potatoes and a spicy shrimp, corn, red pepper and chayote sauté. The sea bass was tasty, but one-third the size of the one served at Roberta’s and slightly overcooked. We used a free dinner coupon sent to Ms. Westie for her birthday in December. ($46.53, 3.5 Forks)

    Following dinner we drove to Fiesta-Rancho to listen to Lou Martin in the Cabo Lounge. Backed by a keyboardist and drummer, Lou covers a wide range of music including soft rock. (3.5 Claps) Between sets we played a little FPDW and lost.

    04/27 The video poker waters at the Silverton this morning were choppy with gale force windows nearly capsizing HMS Westie, but I was able to return to port under my own power though listing to one side. Ellis Island was serving breakfast this morning so we each ordered their famous, at least in our family, cinnamon vanilla French toast. Service was a little slower than usual because one of the servers resigned earlier in the morning in order to take a mid –level management position as a porn slapper on the Strip. ($6, ACG, 3 Forks)

    We made the short drive to Terrible’s Casino in order to obtain new slot cards and were rewarded with $20 in free slot play for our effort though we did not have time to play it off because we held reservations for a computer at the Clark County Library. We checked our email, printed off a coupon for a free pizza at Grimaldi’s and borrowed David Baldacci’s latest book for Ms. Westie before returning to Terrible’s. After about an hour of play on the 9/6 JOB machines, we each managed to cash out our original $20 in free play.

    Our next stop was Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall where we dined on hot dogs and beer.
    http://www.billslasvegas.com/ ($1, ACG, 1 Fork) The remainder of the afternoon was spent in our room dozing (me) and reading (Ms. Westie).

    Evening libations were being served at the Orleans with Ms. Westie enjoying a pair of cabernet sauvignons while I settled on a tandem of Stella Artois and a cabernet sauvignon. http://www.stellaartois.com/ We then departed for Emperor’s Garden on W. Spring Mountain Road which serves Szechwan and Mandarin cuisine. http://www.sichuangarden.com/ We each started off with a cup of corn and chicken soup that turned out to be egg drop soup with a few kernels of corn tossed in for good measure. We shared entrees of shrimp lo mein and spicy chicken with peppers. Neither dish scaled any culinary heights, but at least I was able to use a 20% off coupon printed off the LVRJ website to ease my disappointment. ($21.33, 1.5 Forks)

    We drove to the Suncoast for the Musical History Tour – A Tribute to the Beetles.
    http://www.lvol.com/bios/e366.html As the show progressed I became increasingly certain that one of the performers was the lead singer in the SixtiesMania show that has played off and on in Las Vegas for several years. http://sixtiesmania.com/index.htm After the performance I approached the band and sure enough Andrew Hill was added to this group when their Paul McCartney impersonator abruptly resigned. Overall the group’s voices were off the mark, but the show was entertaining. (1.5 Claps)

    04/28 I made the drive out to the Silverton for my morning session which proved to be another loser. The Gold Coast buffet provided much needed sustenance this morning. My choices included OJ, skim milk, eggbeaters omelet with spinach and a tiny portion of corned beef hash. ($6.41, ACG, 2.5 Forks)

    Our next stop was the Wynn Casino where I joined the slot club receiving $10 in free slot play that I used on a video roulette game. It cost about 3 minutes of my time and $2 in cash outlay to record the 50 points necessary for 2 complimentary buffets. We were told the buffets would not expire so long as we did not activate them. This was such a low risk, high return play that Ms. Westie also joined the slot club and I proceeded to earn an additional 2 buffets at a net cost of $3. Each buffet has a MSRP of $33.95.

    Our next stop was Boulder Station where Ms. Westie got hammered on the FPDW machines.

    The Silverton took an axe
    Gave Westie 40 financial whacks,
    When Boulder Station saw what had been done
    It gave Ms. Westie 41

    We decided to share a cheese quesadilla and small soda for lunch at Viva Salsa. Take Westie’s advice and avoid this fast food dump. ($6.77, 0.5 Forks)

    After resting in our room in the late afternoon, I peeked out the window and determined it was happy hour so we made the short drive to the Gold Coast. We each started off with a Wet Pearl followed by a cabernet for Ms. Westie and a Miller Chill for me. https://www.millerchill.com/Default.aspx

    It took about 10 minutes or less to drive to Wynn, but another 45 minutes in line for the buffet. While we seldom dine at dinner buffets what we liked about Wynn’s was the overall quality, wide variety and small portions. A limited amount of each dish is put out to assure high turnover. Westie pulled a Yahtzee by taste testing a total of 20 different dishes, see addendum for the gory details. ($2, 3.5 Forks):

    We returned to the Orleans and enjoyed after dinner drinks of Frangelico (Ms. Westie) and Sambucca (me) before retiring for the night.

    04/29 Tuesday is senior day at the Fiestas so I traveled to the Henderson location for this morning’s video poker session while earning 3 x points. Later in the morning we returned to the scene of the crime for the $1.49 breakfast special that was ½ priced for seniors using points. ($2, comps, 3 Forks)

    We played some FPDW and I hit #4 quad deuces before departing for the Excalibur where we had free tickets to the Ron Lucas show.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-rO3E4a-zI We have seen this show in the past and, though not much has changed other than the venue, he continues to amaze and delight the audience. (3.5 Claps)

    After the show we drove to the Tuscany and enjoyed a quesadilla and a pair of sodas at the Cantina before returning to the Orleans. ($2, comps, 2 Forks) In the late afternoon we enjoyed a couple of drinks at the Alligator bar – cabernet sauvignon for MS. Westie and nuts and berries plus a Stella Artois for me.

    Around 8PM we drove to Grimaldi’s Pizzeria on Eastern. http://www.grimaldis.com/ Earlier in the trip I received an email that I printed out that was good for a free large one-item pizza so we ordered a cheese pizza with extra basil and ice teas. The sauce, mozzarella and basil were very good, but the crust was like cardboard. I hope this was an aberration because the pizza we had here last December was excellent. ($5.69, 1 Fork)

    On our return to the Orleans we went to Brendan’s Irish Pub for karaoke presided over by MC Jimmy Z and DJ Sally Z. Most of the performers were excellent though we found Jimmy Z to be a distraction. (3 Claps)
    http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=27078262

    04/30 I drove to Boulder Station this morning and kept “Knock, Knock, Knocking on Heaven’s Door†by being dealt numerous trey deuces, but Saint Peter must have been otherwise engaged because I could not pull the 4th deuce.

    Our buffet of choice this day was at the Orleans where I enjoyed OJ, grapefruit and oranges with strawberry yogurt, a small sweet potato pancake and, for protein, a small piece of chorizo. ($7.49, ACG, 2 Forks)

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ESPN sideline commentator: “Westie as you approach the second half of the trip, what is your biggest concern?

    Westie: “Underwearâ€.

    ESPN sideline commentator: “Your biggest concern is underwear?â€

    Westie – “Right, we have run of out of clean undies and Ms. Westie frowns on double coverage so we are heading off to our favorite wash & fold.â€
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    After dropping our clothes off we continued on to the Clark County Library to check our email before heading to the Silverton to pick-up our pull tabs. We earned 9 tabs - $9 in cash, 2,500 slot points, $15 in free table play and $10 in free slot play.

    Ms. Westie abandoned me for a massage at Desert Breeze Salon and Day Spa on Flamingo this afternoon. This spa has downsized considerably and moved into space leased by Hair Port, but the services are right and she received an excellent massage by the owner. ($80, 4.5 Hands)

    In the absence of Ms. Westie I tried my hand at multi-hand video BJ with surprisingly poor results. On her return we picked up our laundry and drove to Ellis Island for our pre dinner drinks – nuts and berries followed by a Hefe Weiss (me) and cabernet (Ms. Westie). We have achieved a degree of notoriety at Ellis, not only do the bartenders recognize us, but we are known for filling out the required information on the ACG coupons. This along with a tip seems to go a long way in assuring us good service and a long pour.

    Dinner tonight was at Origin India, the best Indian restaurant in Las Vegas IMHO. Zagat Rating: 26, 21, 21. http://www.originindiarestaurant.com/ We were quickly seated and served house made papadum with mint and tamarind sauces. Our entrées were Fish Nigril – fish (sole/flounder) in a freshly prepared green sauce and Lamb Rajwari – boneless lamb cooked with Indian spices, tomatoes, yogurt and a taste of cashew. Our meals included a black lentil dipping sauce, basmati rice, a small unadorned salad and naan. For an extra fee we upgraded one portion to peshawari naan – stuffed with crushed nuts, raisins and cilantro. The peshawari naan was unbelievable, but we were disappointed by the quantity of fish in our entrée given the $21 menu price. We concluded the meal by ordering beet halwa for dessert which is prepared with grated beets, sugar, ghee, cashew nuts and cardamom powder – excellent. ($36.87, Restaurant.com (R.com), 3.5 Forks)

    On exiting we decided to drive to Boulder Station for some FPDW before calling it a night.

    05/01 Terrible’s was offering 2 x points this morning so I headed east, but each point proved to be costly as I could not seem to hit enough quads on the 9/6 JOB machines to stay afloat.

    After retuning to the room and showering, Ms. Westie and I met Buddha and Nancy in front of the buffet as previously agreed. Over a leisurely breakfast we discussed all things Las Vegas while consuming copious amounts of food. I enjoyed OJ, skim milk, fresh grapefruit and orange segments, eggbeaters omelet with spinach and cheese plus Mexican potatoes. ($7.49, ACG, 2.5 Forks)

    After reading the morning paper in our room, we drove to the Casino Royale and walked to the Bellagio. The current exhibit in the Conservatory and Botanical Garden celebrates the return of spring with 16 foot tall poppies, 35 species of butterflies, tulips and hyacinths, ladybugs and herons plus numerous oversized watering cans. (4.5 Claps)
    We also toured the Patisserie, Chuly shop and front desk area before departing for the Ararat Pastry Café off Fort Appache. In December we had a fabulous Armenian napoleon, but as we got out of the car we could see the place was empty – sigh.

    Needing a little sustenance to carry us to the dinner hour, we drove to Pho Kim Long on W. Spring Mountain Road and shared a tasty order of goi cuon with spinach (shrimp spring rolls). ($6.39, 3 Forks)

    After resting for a few hours we drove to Planet Hollywood to attend the Gregory Popovich “Comedy Pet Theaterâ€. http://www.comedypet.com/ I thought the show started at 4:30PM so we arrived at 4PM just as it began. The V-Theatre is very small, so though we were seated in the last row, our view was unobstructed and we could clearly hear everything. We were delighted by this small show which is kid friendly though there was less than a handful in the audience. ($27, KSHP, 2.5 Claps)

    Ellis Island was but a short distance away so we made it our destination for this evening’s pre dinner drinks. As we were sipping our nut and berries cocktails, a woman walked by who I recognized as the one who introduced us to this drink in December. I raised my glass in greeting and she instantly recognized us. Who needs Cheers when we have Ellis Island?

    For dinner we chose Le Golosita on Eastern.
    http://kfrh.beasleydeals.com/promo/restaurant/34519_Le_Golosita_Menu.pdf
    http://www.lasvegasweekly.com/content/nc/a-e/taste/single-story/article/that-gelato-place/ This restaurant has the same ownership as Zefferino’s at the Venetian though the menu is not nearly as ambitious and the pricing more friendly though hardly inexpensive. We shared the Le Golosita salad – watercress, radicchio, arugula, cherry tomatoes, olives and shrimp wrapped in prosciutto in vinaigrette. Ms. Westie’s entrée was veal saltimbocca – veal scaloppini topped with sage and pancetta in a white wine sauce. I chose the branzino – 2 Mediterranean sea bass filets with white wine and capers. Each entrée included roasted potatoes and crisp green beans. I used a $50 gift certificate purchased for $12.50 at halfoffdeals.com to ease the financial burden. ($13.98, 3 Forks)

    Prior to exiting we stopped at the adjoining bakery and taste tested several varieties of gelato. It was a tough decision since 19 flavors were available, but we settled on a small cup of pistachio. All gelato is prepared in-house and each one we sampled was at least very good. ($4.26, 4.5 Forks)

    On returning to the Orleans we sat in for one set by the band In A Fect in the Bourbon Street Lounge. http://www.stevebeyerproductions.com/artists/in-a-fect.htm This R&B group features great vocals and high energy dance moves. (4.5 Claps)



    05/02 I hit my 5th quad deuces of the trip at Fiesta-Rancho while earning 5 x points.. On my return I stopped at Ronald’s Donuts on W. Spring Mountain Road for a pair of apple fritters which we consumed in the room along with a glass of milk. The fritters were fresh and delicious. ($2.50, 4 Forks)

    We completed the online checkout process and drove to the Silverton where we would be staying for the last 5 nights of the trip. We held 2 reservations, but the check-in clerk could only locate the one covering our last 3 nights. After checking in the back room with a supervisor, our reservation for the weekend was finally located. No king, nonsmoking rooms were available so we accepted a smoking room, but the one assigned wreaked of smoke so I returned to the front desk. The key card to the next room we were assigned did not work so I again returned to the front desk. Eventually we settled into room 1402, a nonsmoking room with two queen beds that sported an exceptional view of a wall and the garbage receptacles. In the meantime the refrigerator requested at check-in was delivered to our original room and I could not locate the housekeeper to have it delivered to the new room. We eventually called down to the front desk and it was delivered in short order.

    Barrio food in the burbs is what we had at Faustos Mexican Grill on Horizon Ridge. We shared a chile relleno burrito and large diet coke in addition to a complimentary salad mix of carrots and jalapenos. ($5.25, 3 Forks)

    We tried to drive to the Fiesta-Henderson, but all traffic was directed off 215 onto I-15 south. I drove two exits further to College Road and cut across town to the Boulder Highway, but when I reached Lake Meade Parkway the road was blocked. We never determined what was going on, but continued on to Boulder Station where we played for about an hour.

    On returning to the Silverton we rested before going downstairs to play some FPDW, but discovered the game had been removed from the machines since my last visit. We ended up playing 9/6 JOB, but it got both boring and expensive in short order.

    At around 8PM we left for R. E. Tapas on Silverado Ranch.
    http://www.usmenuguide.com/retapas.html http://tinyurl.com/4qbb84
    This restaurant offers nontraditional tapas that we found to be superior to those served at either Café Ba Ba Reeba or Firefly. We enjoyed each of the following dishes: dates stuffed with blue cheese (3.5 Forks), quesadilla margarita (4 Forks), crab paddies (4.5 Forks), sautéed vegetables (2.5 Forks), seafood paella (3.5 Forks) and a trio (traditional, ginger, passion fruit) of crème brulee (5 Forks). ($25.32, R.com, 4.5 Forks)

    Since were just down the street, we made the short drive to the South Point to have a nightcap before retiring for the night. On entering the casino we noticed that Purple Reign, a Prince tribute band, was playing this evening so we decided to stay.
    http://www.purplereign.net/ In order to cover the cost of the band a cover charge was instituted for the first time this evening, but it was well worth the admission fee though neither of us is a Prince fan. ($10, 3 Claps)

    05/03 I woke up on the arrival of the garbage collector. My early morning 9/6 JOB session resulted in 0 quads and 2 straight flushes – another loser. Ms. Westie was not ready to face the new day when I returned so it was back to the trenches where I continued my losing ways.

    After showering we drove to the Village Pub on Eastern at Wigwam.
    http://www.villagepubcasino.com/ The waitress saw my coupon and said she was pretty sure it was not going to be honored due to counterfeiting, but she would check with her supervisor. After a few minutes she returned and said it would be accepted. Ms. Westie ordered 2 eggs, cottage fries and wheat toast while I opted for the French toast. Hers was very good, mine was overcooked. ($7.84, LVA, 2 Forks)

    We drove to Boulder Station for an hour of FPDW that was highlighted by Ms. Westie’s #3 quad deuces of the trip. We soon departed for Jerry’s Nugget in North Las Vegas. Jerry’s Famous Coffee shop is famous, at least in our family, for its bread pudding which contains shreds of coconut and is served warm. ($3.96, 4 Forks)

    On our return to the Silverton we noticed dozens of people waving Famous Dave’s Ribs signs. I called out to one of the guys “are you Famous Dave? He responded “no I am famous Jack†and directed me to where a grill was set-up. I was expecting a tiny sample, but Ms. Westie received 2 ribs while my plate contained 3. On our return to the room I looked at my shirt and discovered I would be taking some of Famous Dave’s BBQ sauce home with me. ($0, 3 Forks)

    In mid-afternoon we made the short drive to the South Point and enjoyed (2) Wet Pearls, a cabernet and a Moose Drool. http://www.bigskybrew.com/process/ourbeers.html

    The Westie Express’ next stop was the Ovation night club at Green Valley Ranch to listen to the Michael Grimm band, 9 musicians including a 3 piece horn section plus 2 back-up singers. http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=24764892
    Michael was raised in Mississippi, but currently makes Las Vegas his home. He sings mostly southern rock in locals casinos. (4.5 Claps)

    Dinner was at the American Grill that occupies the space on Eastern that was formerly housed Bonjour Bistro. http://www.usmenuguide.com/americangrill.html A female jazz singer and a pianist were performing, but the music was way too loud and proved to be an irritation until it was finally toned down. The waiter delivered a bowl of salted edamame as an amuse bouche. We shared an organic spinach salad with raspberries, blue cheese, grape tomatoes, fresh orange segments and cashews in orange vinaigrette. Ms. Westie chose truffled macaroni and cheese while I settled for the pork tenderloin stuffed with goat cheese in a white wine sauce accompanied by roasted potatoes on cabbage. The size of my tenderloin was almost frightening and could easily have fed Robert Leach. ($23.16, R.com, 3.5 Forks)

    On our return to the Silverton we played a little 9/6 JOB before retiring to our room.

    05/04 The drive to Fiesta-Henderson this morning proved to be worthwhile as I hit #6 and #7 quad deuces. Ellis Island received the nod this morning with Ms. Westie ordering the cinnamon vanilla French Toast and yours truly requesting 2 easy over eggs, toast and bacon. ($6, ACG, 2.5 Forks)

    The next stop was the District in Green Valley which was hosting the Big Weekend Arts show. The weekend may have been big, but the art show was a disappointment. We exited and visited the Wild Oats store directly across Green Valley Parkway to see if our nephew’s tortilla chips, Food Should Taste Good, were available. http://www.foodshouldtastegood.com/portfolio.asp They were, but only a few bags of the multi grain were currently in stock.

    We returned to 215 and headed east to Fiesta-Henderson where I was dealt quad deuces, my #8 overall. In the process of returning to the Silverton I accidentally made a wrong turn onto Eastern and we found ourselves in a parking lot immediately outside Le Golosita. Since we were there, we taste tested another half dozen flavors of gelato before deciding to share a small cup of chocolate. Outstanding!! ($4.25, 5 Forks)

    On returning to the Silverton we played a little 9/6 JOB and both broke even. I checked with the slot booth personnel as to why there were no slot points on my card. It was determined that the last time I played using my own card was in October 2000. Isn’t it comforting to know that long after we depart for the big casino in the sky our gambling records will continue to exist on some casino’s computer? I also played (3) $5 free bet coupons at a blackjack table and won 2 for a $10 profit.

    After a short nap, we departed for the South Point for drinks – cabernet for Ms. Westie and a Blue Moon for me.

    Blue moon,
    You saw me standing alone,
    Without a dream in my heart,
    Without a love of my own.

    Dinner this evening was at the Oyster Bar at Sunset Station. http://tinyurl.com/6poth3 Ms. Westie ordered etouffee with shrimp, lobster and crab while my entrée was Bouillabaisse with shrimp, crab, those dreaded green lip mussels and orange roughy. Neither dish was close to authentic, but both were good for what they were. ($16.85, R.com, 4 Forks)

    Kenny Rogers was playing at the Orleans so we and the Buddhas “Just Dropped in to See What Condition His Condition Was Inâ€. http://www.kennyrogers.com/ Kenny is nearing 70, but his voice has held up well. He sang many of his hits and told many funny stories though I was disappointed that Dolly did not show up to sing Islands in the Stream. (4.5 Claps)

    We reconvened at the Bourbon Street Lounge in order to catch the first set of In A Fect. The band was cooking and included different songs than they played when we saw them earlier in the week. Ms. Westie and I nursed our nuts and berries cocktails until the set was over and bid fond adieu to Buddha, Nancy and In A Fect. Hopefully our paths will cross again in the not too distant future. (4.5 Claps)

    05/05 I drove to the Fiesta-Henderson and was dealt quad deuces, my 9th of the trip. Today was Cinco de Mayo so we celebrated by having huevos rancheros at the Gold Coast buffet this morning. ($6.41, ACG, 2.5 Forks)

    I used two $5 match plays from the Gold Coast funbook, losing one and winning on the second for a nifty $5 profit. We then drove to Sams Town to see if my slot points had been transferred to my Coast card and we were told the transfer was effective that morning. We played a little FPDW on the slowest machines in the west and I was dealt 2--------2---------2----------2 for my 10th quads of the trip. I could not stand the excitement so we departed for Boulder Station and played another 45 minutes.

    Later in the afternoon we stopped at the Shady Grove Lounge and learned the Silverton’s highly regarded happy hour had been effectively terminated. We confirmed this piece of adverse news at the Mi Casa Grill. Since we have arrived in Las Vegas the Silverton has increased the requirements for earning points on video poker from $1 to $2, all FPDW games have been eliminated and happy hour is no longer all that happy.

    We decided to go to the Gold Coast for our version of happy hour. As we walked by a craps table I plunked down $5 along with a $5 match play from their funbook, the shooter rolled a yo-leven, I grabbed the (3) $5 chips and beat a hasty retreat to the northwest bar. We enjoyed a pair of Wet Pearls, a cabernet and, in celebration of Cinco de Mayo, a La Cervesa de Pacifico. Before departing I played another $5 match play on the come line and won again as the shooter’s next roll was a seven. I am now giving serious consideration to turning pro having won 3 of 4 match plays this day.

    Dinner tonight was at Gaetano’s, a northern Italian restaurant on Eastern Avenue. http://www.usmenuguide.com/gaetanos.html Zagat Rating: 23, 22, 23
    The owner’s son, Nick, was again our waiter, but the parents were not on the premises. We shared the evening’s special salad - arugula and fennel in a blood orange and lemon dressing. Ms. Westie’s entrée was mezzelune di Vitello con Porcini - homemade half moon pasta filled with veal and served with peas, prosciutto and porcini mushrooms in a light cream sauce. I chose the evening’s special pasta – homemade wild mushroom ravioli in a mascarpone cream sauce. All three dishes were outstanding. ($31.37, R.com, 4.5 Forks)

    We returned to the Silverton and toured the world’s largest Bass Pro Shop.
    http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Shop_10151_-1_10001
    I bought a pair of shorts and Ms. Westie selected a T-shirt for a friend. Prior to retiring for the evening, we again lost while playing 9/6 JOB.

    05/06 Westie was not Mr. Rocket J. Scientist at this morning’s session in the Fiesta-Henderson. On returning from a restroom break he plunked his rump at a different VP machine and proceeded to hit #11th quad deuces of the trip only to discover he was playing nickels. This mistake turned what should have been at least a breakeven session into a loser.

    We haven’t had the breakfast buffet at Sunset Station in a number of years due to past problems with turnover, but decided to see if anything had changed in the interim. I selected a small pancake, fresh citrus, chorizo, a grilled jalapeno pepper and scrambled eggs with spinach. Everything was very good. ($8.61, LVA, 2.5 Forks)

    On exiting we made the short drive to the Henderson Birding Preserve and spent a little time spotting a variety of common ducks, shore birds and grebes. http://www.cityofhenderson.com/parks/parks/bird_preserve.php We had an hour before our computer reservations so in the interim we played FPDW at the Fiesta-Henderson while earning 3 x points.

    We departed the casino and drove to the Green Valley Ranch library to check our email and print our boarding passes. The remainder of the afternoon was spent resting before it was time to head to Bill’s Gamblin Hall for the Big Elvis Show.

    I am not exaggerating when I say Big Elvis is a huge talent though has lost a lot of weight since we last saw him. Pete, aka Big Elvis, obviously feels better as he was a movin’ and a grovin’. In the middle of the set he requested 4 male volunteers to assist him as he sang Viva Las Vegas. No one came forward so Westie, with Ms. Westie’s encouragement, ambled toward the stage not knowing what was in store for him. Each volunteer received an inflatable guitar and was instructed to accompany Big Elvis with the best, as voted by the audience applause, receiving a grand prize. Though spotting the other volunteers at least 35 years, it turned out to be no contest. I am not sure if it was my Chuck Berry duck walk, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duck_Walk, the behind the head guitar playing, the Keith Richards riff or just plain sympathy, but I was just one karate chop away from receiving a standing O. (4.5 Claps for Big Elvis, 5 for Westie)

    BTW – the “grand prize†turned out to be a homemade, autographed CD recording of Viva Las Vegas.

    Time was running short and the official drinking hour was drawing near so we departed Bill’s for Ellis with heavy hearts. We celebrated my victory by ordering nuts and berries on the first round followed by a cabernet (Ms. Westie) and a Hefe Weiss for the winner.

    Our last dinner of this trip was at McCormick & Schmicks, but, though we had reservations, we ended up waiting 15 minutes for our requested booth. We declined the bread and shared a bountiful spinach salad with dried cranberries, carrots and fennel in a basil dressing. Ms. Westie ordered shrimp and crab cakes with a red pepper aioli sauce that was accompanied by mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. I ordered thresher shark marinated in achiote with red pepper aioli and served over mashed potatoes and topped with corn succotash. ($31.08, R.com, 4.5 Forks)

    The evening was concluded with another losing session at the hands of the Fiesta-Henderson.

    05/07 There was no last minute Hail Mary for me at this morning’s session at the Fiesta-Henderson. On returning to the Silverton I quickly showered and dressed before starting the online check-out process. The room was prepaid, but a charge for each night was shown as outstanding so I went down to the desk to straighten the bill out.

    We packed the car and drove to the Orleans for breakfast. In honor of Siete de Mayo, I ordered huevos rancheros plus OJ, skim milk and fresh fruit. ($7.49, ACG, 2.5 Forks)

    We had about an hour to kill so I drove to Terrible’s where I managed to add to our bankroll while Ms. Westie lost 2/3rds of her remaining profits. Her EHW (Estimated Hourly Wage) for this trip came in at 51 cents while mine registered 10 on the Richter scale.

    The Westies have been in some sort of a Zone over the past three years as this was the 9th consecutive trip in which Team Westie experienced a gambling win exclusive of any comps earned or used. .

    Thanks to all who have read this TR and hopefully it was at least informative, if not enjoyable. I have one request for any locals who are reading this – please tie a yellow ribbon round the ole palm tree because it will be 4 long months before we return.

    Lastly, in response to numerous requests I am providing our vacation recipe which is best shared with someone you love:

    The Westies’ Vacation Recipe

    Ingredients:
    2 parts entertainment 2 parts video poker
    3 parts dining 2 parts beverage of choice
    2 TBS sightseeing 24 coupons or certificates
    Dash of culture Pinch of humor
    Four-leaf clovers as garnish

    Instructions:
    Place all ingredients in Las Vegas and stir until smooth. Bake at 80-85 degrees under clear skies for 14 days.






    Addendum: Wynn Buffet - Westie’s Ratings:

    Seaweed cucumber salad – 1.5 Forks
    Jicama salad with mint and yuzu – 2.5 Forks
    California roll – 2 Forks
    Pickled ginger – 3 Forks
    Scallop ceviche – 3.5 Forks
    Crab ceviche – 3.5 Forks
    Sea bass in orange sauce – 4.5 Forks
    Dover sole – 3 Forks
    Herb crusted salmon in a carrot miso broth – 4 Forks
    Moroccan glazed lamb chop – 4 Forks
    Broccoli rabe and roasted garlic – 2.5 Forks
    Grilled asparagus – 3 Forks
    Bok choy with garlic – 3 Forks
    Grilled veggies with pesto – 2 Fork
    Wild mushrooms – 3.5 Forks
    Crème brulee – 1 Fork
    Tiramisu – 1 Fork
    Banana mousse – 4 Forks
    Banana mouse redux – 4 Forks
    White chocolate cherry mousse – 1 Fork
    Key lime pie – 3 Forks

    Ms. Westie’s ratings:

    Crab legs grilled – 2.5 Forks
    Pork pot sticker – 2.5 Forks
    Baked tomato and ricotta over baby greens – 1 Fork
    Mashed potatoes – 1.5 Forks
    Bananas Foster – 3 Forks
    Bread pudding – 2.5 Forks
     
  2. mikenhe

    mikenhe VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    anglo american in Tampa
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    nice - I like the variety in your dining - the Origin Idnia sounds good - especially the lamb... better still if it was goat.. also the Tapas - but whats crab paddie? Doesn't sound spanish to me!!

    thanks.
     
  3. BrokenAlice

    BrokenAlice Tourist

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    I love your detailed TRs! You go to so many interesting establishments that the average tourist (me!) probably wil never see. And your bargin hunting is quite admired. :nworthy:
     
  4. westie

    westie VIP Whale

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    Most of the tapas on R. E. Tapas menu are nontraditional. The crab paddie is their take on a crab cake and it was delicious though they also offer crab cake sliders. The description on the menu for the crab paddie is: lump crab meat, fresh herbs, and whole mustard, pan seared with citrus aioli.
     
  5. sunni

    sunni VIP Whale

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    awesome

    Now, that's how to do Vegas :nworthy::nworthy: :wave:
     
  6. matt525

    matt525 Tourist

    Joined:
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    Huntsville, TX
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    great trip report (5 claps)
     
  7. xizor

    xizor Tourist

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    So then he's out of jail now?
     
  8. gmoney590

    gmoney590 VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Your reports are always excellent and end up making me hungry. I've got to hand it to you 3 winning trips is 3 more than I've had.
     
    Back where we belong
  9. Soreyes

    Soreyes Tourist

    Joined:
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    San Jose CA.
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    Well after cleaning the coffee out of my Keyboard. Im still laughing.:thumbsup:

    Great TR as always.
     
  10. Blueberries

    Blueberries Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    What an enjoyable and informative read, I give it 5 claps.
     
  11. westie

    westie VIP Whale

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    Make that 9 winning trips in a row. We were breaking new ground when we reached 4 trips in a row and ever since I have been expecting the Revenge of the Casinos.
     
  12. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

    Joined:
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    I get so many good restaurant ideas from your reports!! Thank you for sharing:thumbsup:
     
  13. TheAshley

    TheAshley Tourist

    Joined:
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    That was quite possibly the best thing I've read in months. I'm very excited to go back and try some of it for myself.
     
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