Trip Report â€“ May 24th â€“ 1st June 2007 (The Food Trip) The following report will be long and possibly pretty boring but hopefully informative with regards to the meals and entertainment we had. Having previously been on a couple of â€˜boysâ€™ trips this time with my wife and some friends we had pre-booked some nice meals and a show. Players: Myself 6th Trip, Wife (N) 2nd Trip, our friends L & R Vegas Virgins. Hotel: Myself 2 Nights solo at Golden Nugget followed by 6 Nights with wife and friends at TI. Thursday 24th May I wonâ€™t bore you with all the flight details but travelled from UK via Washington with United arriving in Vegas at 5.00pm (1am for me) having left my house at 3:00am. Took cab to Golden Nugget, think it was around $25 plus tip. Checked into room 16118 in the South Tower, room was pretty nice with huge King Bed. Although I was solo the guy at check in gave me two keys (just in case!). Quickly unpacked a few things and jumped in the shower before heading off for something to eat. Having done some research I decided on the Brew Pub at Main Street Station. Being alone I managed to jump the queue and get a seat at the bar right away. The server allowed me to sample a few of the Brews before settling on the High Roller beer and I ordered a BBQ Bacon Burger that went down very nicely. Whilst sitting at the bar I got chatting to two guys from Arkansas who were in town playing baseball, they very kindly asked me to join them for a night of beer drinking over at the Brew Pub in the 4 Queens. At the time I was a bit unsure so I said I might catch up with them later and went off to gamble. Well my gambling consisted of throwing money into slots with very little play and no return so after about an hour of play at both MSS and the California I decided to take the guys up on their offer and joined them over at the 4 Queens. I had a great time chatting with the guys and sharing stories etc as well as enjoying countless beers of which I cannot remember the names until finally leaving them around 2am. I had now been up for over 36 hours and was pretty tired to say the least. Whilst at the 4 Queens I did witness a â€˜Vegas Momentâ€™, a couple in the bar were literally all over each other, when they came up for air I could see that the guy was about late forties maybe but the woman, well she must have easily been 70 and was very scary looking! Friday 25th May As is typical in Vegas I didnâ€™t sleep much and was up around 6. Had breakfast at the Carson Street Cafe, very good omelette and a gallon of coffee. The rest of the morning I just casino hopped on Fremont Street throwing money around here and there on slots and video poker. No wins but at least getting some play for my money today. I registered for the 3pm Poker Tournament (my first tournament) at the Golden Nugget and was seated in seat one on table six. Unfortunately other than picking up a small pot with pocket jacks early on I just couldnâ€™t catch any cards and although I made it past the first break I busted out pretty soon after going all in with Ace Ten suited and losing out to Ace Queen. That evening I made my was to the Fremont to have dinner at Tony Romaâ€™s having seen adverts for the Steak and Lobster Special. This turned out to be the worst meal of my trip and probably the worst ever in Vegas. I was seated right in the middle of the restaurant sticking out like a sore thumb on my own but I thought ok I can deal with that. I ordered the signature starter of the Onion loaf followed by the Steak and Lobster only to be told it was only available from 9pm (What the f?), anyway I ordered a sirloin steak instead. The onion loaf came out and it was totally disgusting it basically consisted of a huge fatty lump of onion rings fused together with fat and it looked like it had been cooked twice, half of it was dark and half light and it was completely inedible. Anyway my steak arrived soon after and although the steak was ok the fries were soggy and horrible tasting. I asked for the check and was out of there in less than thirty minutes total. The rest of the evening was pretty uneventful and I decided to put a cap on my gambling to save money for the rest of the trip with my wife and friends arriving the following day, or so I thought.... Saturday 26th May Breakfast was again at the Carson Street Cafe and was again excellent. I was totally impressed with everything at the Golden Nugget and for my first stay downtown I can highly recommend it. I would also say that downtown is ideally suited to the solo traveller with the low limit gambling and close proximity of all the hotels and casinoâ€™s. I checked out of the Nugget and took a cab to the strip to check in at TI where my wife and friends would be joining me for the rest of the trip. After queuing for 45 minutes at a packed check in I was allocated room 18016 and was delighted with the view from the floor to ceiling window which extended all the way south down the strip to Mandalay Bay. I was expecting my wife and friends around 9pm so decided to just stay around the hotel and play some low limit gambling trying to stretch my budget until their arrival. Unfortunately however their flight from the UK was delayed due to some computer malfunction and they missed the last connection from Detroit and had to spend the night there. This was a complete bummer for me as I had had enough of being on my own at this point mainly due to my lack of gambling funds and for my wife and friends who were obviously losing precious Vegas time. Sunday 27th May We had a 10.30am reservation for the Sunday Sterling Brunch at Ballyâ€™s and their flight was not landing in Vegas until 10:15am so I called Ballyâ€™s and managed to change it until 12:00. Luckily they landed on time and after dumping the bags we all cabbed it down to Ballyâ€™s arriving around 11:45. The brunch was fantastic I started with a selection of Sushi as well as some Caviar. The champagne was flowing freely and we toasted our trip as we tucked into some really great food. My second plate included oysters, maine lobster and scallops. The scallops were just ok but the rest was superb. My final plate consisted of half a dozen mini desserts the highlight of which was a crÃ¨me brulee which was very nice indeed. All in all at around $65 each I would say it is very good value for money and the champagne alone which was very reasonable makes it even more worthwhile. After we were all suitably full and inebriated we made our way over to Barbary Bills in search of Big Elvis only to find he doesnâ€™t perform on a Sunday, oh well we instead parked ourselves at the big wheel of fortune for a while and fed in a few twenties generally having fun and high fivâ€™ing each other when we got to spin the wheel, basically making fools of ourselves. After that we stumbled back up the strip towards TI making a stop at Casino Royale for some $1 drinks. After showering and dressing up a little we took a cab over to Rio for a visit to the Voodoo Lounge, we hesitated at the $30 cover charge but once up at the top we decided that the magnificent view was well worth the money. We were all worn out by this time but we stayed up there for a couple of hours enjoying the view and some drinks before heading back to TI. When we got back we all decided we needed to eat but the queue for the coffee shop was huge so we went back to the room and ordered up some room service. Monday 28th May Had breakfast at the Grand Lux Cafe at the Venetion which was very good. After breakfast we toured the Grand Canal shops and this was around 9am. This was great timing as the shops do not open until 10am and R marvelled at my genius in bringing the girls to the shops at this time of the day. In the afternoon my wife, L and R all went off with Papillon Helicopters for their trip to the Grand Canyon. I opted out having done the trip the previous year but they all had a great time as did I the year before. In the evening we went to Paris and Mon Ami Gabi for dinner. We wanted to sit on the Patio and having called them earlier in the day I was told that it was first come first served. On arrival at 6.45 we were told we would have a 45 minutes wait, no problem they gave us a pager and we went and had a drink in the nearest bar then sure enough about 7.30 the pager went off and we were seated on the patio with a view of the Bellagio Fountains. Shortly after we were seated a couple were led in and the woman was not happy, she was shown to a table that was not to her liking and she made sure that everyone in the place knew about it. â€˜I want this table I have waited for 1 and a half hours for thisâ€™ the waiter allowed them to sit at that table and she then proceeded to drag the table six feet along to get her perfect view. She then proceeded to scold her partner for not standing up for her and then sulked for the whole of her meal and refused to look at the fountains. We found this highly entertaining, talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face, what a spoilt brat! Anyway, the meal was superb. I had the Scallops to start and they were to die for, they came in individual â€˜shellsâ€™ made out of metal and were deliciously tasty. My wife had the scallops for her main course and the rest of us all had the fillet mignon. I had mine with a Blue Cheese sauce and R had his with the Merlot Butter. Not sure about Lâ€™s sauce but everyone thoroughly enjoyed their meals and the Bottle of St Emillion we ordered to accompany it. After dinner we crossed the street to take in a few fountain shows and then wandered up the strip back to TI. All in all it was a very pleasant way to spend and evening in Vegas. Tuesday 29th May After breakfast at the TI coffee shop we headed to Las Vegas Premium Outlets Downtown. A few hours later we returned bags in hand having taken full advantage of both the discount prices and the strength of the pound against the US dollar. In the afternoon my wife and L went off to the pool while R and myself hit both the blackjack and the poker tables. Much fun and lots of beer but sadly no profit. In the evening we dressed up a bit and went off in search off food and entertainment. We ate at the Outback Steakhouse which was decent as always and then visited first the Duelling Piano Bar at Harrahâ€™s followed by Carnival Court and finally we took a cab down to MGM and went to Studio 54. At Carnival Court we were entertained by watching a middle aged woman in a huge leopard skin hat with black trim who was so drunk she could barely stand up trying in vain to hook up with just about every single guy in the place, only in Vegas! Wednesday 30th May We had breakfast at the TI buffet which was just ok. After which we decided that we should tour a number of the hotels as L and R were Vegas virgins. We took in the Mirage including the aquarium and the White Tiger. We then walked through the forum shops at Caesars before a quick walk through the casino. We went back out onto the strip making our way to Bellagio where we toured the Conservatory and had a drink at the Baccarat Bar. We had tickets to Mama Mia for that evening so we took a cab down to Mandalay Bay to collect them. The cab driver took us the long way thinking that I was stupid or something then moaned that I only gave him a $2 tip so I told him not to take me the f%$kÂ£$g long way in future! We collected the tickets, good seats about 15 rows from the stage and pretty central. I had booked these $110 dollar seats through Goldstar Events at 50% discount so was pretty pleased with myself. After we took the Tram to Luxor which was a waste of time as it was only a short distance but never mind. We wandered around here and L and R decided to see an IMAX show. It was the Deep Sea film and they were a little disappointed saying that it seemed out of focus. We have seen this film at the London IMAX and thought it was terrific so not sure what had happened here. Played a little at Luxor waiting for L and R to get out of the IMAX and then we met up with them and headed back to TI together. In the evening we cabbed back to Mandalay to watch the show. L and my wife really enjoyed the show. I was a little disappointed really. At the very end of the show there are two big numbers with all the Abba costumes and lots of dancers and all the audience was on there feet clapping and that is how I expected the show to be throughout. Instead it is based on what I thought was a really lame story which is fitted around the music of Abba. But hey, thatâ€™s just my humble opinion. After the show we had a quick tour of New York, New York. We were hoping to see the duelling pianoâ€™s but it was packed in there so we headed back to TI and stopped in at Kahunaville for a couple of drinks, listened to the piano players and watched the flare bartenders. Thursday 31st May Today is our last full day and is also my wifeâ€™s birthday. We all had reservations for Joel Robochonâ€™s Lâ€™Atelier at MGM Grand for 7.30. We decided to head over to the Wynn to show L and R around the place as well as have breakfast at the buffet. Was amazed by the wide variety of breakfast choices and have to say I really enjoyed this buffet. After that we again toured through shops that were closed (genius!) and headed back to TI where L and my wife went off to the pool and R and myself went to gamble. Again no wins to speak of but much fun at blackjack and poker. When we ran out of cash we too went to the pool and spent an hour or so swapping between pool and hot tub. Our last night in Vegas and we get glammed up and head to MGM, taking in a drink in the Centrifuge bar before making our way to Lâ€™Atelier. Now the following will be very boring for some but I have reviewed each of the dishes we experienced for those that are interested:- Myself, wife and R had the Discovery Menu while L ordered a couple of tasters (tapas) and an entree from the Aâ€™ la carte menu. For anyone interested I have pictures of all the dishes which I was unable to post here but if you wish I can email a word document of this report complete with pics. First up was the Amuse Bouche which I didnâ€™t take a picture of but it was a cucumber gelee with tarragon and certainly awoke the tastebuds. This was followed by a chilled gazpacho with croutons, was tomato based and extremely tasty:- Then came a King crab and avacado salad in Romaine lettuce which was fantastic:- Then we had maine lobster custard with curry scent and fennel foam:- Next was seared duck foire gras with cherries and fresh almonds, again it was superb:- Followed by Sea Bass fillet Steamed with lemon-thyme butter, spring vegetables:- Then it was free range quail stuffed with foire gras and served with truffle mashed potatoes (amazing):- Then there were two dessert dishes, the first of which the picture didnâ€™t come out very well but its an Aloe sorbet, lime cream and Granny-Smith apples:- The second dessert was Strawberry Milkshake, Strawberry sorbet with crunchy streusel:- After we finished they brought out a special dessert for my wifes birthday which consisted of 5 small but tasty tarts:- To sum up it was truly a wonderful dining experience and a great birthday for my wife. We sat at the counter seating in the restaurant and it was a very relaxed informal atmosphere, not stuffy at all. Total bill with two bottles of wine and tip for the four of us was $800. Friday 1st June The others all left around 9am for their 12:00 flight whereas I had time to kill and t this point lady luck finally decided to shine on me with a $600 dollar slot win. With this pocketed I decided to draw another great trip to a close and head off to the airport in plenty of time to make my flight. Bring on Vegas 2008. Hope you enjoyed my report and that it wasnâ€™t too long or boring.