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MyVegas Restaurant and Show Orgy - Reviews

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by akicks, Mar 30, 2013.

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  1. akicks

    akicks Tourist

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    My Trip Report

    I'm just back from a 3 day visit to Las Vegas with my sister. We both hit My Vegas hard, so every meal we ate there was courtesy of the program. Instead of a standard trip report, I thought I would give our thoughts about the main My Vegas activities here.

    This was a very different trip for us. My sister and I meet there every year or two, and generally stay and play off strip for the most part, with excursions to the strip and downtown for the odd meal or attraction. Beside all of the My Vegas comps, this trip I had a 3 night comp for Caesars (I have no idea why, I didn't deserve it - not complaining though). It pays to log in to Total Rewards and plug your dates in. You never know what you might find. So we stayed, ate and played more on the Strip than ever before.

    Every day we skipped breakfast, had a buffet lunch and a sit-down dinner. The roster:

    Day 1
    Circus Circus buffet
    Tender (Luxor steakhouse)

    Day 2
    Belagio buffet
    Tournament of Kings (Excalibur dinner show)

    Day 3
    More (Luxor buffet)
    The Steakhouse (Circus Circus)

    Yes, we found ourselves at Circus Circus twice in three days after not having visited the property in 15 years.

    We also saw the Chuck Jones experience at Circus Circus with a groupon, and used My Vegas to see Love and the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay


    Circus Circus buffet
    This was a last second pickup just before the trip with the remaining points my sister. Our expectations were quiet low, but we both are happy to try anything once. We were there at a bit after 11, but there was still a lot of breakfast items out.

    In the end, we decided there are two ways to evaluate the food in a place like this. The first is quality, the second is ambition. The quality was better than I expected. There was nothing I thought was unsafe or too disgusting to eat. A few items were pleasantly good. The fried chicken stood out to me as being quite good. Where Circus Circus fails miserably is in ambition. There was very little variety, and absolutely no attempt to do anything out of the ordinary. It struck me as a blast from the past, with Mexican items thrown in. Take away the Mexican food, and it is what I imagine a low end buffet to have been 30 years ago. Chicken. Fake potatoes. Spaghetti. Cheap but serviceable bacon. Scrambled eggs.

    The room is a terrible layout for a buffet, with lots of congestion. I suspect that either this wasn't built as a space for a buffet, or if it was it was for 25% of the number of people it now serves.

    I have to give MGM credit for their money-making ability, this place was doing a very brisk business at $13.99. They are making money hand over fist at this price.

    Our gold standard for low end buffets are the Station Casinos, which most trips we visit regularly. Circus Circus is more expensive, has lower quality, dramatically less variety and the whole experience is not nearly as nice as the Stations. Frankly we'll pay for the Stations rather than eat here again for free, but if I was starving and found myself in Circus Circus with a buffet comp (I'm more likely to win Powerball, and I don't play it), I wouldn't hesitate to eat here. The food was very simple, prepared basically, and was edible.


    Tender

    I had a New Zealand ribeye and my sister had the angus fillet mignon. Both portions were generous. The fillet was very good. I've had better for less than the menu price, but this is an excellent way to use My Vegas. My sister was very happy. My ribeye however was mediocre at best. It simply wasn't very flavorful, and struck me a bit tough. Disappointing. The sides we ordered were very good. Excellent mashed potatoes, very good salad. Nothing else stands out, but all worthwhile.

    For two people, the $150 comp gives you a lot of options. You can load up on sides, or you can have some alchohol and still not be out of pocket (except for the tip). If you went wild on the booze or sides/appetizers/desserts, You can easily spend more than $150. However my sister and I had no problem ordering everything we wanted and being under $150.


    Bellagio buffet

    This was the only one here I had done before, and it was the same as last time. I don't think it is worth the list price, but it is a very good buffet. Perhaps if you really like their sushi it could be a reasonable value to pay for it. Regardless this is a very good My Vegas option. Lots of variety and high quality.

    The sliders stood out for me. They weren't labeled anything special, but they tasted like they weren't made from ordinary beef.

    One exceptional benefit of the My Vegas Bellagio buffet comp is that it serves as a line pass too. This saved us easily 45 minutes. It is surprising that this is the case, as the My Vegas comps for Circus Circus and More did not serve as line passes. It wasn't a big deal for us as we only waited 10 minutes at Circus Circus and 5 minutes at More. My sister and I spent a long time trying to think of why Bellagio lets you cut the main part of the line. It makes no sense to us. Why let a freebie in (who possibly hasn't gambled at all) quicker than the couple spending $20.99 each?


    Tournament of Kings

    Ok, so you are really paying (or not paying) mostly for the show, but there is a food component. They certainly set my expectation levels for the food low by printing on the ticket that the food value is $13 and something cents. I'm sure this is for tax purposes, but it is clear you won't be eating fillet mignon.

    Servers come by and plop food and drink in front of you as the show is going on. You get what you get. Your only choice is what to drink. A tip that was given to us and was true for us too: take the Pepsi if you can stand it. The three free choices are Pepsi, Sierra Mist and water. They come around with Pepsi first, then Sierra Mist a while later, and then water. Pepsi was refilled much more often than the other two.

    You first get a passable tomato soup. The main course is a cornish hen-type thing with broccoli, potatoes and a biscuit. The broccoli was really good. The chicken was simple but well seasoned. Everything else was ok. Dessert was an apple pastry thing that was ok.

    All-in-all the experience was worthwhile. Most of the people attending had kids, but we weren't the only ones who didn't have kids and we didn't feel out of place. The show was over the top in a good way, was entertaining and the horses are magnificent. I think this is a great way to use My Vegas


    More

    Much, much better than Circus Circus. The room is well laid out and themed in a fun way. The food was just fine, nothing exceptional but decent. Good variety, although nothing stands out in my mind. The mashed potatoes tasted real according to my sister. So far so good.

    I'm unlikely to be back though. I don't normally spend a lot of time at Luxor, and the buffet isn't good enough to make me go out of my way for it. I'm probably more likely to pay for one at a locals place than make a special trip to Luxor, even if it was free courtesy of My Vegas. I certainly wouldn't pay $17 for lunch for it. Still, if you are in the neighborhood and can get it for free, go for it.


    The Steakhouse

    Cool place. You get the feeling that it hasn't changed in a long time. We had excellent service and really had a great evening here, in spite of one disappointment. Every side we had was exceptional. My sister particularly like the French Onion Soup. I ordered the ribeye (partly to compare to Tender) and my sister had the Prime Rib. Both were quite disappointing. The portions were enormous, but we've both had much better. I'm quite inclined to give this another chance (I'll order the fillet next time I think) as I've heard so many great reviews. Perhaps we hit an off day for the steaks, especially as the sides were so good. We really enjoyed the vibe and our server was great. He even gave us a bottle of wine to take with us to use up more of the comp without us asking as we were well under the $150 value.

    The bottom line on the two steak places we tried was that the fillet at Tender was the best meat we had, but we really liked The Steakhouse vibe and would certainly give it another shot if we get the chance.

    My sister ate at Stripsteak at Mandalay Bay not too long ago (paid a fortune out of pocket), and said that her steak there was much better than even the fillet at Tender, so that might be an interesting point for comparison.


    Other Shows/Attractions

    Chuck Jones Experience

    This is a small exhibit at Circus Circus. It starts with a 90 minute(!) documentary. We didn't want to invest the time to see all of it, but we watched for a while and it was excellent. I might try to track it down and see if it is available on Netflix.

    I'm a big fan, and I enjoyed the exhibit. For those who don't know, he was an animator, producer and writer, best known perhaps for many of the Bugs Bunny cartoons and the animated Grinch Who Stole Christmas. There was some interesting memorabilia, and it was interesting to a get a better handle on everything he worked on over his long career. Still, unless you are a huge fan I can say this is a fantastic exhibit. There just wasn't that much there. It is way overpriced at $19.95, but the Groupon I bought made it worthwhile for me. This is currently also a My Vegas option.


    Shark Reef

    This was a lot of fun. It was extremely crowded though. We had to wait about 20 minutes just to get in. This isn't nearly as large as some of the better aquarium's around the country, but the quality of what they do have is exceptionally high. No foggy glass here, everything was presented extremely well. I consider this a good use of My Vegas.


    Love

    This was our first Cirque show, although I have seen part of a show on TV and I've seen some Cirque wanna-bes in various situations before. Not my favorite thing, but I respect the athleticism and I love Beatles music. My sister is a monster Beatles fan.

    The show is a spectacle. It really is something to see. I could spend a lot time writing about what I didn't like (the "story" aspect is a disaster in my opinion), but at the end of the day it was a pretty fantastic experience. For me it is a little bit like seeing a playoff game for sport you don't really like. The atmosphere and the spectacle are perhaps more important than the details of what they are actually doing. Seeing this has made me think that next time I'll try for another Cirque show, especially if My Vegas is still going.

    Love was an excellent way to use My Vegas. We got fantastic seats. The tickets themselves had $170.50 each printed on them.

    All in all, we had a fantastic trip. Even if My Vegas is still going strong the next time we go, we won't spend as much time on the strip. We really enjoyed trying all of the places we had never been to before, but most things weren't worth going out of our way for. We knew going in that we'd probably never do another trip like this, so we did it to the hilt, and it was great. Our next trip though will be very different.
     
  2. Stryk

    Stryk Tourist

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    Thanks for the report. As someone who is playing MyVegas, it definitely helped.
     
  3. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    The name of this buffet absolutely kills me. Reminds me of the infamous "What? You want MORE!" (**SLAP!**) passage.
     
  4. Hyperfocal

    Hyperfocal High-Roller

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    Does the Bellagio buffet comp come as two separate passes or one pass for two people? I'm planning a solo trip and have my rooms free through MyVegas and want to maximize my third reward --- although it's looking like I'll have enough points for something more.
     
  5. Tammy58

    Tammy58 Frugal Slot Jockey

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    Loved your review. You are the 3rd review of the Steakhouse at CC that I have read complaining about the meat quality. I already bought it for our May trip, the ambiance sounds great to me. Guess I will not have high expectations that night. No way me and the husband are going to spend $150 there, I have already checked out the menu.
     
  6. akicks

    akicks Tourist

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    It is one comp with a dollar amount adequate for two people. You would not be able to use it for two different times.

    Since the Circus Circus buffet and More are both designed as dinner comps but we used them for lunch, the dollar value on the comp was higher than the lunch buffet actually cost. At both places I asked if I could have a beer on the comp. Circus Circus said no while Luxor did it, although the cashier clearly had never been asked before and wasn't sure if she was allowed. In the end she said no one told her she couldn't, so why not?
     
  7. akicks

    akicks Tourist

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    Remember too that you can order alcohol on the comp. If you like wine or champagne, you can easily spend more than the comp if you want to.
     
  8. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    I had always heard such good things about CC Steakhouse, but since the myVegas reward, have been reading more negative comments. Wonder if the two are somehow related with so many taking advantage of the comp, the quality has gone down.:eek:
     
  9. Tammy58

    Tammy58 Frugal Slot Jockey

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    Thanks akicks, but we both hate wine. We only order a soda with our meal. Will be nice to not have to worry about what we order...our choices will come in way under the $150 mark.
     
  10. akicks

    akicks Tourist

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    Good question. I was wondering if there is a "My Vegas cut", or in other words they perhaps are saving the best pieces for the paying customers and the casino comps, and us freeloaders are getting the scraps.

    Regardless the sides were very, very good.

    For whatever it is worth, I overheard the pair next to us raving that this was the best steak they had ever had. I have no idea if this was their first time at a steak place not called Sizzler or if theirs was simply better than ours.
     
  11. akicks

    akicks Tourist

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    I really enjoyed that aspect too, just not having to worry.

    Of course, there is no rule that says you can't be the ******y rock star for the evening and order 4 or 5 appetizers and a few desserts and leave half the food on the table. Hey, if you have a way of using the food later, I think ordering a ton of stuff that you can't finish and then taking it home would be a reasonable thing to do.
     
  12. Hyperfocal

    Hyperfocal High-Roller

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    Thanks for the info about the Bellagio buffet comp. When I redeemed for a different offer last year, it was the same way.

    Since I'm going solo and have two hotel offers, I'll go for some other deal I can use fully.
     
  13. uli_1515

    uli_1515 Low-Roller

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    Thanks for the Love review. We have already got tickets for this July.
     
  14. sco5123

    sco5123 VIP Whale

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    Much needed. Thanks for the reviews.

    Unfortunately, I feel the same way about Bellagio Buffet. I paid $4 bucks for a dinner there because I used some of my points. It was certainly good but even if it were cheaper normally, you probably would not find me there again. Just an opinion.

    As for Circus Circus steakhouse, sometimes a place gets rated so highly because it fits into the affordable price ranges. After all in some of these rating journals, the chain restaurants get rated higher than the steakhouses. The steakhouse at CC may also be rated so highly because of the overall experience. Just postulating.
     
  15. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

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    I really enjoyed the MyVegas slant to the Trip Report.
    What a great game!

    Thanks for sharing!
     
  16. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the report!

    Really disappointing to hear about the meat quality at CC Steakhouse. Their in-house, dry aged meat was always fantastic. Granted its been 2+ years since I ate there so maybe something changed?
     
    Christmas
  17. akicks

    akicks Tourist

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  18. LaRae

    LaRae Low-Roller

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    I really appreciate all the information. How many myVegas points did you & your sister have to burn for all of this?
    Great report!
     
  19. akicks

    akicks Tourist

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    Not sure if any of these have changed since I orignally grabbed them, but here are the current totals:

    Me:
    Love 79,000
    Bellagio Buffet 21,500
    Shark Reef 25,000
    Tournament of Kings 50,000
    Tender 75,000

    total 250,500


    Sister:
    The Steakhouse 75,000
    Buffet at Circus Circus 16,000
    More 22,000

    total 113,000

    Grand total 363,500

    I started pretty much at the beginning of the program, my sister about 6 weeks later. I only redeemed Love before they changed the rules, so that one was grandfathered and I had 3 "slots" left. I got the last "slot" by buying the $5 pack of chips.
     
  20. dbueler

    dbueler High-Roller

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    I just ate at the CC steakhouse last night on the MyVegas reward (posted all my MyVegas experiences in the MyVegas section) and I highly doubt there is a "MyVegas cut of meat". My friend and I both ordered filets and they were perfect. I travel alot and filet is my go-to meal, and this one was excellent. They said it was 8oz, but I couldn't finish it so I think it was more than that.

    I asked about the prime rib and didn't choose it as they said they don't use alot of seasoning on the exterior, which is why I LOVE prime rib, so I went with the filet.

    I'm more inclined to think it was an off night, with the number of people who go there, I'm sure it happens. It was packed on a Tuesday night during a slow week.
     
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