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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by ken2v, Aug 20, 2015.

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  1. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    My Trip Report

    In no particular order ...

    Silverton

    Good The casino expansion, the look, it’s remarkably smoke-light given it’s a locals/bluehair joint.

    Bad: Paytables -- 9/5 DDB in a locals joint? How about a few exposed and unused electrical outlets. Folks travel these days with a few implements. Slow wi-fi.

    Ugly: Flipping a MUCH needed hotel expansion into timeshare. A small CRT in any hotel not otherwise located along some backroad in the Texas panhandle?

    Mirage Buffet

    Good: Meat carvery. (Some products hold well, like meat. Spuds and eggs and what not? No, simply no.)

    Bad: Bad, simply bad. Breakfast. Fresh fruit was the standard array of cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew, plus gelatinous pineapple. Nothing wrong with the first three, per se, but it’s berry season, and McCarran connects to the world instantly. Effort, show some. Oh, my, do not miss the capp from the machine. Life-altering. Omelet station – chewy, funky spinach.

    Mirage

    Good: For a standard room the rooms are well-appointed with nice furnishings, large bathroom with no skanky tub/shower/slimy curtain thing going on, huge double vanity. And a great value, too. Wi-fi blazed. (I was on it daily researching and writing, so a must for me.) LOVE the access ease of the north valet/bell desk and self-park, zip right on off Spring Mountain and the 15; one of the best setups in town.

    Ugly: I have no clue what Mirage is trying to be in its public spaces. Too much black plastic draping “updates,” mothballed machines all over, dark, not sure they'll ever get past those claustrophobic ceilings.

    Grimaldi’s – Venetian

    Bad: Salad swimming in balsamic dressing, soggy-center pizza.

    Friends

    Good: Make that excellent. Thanks, y’all.

    Trade Show

    Good: Hey, I made some money. And nice to reconnect with peeps in the golf industry, make new acquaintances. Keep an eye on Wilson Golf, the irons have been sleepers for a while and they make a great game-improvement driver, and 2016 has some outstanding stuff in the offing: better-player driver, new irons. The Shield is back, I hope.

    Ugly: A demo event, at Cascata, starting at 2 in the afternoon … in August.

    Yardbird

    Bad: Dinner snafu switched me to lunch the next day. It’s Yardbird, so I had the chicken/biscuit/spicy watermelon plate. From the two pieces I received, the “chicken” was a sparrow and we slay it at home with our fried chicken, biscuit nothing to crow about, the watermelon was awesome. Glad I paid lunch instead of dinner pricing.

    Golf

    Good: Cascata, Southern Highlands and Primm Lakes, in that order. Every time I play Cascata – about a three or four year spacing between rounds – it just resonates more fully. The trend of Primm away from its former MGM Resorts days is very apparent in the fit/finish/treatments of the clubhouse and the margins of the course, the Shadow Lite features that in the day were Shadow Lite. But it’s also not some multi-hundred/casino-bigwig place, and it would beat a lot of public tracks across the country, and the management program appears on track. Another good good good was my friend/neighbor going bug-eyed with the Cascata experience; he’s just not played any golf at that level of service and savvy.

    Ugly: My third-day meltdown on the back nine at Southern Highlands. Sorry, this no-longer-desert-dwelling boy is no longer amused by 110. (Shh, VBJ, don’t say anything about the el lateral on 18 at Cascata when sitting 97 out for my third.)

    Table 34

    Good: Circumstances and in-the-field adjustment muddled some of the food plans, but not here. Another excellent. I’ve been eating here sporadically since the days when it was known as Wild Sage Café. I’m not a big fan of food shots from the table but I chucked up a few on Facebook the other night. Nice look, easy airs, service and food always right there. I know CK has had several bad experiences there; it’s just never missed for us.

    B&B Burgers and Beers

    Good: That burger was spiritually righteous.

    Bad: For a joint that touts itself as beer-savvy, I felt it rather commonplace.

    Ugly: The price of that burger. Holy shit.

    Craftsteak

    Good: It always is. Props to the wine steward (is he truly somm-certified?) for not blinking an eye when I walked in with three bottles of Pinot and we needed three glasses each for six guys. Service is timely, perfect, seamless, unobtrusive. And I just like the room and the vibe. Thanks as always to my degen buds/hosts.

    Peppermill

    Bad and Ugly: Who woulda thunk when ordering corned beef at Peppermill it would be the canned dog-food looking/smelling variety, and not corned beef? Horrid. I ate the eggs and toast, slurped several cups of coffee while reading the LA Times, tipped my very nice, attentive server 25 percent and told the exec chef – who for some reason was manning the register -- that I’m looking forward to Spaghetti Os on Italian night. I shoulda known from my “Hollandaise” experience there years ago. I get the big portions and I’ve had some decent eats there, but obviously I need to be done swearing off this place and just swear off it.

    Egg and I/Egg Works

    Good: Mary’s Hash House is no more, so for a locals breakfast fix, this is one of the good ones.

    Gambling

    Good: I played about 90 minutes of extremely short-pay DDB and came out $300 ahead.

    Venetian/Palazzo

    Good: We’ll never set up one home base in Vegas, but I can see us putting this into the rotation when we are there. We’ve stayed a few times in the past, the way ago past when it was just Venetian or Venetian/Venezia. I just like the look, feel, vibe, diversity. Sure, like any joint it has its dee-oosh-bagistas; that’s modern Vegas and it is worse elsewhere. Just a lot of ways to do what you want on that property, however. I can see a Summerlin/Venetian duet on our next trip.

    Ventura

    Good: Driving home, catching that first glimpse of the ocean in Ventura … priceless. For the first time in six days I was able to kill the A/C with which I’d been living 24/7 except out on the course, open the sunroof and revel in heading back to the central coast. It smelled of euc, chaparral and sea, which is something I guess we take for granted until locked inside artificially chilled boxes for days.

    Home

    It is the best place in the world to be.
     
  2. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    A good summary, Ken! :thumbsup:
     
    Christmas
    My wife's birthday
  3. westie

    westie VIP Whale

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    Re: Yardbird

    This pains me. I apologize for suggesting the restaurant based on the reviews of others. On the plus side,
    you took a hit for us so now I can scratch it from my itinerary.
     
  4. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Not your fault, sir. Not at all. I wanted to kick the tires, too. You're still the resident Guru o' Food and always will be!
     
  5. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    I haven't stayed or played at Venetian in a few years since Sheldon pulled the comps but I checked with them a couple of weeks ago and confirmed the Venezia Tower has been renovated. I really enjoy the poolside terrace rooms at Venezia and the property is still one of the nicest imo so will be considering a stay there on my next pool season trip. A comp myself stay....take that Sheldon lol.

    Congrats on booking the win!

    It's always wonderful to travel but there really is no place like home.
     
  6. M_ILIS

    M_ILIS High-Roller

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    Good report! Bummer Grimaldi's let you down. Pizza was great when I went in April.
     
  7. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    I've had a couple good meals at Yardhouse and the beers are excellent.

    What did you put on your pizza that the middle was soggy? Hope it wasn't some weird california topping like avocado.
     
  8. retro

    retro Low-Roller

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    Haha, Avocado is awesome on pizza, but not cooked. You put on just before eating. pep, sausage & avocado, freaking awesome!
     
    Eighth & final trip for the year. This time with real wife
  9. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Don't be too harsh, Snidely's kinda a missionary position/meat and potatoes guy. lol

    Yes, it was a truly sacrilegious pizza: Pepperoni and kalamata. The horror.

    Bardolator and I had a similar experience years ago at Grimaldi's on Eastern.
     
  10. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    You should have learned to order it plain if don't want soggy crust. Nothing wrong with missionary, meat and potatoes. And good pizza.
     
  11. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Anyone who can't cook dough with an inadequate amount of cheese, a handful of kalamatas and a few specks of pepperoni should not be in the pizza business. It's OK for the place to have flopped -- a couple of times. Name does not necessarily mean adequacy.
     
  12. USCHawks

    USCHawks High-Roller

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    Nice write-up Ken, sounds like you had a good trip.
     
  13. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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  14. pebbles

    pebbles VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the review.

    I've never enjoyed the food at Peppermill, the place is cool, but the food is quantity over quality in my opinion. I'm glad I'm not alone.
     
    First trip of 2017.
  15. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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  16. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    I agree; I enjoy a drink there on occasion but have never understood the draw of the food.
     
  17. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    It's truly one of those different strokes things that are the cornerstone of all of our personal experiences.

    I'm a breakfast person in Vegas. I like to fuel up for the day, which typically means some activity as opposed to sitting in front of a machine, and then often going through to dinner. I'm not a demure eater, but big alone doesn't win the day.

    I do see the appeal of a several-buck McDs brecky for those who like the food. Strip breakfast can be ridiculously priced, a la carte or barffet. I'm glad we're car-availed and don't mind scooting around town.
     
  18. VPDana

    VPDana Low-Roller

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    I enjoyed reading your TR, concise and to the point. Also, I like the format.
     
  19. newmans

    newmans VIP Whale

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    I love breakfast. If you have a car, have you tried Blueberry Hill? I love the pancakes there. I always get a combo of eggs, pancake and sausage or bacon. Everyone I have ever taken there has loved it.
     
  20. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

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    Loved the report and style. Thanks for writing!
     
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