I decided to take an extended Labor Day week and book room at the Venetian for $109 a night. Dropped the dog at the kennel and 4-1/2 hours later (with a stop an In-N-Out for 2 cheeseburgers animal style) I pulled into the maze they call a parking garage. The check-in line at 3pm was short and I was given room 18-218. View-wise I overlooked the roof of the Sands convention center (ugh) and the door to the room stuck but other than that the room was fine. My planning wasn't the best as I had a fantasy football draft that night at 6pm so I brought my laptop. The in-room Internet connection was $10 and worked really well. After the draft I reserved a table at the Country Club at the Wynn for dinner. I ate there my last trip back in May and it was really good and their Taste of Wynn promotion was still running so I figured a return visit was in order. I was disappointed the outside patio (where I sat last visit) was closed but it was dark so I probably couldn't see the waterfall anyways. I order from the Taste of Wynn menu ($48 for 3 courses). My starter was the sweet corn chowder which was okay. For my entree I chose the Blackened Salmon. I came on a bed of spinach with some fantastic roasted tomatoes. Delicious! For dessert I had the blueberry cobbler. It arrived hot (almost too hot) from the oven but the dollop of ice cream on top cooled it off enough to eat. Even though I was stuffed I still managed to put it all away because it was so good. With a half bottle of Pinot Noir and tip my bill was $110. After dinner I stopped at the La Scena bar at the Venetian. The Peter Monroy band was playing. They had a pair of disinterested looking go-go dancers cavorting behind them (which I'll admit caught my eye). But I stayed because they were cranking out some respectable versions of hard rock cover songs. I heard BOC, Aerosmith, Queen, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and more. As a life-long hard rock fan it's pretty unusual to hear that kind of music in a bar. I began the next day with breakfast at the Grand Lux Cafe. I had the breakfast sandwich with coffee. It was tasty but nothing I'd rush to order again. Also it took them forever to refill my coffee cup. Shouldn't there be a law in Vegas that coffee must be strong and plentiful? After that I headed over to the sports book to get some bets down for the opening of the NFL season. I also stopped in at the Club Grazzie booth. My room came with $50 in free slot play and they wouldn't give me table match play. I have never played a slot machine in my life and didn't really want to start now. Oh well I burned through the $50 on a video poker machine and managed to cash out with $14. After that I went to play blackjack. Wouldn't you know it, a couple of kids sit down at my table and they each have $15 match play tickets. Why they got 'em and I couldn't I don't understand but the dealer busted and the kids won their money and immediately bailed. Good for them. Blackjack wasn't very kind to me this trip so I showered up, threw on my LT jersey, and headed next door to the new Lagasse's Stadium to watch the Steelers and Titans. I got there about 4:30 for the 5:30 game and managed to secure the last free stool at the bar. If you wanted a table or to sit in front of the big screen then you needed to make reservations ahead of time. As sports bars go I was pretty unimpressed with what Emeril has to offer. My first complaint is the layout. I know this place originally failed as Jay-Z's 40-40 club and it doesn't appear that they remodeled it much when they made it into a sports bar. Part of the sports bar experience is the camaraderie/competition with your fellow sports fans. But this place has all these private rooms and nooks and crannies that you simply don't interact with much of the crowd. From my stool I could talk to the guy next to me and the bartenders but that was about it. Luckily the guy sitting next to me was a knowledgeable sports fan and I enjoyed talking sports with him while he waited for his girlfriend to get off work and show up. My second complaint is the beer, or the lack thereof. What do sports fans drink? Beer! What should a sports bar have? Lots of beer choices! Unfortunately they have a really limited selection. I think they had 4 beers on tap and two were Bud and Bud lite (which don't count as beer). They had something called Shock Top which is a Belgian white. I tried it but I'm not really a fan of that style of beer. Their bottle choices were also limited. The best I could find was a Sierra Nevada. I suppose I'm spoiled living in San Diego where we have dozens of micro-breweries and just about every bar carries Stone or Karl Strauss on draught but Emeril needs to upgrade the beer choices if he wants to be taken seriously as a sports bar. The good news is the food was very good. I ordered the fish and chips ($16). The dipping sauce was outstanding (lemon caper tartar sauce per the menu). Add in three beers and my tab came to $38. The game was close but I had bought show tickets for that night so I bailed at the start of the fourth quarter. I couldn't go to Vegas without seeing a show so when I arrived I wandered over to Tixs4Tonight to see if I could find a 9pm show. They had two, Bobby Slayton and Steve Wyrick. I love magic but after his failed 4th of July stunt Wyrick looked like a rank amateur plus the Slayton show was only $20. I cabbed it over to the Tropicana and arrived just in time to Hines Ward fumble near the goal line and send the game into overtime. My money was on the Titans +6 so that was good news for me. I had an idea that Slayton would be rude and obnoxious and he delivered. I guess I would describe him as an indiscriminant discriminate. Women, Gays, Mexicans, Blacks, Jews, no one escapes Slayton's critical eye. He was funny in places and I enjoyed the show but you certainly have to check your political correctness at the door. I took the monorail back which drops off at Harrah's. Passing through Carnival Court they also had a hard rock cover band playing so I stopped to listen for a bit. Does hard rock have a home in Vegas? In this age of rap/dance/electronica it sure sounded good to me. I didn't stay very long as I wanted to get an early start for home the next day. That was it except that on Sunday the Vikings more than covered the 4 point spread which gave me another winner to help offset my blackjack losses. Thanks for reading.