March 26 This morning I started off by playing the $10 from cashing in the TITO at the Fiesta. The background of this transaction is a member of one of the Las Vegas boards, who chooses to remain anonymous for tax purposes, offered to give me the TITO, but I declined, offering to play the proceeds once through a 10 cent, FPDW machine for her.
As I loaded the money into the machine, I had a gut feeling that I was about to hit quad deuces, and I actually did hit quads, but they were kings. If Ms. Anonymous happens to be reading this TR – your check is in the mail.
Some 2 hours later while playing with my own money (cross my heart), I was dealt 4 spades to the royal and hit what I optimistically recorded in my TR notes as my #1 Royal.
On returning to the room, I discovered Ann was still sleeping, but I woke her up with my rendition of “Hot Legs ……….. I love you honey”. She was less than amused.
We had a late breakfast at Ellis with each of us ordering easy over eggs, wheat toast and breakfast potatoes. The meal and service were pretty good though just a little less so than on recent visits. ($8, LVA, 2.5 Forks)
Ann played both of our play $10, get $10 in free play coupons from the American Casino Guide
(ACG) and broke even. We will play off the free play on our next trip.
Our next stop was the Bellagio
Conservatory and Botanical Gardens for the Spring Celebration that features a Dutch windmill, a carousel, swans and oh so much more. We also made our usual stops at the Chihuly shop and Jean-Philipp Patisserie.
On returning to the hotel, I retired to the room while Ann put in a short VP session.
In the late afternoon we planned to meet Rod again at Ellis, but he had a conflict and begged off. We carried on alone by ordering merlots before setting off for Pasta Cucina at Texas Station. http://www.texasstation.com/dining/pasta-cucina/
My lowly expectations for this meal were realized. The restaurant was not busy, but everything from start to finish seemed to take a little too long. We were served warm garlic bread with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, but the bread was too salty. We also shared a below average Caesar salad. The lobster ravioli in a tomato cream sauce ordered by Ann was a bit too al dente while my eggplant Parmesan entrée was heavily breaded thick slices of undercooked eggplant.
($23.95, LVA, gift card, 1.5 Forks)
On our return I went to bed while Ann put in a short session of VP losing her $5 in free play, but cashing out $25 on mine. Like the working girls in town, I had a profitable evening while lying in bed.
March - 27 The slot card readers were down at the Fiesta so I made the cross town trip to Sam’s only to suffer another loss. On my return to the South Point I picked up a coffee for Ann and the world’s largest blueberry muffin from the Del Mar Deli that we shared along with OJ and grapefruit. http://www.southpointcasino.com/dining/quick-bites.php
($6.62, 3 Forks).
In mid-morning I dropped Ann off at Episage Wellness Center on Tropicana for a massage and continued on to Sam’s where I put in a 45 minute session that proved to be a series of near misses.
The Episage facilities were nicer than I expected given the address and Teri proved to be an excellent masseuse. http://www.episagewellnesscenter.com/
($27, Groupon, 5 Hands)
After picking her (Ann, not Teri) up, we headed west to Gigi’s Cupcakes where we selected Texas Milk Chocolate and Midnight Magic cupcakes that were consumed mid-afternoon with glasses of milk.
The cakes were on the dry side and the frosting on each was overly sweet. ($2, KSHP, 1.5 Forks)
The remainder of the afternoon was devoted to napping (me), reading (Ann) and playing VP (Ann). At around 3:31PM we headed to Ellis Island where we enjoyed merlots while watching the UCONN women beat their counterparts from KY.
Dinner this evening was at the Bar + Bistro, an ELV 50 restaurant. http://barbistroaf.com/
Here is a list of what we ordered:
1) Alcapurras - Kobe beef, pacheta, sofrito, black currants, achiote, green banana, taro root croquetas, sofrito cream sauce. (lacked flavor, 2 Forks)
2) B+B slider - “Kobe style” Wagyu beef, Manchego cheese, pickled shallots, arugula, roasted tomato mayo. (dry, 2 Forks)
3) Spiced Salmon slider -Loch Duart Scottish (sustainable by cleanfish®), organic greens, tomato, cured ricotta, sweet spiced pecans, citrus dressing (a hit, 4 Forks)
4) Chopped Latin salad - cabbage, jicama, piquillo peppers, pumpkin seeds, avocado, Manchego cheese, plantain chips, chimichurri honey dressing. (refreshing, 4 Forks)
4) Tempura alcachofa – long stemmed artichoke hearts with curry aioli. (tasty, 4 Forks)
($23.95, R.com, 3 Forks)
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March 28 – The only decent FPDW machines at the Fiesta were out of service for maintenance so I departed for Sam’s. My 2 plus hour session proved to be a loser.
Our first order of business this morning was dropping our clothes off at the Laundrimat (sic) on Eastern. The owner (Bud) informed us that the business had been sold and he did not know if the new owners would be doing wash and fold.
We drowned our sorrows at Ronald’s over a shared apple fritter and glazed buttermilk donut with a coffee for Ann and water for me. ($3.90, 3.5 Forks)
Our next stop was the Silverton to shop at the Bass Pro Shops, but neither of us found anything of particular interest.
We watched the fish and ducks for awhile before departing for Elite Salon where Ann had a wash, dry and comb out.
($35, 4 Brushes)
Lunch was at the Great Greek which is located in the shadows of Sunset Station. This restaurant is small, but is obviously a very popular luncheon destination for locals.
We ordered bowls of avgolemono, an egg/lemon soup, accompanied by grilled pita bread. This rendition of the classic Greek soup was a bit thicker than some, but delicious.
($7.57, 4 Spoons)
On returning to the room I managed to nap for over 2 hours while Ann played some VP. At around 4PM we picked up our clothes and wished the owners much happiness and good health during their long overdue retirement. ($14, 4 Folds)
We then drove to the Clarion where we enjoyed a pair of merlots ($4, ACG) and picked up our show tickets for later that evening before making the drive to the Riviera for dinner.
R Steak & Seafood is a relatively new restaurant located in the space occupied for many years by Christopher’s. http://www.rivierahotel.com/las-vega...steak-seafood/
The restaurant is fairly casual though there was a maitre d. We received a warm loaf of bread and shared a warm bacon and spinach salad.
Ann ordered the grilled salmon steak entrée which was bountiful and very moist.
Mine was a mammoth double, more likely a triple, cut pork chop with an apple cranberry sauce. We also shared a bowl of roasted cream corn. Prices were moderate for a Strip restaurant of this quality.
($41.43, LVA, 3.5 Forks)
We returned to the Clarion for the Carl William show. http://carlwilliam.com/Carl_William.html
Carl, a native of Quebec, possesses an outstanding voice and was backed by an excellent 3-piece band and 2 unneeded back-up singers. The show was very good, but there were only about 20 people in the audience. We were told that the show would soon be closing. ($17, KSHP, 3.5 Claps)
March 29 – Another cross town trip to Sam’s in order to take advantage of the 5 x points being offered to the Young at Heart. I was losing my shirt when I was dealt 4 diamonds to the Royal and caught the beautiful queen for my 2nd royal. Double Wowsa!
After enjoying grapefruit and OJ in the room, we decided to celebrate by having breakfast at Creative Crepes using an 8NewsNow discounted certificate. On entering the Saxby’s Coffee shop where it was housed, we were informed the restaurant had closed back in November 2011, shortly after I purchased the certificate.
We decided to forego breakfast in favor of checking our email at the Paseo Verde library, but arrived 15 minutes before the doors opened. One of my emails was from I Love Burgers and it included a coupon good for a free burger.
Our plans for lunch were now solidified, but first it was off to the Lake Las Vegas Psychic for a tarot card reading. Our discounted certificate indicated an appointment was necessary, but I figured being a psychic shouldn’t she know when Ann was going to arrive?
Ann hasn’t divulged anything about the session, but she has been smiling a little more than usual. ($22, R-J deals, 3.5 Seances)
We then made our way to I Love Burgers in Town Square. http://www.iloveburgers.com/
I expected to encounter long lines due to the free burger promotion, but the place was not busy. Though this restaurant has been open for several months, we were told by an employee that no one knows its open because of its location at the far end of the center.
The coupons, I printed 2, were good for standard burgers that come with lettuce, tomato, onion and American cheese plus we shared a soda.
The burgers were tasty, but dry due to being overcooked. ($3, 2 Forks)
On our return we took in this week’s Dennis Bono show featuring Corrie Sachs (Country Superstars), the Bob Rosario Ensemble, singer Bobby Brooks Wilson (Jackie’s son), Kelly Clinton (comedic singer and Clint Holmes wife), comedian Geechy Guy (Dirty Joke Show), singer Shelly Taylor and pianist Danny Wright. ($0, 4 Claps)
I napped in the late afternoon while Ann played VP. Prior to departing for dinner, we used our show ticket for a pair of merlots at the Grandview Lounge.
Dinner tonight was at the nearby Barcelona Tapas & Bar.
We were served a complimentary plate of grilled bread, hummus and a garlic cream cheese spread (2.5 Forks).
Our first order was the obligatory pan fried dates with almonds in a balsamic reduction sauce and sprinkled with goat cheese (4 Forks) and Manchego mac and cheese (3.5 Forks).
The second round was less successful: camarones al Ajillo (garlic shrimp) that were slightly overcooked and served at room temperature (2 Forks), a mundane house salad (2 Forks) and pastelillos pollo (chicken cake) served with a gribiche sauce (2.5 Forks).
We closed out the meal with a chocolate tres leches cake. ($14.99, R.com, 2.5 Forks)
March 30 – My morning session at the Fiesta was once again devoid of quad deuces, but I kept my loss manageable by hitting several 5OAKS plus a pair of wild royals.
We had room service this morning with me being the server. Grapefruit, OJ, a toasted bagel and one coffee from the Del Mar Deli. ($3.78, 3 Forks)
We returned to the Fiesta and proceeded directly to the promotions desk in order to pick up the bottles of Skye vodka I earned earlier this morning. What you say – the promotion was on Thursday and today is Friday? Damn, I lost a day somewhere.
I spent a little time checking the location of a few machines to update the VPFree2 data base while Ann played. http://www.vpfree2.com/casinos/by-region/las-vegas.html
I finally settled in at one of the FPDW machines and in short order was dealt 4 to the Royal and drew the 5th for my 3rd Royal; a personal record for single-line VP. Triple Wowsa!!
After I finished counting my money, we headed for the difficult to locate, but worth the effort, Baguette Café. This restaurant is in a large office park and only open Monday – Friday for breakfast and lunch. The weather was close to picture perfect so after ordering cups of their housemade soup, we settled in at a table on the patio.
Ann’s Manhattan clam chowder was chock full of fresh vegetables and bursting with flavor. My cream of asparagus soup was silky smooth and delicious, but paled in comparison to hers.
The only negative was our soup was not hot enough which I attribute to our server not realizing we had camped out on the patio. There is little doubt in my mind that we will be returning to try one of their quiches in the not too distant future. ($8.03, 4 Spoons)
In the late afternoon we returned to Grandview Lounge for the Friday night $2 happy hour. This time we got a different server who charged us $2 for each of our raspberry martinis. ($6, 3.5 Sips)
We then adjourned to Miguel’s Tequila bar for a pair of tequila mockingbirds. ($6. 3.5 Sips) http://www.southpointcasino.com/pres...quila-time.php
Dinner this evening was at the Barrymore located in the Royal Resort on Convention Center Drive. http://www.barrymorelv.com/
We began by touring the lobby area which must fall under the category of retro chic.
The restaurant itself is pretty nice though much smaller than I expected. There were some people sitting at the bar and several more on the patio, but the restaurant proper was barely half full this Friday evening.
We each ordered the roasted loup de mer, Mediterranean sea bass with a bean ragout, roasted Brussels sprouts and bacon while sharing a Caesar salad and baker.
The combination of bean ragout and the sea bass was a bit strange, but the Brussels sprouts and fish were very good. As usual, our baker was way overdone. Service was very good throughout. ($46.70, Groupon, 3 Forks)
Tonight’s entertainment was provided by Jonathan Clark at the Riviera. http://jonathanclarkonline.com/
Jonathan is a comedic impressionist who must have covered close to 100 performers, but very few, if any, were spot on. The music and his comedic skills made the night worthwhile. ($17, KSHP, 3 Claps)