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Four Deuces: NFC hops around the valley @ Aria/Gold Coast/Luxor/Eastside Cannery for two nights each

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by notfromconcentrate, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Connoisseur of dive casinos and obnoxious outfits

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    @jimboguy I’m just tagging you in this random photo for no reason at all... and there is absolutely no update related to this to come ;)

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    Wynn, Eastside Cannery, Laughlin, Plaza (Super Bingo), side trip to LA
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  2. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Connoisseur of dive casinos and obnoxious outfits

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    Alright, before I start forgetting stuff, let’s pick up where we left off before at Oyster Bar.

    It ultimately took about 1.5 hours to get seated. Not a single regret about it. Aside from the food being worth it, the scent of the seafood being cooked while waiting in line is a real excitement-builder. Plus, the people-watching while standing in line is great. I’m now very seriously considering staying at Palace Station on my next trip so I can repeat this experience multiple times.

    Started off with half a dozen oysters. Surprisingly, I wasn’t impressed. They didn’t taste that fresh, and this is one seafood with which freshness is a really big deal. Admittedly, my reason for ordering these was partly to do with the fact that it felt weird being at a place called Oyster Bar for the third time in a year and never having had oysters there before. Curiosity satisfied, probably won’t do it here again.

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    Then I got the “bouill-roast”, which is a former secret menu item that is an in-between of a bouillabaisse and a pan roast. It’s said to be less broth and more seafood. Couldn’t turn that down, so I accepted the suggestion.

    However, I have to say I prefer the pan roast. Here’s a comparison of the two...

    What I had on Sunday:

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    The pan roast I had last trip:

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    I can provide three reasons why the pan roast is better...

    1. The broth is actually the best part. In the two pan roasts I’d had before, I don’t believe I left behind a single drop of broth, between the amazing tomato/cream/brandy flavours themselves, and the combined flavours of the seafood. So to get the most out of this type of dish, having more broth is the way to go IMO.

    2. The pan roast only has lobster, shrimp, and crab... and doesn’t require any “disassembly”. As you can see, much disassembly was required with the bouill-roast, and I think that kind of took away from the experience.

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    3. With the difference in 2 in mind, the flavour in a pan roast isn’t as “busy”. Shrimp, lobster, and crab taste at least somewhat alike... but when you add mussels and clams into the mix, it doesn’t really complement them if you ask me.

    Thus, going forward, I’ll be a pan roast guy. Having only had a poke bowl and a few snacks to eat today, I really shouldn’t have written that up now, as now I’m really craving a pan roast... and it will be at least six months until I can have one, lol

    Then from Palace Station I went to Caesars Palace. Got into the Qua Baths spa no problem, it was $60 for a non-guest of the hotel.

    Couldn’t really take many pictures, but I did manage to get a couple when I was certain there was nobody nearby who could end up in the photos...

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    Like I said, I liked it, but not as much as Aria’s spa. Perhaps I’m in the minority here based on prior comments, but I like the decor of Qua better (then again, I wasn’t wearing my glasses 98% of the time and I’m pretty much blind without them)... and Qua is definitely bigger with more features (including a larger hot tub and an “arctic” room). One thing I noticed is that the steam room was much hotter than the steam room at Aria. I could barely stand being in there more than a couple of minutes at a time.

    So I’m glad I did it... but will probably only be back if I’m staying at Caesars, or if I get diamond status one day and can get in for $20.

    One thing worth noting is this multi-headed shower in the changeroom (which also had a rain shower head up above that you can see the shadow of, but I couldn’t get in the picture)...

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    Surprisingly I actually liked this one better than a shower I had at the Ritz-Carton spa in Toronto back in October which had NINE heads...

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    Then after that I went off to meet with @Astribling and you saw the Rao > Carbone story from that earlier.

    After our dinner, I headed over to Ellis Island to do some freeplay and matchplay. Ended up about even.

    Also got some chips for my collection

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    And a t shirt, which I thought is pretty cool

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    Checked out their new “front yard” venue. I wasn’t terribly impressed. Perhaps I’ve just seen too many venues like these, but it struck me as the type of thing boomers dream up when it comes to creating an “experience” to cater to millennial values. I definitely don’t dislike it, I would absolutely go back, especially in warmer weather. I just don’t get the big deal everybody has been making out of this.

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    Also, there is video poker out there at the bar, for what it’s worth :)

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    Then back to Fremont Street. Dropped my bag off in the room, and decided to take one last shot to make a couple hundred dollars more. Wasn’t in the mood for blackjack, but for whatever reason felt like playing baccarat, so I went over to ElCo for their $5 table. Lost $100 in about ten minutes trying to catch a banker streak against a player shoe. I tried :)

    Then broke a $100 into five twenties at The D to try Royal Flusher’s parlay strategy one more time. Figured this is it... if I can run it up to the $2 level and get a decent hit at $2, I’ll leave.

    Ended up getting very close. Four quads, including ANOTHER four aces (fourth for the trip), which ultimately got me as high as $150 playing dollars on my fourth twenty. Sadly, I couldn’t maintain it and got it all the way down to the original $20. But with plenty of coin-in at the $1 level, I wouldn’t be surprised if I get some comp love from that.

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    Final count-up had me at $170 USD. That’s barely $100 per day, and with a tiny bit of luck and/or discipline... I’d probably have come home with even more of it.

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    You’ll laugh at what a fail the next morning was though. Needing to catch the 9:53 am WAX bus to the airport, I left Four Queens around 9:10 am with two objectives. Find a homeless person who wears my shoe size, to whom I can give the shoes I bought at Wal Mart (didn’t have the luggage space to take them home, and didn’t want them to go to waste), and get a fast bite to eat somewhere.

    The former, I had no trouble with. Literally the first guy I spoke to wore my size, and he seemed very grateful.

    The latter, I realized I should have had a gameplan for. My original gameplan was to order room service while I was packing, but it turns out they’re not offering it while they’re renovating the kitchen. I didn’t want to get McDonalds or White Castle, or some other such thing. So out of curiosity, I went to Lanai Express at Fremont. Figured I can use what little comp points I have, and finally find out what it’s like.

    It was... let’s just say ghastly. Not the kind of note I wanted to leave Vegas on, but it filled me up, only cost me a few dollars of my own money, got served in no time, and had me even more motivated to cook something actually good once I get home. That’s my optimistic view on it, anyway. Can’t say I’ll go there again though.

    [​IMG]

    On my way out of the Lanai Express seating area, I couldn’t help but notice this half bottle of Jameson and a shot glass. That’s how it’s done!

    [​IMG]

    Next post will be a rundown of my RTC Trip to Strip experience... and then my replies to the postings I didn’t get back to yet. That will be it for this trip report... though tomorrow evening I’ll be posting the margarita footage, and possibly some foodporn of my “finally back home” meal to round things off.
     
    Wynn, Eastside Cannery, Laughlin, Plaza (Super Bingo), side trip to LA
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  3. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Connoisseur of dive casinos and obnoxious outfits

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    RTC Trip to Strip was... in a word, unimpressive. It’s a cost savings over a rideshare... but I’m not so sure that having to actually possibly share the ride and/or needing to get picked up at an RTC stop offsets that savings.

    So, from the beginning, I ordered a ride from Ellis Island to Four Queens, it quoted me $8.00.

    [​IMG]

    Upon accepting the ride, it told me to go to this RTC bus stop, which I couldn’t really do that easily, as the nearest crosswalks were rather far apart... and there are hefty fines for jaywalking in Vegas, as I understand it.

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    Didn’t matter, the driver called me and said he can meet me in the Ellis Island parking lot no problem.

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    Dropped me off right between The D and the Four Queens. Surprisingly, the driver refused the tip I tried to offer him. I thought tipping was a thing in this app.

    Materially, as a non-shared ride, this was virtually no different from a regular rideshare... except it was probably about $5 cheaper.

    Personally, I’d pay the extra $5 in a case like this to get guaranteed privacy and a direct route. Though I suppose people do pooled rideshares as well for the exact same reason... and I generally don’t do so also for the exact same reason.

    All in all, I’m glad I tried it. But if it does last (from what I understand it’s closing down next month), I can’t say I’ll go out of my way to use it, except maaaaaybe to avoid surge pricing. I’ll keep the app on my phone.
     
    Wynn, Eastside Cannery, Laughlin, Plaza (Super Bingo), side trip to LA
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  4. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Connoisseur of dive casinos and obnoxious outfits

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    This is very well articulated, and you raise a great point about it being a “long” strategy to win me over by getting me to stay there again and possibly spend money on property... which would mean paying me $24 would be a straight $24 loss, whereas me coming there and gambling and/or ultimately staying again could be a great big long-term win.

    I still don’t think it’s realistic from the latter perspective though. Their base rooms still don’t have safes. So even if they’ll give me their best suite for basically nothing just to keep me quiet, it’s not like I’m going to have a sudden change of heart and stay in one of their base rooms without a safe. Perhaps it could be argued that I might pay the $250 per night for the suite at a later time if I do like it. But considering what better accommodations one could get for that kind of money (I’ve also never paid that much for a hotel room in my entire life), I think that’s a real long shot.

    As for gambling, I realize this is specific to me... but I much prefer playing at the Longhorn across the street and would probably end up doing so while staying at EC.

    Interestingly, I think that the biggest win that Eastside Cannery will get out of that upgrade is the fact that I’ll inevitably include it in one of my trip reports. There is not a single picture or review of that suite type on the entire Internet... so perhaps the risk of that upgrade is offset by the visibility they’ll get as a result.

    So I guess it does make a bit more sense than I thought it did at first. We’ll never know how truly in-demand those suites are to get an idea of the value of the opportunity cost. But if they’re booked up regularly at all and my occupation of them will plausibly displace a paying/playing guest, they’re taking a $xxx gamble on trying to please me instead, instead of a $24 gamble on getting me to not write a bad review.
     
    Wynn, Eastside Cannery, Laughlin, Plaza (Super Bingo), side trip to LA
  5. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Connoisseur of dive casinos and obnoxious outfits

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    I wouldn’t doubt for a second that they have more than enough $5+ per spin slot players who would qualify for that suite... and would prefer that “big fish” treatment compared to the comparatively average treatment they’d get elsewhere.

    The reply... here you go. I think it squarely lays everything out, and they’re being more than forthcoming about it.

    [​IMG]
     
    Wynn, Eastside Cannery, Laughlin, Plaza (Super Bingo), side trip to LA
  6. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Connoisseur of dive casinos and obnoxious outfits

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    Just to be sure that I don’t forget to reply to this... I have not been to double down at all yet (I’ve put it off for about seven trips now, lol). Even if it’s a gamble that I could stomach it... I would love to try their bacon martini.

    You’re probably right, my homemade pork guava margarita likely won’t be nearly as dicey :)
     
    Wynn, Eastside Cannery, Laughlin, Plaza (Super Bingo), side trip to LA
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  7. jimboguy

    jimboguy My sloppy joe is all sloppy and no joe.

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    Maybe in another future trip or two you’ll book a room at the new Virgin hotel and you can make the short walk to Double Down then.
     
    In which our hero spends a lot of time standing in line
  8. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Just witnessing a friend try it, the bacon is raw, activated my gag reflex :vomit:
     
    Kelly Clarkson and Keith Urban Concerts
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  9. LB9

    LB9 PH Blackjack Degen

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    Glad they were able to get back with you and it seems like a pretty good/not disingenuous response, nice to see some good customer service these days.

    To your other point about high rollers there, you've been more than me I'm sure but when I went there this past year I saw far more of the social security cashing variety than anywhere I've ever seen, not so much the $5 spin variety as you've stated. But I know to not debate it with you further so to each their own :)
     
  10. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Connoisseur of dive casinos and obnoxious outfits

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    The moment we’ve all been waiting for...

    Seared the pork chops (used one, cut up the other one to put in an omelette for breakfast) and green pepper/onions

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    Sliced and skewered everything for the garnish

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    Lined up the actual margarita ingredients; lemon, limes, tequila, and guava juice

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    Added the fat from the pork too for flavour

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    Dry shake, pour over crushed ice

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    Garnish

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    ... and there you have it! Right along with my veal chop and carrots, feels good to finally be cooking again :)

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    The margarita itself was very good. Admittedly the garnish had very little effect beyond the satisfaction of making this ridiculous idea happen :) though the flavours did complement each other very well and definitely reminded me of Juan’s. Nothing like having Juan’s for real though!
     
    Wynn, Eastside Cannery, Laughlin, Plaza (Super Bingo), side trip to LA
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  11. jimboguy

    jimboguy My sloppy joe is all sloppy and no joe.

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    Way to make your dreams come true! Thanks for documenting the margarita. You’re brave.
     
    In which our hero spends a lot of time standing in line
  12. julia

    julia (was miss_sonja)

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    You are a delight! Glad you are home safe; looking forward to your next trip report!
     
  13. 3OfDiamonds

    3OfDiamonds High-Roller

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    lol you might have a job garnishing the absurd Bloody Mary’s at Hash House a Go Go if you want it... the skill is obviously there :thumbsup:
     
    Somehow, Someway, Somewhere (in Vegas) - My Birthplace On My B’Day
    Homecoming: B’Day 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition :D
  14. SteveO

    SteveO Low-Roller

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    Once again, thanks for taking us along‼️
     
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  15. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Another action-packed TR! Thanks for taking us along!
     
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  16. luridludicloco

    luridludicloco High-Roller

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    Thanks for fun report and Vegas like margarita at home.
     
  17. Chicken Dinner

    Chicken Dinner Low-Roller

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    Just going thru some old trip reports to pass some time. Loved it. I'm headed out in July too, too bad looks like I'm gonna be there a week or so before you. You're a trip, would love to have a drink with you.
     
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  18. ffejry

    ffejry #1 Bears Fan

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    Good old days
     
    Vegas is calling me, so I must go!