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Live/LOTS of pics/Mostly solo. 23 Days. 9 Hotels. Vegas/Reno/Some very unusual sightseeing. Enjoy!

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by notfromconcentrate, Jun 18, 2018.

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  1. rasmus12b

    rasmus12b Tourist

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    Great trip report

    While I understand your point regarding gaming stakes, you are not right. Expectation has no memory, so once you lock up the $250 its yours. Of course when you keep gambling at $25 your future expectation will be accordingly
     
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  2. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate High-rolling diner. Low-rolling gambler.

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    Rob, here you go :)

    From left to right...

    - Brewmaster’s Reserve (peach hefeweizen)
    - Double Down Hefeweizen
    - Brew Master Special (IPA)
    - Carlsbad IPA
    - High Roller Gold
    - Marker Pale Ale
    - Royal Red Ale

    They also have the Black Chip Porter, that tap just isn’t in this photo.

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    Currently having the peach hefeweizen with breakfast. Nice beer. A bit on the sweet side, but a very pleasant breakfast beer.

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    NFR trip. Longhorn, Hooters, Tahoe, The Cal, Rio, ElCo.
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  3. bshowell

    bshowell VIP Whale

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    Only in Vegas are the words "breakfast beer" perfectly understandable :beer:
     
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  4. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate High-rolling diner. Low-rolling gambler.

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    Okay, so, it looks like we left things off two nights ago, as I was getting back from the strip. In my shuttle to the Grand Canyon now. So I’ve got lots of time to write up a nice and detailed update for y’all :)

    This is going to drain my data, but I really don’t care.

    Judging my my photos, the last “sequential” update I gave you guys was the $0.05 voucher in the trash at Excalibur. Then I had to run back to Plaza to do some work. Finished that up, and headed down to Gambler’s General Store and Spinetti’s.

    GGS was okay. Not great, but okay. They sold mostly brand new supplies and books. Not really a collectibles shop. Cool place, glad I went in, but I liked Spinettis much better.

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    Spinettis had an amazing selection of collectibles. Lots of chips and Silver Strikes, as well as cards, dice, and assorted casino memorabilia. That included things like table limit signs, hotel keys, players cards, and even toiletries. This place was like a museum. Just amazing.

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    Bought a Plaza Silver Strike, and I absolutely love it. This will be my new card protector for poker.

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    Now off to Chinatown. In a word, it’s unremarkable. Maybe it was me chasing the cool factor of Chinatown in Las Vegas. Maybe it was my hunger for dim sum. Maybe it’s just me trying too hard to sniff out something unique and interesting. Chinatown is basically a couple of strip mall type plazas, pretty similar to what you’d find in other towns. As you can see in the first photo, it’s very close to the strip. I was hoping to have dim sum, but being after typical dim sum hours, nowhere was serving it. Which I understand.

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    I did encounter a cool-looking tiki room called the Golden Tiki and stopped in for a drink. Had a painkiller cocktail. I was totally under the impression it would be in a tiki glass. But that’s okay. It was a much-needed drink after that work break and about a half hour of pacing around Chinatown.

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    Now I needed some food. The reviews suggested that nearby Pho Kim Long has great Vietnamese food. Right they were. Not only was the food itself great, it was PACKED for a Monday.

    Also, check out the size of this bowl. My hat for scale.

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    Now off to the strip. I originally wanted to do the tasting at the Coke store for international versions of Coke products. Aside from me not really being in the mood, I thought to myself I’d much rather have it with another person, so that we can compare observations.

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    One person was having the full sampler, with the floats, and he was kind enough to let me take a picture. Lots to taste!

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    I did want to try the fabled Mexican Coke, though. There’s a whole story behind Mexican Coke versus American Coke. Basically, Mexican Coke is made with real sugar, as opposed to artificial sugar. Here’s an interesting piece about it: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/story-mexican-coke-more-complex-than-hipsters-would-admit-180956032/

    Much to my satisfaction, they had it. Asked them for a cup with ice (as I cannot drink soda without ice, it’s just a quirk of mine), poured it, and really noticed the difference. Kind of like Champagne over Cava. Many similarities, but one has clearly superior qualities over the other.

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    About halfway through, I thought to myself this would be really good mixed with some kind of alcohol. Usually you’d mix Coke with rum, right? But rum is made with molasses... not real sugar. So putting that into Mexican Coke would be like putting ketchup on steak.

    So, then it hit me... what tastes like rum and is made with real cane sugar? Cachaça! I’ve now got three problems though...

    - Despite the caipirinha (made with cachaça) being a relatively common cocktail... this is Vegas. This town runs on bottled beer, well brands of vodka, gin, rum, and tequila, and sugary liqueurs like triple sec. Finding something like this on short notice will not be easy.

    - I cannot pronounce the word cachaça (“ca-chacha”? “Ca-cha-ka”?). So I have to have the word open on my phone as I try to ask bartenders for it.

    - The ice in my Mexican Coke is melting real fast in this heat... and I absolutely have to try this combination!

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    So, basically, I went up to a bunch of bars and asked them “do you have any of this stuff? (Show them my phone)”. Most of them tilted their heads and wondered what I was talking about. Of course. Until I met one bartender at Planet Hollywood who happened to be Brazilian, and she told me they had a Brazilian steakhouse inside the Miracle Mile shops called Pampas. Off I ran to find it.

    Another twist. I find it. But it’s lined right up to get in. I go up to the hostess desk and say “it would take too long to explain why, but I need some of this stuff (shows phone)... can I just walk up to the bar and order some? They said yes. Even with this open beverage in my hand? No problem. I might have gotten some cold stares for basically bypassing the line. I was too preoccupied to notice.

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    Went up to the bar, and sure enough... they had it. The bartender gave me a weird look. Since, who walks into a Brazilian steakhouse bar, holding a Coke cup, asking for a shot of cachaça? Whatever the reason is, it’s gotta be a good one. Ten bucks, good enough for me. Poured it into my Mexican Coke. A bit of a heavy pour. Probably because he assumed that someone who would go to such lengths to find something so specific at any cost would be a good tipper. He was right. I tipped him $4, or 40%, for pouring a shot.

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    Now, I have to tell you... this is one of the best drinks I’ve ever had. Even doing away with any bias I might have from the satisfaction of the moment, there’s something about the absence of artificial ingredients that gave this drink such a compelling flavour. I realize I’m giving tasting notes on what’s basically a rum and Coke. But as silly as it sounds, you’ll notice it on the first sip. I can’t say it will be especially easy to find a Mexican Coke and cachaça anywhere in the world. But I will say that I will absolutely, 100% go out of my way to get Mexican Coke again and source cachaça in one way or another to have this again. It’s that good.

    Now, that pho didn’t really fill me up. So I took this opportunity to have a sandwich at Earl of Sandwich. That was also really good. It seems that they bake their bread to order, and it certainly felt like they did (the bread was pretty hot when I got it). I’ve passed by this place countless times, and I’m glad I had a chance to try it.

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    This point right here is where the whole raining fiasco started. I went into the Paris, migrated up to Bally’s through the walkway, saw the rain wasn’t letting up, and decided to call an Uber. I had to go to Flamingo to buy one souvenir, and then up to Linq. So I did a two-stop trip and didn’t get a drop of rain on me.

    So I was at the Linq for one reason, and one reason alone... frozen Baileys at O’Shea’s! It’s even better than it looks. Like a cold, frosty, adult milkshake. Yummy. Almost compensated for the horrible run of video poker I had to get this comped, AND the fact that my Total Rewards card decided not to work, so I couldn’t even get points for it.

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    You guys know pretty well what happened that night. The pictures, the video, me ranting about the rain in this thread. I couldn’t get an Uber or a Lyft from Linq, or even Harrah’s (which wasn’t affected by the rain). So I had to do something I haven’t done in years. Take a... Uber-thing. Like, the old-school kind. Like where you pay someone to drive you. I think they call it a taxi?

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    Thirty three dollars to get from Harrah’s to Plaza, with tip. And I thought that frozen Baileys was expensive.

    Chugged three comp beers at Omaha bar at Plaza playing bonus poker, as I really needed to KO to get up for my call at 6:00 am. Worked too well - ended up being ten minutes late for it (eeek). Wasn’t an issue though.

    Went back to sleep after the call. Woke up at about 12:30. Not only was I on a short sleep from that night, but also from the night before (having had to be up at 3:25 am for the balloon). So that was a much-needed sleep.

    Had breakfast at Brightside, and caught the end of the Belgium/France game. I actually really like Brightside. Bit of a basic menu, but as someone who often prefers a very no-nonsense, cafeteria-style breakfast, this does it perfectly.

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    Then off to the pool for the afternoon. Then the library.

    So, now, I’m sure you’re seeing the pattern of my disgracefully bad luck. They don’t have the local history exhibit at this library anymore! It’s at UNLV now. Which I kind of understand. It’s more likely to be of use to university students. Further, those precious artifacts would be much safer at a university library than a public library.

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    Nevertheless, I enjoyed my time there. They had some books on the history of the city, so I thumbed through those for a bit. Really liked this photo of the Tropicana’s ceiling.

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    Now off to Jerry’s Nugget. I redeemed my freeplay and played it on that Invaders from the Planet Moolah machine. Won $10.85.

    Honestly, I don’t like playing slots at all. It’s like a chore to me. So I’m glad I could get this over with quick and easy.

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    Now off to the coffee shop for the prime rib. Complementing all the rave reviews from here, they had a real hype buildup in the menu. Talking about their preparation process, and how legendary their recipe is.

    Honestly, I was disappointed. It wasn’t that good. Kind of tasteless, and the jus was kind of watery. I liked the El Cortez prime rib way better. This was $15, too! Good thing it was subsidized by that Planet Moolah money.

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    Their blackjack table was now $3 minimum, so I decided to see if I could get some of my money back from the other day (I can already hear my non-gambler friend facepalming). Bought in for $100, playing two spots at $6 each. Got all the way down to my last chips, then up to $118. Coloured $100 of it up to a black chip, and proceeded to donk off the $18 profit in a few minutes. No loss, plus a comped Corona. I’m all good.

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    As I was waiting for my Lyft back to Plaza, I couldn’t help but notice how nice the valet at Jerry’s is.

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    Back at Plaza, I grabbed some tacos at Ori’Zaba’s to get some flavour in. Hit the spot.

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    Passed by Plaza’s UTH table, but didn’t see TopCard. Hope I’ll run into him today or tomorrow!

    Then some work... off to bed... and up early. You saw the photos from breakfast this morning at MSS. On my way to the bathroom, I passed by the Big Kahuna slot tourney area. Might play in a couple of these sessions tomorrow. Posting this here as they don’t have this info on their website anymore.

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    Now on the tour bus and we’ve reached the Hoover Dam. I’ve chewed up 30% of my battery typing this out. Don’t worry, I have two battery packs with me. Will be mostly laying off of the forum until later tonight, though. I’ll have a couple of periodic updates as stuff happens.

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    Sorry for the delay on this... will have some interesting updates for you tonight!
     
    NFR trip. Longhorn, Hooters, Tahoe, The Cal, Rio, ElCo.
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  5. NittyOne

    NittyOne Low-Roller

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    Cool update, that prime rib looked solid, might need to compare to one from ELCo.
     
  6. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    It looks like you got a slice closer to the end rather than from the heart of the roast.
     
  7. luridludicloco

    luridludicloco Low-Roller

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    Thanks for your adventures in Nevada, got a kick out of following your efforts to get cachaça in your glass before the ice on the Mexican Coke melted :D. I am sure you can find that liquor in many places in Vegas, you probably went to the nearest place that had it.
     
  8. rob889

    rob889 High-Roller

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    Thanks for the 777 beer update. I really hope they still have brewmaster's reserve hef next month it sounds like a perfect breakfast and/or hot weather beer.
     
  9. charlestfuller

    charlestfuller Low-Roller

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    Good story and recommendation on the Coke!
     
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  10. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Wish you had a go pro for the Coke liquor search.
     
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  11. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate High-rolling diner. Low-rolling gambler.

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    Maybe next trip I should take similarly specific challenges and film them using a GoPro :)

    E.g. Order two mojitos made with Venezuelan rum, find a person wearing an NFL team shirt, give them one, and challenge them to chug it with you

    That could make for a very interesting TR :D
     
    NFR trip. Longhorn, Hooters, Tahoe, The Cal, Rio, ElCo.
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  12. TracySz

    TracySz Tourist

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    (Finally) caught back up! Love the adventures. Would love the opportunity to take an off-the-beaten-path trip like that sometime. Maybe in a couple of years when the offspring graduates and I can get away for long enough. Will be there for 7 days this time, but so much of my time is spoken for in billiards-playing, I'll feel good to hit Fremont St. and the Peppermill, let alone anything too wild. :)
     
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  13. Johnzimbo

    Johnzimbo VIP Whale

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    Anyone else as anal as I am and noticed there are only 19 numbers showing on that Plaza keno board?
     
    Big Game weekend again
  14. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate High-rolling diner. Low-rolling gambler.

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    Real fast update: back in Vegas now, about to get off the coach at Bally’s to have dinner at Battista’s.

    Anyone wanna talk me out of it? You’ve got ten minutes :)
     
    NFR trip. Longhorn, Hooters, Tahoe, The Cal, Rio, ElCo.
  15. vegasdev

    vegasdev VIP Whale

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    I like that Plaza silver strike. may I ask, how much did it cost?
     
  16. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate High-rolling diner. Low-rolling gambler.

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    No worries! It was $25 plus tax.
     
    NFR trip. Longhorn, Hooters, Tahoe, The Cal, Rio, ElCo.
  17. Fet297

    Fet297 108 survivor North Vegas

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    Everyone should experience Battistas hole in the wall at least once!:beer:
     
    Pink concert
    35th wedding anniversary trip
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  18. SaltyNutSnack

    SaltyNutSnack Southerner that loves Vegas

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    Hell of a trip report!
     
    Thanksgiving in Vegas (beats at the in-laws)
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  19. Ulose

    Ulose Tourist

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    I would have sent that prime rib back, ...it has a face.
     
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  20. Hurricane

    Hurricane Low-Roller

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    No offense but I find it hard to believe that if you took a sip from 10 drinks, 5 of which were MX Coke and rum and 5 MX Coke and Cachaca, that you would be able to identify the difference. The liquors are different, for sure, but once you dump them into a cup of soda with ice and water I doubt those differences are enough to be noticeable.

    I have a feeling that this is a bit psychological, like when my wife and I visited Puerto Rico for the first time and during our lovely (and tipsy) first night, my wife, not much of a beer drinker, swore up and down that Medalla was the greatest beer ever. (It is not.). The next day when no longer intoxicated on alcohol and vacation newness, she found that out.

    And by the way I am also of the opinion that not all champagnes are superior to all cavas.

    That said, sounds like you had a good time which is of course all that really matters when talking about drinking preferences.
     
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