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Semi-live 80 hours in Vegas (Plaza, solo) 50+ pictures guaranteed!

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by notfromconcentrate, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Low-Roller

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    Many thanks, Gino! Yes, indeed, that is the beauty of a return trip. My "Vegas bucket list" (that's what it's actually called on my phone) is very lengthy, and since the only solution is another trip down, it's a problem I'm very happy to have, knowing there's many more trips to come.
     
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  2. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Low-Roller

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    Many thanks, Flushiepants! :)

    Yes, that's exactly what it was. My trip down has always been variable, but almost without exception, it's been a straight red-eye coming back. I like it a lot better that way, since I get to have essentially a full day without having to pay for another day of hotel stay.

    I don't know how you search for flights, but I use Google Flights, and that takes Canadian and American airlines equally into account in the search. Personally, I avoid flying Air Canada at all costs. I flew with them this time because of an Expedia deal for the flight and hotel that was dirt cheap. But the same way that people will pay extra to avoid flying Spirit Airlines in the US, I will pay extra to avoid flying Air Canada. As such, I am inclined to fly with US carriers, since the only other Canadian airline that goes to Vegas regularly is WestJet (who I happen to consider to be exceptional).
     
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  3. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Low-Roller

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    Re: Kayak - yes, they do have two-seater options. They're a bit more cumbersome to use, but it seems that they exist for the exact purpose that you're describing. Tour operator was Blazin' Paddles. Try and get a tour with Seth if you can. He's fantastic.

    Re: Mexican - I can see why you feel that way, yes. Truthfully, I feel like I'd be in heaven down in Texas, having better options for it. But for me, it's semi-exotic, because up in Canada, despite how multicultural it is here, it isn't really a popular type of cuisine. You can find top-notch Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Lebanese, African, Italian, Russian, and even German food here in Toronto. But there isn't a major Hispanic population here, and I suspect that would have something to do with the rarity of (good) Mexican food.

    To be fair about Cadillac, it was a one-off experience for me (during happy hour, too), and my complaint has a lot more to do with the overall service than it does the food. It's not that it was bad, it was sloppy and neglectful. While that sounds like someone whining that he wasn't waited on hand and foot... the quality of the service from all parties involved materially affected my enjoyment of what I had, and I think that is absolutely a premise to complain. If I would try it again (which, let's be realistic, I probably will), I will make a reservation and make a point of the fact that I was dissatisfied on my last visit. As a restaurant manager myself, I would ensure that anyone making a reservation with the same comments would be taken care of right to standard, under my supervision. That way, hopefully, I'll get to experience what it's "supposed" to be like. I'm negatively biased both from my existing experience, and from the overall current reputation of the Golden Nugget. But we'll see.

    Thanks for your kind words!
     
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  4. TXactuarial

    TXactuarial Low-Roller

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    I seriously just added Longhorn Casino to my itinerary for my next trip. Any other gold mines like this with sweet rules/promos on cheap games?
     
  5. AndyAkeko

    AndyAkeko Time magazine's 2006 Person of the Year

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    Couldn't agree more. Last time we took a more expensive one-stop United flight over a non-stop Air Canada flight because they only fly Rouge to Las Vegas for some ungodly reason. I am not doing a five hour flight with my knees pressed against the seat in front of me. (But we also prefer WestJet when their price is competitive.)
     
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  6. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Low-Roller

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    Glad to hear you liked it! :)

    As for the exchange, I just buy it from my bank. It's usually a couple of points higher than the rate you find on Google, but I don't view that as being especially exorbitant. Not that I'm one to sympathize with the banking industry for any reason, but it's a matter of a few dollars for a low-roller like me.

    I also have a client who pays me in US dollars, so leading up to a trip, I'll keep some payments aside without converting them to CAD and just take that with me.
     
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  7. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Low-Roller

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    You're asking two different questions.

    Would I recommend the Longhorn? I would, for a daytime (emphasis on daytime) hoot, cheap blackjack game, good atmosphere to feel like a true degenerate on the slots/video poker machines, chow down on a $10 one-pound burger, and chug-a-lug on $1.50 bottled beers. If you like the idea of feeling like a baller, you can also tip people $2 where you might normally tip $1, and you'll get super-positive reactions. I kind of got a kick out of tipping the CW $2 for a Corona, knowing they sell for just $1.50. I anticipate you could get a solid two, maybe three hours of entertainment out of the place for well under $100. I'll definitely be back, myself... but only during the daytime.

    Would I recommend it as a first off-strip place for your girlfriend who has only been to Vegas once? Absolutely not. I'd take her to other off-strip places, such as Rio, Gold Coast, Orleans, Hooters, maybe Ellis Island, or downtown if she's never been there (which doesn't really count as "off strip", but it's a good primer for those inexperienced with Vegas). I think that you need to have at least four trips to Las Vegas to truly be "ready" for the Longhorn. That's just my opinion, though.
     
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  8. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Low-Roller

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    Jonathan (the CEO) and I were talking about you! Many thanks for the kind words! Hopefully I'll run into you at the Plaza on a future trip down.
     
  9. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    I enjoyed your trip report, enthusiasm and photos!!

    I have been flying Westjet non stop from YYZ to Vegas exclusively for many years. Get yourself a Westjet Mastercard. The points rack up in a hurry. Free flights on a better airline are the way to go, not to mention the companion flight perk.
     
    Bruno Mars Concert Trip
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  10. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Just caught up to this. Great report!
     
    Quick Birthday Trip! LOVE via myVegas!?!?!
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  11. Sherrie

    Sherrie Tourist

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    Great report, loved the pictures. I'll be in Vegas in just over a week so it's exciting to see what I will be seeing soon :woohoo:
     
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  12. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Low-Roller

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    Many thanks for the kind words!

    See, any kind of self-praise to that effect is an automatic turn-off for me. It's almost like you're admitting that your own perception of your product is all that you've got going for you when you say "we're the best such-and-such". I'm also not a fan of the phrase "street tacos". Where fake eco-consciousness is called "greenwashing", I call that "gritwashing". As in, I find that phrase tends to invent the "grit" of what one might find in authentic street food in an exotic cuisine's local setting, to make an otherwise ordinary taco seem glamorously gritty, if that makes any sense. This is one area where foodie culture really turns me off. You've got the Anthony Bourdains of the world who explore the world's best hidden eateries that are actually good (i.e. vendors selling tacos on the street somewhere in a suburb of Mazatlán, which are real "street tacos"), and then all of a sudden everybody wants something "from the street", thinking that's the authentic stuff, just because it's labelled as a "street taco", even if it's served at a TGI Friday's in Wisconsin. That's not to say there are no "street tacos" that are any good. I'm sure they exist. But it seems to me that there's just as much "street" in such tacos, as there is "Nonna" in "Nonna's secret recipe" that you'd find in quasi-Italian places like Olive Garden. It adds an illusionary dimension of interest to something otherwise very pedestrian, and to people like me who have seen it all, it comes across as gauche and sorely lacking in substance.

    I'm impressed by the reviews of El Dorado, though. Those I take a lot more seriously. That area doesn't appear to be that easy to access by public transit (I don't have a driver's license, so driving isn't an option). But that's going on my list. As in, the list I'm actually using to plan trips... not the figurative "list" that everyone refers to but doesn't always actually have. Thanks for the recommendation :)
     
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  13. Dr Nostron

    Dr Nostron Low-Roller

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    Great TR!!
     
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  14. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    Thanks for the TR... a good read...good photos & fun stories....sorry the 31 never hit for you.

    PS - if you ever find yourself in Texas, Pappasittos or Ninfa's are where you want to go for Tex-Mex...if you're in Fort Worth, add Uncle Julio's on I-30, west of town. Your "no spice" rule might be a bit tough to accommodate, but if any place can, it's these... and, if you go to Ninfa's, be sure to order a 'Ninfa-rita'... you will not be disappointed.
    BTW - when you go for trip #8, try the margarita at Palazzo... about the best I've had in Vegas (but to be fair, I've only ever had 3 or 4 in Vegas over the the course of 20 years).
    :beer:
     
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  15. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    I found it through Yelp because (at the time) Tacos El Gordo near the Peppermill was closed and El Dorado had a late happy hour. Plus I was able to walk there via the rear entrance of Circus Circus. I didn't realize that it was next to Sapphires as 3 cabbies wanted to pick me up as I walked along Sammy Davis Blvd. around 10 pm. They must have thought as a solo guy I was yearning for another kind of taco not on the El Dorado menu.

    El Dorado makes a big deal about the sustainably sourced provisions which doesn't trip my trigger, but I guess it helps to justify $16 for tableside guacamole and chips. Tacos El Gordo reopened in a strip shopping center just north of Wynn and I would put this on my list. Had the Adobada tacos on a previous trip and they were very good :feedme: But the website mentions Authentic Tijuana tacos. :D
     
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  16. vwhiten

    vwhiten VIP Whale

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    Just catching up on the report- thanks for sharing. You packed a lot in. I'll one up @topcard-- San Antonio -- my hometown for Mexican Food -- nothing else compares. I have tried to find good Mexican Food in Las Vegas. I haven't been successful. Hussoung's at Mandalay Bay wasn't bad. I'm used to Tex-Mex and there is a difference in Southwest Mexican food, Baja California and Tex-Mex.

    Puffy Tacos are the bomb.
     
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  17. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    val - no argument about the abundance of outstanding Tex-Mex in San Antonio!
    I only mentioned Ninfa's & Pappasitos as they can be found statewide.
    I had to throw in Uncle Julio's in Fort Worth, as it is simply outstanding & local.
    ...but yeah - if one was limited to one city? San Antonio would be it.
    ...and, you're spot on about Tex-Mex vs everything else.
     
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  18. andyg99

    andyg99 Low-Roller

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    I only counted 48 pictures...

    just kidding!! I like the way you do Vegas - it was fun following along!
     
    Vegas Trip #31!
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  19. LilyJDragonfly

    LilyJDragonfly Low-Roller

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    Tacos El Gordo is indeed in Tijuana - they have about three locations there and it is where they started about 40 years ago. I've eaten at the one in Tijuana (I live part-time in Tijuana) and at the one in San Diego/Chula Vista. They are indeed one and the same except the US locations don't have the added ambiance of beggars and flies buzzing about. The food, however, is the same at both Chula Vista and the Tijuana location I've been to. :) Also, the tacos are way more expensive here in the States. They're about 15p (less than a dollar) each in Tijuana.
     
  20. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Low-Roller

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    Glad to hear I could enlighten someone! :) You'll have a blast.

    The only other "really cheap" games I can think of off the top of my head are the $1 roulette game at El Cortez ($2 on the weekends), and the $3 craps games at Fremont and Casino Royale (I saw a $3 sign at Sam's Town as well). There's also a $1 blackjack game at Hooter's, but it pays even money for a blackjack (I did the math in another posting, and the house edge on this game is higher than playing a $5 DD game at a Boyd property).

    The benchmark that I like to use for the "magnitude of cheapness", so to speak, is what gaming conditions I've seen in less wealthy parts of the world. I was playing in Poland last year, and blackjack started at 10 zloty per hand ($2.70 USD), and you could play roulette for as little as 1 zloty per bet ($0.27 USD), with a one-chip minimum. The year before, I was in Estonia, and CSM blackjack started at €3.00 ($3.54 USD), with roulette at €1 ($1.18 USD) chips, also with a one-chip minimum per bet. I think that when you consider the significance of what Las Vegas is, and all of the enjoyment and luxuries that you get from vacationing/playing there, such games are a bargain when you consider the comparable minimum stakes at casinos in Estonia and Poland.

    I'm hoping that $2 blackjack with good rules can be a phenomenon that spreads throughout Las Vegas. Perhaps to displace the $25 6:5 tables that seem to be popping up all over the place. Unlikely, but a guy can hope, right?