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Trip #26: Solo trip to The D 3/24-3/28 LIVE

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Heresiarch, Mar 24, 2017.

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  1. Heresiarch

    Heresiarch Tourist

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    My Trip Report

    I usually type up reports after the trip, but this time I'll try doing one live, it seems to be all the rage these days. :)

    I've been to Vegas bunches (around 25 times), although I've only stayed downtown a few times. Once for a VIMFP, and the other two times were one-night stays as I was driving through town. I've hung around downtown a bit, usually to meet up with friends or forumites, so I decided, for this trip, that I'm gonna stay downtown for the whole trip and see how things go. I'm trying to avoid CET and MGM and possible ADT-killing card swipes.

    I usually do 3-night trips; this trip will be four nights. My longest Vegas trip was 7 days and, for me, that was too long in Vegas. I generally get a gourmet dinner every night, but I think 3 is my limit. I just can't eat that much good, rich food day after day. Townsville mentioned in his recent TR that they try to eat just two times a day, which is one way of handling it; I go for meals two times a day just to make sure that I'm super-hungry for the $50 piece of meat or whatever it is that I'm ordering. Not being hungry and sitting in front of expensive food is no bueno. My bookings this trip are at Giada, Andiamo, and CUT. No shows booked this trip, so it'll mostly be gamblin', drinkin', eatin', walkin' around, and sleep. Yes, sleep. It's my vacation and I can snore if I want to!

    I've got an hour-by-hour itinerary set up, but no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy. Mostly it's something I carry around so that I know when my dinner reservations are and when my flight leaves! Otherwise, it's really just a guideline; a general idea of the things I want to do. It looks like there'll be a small group meeting at Cosmo on Sunday, so I've added that to my list.

    I'm flying from Austin direct to LAS on Southwest in under six hours from now.

    My games are craps, and ... well, craps. Sometimes poker, BJ, or roulette, and when my feet get tired from standing at the tables, nickel slots or VP. Hmm, VP, I should look for some good paytables before I head out...
     
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  2. adbynot01

    adbynot01 Tourist

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    Have fun.
     
  3. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

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    Whether you're snoring :snore: or exploring :biker:, have a great trip! :D

    RICHARD
     
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  4. Kobra2848

    Kobra2848 VIP Whale

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    From a fellow Texan I hope you slay em at the craps table.

    Mark
     
  5. Gmoney10

    Gmoney10 Low-Roller

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    Hope you have a great trip downtown at the D.
     
  6. Niteshade

    Niteshade VIP Whale

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    Have a great time!!!
     
  7. Brando95

    Brando95 Low-Roller

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    Will be following along. Heading to the D in a couple weeks! Thinking of trying Andiamo this time. Would appreciate your thoughts if/when you go.
     
  8. Heresiarch

    Heresiarch Tourist

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    Heya adbynot01, Richard, Kobra, Gmoney, Niteshade, and Brando - thansk for the warm wishes!

    I'm in Vegas now, retired to my room. No gambling tonight; I was up early for a meeting at work, and I'm gonna be here for four days, so...

    whisky2.jpg

    First drink of the day was this whisky from the Netherlands (I think?) made from beer mash. No hops; I think you take mash, boil it, and add hops to get beer; to take mash, pot distill it, and stick it in charred barrels for whiskey. So it didn't really taste like beer; I got a hint of ... like Bananas Foster: ripe bananas with a bit of char. Maybe notes of honey and canteloupe. It wasn't a sweet whisky, but definitely not harsh. Smelled nothing like wet gym socks. Thanks to my boss's boss('s boss?) for helping improve the quality of life in the office. :)

    rumncoke.JPG

    Getting to the airport didn't take long. I stuck the car in FastPark, which is like $2/day more expensive than on-site parking, and my car is covered, and their shuttle buses are like 2-3x faster than the airport's. Southwest flight was on uneventful and arrived on time; I was off the plane, actually, at the nominal arrival time of 8:10pm.

    my-rental-car.JPG

    There was next to no line for the bus to the rental car center, and the shuttle to Sixt was waiting. All they had in my reserved class was a Volvo V60, the wagon/hatchbacky version of the S60. I wanted something a little more sporty, and the counter guy got me a cheap upgrade to a BMW 3-series. They've got a ton of random nice sporty cars; not the normal selection of domestic fleet vehicles. I've previously driven an Audi A4 and a Chrysler 300 from them, as well as the S60 on a previous trip.

    the-d-room.jpg

    Just walked into the room. Can't comment on the facilities, and I'll wait til I've tried to sleep for a night before I comment on the noise. The room is a corner king, which means you view is about 190 degrees instead of just under 180. Yes, that sofa pulls out into a bed. Chairs are comfy and there's two USB charging ports on the desk along with two easily-accessible power plugs, so I've got everything charging up for tomorrow.

    I've got a few more pictures taken, plus my dinner to talk about :), but i'll get to that tomorrow. I've got no image editing tools on this laptop, so I'm gonna try and see if I can get something useful to clean them up first. My plan for tomorrow is HHAGG for breakfast, a light lunch if at all, and then to CUT for dinner. And that's it. All I've planned is food lol! I have no idea what I'll do with the rest of my time but they appear to have several kinds of digital and analog entertainment devices downstairs...
     
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  9. Heresiarch

    Heresiarch Tourist

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    Yes, I've got plans to eat there on Sunday. I've heard good things about it but have never eaten there, so I'm looking forward to it! I'll try and take good notes and not drink too much, because that tends to erode my handwriting to the point where I can't read it. :cry:
     
  10. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    https://pixlr.com/editor/

    Have a great trip!
     
  11. casinokid68

    casinokid68 Caesars Diamond Member

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    Have a great time!! Less than 2 weeks for me, so looking forward to your pictures of huge wins!!
     
  12. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

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    Have a great trip! Following along. :)
     
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  13. Sparky4

    Sparky4 VIP Whale

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    Love Fastpark in Austin, you're right, buses are there much faster than ground parking.
     
  14. Heresiarch

    Heresiarch Tourist

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    I was feeling a bit sleepy Friday night, especially before I got on the plane; I dozed off while reading and waiting for boarding to stop. But I finished my book up on the plane and got to Vegas, yet kinda felt a bit tired. I looked at the clock, though, and it was only 9 local (this was after I picked up the car). No way was I gonna go to bed at 9.

    welcome-to-vegas.JPG

    My plan had been to go to Bobby (Flay) 's Burger Palace at Aria, and I decided, wtf, sure, let's stick to the plan. I'm trying to eat my way through a bunch of burger joints in order to compare them all and BBP was next on my list. So off I went. Traffic on the south strip wasn't bad; I could make it through a couple lights once they turned green, I didn't get stuck at any lights for more than a cycle, and when you step on the gas in the BMW it moves.

    I know MGM's "Bleed Operating Money and Pay It to Executives" plan was still in effect and I'd have to pay for parking, and although I'm of Scottish decent and hence frugal, I'm not that frugal. I never bought and iPad because I thought it was a waste of money, my smart phone is 4 years old, but $7 for parking? Eh, I can live with it. As it is, if I knew where I was going, I coulda parked, eaten, and been outta there in under an hour (and saved myself the charge), but I had no idea. I wandered from self-park to the checkin desk without seeing it, walked outside and asked the valet; very friendly guy, thumbs up to Aria staff. Anyway, BPP is on the strip, right next to the CVS. Sure, in front of Aria, but not at Aria.

    d1-BeerAndSauce.JPG

    I ordered the Bacon Blue Cheese Burger and the "Undecided," ie two sides for 15% more than one side alone. I got the onion rings and the french fries. Plus a Tenaya Creek Brown Ale (on draft), which evidently was BOGO during MM. The sauce caddy included ketchup, mustard, chipotle ketchup (very tasty, not too hot), a "burger sauce" that was way too smoky for my tastes (had a hint of tobacco to it, even), and a sweet & spicy jalepeno hot sauce, which was spicy and also pretty good. The fries (see next picture) came with some kinda special sauce, too, which was pretty good; a yellow, oil-based savory sauce.

    d1-BurgerAndFrieds.JPG

    The burger, cooked medium rare, was excellent. Very meaty flavor, very juicy. The blue cheese sauce was sharp but not pungent; nor was it weak and creamy like what you often get with wings. It definitely added to the savory punch of the meat. Maybe I was really hungry but the big, fat pickle was tasty, too. Fries were... standard. My favorite burger-joint onion rings have so far been at Gordon Ramsey's BURGR, but these were pretty good. I kinda wanted to say that they weren't awesome rings, but I kept eating them lol. Maybe not awesome, then, but pretty good. I wound up leaving half the fries tho.

    My alarm went off at 7am local time, but I had this half-asleep dream that there was a line and I wasn't gonna get in anyway so I just hit snooze and rolled over. A few times. I eventually got my beauty rest, but my plan to stick to my Central Time sleep schedule is now shot. There was still noise when I went to bed but it wasn't absurdly loud; plus I don't generally have trouble getting to sleep. Bed was comfy, AC is powerful, I'm happy there. Good heat and water pressure in the shower, too, so overall I think these are good rooms. I wanna complain about the wood veneer on the furniture, the very plain black couch, and lack of crown mouldings and whatnot, but now I feel like a decor snob and no-one wants that. Everything is clean, there's very little wear, and the design is far bolder than any motel 6 you'll ever see. Good room, 9/10, would sleep again. I don't mean "4 or 5 star room," cuz it's not that, but it fits everything I need out of a room and does it clean and well.

    d2-ratings (1).JPG

    Hash House a Go-Go at the Plaza! When eating at a greasy spoon it's always a comfort to see multiple A ratings from the Health & Safety Board. (My apologies for potato quality here.) The host said the wait for a table would be about 20 minutes, so I just sat at the bar. It took maybe 10 minutes for the bartender to come back and figure out that I needed food; I almost gave up and went back to get a table. Yet after that service was excellent. Dunno what was going on such that their bartending staff (and I saw 3 people at one point or another behind the bar) took a ten minute break. Oh well, life goes on, I'd eat here again.

    d2-bfast.JPG

    I ordered the Bacon, Onion, Avocado, Something scramble, which came with a giant biscuit, fried taters, an orange wedge, and a crescent of canteloupe. Plus I ordered a large OJ. All very tasty. Many of the plates are huge, but you pay for it. You can eat at Denny's for $6, Egg & I for $10-12, but here a meal will be $20. Actually I think mine was $25 after tax. I'm pretty sure that OJ had to be fresh-squeezed, to be $7 for a large glass. Pulpy but not obnoxiously so.

    d2-lunch.JPG

    This post is just food porn (and, I guess, room comments), so I'll skip the gambling (spoiler: no big wins yet) for now and mention lunch, which was a chili dog from Coney Island in the D, plus an iced tea. $6, I think? Exactly what you'd expect from a $4 chili dog. Probably would make more sense if I was drunk, or if it was 2am (they're open 24 hours), but it fit my desire for a meaty but small lunch.

    I'm in the room right now, about to clean up and head over to Venelazzo for dinner, and then back downtown for some more gamblin' to finish off the night. I'll post more later!
     
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  15. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

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    Food looks yummy.
     
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  16. Hoofy7

    Hoofy7 VIP Whale

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    Enjoy CUT. It's one of my very favorite places to eat. If you like onion rings get them. Theirs are my favorite I've ever had. Bone in ribeye is amazing too!
     
  17. Heresiarch

    Heresiarch Tourist

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    Hi Hoofy, thanks for posting. I'll write up more later, but the rings were addictive! Very tasty. Excellent service, too!
     
  18. Heresiarch

    Heresiarch Tourist

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    Hi Flowers, Sparky, Casinokid, and Royal Flusher, thanks for reading along!

    I got over to Venelazzo early. Despite being on the road at 5, traffic wasn't too bad, except those heading north and turning west onto Sands/Spring Mountain were parking in the middle of the intersection. Evidently some kind of holdup on Spring Mtn. Got to Palazzo (which is where CUT is) early enough that I thought I'd put some money on the Gonzaga/Xavier game but evidently it had started already. I thought tip-off was at 6? 6 Eastern or something, evidently. My mom, who passed away last November, taught math at Xavier to probably every kid on the basketball team up until she retired a few years ago. We'd often go see games when I was home.

    Looking at the map inside the casino, I couldn't tell where the entrance to CUT was. I kept walking around the casino half looking for it. Turns out the door is by the waterfall/staircase between V and P, north of Restaurant Row. I did some light window shopping and then headed it a little early for my 6pm reservation.

    IMG_0621.JPG

    First up was a couple cheese-puff amuse bouches from the chef. Cuz, like, the chef knows who I am, and this totally wasn't something they did for every single table all night. Honest, you can believe me. Tasty!

    IMG_0622.JPG

    I spent forever looking over the menu, including the wine list, trying to figure out what I was gonna have. While contemplating, the bread course came. There was a selection of pretzel rolls, rosemary ciabatta, four-seed bread, and a dark rye I passed over without remembering much. I picked two slices. I'm just a big sucker for pretzel rolls, so that was one choice. The four seed bread was ... very seedy. Tasted like seeds. Tought but not dry. Served with french butter with fleur-de-sel salt, I think they said. You can see one of my two pre-entree vodka tonics here.

    IMG_0623.JPG

    Next up was the butter lettuce salad, with Point Reyes blue cheese, avocado, and vinaigrette. Extremely well balanced; this was a very yummy salad. Normally I need big, bold flavors in my salad before I think it's yummy; stuff like ham, olives, cheddar cheese, and so on. This didn't have all that and it was still a great salad. Not something I'd eat for lunch, but as an appetizer or primo course I think it's perfect.

    IMG_0624.JPG

    The main course was a bit of a to-do. I got the american wagyu ribeye (9 oz), onion rings (Hi, Hoofy!), and the wee taters. Plus blue cheese (Point Reyes again) for the steak, and two sauces (the horseradish and the mustard). Plus they brought three mustards (a very real, sharp dijon; a slightly sweet and tasty cab sav-infused mustard; and a horseradish-peppercorn mustard, which was good and didn't have the strong bite of strong horseradish) and salt on a little plate. I had a glass of Malbec with the meal. The potato mix was great; very earthy, which is what you get with small potatoes when you leave the skins on. The onion rings were incredibly light and airy.

    The steak... was good. It's a 9oz steak, wood-grilled then finished under a 1200 degree burner. The result is a sharp char that surrounds the steak. I'm not a fan of this. A good sear keeps the steak juicy, but to me this was more of a grill/char flavor than I prefer. A thicker steak, whether a different cut or just a thicker serving, would help alleviate this a bit. The only steak I've had in Vegas that I really didn't like was at the Stratosphere , which also finishes their steaks under a hot burner. At least now I know, and next time I'll ask my server for a way to ameliorate the char. I don't want to scare anyone away from CUT though; service was excellent, and everything else was scrumptious. If you like that extra bit of char on your steak, or get yours medium-well or well, then you won't have an issue here.

    IMG_0625.JPG

    Final course: a glass of port. The desserts looked awesome but I can't bring myself to eat it that often, especially since I've got a couple more big meals planned. I forget the name for these little single-bite desserts, but the tray came with four of them (I, uh, devoured one before I remembered to take a picture). Overall, a very good meal.

    At this point, the only steakhouses that I want to visit that I haven't been to yet are the one at Caesar's, and Carnevino also at V/P, and maybe the one at NYNY. Almost all of the major strip hotels have very good steakhouses, and it's difficult to get out of one for less than $100 per person (especially if you're drinking). My favorites have been Charlie Palmer, Strip Steak, Gordon Ramsey, Craftsteak, and Prime. I'd like to visit CUT again, but I don't get out to Vegas that often, and I tend to eat stuff other than steak when I'm in town, so it could be a year! Yikes.

    Still no big gambling wins yet. I hit 7 Quick Hits on the Quick Hit machine, but wasn't max betting :( woulda been $380-ish but was instead just $60. That's as close as i've come so far lol. I didn't lose a lot of money playing craps or roulette, so i'll count that as a win, too :)

    More tomorrow; I'm here for 2.5 more days!
     
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  19. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

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    Great TR so far, Heresiarch!
    I hope your last two-and-a-half days are full of fun! :D

    RICHARD
     
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  20. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

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    That looks like an AMAZING MEAL at CUT. Wow.
     
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