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    Viva Las Vegas!!May 12th, 2016
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    • • LV's McCarran International (LAS) is the 8th busiest Airport in the U.S. and number 23 in the world, with 41.7 million passengers
    • • 79 percent of McCarran's departures and 82 percent of arrivals are on time, the average departure delay is 52 minutes and arrival delay is 50 minutes, and cancellations are at 0.6 percent
    • • McCarran Airport is only two to four miles southwest of most Las Vegas Strip hotels
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Eats from our January 2016 Trip – The Buffet Yard House Cravings Feast of not so Grand Buffet

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Yard House – Located near the High Roller observation wheel at The Linq is Yard House. Nice looking place with good service and 100 beers on tap plus good, very reasonably priced, eats… do I need to say more? Sure I do! If the already mentioned didn’t spark an interest than these tips should:

Tip: GREAT Lunch Specials and Happy Hour (M-F, 3-6)

Tip: The Club Sandwich is da bomb! Seriously large sharable dinner portion.

Mirage’s Cravings Buffet Cravings is a solid buffet option with several themed stations with a variety of consistently good food options. Since we often stay at The Mirage Casino Hotel we’ve visited this buffet probably more than any other.

Tip: Buffet includes unlimited draft beer (Budweiser and Goose Island IPA) and house wine (a red and white)

Tip: Active military receives BOGO or 50% off

Excalibur’s The Buffet – If in the neighborhood and hungry for a buffet that won’t break the budget consider The Buffet at Excalibur. This recently upgraded buffet is well appointed with the usual buffet fare. Taste and selection is pretty good and the dessert area has a crepe station that I always look forward to.

Red Rock’s Feast Buffet – Located 30 minutes west of the strip in the Red Rock Casino is the Feast Buffet. And a feast it is!! This is one tasty, well appointed, clean buffet. I can’t think of one thing that didn’t taste good. We went for lunch and it was very crowded but service and food item availability surprisingly excellent!

Tip: Excellent weekday pricing (with players card), Breakfast under $7.50, Lunch $9, Dinner $14

Tip: Same quality and pricing can be found at Green Valley Ranch which is also a Stations Casino

MGM (not so) Grand Buffet – Saving the worst for last, you’re welcome. Wow, what a disappointment this buffet was. Went for dinner at around 5pm ($60, $30 each) and lunch was still being served. Talked to the manager as he happened to walk by. He admitted that the kitchen was slow transitioning (lunch ended at 3!) to dinner. I told him food dishes were empty and the place was a mess, and he agreed! Ironically there was plenty of cheap pizza coming out of the kitchen. No Thanks, refund please.

Tip: If something isn’t right, say something. Vegas usually makes things right without hassle

The manager said a buffet remodel is underway and asked us to give them a second chance after completion. Since I’ve had good experiences with the Grand Buffet in the past, I just might do that, but not until the remodel is complete.

 

It’s not personal Sonny. It’s strictly business… at Capo’s Restaurant & Speakeasy

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Right from the start this place was a lot of fun and is worth a visit. The “secret” entrance, the dim lighting with the mob themed décor, yes AND the food… cibo eccellente!

Before our trip, as I always do, I searched Groupon and Living Social for food and activity deals. Since we were landing early Sunday morning the Capo’s Living Social deal for Brunch for two with unlimited mimosas ($29) immediately stood out. After a quick search of reviews (nearly a perfect 5 stars) I was pushing the buy button. WP_20160124_009

Note: Capo’s doesn’t open until 11am on the weekends for brunch.

WP_20160124_004Even though we could have ordered off the lunch menu we were both hungry for breakfast so I ordered the Mad Sam’s Spicy omelet and my wife had Vinnie’s Veggie.  Both omelets were made from 4 eggs and included home fries and bread, Mad Sam was filled with Italian meatball and sausage with a slightly spicy red sauce was unique and pleasantly different. My wife chose the vegetarian option customized to her taste and said it was the best omelet she’s ever had, if you knew my wife you would know what a powerful statement this really is. We both chose mimosas (5 in total..each) with fresh squeezed orange juice, super awesome!   IMG_5708IMG_5706

Totally enjoyable experience at Capo’s, a perfect way to start a vacation or celebrate any occasion. We had such a good experience, we both agreed we would love to return for dinner especially when the live, think Frank Sinatra impersonator, entertainment is going on.

 

Tip: Dinner Reservations highly recommended

Tip: Full Menu posted online

Capo’s Restaurant and Speakeasy
5675 W Sahara Ave
Las Vegas, NV 89146
(702) 364-2276

“Welcome to the Mirage Mr. Pappageorgio”, she’s a beaut!

The Mirage is, in my opinion, one of the best value to benefit resort options available on the Las Vegas strip. Located just
Mirage1__14032north of mid-strip, on the west side of the street, between Caesars Palace and Treasure Island (TI) sits the “home” of Clark Griswold’s Vegas Vacation (Movie, 1997).

The Mirage is all good, except for their whopping $32.50 per night resort fee! (as of 3/2015) But rooms rates during the week range from $50 – $70 plus the report fee and tax. Besides the great location and awesome palm tree lined pool the rooms are very well appointed. I find the bed and linens rival higher end properties. Mirage3_14032

The Casino itself is another favorite of mine. I love to play here because I typically do well and drink service is pretty fast and friendly. Plus the sportsbook is front center and large enough to handle a crowd.

The property has several good food choices (BLT Burger, Carnegie Delicatessen, and California Pizza Kitchen amongst others) and Cravings Buffet (very good). Mirage Pool 1

 

Tip: McDonald’s, Panda Express, and chipotle is just across the street for reasonably priced eats.

Tip: The Mirage is the home of the daily volcano eruption (my video), a FREE must see attraction!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So much positive to say about the Mirage, just do yourself a favor and stay a night and experience it for yourself.

(Stayed 1/2015 room 14-032)

#Hashhouse #LasVegas for Some Go Go Lov’n

Hash House Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken with great mash potatoes

I don’t know if it’s “Fresh from the Farm” but it is large and tasty. If you are hungry and strolling mid-strip do yourself a favor and go upstairs of the “new” Linq (Formally the Quad, Aka. Imperial Palace) and belly up for some Go Go lov’n. Keep your eye open as you’re escorted to your table for large, I got to have that, eats. Service was great by our nearly 60 y/o waitress. She was knowledgeable and more than willing to share her thoughts about Hash specialties.

Hash House BBQ Chicken Sandwich

BBQ Chicken Sandwich

Tip: Visit the Las Vegas Hash House of Go Go Facebook site. Give them a like, then E-Club Join under more to receive a coupon for Buy One, Get One Dinner Entrée (coupon good for a year).

Tip: By joining the E-Club you will also receive a Buy One, Get One Dinner Entrée (coupon also good for a year) in your Birthday month.

Food prices were surprisingly much less than other strip options making this a great deal coupon or not. (visited 1/2015)

Oh you bet I will be returning!

The Wonderful World of Casino Buffets

Excalibur buffet

Excalibur BuffetThis was our first ever visit to the Excalibur buffet. Freshly re-opened 12/2014, so everything was shiny new. The buffet itself offered a good selection of breakfast and brunch foods. The made to order omelet was large and delicious. I couldn’t help to indulge in the crepe station. The fresh baked muffin wrapped in a napkin was wonderful on the flight home. The buffet has a self-serve drink station with a nice variety of options. Weekday Buffet price was $17.99 each.  (Visited 1/2015)

 

Monte Carlo buffet

Monte Carlo 1This is a middle of the road buffet option in the land of buffets. Went for a weekday brunch and the breakfast items were of decent temperature and quality. Lunch items were disappointingly cold, when they were supposed to be hot. Selection was limited but adequate. It was very slow when we visited so maybe this contributed to our experience. Neither a fan, nor a hater on this one but the Excalibur, Orleans down the road, and Palms has it beat hands down with price and quality. (Visited 1/2015)

Madame Tussaud’s High Roll’in Peppermill House of Go Go ‘Akhob’

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Stay tuned! Coming soon… my thoughts, tips, observations for the following:

 

  • James Turrell’s ‘Akhob’ exhibit in the Louis Vuitton at Crystal’s mall – Looking to explore a bizarre trip into an abyss of color
  • Hash House of Go Go at the Linq – Massive portions await with my facebook BOGO coupon!
  • Peppermill – repro neon hotspot with a famous breakfast and the best strip video poker pay tables.
  • Madame Tussauds Las Vegas – Armed with my Groupon I’m ready to explore the new Hangover Experience!
  • High Roller – I passed on it this last September/2014, but it’s a new year and the first visit of 2015. Thanks to a holiday promo code, I got a great deal through living social for a happy hour (all you can drink) ride.

Cheers!

El Segundo Sol @ Fashion Show Mall

El Segundo Sol Tequila and margarita bar located at the end of the Fashion Show Mall  rfashion showight across from the Wynn is a personal favorite of ours. The food is very good, and the happy hours specials keep us returning when in town. WP_20141006_019

Belly up to a bar table, order some endless chips and salsa and a street taco or two AND don’t forget the sangria (DELICIOUS!)

 

Tip: Certificate’s are available at Restaurant.com, they go out of stock fast!

Crown and Aces

Crown and Anchor British Pub just off the strip on Tropicana was a nice break from the Vegas Strip glitz and glamor. Our group of three enjoyed the food and beer selection. If I was a local I could see myself frequenting this Pub. It’s too far to walk from the strip and probably not worth the price of a cab but if you rent a car while in town it’s something to consider.

Tip: Check their website for specials or buy a certificate at Restaurant.com for additional savings

Ellis Island Steak Special and Other Budget Conscious Dining Options

It’s funny, when many people think of Las Vegas they think of cheap buffets and eats. Unfortunately those days are long gone from the strip. Instead celebrity chef named and other fantastic restaurants dominate Sin City these days. But not all is lost. Here are a couple places and ways to eat well and save some money.

Ellis Island

Looking for a good steak dinner at a fantastic price? If so, then read on because this little gem just might be one of the best deals going. If you rent a car (click for rent a car tips post) while in town then it should be a no brainer. Located just off the strip, on Koval (behind Bally’s/Paris) a block or so south of East Flamingo Rd is Ellis Island Casino and Brewery.

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This is a no thrills local’s casino near the big boys. This place offers great black jack and video poker payouts and wide selection of good food.  Okay so here’s the deal, for $9.99 (as of 1/2014) you get a 10 oz steak, choice of potato, vegetable of the day, salad, and a 22 oz Beer or Root Beer! Also, don’t expect to see this special on the menu or advertised anywhere in or around the casino because you won’t find it, just ask for it. I’m not a steak expert or pretend to be so I’m not sure of the cut. But what I do know that of the 4 or so times I’ve had it, it’s been good every time.

Warning Be warned this is not your Bellagio/ Steve Wynn property crowd here. This is a blue-collar working man’s casino that offer’s big bang for the buck.

Idea!: While you’re there why not sample some of their micro brews while playing 3-2 Black Jack or 9/6 Video poker or check out their highly rated karaoke nights?

Like this?: Check out my Mr. Lucky’s $7.77 Gambler’s Steak Special post

Buffets

Craving a buffet? Here’s a few that will satisfy your hunger and budget. All are off strip but offer breakfast and lunch buffets for under $10 with player’s card. Just another reason renting a car in Vegas for me is essential.

  • Palms Hotel and Casino just off the strip on Flamingo.  Besides a fantastic room, you can get a very good buffet and food court offerings.
  • South Point Hotel and Casino, several miles south on Las Vegas Blvd. Good buffet, good sports book, and lots of cheap table games.
  • Green Valley Ranch Hotel and Casino, okay this is a personal favorite all around, I just plain out like this place. Located in Henderson 12 miles from the Strip.
  • Orleans Hotel and Casino just off the strip on Tropicana, solid buffet and not a bad place to stay and play at either.

Tip: You can almost always save a few bucks at Casino buffets/restaurants by showing your players card

More, more, more…

Don’t have a car while in Vegas, no worries, check out these tips.

  • Groupon.com and LivingSocial.com – Possibly the best way to save on meals and entertainment.  I subscribe to both and regularly receive email announcing offerings.  Like with anything, always read the fine print before you buy.

Tip: Start watching a couple months before your trip and purchase deals as they pop up. Usually deals go like, get $40 for $20.

  • Restaurant.com – Many, many, opportunities to save money here. sign-up for email and receive discounts off certificates. Here you buy gift certificates at a discount.

Note: before you buy review the menu and minimum purchase requirements

  • Happy Hours – Nearly all restaurants have some type of happy hour specials that discount food and drinks.  Check out my Get Happier in Las Vegas with Happy Hour Specials! post
  • Casino food courts – Most casinos on the strip offer food courts with your usual fast food fare and some decent offerings for example, Earl of Sandwich (our go-to quick fix place) in Planet Hollywood, delicious!
  • Split a deal! Most portion sizes are huge, instead of stuffing yourself, consider splitting a meal with someone. Besides it’s hard to drink all that “free” booze on a full stomach.
  • Eat a late lunch and save. Lunch is cheaper than dinner and often goes until 4pm.

Why not?

Now that you saved a few dollars why not splurge and treat yourself and that special person to a fabulous meal. Like I said, there are plenty of wonderful, world-class restaurants to choose from in Fabulous Las Vegas!

Bon appetite!

Ice Cream Challenge in Las Vegas

icecreamrmseafoodDo you like a challenge? Consider yourself an ice cream efficiendo? Or just Looking for something fun to do in Vegas that won’t cost you your bankroll?  If you have answered yes to any of these then check this out.

RM Seafood in Mandalay Bay has a fun challenge for you. If you can correctly guess 16 ice cream and sorbet flavors then the cost to you is FREE. If you should fail the challenge, and you most likely will, then you only need to cough up $18 dollars. Flavors vary from your everyday variety to bizarro exotic so prepare to be challenged in a cool fun way!