Las Vegas Steakhouses I’ve Conquered

Emeril's Knife At Del Frisco At Venetian
Emeril’s Knife At Del Frisco’s

I love steak and eat it pretty often. Last week I listed the top 5 steakhouses that I’ve eaten at this year on Vegas Chatter. I did the same last year. Sure I can have an all-time top 5 steakhouse list but there is only so much steak one can eat in a year and chefs and other restaurant staff change often in Las Vegas that I’m not sure that really makes much sense. I can’t say that an experience I had two years ago at CarneVino will be the same today. That could be unfair to the restaurant and not accurate to you.

Here’s a list of the steakhouses I’ve conquered in my time in Las Vegas. I’ve reviewed most of these on other websites and will share brief thoughts (thumbs up or down) after I’ve completed my hit list of steakhouses. I’ve, obviously, been to some of these more recently than others and some have closed.

  • Anthony’s
  • Bazaar Meat (not really a steakhouse)
  • BLT Steak
  • Botero
  • Brand
  • Carne Vino
  • Charlie Palmer
  • Cut
  • Del Frisco’s
  • Delmonico
  • The Flame
  • Galhager’s
  • Golden Steer
  • Gordon Ramsay Steak
  • Heritage
  • Morels
  • Nero (closed)
  • N9NE
  • Oscar’s
  • Palm
  • Prime
  • Roberts (closed)
  • Smith & Wollensky
  • Stack
  • The Steakhouse (Circus Circus)
  • Strip Steak
  • Strip House
  • SW

As you can see I’ve been to a lot of steakhouses in Las Vegas. The list of steakhouses I want to try is running low and I’m looking for new ideas. Leave a comment with any new placed I should try, and why.

I’ll share the few steakhouses still on my hit list later this week and will add any that you recommend that I’m interested in (I.e. I’m not interested in STK and you won’t change my mind).

Ruth’s Chris Returns To Las Vegas

A couple weeks ago I tweeted about Harrah’s Las Vegas replacing their existing steakhouse, The Range, with Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. Yesterday it became official as Caesars Entertainment finally sent Continue reading “Ruth’s Chris Returns To Las Vegas”

Las Vegas: Where Daily Doesn’t Mean Every Day

All You Can Eat Pancakes At Planet Hollywood Las Vegas
All You Can Eat Pancakes

I watched week one of the NFL season at Blondies at Planet Hollywood. This is my favorite non-sportsbook to watch football. Prices are relatively cheap and there are plenty of TV’s for the games.

Sunday we found false advertising at the table at Blondies. The daily special above for unlimited pancakes & $2 beer sitting on our (and every) table is not available on the weekend.

My friend was going to load up on $2 beers, but I told him to ask if it’s available before going crazy. See, in Las Vegas daily (somehow) doesn’t always mean every day.

He asked about the $2 beer special and was told that it’s not available Saturday or Sunday. I asked about the $6 all you can eat pancake special. She said it was the same.

Of course specials like this on the strip for an NFL Sunday were too good to be true. If I know Las Vegas, Blondies will keep these tabletop promotions up for the NFL season. Consider this your heads up.

Despite this, I still think that Blondies is the best place on the strip to watch the games that isn’t a sportsbook.

Note: I wrote about Flavor Flav’s Fried Chicken at Blondies yesterday at Vegas Chatter.

Lucille’s BBQ and Other Changes At Red Rock Casino

Gather around…it’s story time!

You may or may not know that I live in Las Vegas now. When I moved to Vegas I visited the casinos in the area (Suncoast, Rampart & Red Rock) and decided to choose one as my “Home Casino” to focus my play so I could maximize comps. Red Rock Casino won. In fact, I’m writing this blog sitting the the food court at Red Rock Casino. See…

Red Rock Food Court

Before I moved to Vegas my first visit to Red Rock Casino was shortly after it first opened for one reason and one reason only – to visit the Vegas outlet of one of the best BBQ joints in America, Salt Lick BBQ. My friends and I were OK paying the $60 cab ride from the strip for what we expected to be the best BBQ we could find in town. Well Salt Lick BBQ wasn’t good. In fact, it was so bad that it closed pretty quickly after that visit.

A bad meal isn’t the worst thing for people that like to drink and gamble. It’s easy to over-eat BBQ and get food coma. We didn’t have that problem with Salt Lick. That gave us room to rumble in the casino. We loved Red Rock Casino and played for longer than we expected before returning to the strip.

I’m happy to have Red Rock as my home casino and I’m stoked for some of the upcoming changes.

Lucille’s Smokehouse

Life comes somewhat full circle as BBQ returns to Red Rock Casino with Lucille’s Smokehouse BBQ coming next summer.

Lucille’s is a small chain of BBQ restaurants on the west coast. There are 16 restaurants in the chain and their Henderson location is said to have the best BBQ in Las Vegas. As much as I like BBQ, I haven’t made it there and probably never will with this location opening. I tend to stay away from Henderson. More on that another time.

Red Rock Cabo

Lucille’s will be taking the place of , Cabo, a Mexican restaurant and the only restaurant I’ve never been to at Red Rock Casino. I’m sure there’s some kind of deep meaning to that but I’m not going figure out what it is.

Cabo is already closed. The press says that Lucille’s is set to open in summer 2013, but I’m told it should be finished before then. Hopefully that means it opens sooner too…gimme some BBQ for football season!

Lucky Bar

Lucky Bar is the center bar at Red Rock Casino. If you’ve played blackjack or any of the tables, it’s the bar that the tables surround.

Lucky Bar has been closed for a couple of weeks and is currently being renovated. I’m told that the new feel to Lucky Bar will have more of a lounge atmosphere than a normal. Lucky Bar should be open soon. Hopefully they keep the video poker bar.

I’ll do some more digging on the video poker because Cabo also has video poker. I believe both are hooked into the progressive jackpot.

Free Wifi

On my most recent visits to Red Rock Casino I’ve noticed an option for free wifi throughout the casino. It was previously only available in the lobby. I checked in with Station Casinos to see if free wifi at Red Rock Casino was permanent and it is!

In fact a handful of the Station Casinos properties already have free wifi and the rest will come on board soon!

You probably know that I’m stoked for free wifi. I rarely work at a desk and I’m always in need of being connected so this gives me another excuse to spend time and money at the casino. Actually, it probably gives me an excuse to use more comps on iced coffee from Starbucks.

With so many people being owning smartphones and tablets and wanting to be connected at all times I find it silly that every hotel in Las Vegas doesn’t offer offer free property-wide wifi. In a shrinking business hotels should do everything in their power to keep the customer on site.

 

Ranch House Blogger Meat Up

When I was preparing to leave the east coast I looked at various cities that seemed to have excellent tech communities. I like tech and I like people that like tech.

Before I decided to move to Las Vegas I stopped by a pretty cool weekly meetup that local tech geeks and bloggers had called Beer and Blogs Las Vegas. That meetup has since disbanded because most of the people that attended were friends and hang out in a less structured manner.

While attending Beer and Blogs wasn’t the reason I moved to Vegas, it didn’t hurt. It also showed me that there was more to Vegas than the strip or downtown.

There is still a pretty cool tech community in Vegas. The tech community has pretty much separated since tech startups and programmers aren’t seeking the same thing as bloggers who can be a broad range of people that have varied interests. There are bloggers who write about eating and wellness while others range from corporate casino bloggers to travel bloggers. It’s a pretty cool crew, you can find some of these blogs in the sidebar.

This meetup was more of a brainstorming session to discuss what we wanted to get from future meetups than anything else. As a nice aside we were able to sample tasty treats like the ones below that were provided by the Ranch House Kitchen.

The Ranch House Kitchen is located at Town Square which is on the strip south of Mandalay Bay in a mall/town with hundreds of stores. Town Square is HUGE. In fact, I have such a bad sense of direction that I’ve gotten lost every time I’ve been there. I always give myself an extra half hour to find my way around. Pro tip: Ask the valet where to go if you’re lost.

Ranch House is next to the Rave Motion Pictures movie theater and on the second floor of the mall with few other places. Ranch House is a nice place to pre-game a movie if you’re looking for something to do outside of the casino next time you’re in Vegas. The ribs we had were super tender and fell right off the bone.

Ranch House Ribs

The ribs were the second favorite thing I had all night. The highlight of the night? Go figure, it was drink – A cucumber mojito!

It was over 110 degrees the day of the meetup and the last thing I wanted was a beer. There is a special cocktail menu and a cucumber mojito sounded like the most refreshing thing. And it was. Just about everyone at the table was drinking red drinks, but I know I won for best drink(s) of the night. Suckers. 🙂

Cucumber Mojito

The night ended when the musicians started playing. They were so loud that we couldn’t hear each other speak. That’s OK. The noise (#GOML) didn’t take away from sampling this awesome French Toast Sundae.

French Toast Sundae

Like with everything I do there are more pictures of the night on my tumblr. The Ranch House was a surprise. There was nothing bad and the service was great. The waiters and waitresses we had were all great. There are plenty of strip properties that can learn from the staff at Ranch House.

The group was able to catch up with one another and we were treated to a tasty meal courtesy for the Ranch House and I was able to explore Town Square, a place I normally wouldn’t visit. I’ll call the night a win, win, win.

Note: #GOML is short for Get Off My Lawn.

Her Name Is Annabelle

I love steak, but don’t eat it as much as I used to (which is probably a good thing). One of my favorite New York (and Atlantic City) steakhouses is coming to Las Vegas soon and I’m stoked. Along with the food Caesars is bringing in the iconic cow that sits atop of the New York OLD HOMESTEAD for the opening at Caesars Palace next week.

I never reprint press releases, but I’m stoked and learned something from this press release – The cow has a name – Annabelle!

Yes, I’m a wee bit excited about Old Homestead opening in Las Vegas. Learn a little below.

Annabelle, the celebrity cow perched two stories above the entrance of the legendary Old Homestead Steakhouse in Manhattan, is moo-ving to Las Vegas. She begins her cross-country trek today and will arrive in Las Vegas on Dec. 20, in time for the grand opening of Old Homestead Steakhouse at Caesars Palace. Annabelle’s admirers are encouraged to follow her journey to Las Vegas at www.twitter.com/oldhomesteadlvand stay tuned for more details upon her arrival.

Fans of Annabelle should not be concerned, as the iconic brown and white cow isn’t being put out to pasture. Dressed in white butcher coats and wearing white gloves, a team of moo-ving men specializing in bovine transport will gently remove Annabelle from the restaurant’s Broadway-like marquee, where she has been perched for the past 60 years as a fixture in the center of New York City’s fashionable Meatpacking District. Before setting her into – or more likely, onto – a super-stretch luxury limousine stocked with plenty of hay, corn feed, moo juice, a slot machine and a blackjack tutorial handbook, the team will groom Annabelle and dress her up in gown, top hat and bow tie. Taking full advantage of the limo, Annabelle plans to ride around Midtown before heading to the airport.

The divine bovine intends to visit several major U.S. landmarks and graze through a few malls for some holiday shopping on her way to Las Vegas. One of the emotional highlights of her trip will be an overnight stay at the Nebraska farm where she was born and raised. Annabelle is no stranger to the spotlight, having been featured in several motion pictures and on hit shows such as “Seinfeld” and “The Sopranos.” She has also been photographed by renowned artist and filmmaker Julian Schnabel, whose photos are displayed in the restaurant’s Schnabel Room.

Old Homestead Steakhouse is one of New York City’s most historic restaurants, set to open its first location on the west coast at Caesars Palace. With more than 6,000 square-feet, the new restaurant will feature a total of 250 seats with a full dining room, private dining room, lounge and bar. Guests will be introduced to several signature dishes from the classic New York City menu including the popular colossal crab cake, 32-ounce Gotham rib-eye steak and the Old Homestead New York-style cheesecake. Additionally, new menu items will be created exclusive to the Las Vegas location.

See Annabelle at home (NYC Old Homestead)

Top 3 Things To Do In Vegas

I’m not sure if it’s the people I follow on twitter or if I’m just noticing it more, but I have seen a number of “Top X Things To Do In Las Vegas That Doesn’t Include Gambling.” I’m not going to censor myself today. I’ve had way too much coffee for that.

FUCK THAT

There, it’s out of my system. Thank you for letting me vent. People don’t visit Las Vegas to not do awesome things. People visit Vegas for three things.

  1. Gamble
  2. Drink
  3. Eat
  4. Repeat

Sure there are other things in between those activities, but those aren’t why people visit Las Vegas. Look at lions, tigers, dolphins? Sure I’ll look, but not if I’m on a hot streak at the blackjack table. However, I’d stop playing blackjack to grab a steak and bottle of wine. I don’t know anyone that says let’s stop gambling to walk so we can walk out and watch the Bellagio fountains. No men or women I know from back east would ever do such a thing. Because of this I tend to brush off lists of other things to do in Vegas.

However, my parents are visiting me and while I’m busy taking care of business they’re going to be lost old people in a new land. They don’t gamble. They are not my people. For them, I’m looking at these lists looking for old people things to do.

So, I’ll tell them to walk up and down the strip for some exercise. I’ll make sure they catch the Bellagio fountains and conservatory. That’s their kind of thing. I’ll make sure they check out the pirate show at TI. Hey, it’s free. Let’s be straight, they’re not here to visit Las Vegas. They’re here to visit their son who happens to live in the land of eat.drink.gamble.repeat.

Let me also be straight about myself. Since I moved to Vegas I don’t attack the city like I did when I was a tourist. Sure I still take vacations in Vegas. I did in July around the Queens of the Stoneage concert and I’m planning my annual December trip. However, in between raging I’m living a normal life that sometimes takes me to these other activities. Case in point – my drive through Red Rock Canyon. That’s not something I would have done as a tourist, but living here is entirely different. Still, when I’m vacationing here I’m visiting eat.drink.gamble.repeat. If you follow me on twitter you may have just noticed me go kind of crazy about eat.drink.gamble.repeat. I’ll blame Styx and Helmet for that.

Anyways, back to the subject at hand. I don’t know anyone that visits Las Vegas to do anything on these “Things to do in Las Vegas” lists. The people I know come to vegas for three things. To eat, drink and gamble.

Queens of the Stoneage
Queens of the Stoneage

Top 10 Non-Gambling Things to do in Vegas

I do a few things when I’m in Las Vegas vacationing.  I eat, I drink, I gamble.  I repeat those a few times throughout the day and that’s how I roll.  I’m pretty simple.  You can switch coffee for vodka as AM turns to PM.  I saw a list of the “Top 10 non-gambling activities to do in Vegas” and since I do things differently I figured I’d pass on the list to people that may roll differently than I do.

By the way, even though I live in Vegas now I still take some vacations in Vegas because it’s still fun.

10. Shoot a machine gun
9. The rides at the Stratosphere
8. The New York-New York Hotel & Casino roller coaster
7. Shop till you drop
6. Visit the Pawn Stars store
5. Hit the pools
4. Neon Museum Boneyard
3. Wynn Buffet
2. Signature Vegas attractions
1. Wander up and down the Strip at night with a large alcoholic beverage

The one activity I’ve done on this list is shop till I dropped. I like to treat myself to some things every now and again and there is plenty of shopping in Vegas for a guy or a girl to do.  Even now I hit the strip to explore the shops a little.  After all, the Apple stores are located on the strip.

Sometime soon I will check the Neon Museum, which looks cool and even though I’m not very nostalgic or into much touristy stuff it seems like fun.  There are a lot of NEVER on this list for me and I’m surprised that there is no “Take a day to visit downtown” on this list.  That’s always a top recommendation I have as it was something I almost always did on my trips to Vegas.  You can check the whole list here.

It’s Not the Size That Counts

I’ve been bothered (too much) by the use of the term “Slider” in Las Vegas. Everything on a small bun is called a slider in Vegas. It’s not correct, it’s obnoxious and possibly false advertising. I called on an old pal, The Rev who writes the blog Burger Conquest, to explain the difference between a slider and a mini burger.  Learn a little from The Rev.

MMMMMMMMMMMM HAMBURGERS! Everyone loves themselves a tasty burger. It’s a world wide sensation and while you may think the globalization of the hamburger is due to a particular chain of Golden Arches, know that they didn’t start the fire. In fact, the first burger chain of note opened in 1921, a full 19 years before McDonald’s started serving food in San Bernardino, CA. The year was 1921 and a small short order diner in Wichita, KS opened it’s doors and thus the revolution known as White Castle was born. It was the first of its kind here in our lovely country.

White Castle Cook Walter A. Anderson is credited with inventing the hamburger bun and the kitchen assembly line. He is the father to the modern fast food movement that has fully taken over the planet. He is also the man that made the word “slider” something every burger lover salivates like a Pavlovian dog upon it’s utterance. Walter and the White Castle staff took small balls of ground beef and smashed them on a grill covered in thinly sliced onions. The patties were flipped, onions in tact therefore cooking them into the beef itself. The bottoms of the bun were placed on top after a flip which created a steaming effect that softened the bun and drove the amazing flavors beneath into the squishy bread. Back then they came topped only with pickles while mustard and ketchup had to be added by the customer themselves. Thus was born the “slider”.

Nowadays, White Castle has moved onto frozen beef which require no flipping but any burger junkie will tell you, they still crave White Castle sliders. If you’re like me and from Michigan, they’re also known as “Belly Busters,” and although a slider could be considered a mini-burger, the opposite does not apply. Let’s be clear on this; A slider is a form of burger made from a thin patty that is flat griddle along with onions, whose steam helps to cook the burger. It’s served on a squishy white bun with or without cheese and pickles. Why do I tell you this?? Because nothing and I mean NOTHING gets my burger-goat when people improperly label a mini burger as a slider.

A mini burger is just that, a smaller version of a burger. They can be cooked any way you want, served with any toppings and at the end of the day are exactly what the name entails. While by no means do I condemn a mini-burger, in fact, I love all burgers, but a slider is a very unique and special preparation. Imagine if you asked for a Dachshund and you were brought a Pomeranian.Sure they are both small dogs but the latter is not the former. (Note – I do not endorse eating canine.)

For more on Michigan sliders, read this.

Fore more on Jersey sliders, read this.

Rev
Burgerconquest.com

Out With The Old In With The New

There have been a bunch of restaurant and bar closings in Las Vegas over the past few weeks and the latest is, no surprise to most Vegas nerds, Silk Road at Vdara.  Here are some of the details from Tasting Las Vegas, who was the first I saw to pass on confirmation of this long talked about rumor.

Boo!  The much speculated closing of Silk Road at the Vdara resort at CityCenter is finally coming to fruition.  I’m bummed.  It was a fabulous restaurant in a horrible location; horrible location meaning the Vdara resort.  However, before its closure, the much anticipated Market Café Vdara is scheduled to open on March 1st.  Finally, the so-called residentially-friendly CityCenter is going to have a grocery store.

In addition to Silk Road closing Fontana Bar at Bellagio and Alex at Wynn Las Vegas among others are all closing.  From what I’m seeing most of these places are being replaced with newer, similar facilities.

This is Vegas and this happens – a lot.  Nothing lasts forever.  However, there is only one place I don’t want to every see closed or change and that’s Petrossian Bar at Bellagio.  Petrossian has great drinks and great people watching as well as a great location!