I used to stay at Mandalay Bay pretty often when I used to go to House of Blues to see concerts.
I haven’t gone to Las Vegas to see bands in the past few years so I’ve decided to expand my horizons and have been hotel hopping for most trips. I still like Mandalay Bay and miss the oatmeal soap in the rooms more than most room amenities.
I decided to spend an afternoon at the opposite end of the strip to see how things have changed. As I expected, some things changed and some things remained the same.
The Burger Bar is one of my favorite burgers in Vegas. One thing I remember was how the staff had a holier than thou attitude and that attitude still remains. Chill out, it’s a friggin burger joint.
I laughed at the hostess after she told me it was 20 minutes for a table for one. When I started to walk away she alerted me that I could sit at the bar if I liked. I happily took her up on that offer.
Lunch started with a fantastic pint of Blue Moon. This glass of beer set things right. It was the perfect temperature and had a substantial orange wedge. I’d rather have too much orange than too little. I’m the same with Corona. The beer lasted just long enough for an awesome bacon cheeseburger to arrive.
The burger was packed with one of two types of “Jack” cheese (I told them to surprise me and I don’t remember which I had) and accompanied by a side of skinny fries. The burger was prepared medium and was nice and juicy. The bacon was fantastic and although I’m not much of a fry guy, the fries were nice, crisp and tasty.
I’m sure I need to explore other fancy burger places on the strip, but Burger Bar still holds up as a favorite.
After the burger I went out to explore the casino at Mandalay Bay. It has definitely changed since the last time I was there. There is a go-go party pit, new bars in the middle of the casino, a tattoo shop and a zillion more slot machines than I remember.
The bar at the sportsbook seemed different too. I can swear there used to be a top on the bar that impeded views of the TV’s at the sportsbook. I’m not sure about that as I usually had a few too many when watching football.
This time I had a mediocre and overpriced Grey Goose and soda. I was also sipping on an iced coffee from Starbucks while I watched a couple of games I bet and waited to meet someone IRL that I’d met on twitter. The drive-by meeting was kind of funny as it lasted all of 30 seconds.
Back to the games. I won both. It seemed like the only thing I could win on this trip were sports bets. I played and lost $300 in 3 card poker and about another $100 in various slots before decided to leave.
After I decided that I’d lost enough I tried to go back to Palazzo to cash my tickets, but the cab line outside of Mandalay Bay was insane so I decided to take the tram to Excalibur where there would certainly be no line for cabs. This surely wouldn’t save time, but at least I would be moving.
My guess was right. There were no people in line for cabs at Excalibur. I haven’t been in Excalibur since one of my first trips to Las Vegas. I don’t think I’ll be there again any time soon, but it was nice to walk around.
I had a fun time at Mandalay Bay and wouldn’t mind staying their again. The people are what I expected. They were the middle class Las Vegas vacationers. Somewhere between the type of people I’d see at Harrah’s and Palazzo. Nothing wrong with that at all. That seems to be the demographic MGM is marketing the hotel to and judging by the crowd they’re doing a good job.