Royal Flush!

Last Friday, after my mini-vacation, I headed over to Red Rock Casino for happy hour at LBS Burger and the Lifehouse concert. I had a little time to kill so I decided to play a little video poker. Go figure. I had a few bucks leftover from my trip to the strip so I decided to play dollars. I mix up my pay between quarters, fifty cent and dollars playing Jacks or Better unless I’m bored and want to give a random game a shot.

I sat down at the machine and on the second hand in I hit four Aces. I was stoked, but couldn’t cash out after just a couple hands so I figured I’d play until I got back down to even or played enough to be satisfied with my win (after a while I usually set floors where I’ll cash out). I kept hitting winning hands and was up almost $200 after about 15 minutes and then I hit my largest Royal Flush in a few years – $4,000! I’ve been playing more video poker this year than ever and this was my 3rd Royal Flush of the year. Of course, I’m still down $1,234,444,000 for my gambling career. 🙂

After learning that Station Casinos no longer serves Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, I decided to grab my tickets and head over to check the pool area for the show. I realized I had a few minutes to kill so I sat down at a machine by the door and played another $20. That turned up four 8’s. Up another $40 or $60 I decided to head into the show – for real this time.

In case you’re not familiar with Lifehouse they’re one of those pop-rock bands that you hear pretty often and never know who they are. Thanks to Lifehouse I hit a Royal Flush. That may be my lasting memory of them.


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.


KGB Will Find You Before You Find KGB

KGB Burger
KGB Burger

If you know me, you know I love a good burger.  I’ve read a slew of stories about Kerry Simon’s new burger joint opening at Harrah’s called KGB.

The burger joint will serve lunch, dinner and late-night bites. On the menu will be “inventive burger offerings, signature snacks and sides including ‘Iron Chef’ sliders and tater tots and sweet selections such as strawberry shortcake push pops.” You know Simon, he always needs a junk food platter to complete a meal.

The restaurant will also take on a very different look for Harrah’s. The walls will be covered in 1960s Russian propaganda posters and the full service bar will feature vodka hostesses, an ice bar and chilled vodka specialty drinks. There will also be flat-screen TVs (practically expected in all Vegas restaurants) that will rotate from sports events to “retro-style images.”

The concept is kind of cool – I love vodka and I love a good burger.  However, the name KGB refers to Russian secret police.  I won’t go anywhere that makes me think of shady police.   That’s just not my thing.

When Harrah’s realizes that the name is a bad idea in 3 months they can call Yakov Smirnoff to lend his name to the restaurant.  Now THAT’S a good idea.