Daytime Is The Best Time For Downtown Vegas

Outside Of The Fremont Street Experience Downtown Las Vegas
Dusk! Time To Exit The Fremont Street Experience

Downtown Vegas is awesome. 

Downtown Vegas is a shit show.

Even since I first visited Downtown Vegas I made it a part of every vacation. Now that I live in Vegas it’s become a regular stop. Downtown Vegas is great but it’s like that two face like that woman on Seinfeld years ago.

During the day Downtown Vegas is a much different place than at night. I’ve always been partial to visiting Downtown Vegas during the day. Here’s why.

Fewer People – The canopy and free concerts on Fremont Street bring out hordes of people. I don’t like hordes of people. The confined space feels claustrophobic. I don’t want drunk people touching me for no reason. I’m also always in a rush and hordes of people slow me down.

See Everything – During the day you can actually see everything. The vintage neon signs are great and I truly enjoy them but they’re distracting. The signs are designed to draw the eye and they do a great job at that. Those signs are really all you see at night. During the day you can see everything Downtown Vegas has to offer.

Even Cheaper Gambling – Gambling in Downtown Vegas is always cheap compared to the Vegas Strip. However on weekend nights you’ll see some minimum bets around $10. Yes, that’s still low but you can usually find minimums around $5 when the sun is up. I can dig that.

The Freaks Come Out At Night – The buskers and mascots looking to make a buck are always out on Fremont Street. During the day you can easily just walk by them. Buskers multiply at night since there’s more people and more money. They just get in the way. No thanks.

I like Downtown Vegas a lot and I prefer visiting during the day. Unless I’m staying overnight you’ll rarely, if ever, catch me in Downtown Vegas at night. If you enjoy crowds and a chaotic environment you’ll probably love Downtown Vegas at night.

Best Video Poker At SLS Las Vegas

Royal Flush Video Poker at Red Rock Resort
Royal Flush!

It’s been a while since I did a video poker check but since SLS Las Vegas is new and is supposed to have good video poker games I figured that I’d take a look.

On first glance there are some really good video poker options available at SLS Las Vegas according to vpFREE2.

Best Video Poker At SLS Las Vegas
Best Video Poker At SLS Las Vegas

When you look deeper into the pay tables you’ll see that most of the best video poker games at SLS Las Vegas are available on just 4 video poker machines. The best 8 video poker games are only available on these 4 low limits video poker machines (5¢, 10¢, 25¢) located between Sayers Club and Sportsbook Bar along the aisle.

Bonus Poker and the games below it on the chart above are available throughout the casino. You can see specific locations and denominations on vpFREE2.com.

I’m personally happy that there is 8/5 Bonus Poker available. That’s my second favorite video poker game. I don’t mind that the single games are $1 and up or that the 3-play games are 25¢ but it would be nice if they had some one line quarter games available.

Overall SLS Las Vegas has a good selection of video poker for the Vegas Strip but it isn’t better than many Downtown Vegas or Off-Strip casinos.

More on SLS Las Vegas and locals later this week or early next week.

You’ll Find Deep Fried Twinkies In Downtown Vegas At Mermaids

Find Deep Fried Twinkies at Mermaids Casino Downtown Las Vegas Fremont Street
Find Deep Fried Twinkies At Mermaids

I’ve never had a Deep Fried Twinkie and probably never will. It just doesn’t sound appealing. I’d rather waste $1 on something else that’s bad for me. Maybe a Deep Fried Oreo.

I’ve only been to Mermaids in Downtown Vegas once in my life. That was my first visit to Downtown Vegas. It’s a small slot machine only casino with no hotel. The one thing that they have you can’t find at any other casino in Las Vegas are Deep Fried Twinkies.

I always get Mermaids confused with La Bayou which is the other slot machine only casino without a hotel on Fremont Street in Downtown Vegas. La Bayou doesn’t have Deep Fried Twinkies. It’s too small.

The only reason to visit La Bayou is for the single line nickel slot machines and fast drink service. Hey, that doesn’t sound too bad.

Remember:

  • Mermaids – Deep Fried Twinkies.
  • La Bayou – Single line slot machines and fast drink service.

This blog post is as much for you as it is for me since I never remember the difference. Have fun getting fat and drunk!

Photo: Dickies Universe

This Dude Is The Fastest Video Poker Player In Vegas

Fastest Video Poker Player In Vegas

I’ve seen this guy playing video poker at Red Rock pretty often. Besides the lady at Starbucks and bartenders at the sportsbook he’s the only person I recognize at the casino that I visit a couple of times a week.

He plays two video poker machines faster than I can play one game. Since he only plays the games that return 100%+ I’m assuming that he knows what he’s doing and he can play accurately at this speed. It’s astonishing to watch.

I’ve never taken video of this video poker dude because I felt like a creeper. Thankfully other people aren’t as dainty as I am (shout out to Vato Cigars in Downtown Vegas for the vid!). Check it out!

Here’s Why SLS Las Vegas Opening A Week Early Is A Good Sign For Gamblers

SLS Las Vegas Sportsbook Rendering
SLS Las Vegas Sportsbook Rendering

SLS Las Vegas announced that it will be opening a week early today and that’s a good sign for gamblers. Casino openings are usually filled with hype. I got sucked into that when Downtown Grand opened last year.

There was a lot of over promising from Downtown Grand before they opened. Expectations were high from everyone. They promised more great dining options than anywhere else in Downtown Vegas. Instead they offered a food court with mediocre food, a sub-par cafe and a shave ice stand that may never open.

Outdoor gaming was a great idea but 2 blackjack tables facing a wall with homeless people wandering the street behind is not ideal. Street dice is nothing like they described either. Besides outdoor gaming, Downtown Grand never talked about their gambling. Typically when a business avoids a subject there’s nothing good to say.

Downtown Grand ruined Mob Bar by removing video poker and a great beer selection. In fact, all of their bars have sub-par beer options (see more at Vegas Chatter). Now it’s just where I park when I want to get chicken parm sliders.

Downtown Grand under delivered on just about everything. I don’t hate them for it but Downtown Grand was poised to become my new Downtown Vegas home.

SLS Las Vegas hasn’t promised much that doesn’t seem attainable. Affordable luxury sounds achievable. Many of their restaurants have outlets in LA so researching them on Yelp should give you a general idea of what to expect. SLS Las Vegas has promised one thing that we know little about.

SLS Las Vegas has repeatedly said that the casino would offer gambling that locals would enjoy. This generally means good video poker, ample slot machines and good table game odds.

If SLS Las Vegas can over deliver on construction by finishing earlier than expected perhaps they will over deliver on their casino odds and returns. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking. Maybe I’m on to their strategy. I always bet on myself being right. 🙂

I’ve been cautiously optimistic about SLS Las Vegas’ casino but I’m throwing caution to the wind and now I’m straight up optimistic.  

Downtown Vegas Is Taking Me Away From Casinos And I Don’t Like It

Outside Of The Fremont Street Experience Downtown Las Vegas
Outside Of The Fremont Street Experience

It’s funny, gamblers always say that the Vegas Strip can learn something about keeping gamblers in their casino by offering better odds like Downtown Vegas casinos. I think it may be the other way around. Maybe the Downtown Vegas casinos need to improve their bars and restaurants like their counterparts on the Vegas Strip to keep gamblers like me happy.

A couple of weeks ago I spent a day and night in Downtown Vegas. I stayed at the Fremont Hotel because they always offer low room rates and no resort fee. My hotel room for the night was $32 after taxes. Not bad.

I went into this day away with no plan. My solo trips to Downtown Vegas have always been similar to someone going on a bender. I’d eat, drink and gamble way too much for a 24 hour period. This time my night in Downtown Vegas was different. I had a great time but it was a different kind of great time.

If you read this blog last week you saw daily updates of where I spent my time in Downtown Vegas.

  • I had a beer and chicken parm sliders for dinner at Triple George.
  • I grabbed a few beers and had some fun conversation at Nacho Daddy.
  • I had a flight of beer and then some at Banger Brewing.

Wow, I drank a lot of beer. There’s one thing missing from my night in Downtown Vegas. I hardly spent time in a casino and I barely gambled! This is very unlike me and I reflected on this on my drive back home to the burbs.

The casinos on the Vegas Strip are re-inventing themselves with new restaurantsbars and clubs to keep you on their property. My visits to the Vegas Strip haven’t changed. New restaurants and bars draw me to casinos on the Vegas Strip where I’ll inevitably end up gambling a little.

Eat, Drink, Gamble in one place – that’s my kind of fun. Let’s go back to Downtown Vegas.

Most of the new bars and restaurants are outside of the Downtown Vegas casinos. When I’m eating a great burger and drinking great beer at Pizza Rock there isn’t anything that says that I must go back out to the casino and gamble. The casinos in Downtown Vegas feel as though they’re becoming less relevant to me. They’re out of sight while I’m having fun eating and drinking and that puts them on the back burner.

Besides Andiamo Steakhouse at The D and Du-Pars at Golden Gate there really isn’t a restaurant destination inside of a Downtown Vegas casino that I feel like I ever need to visit. On the flip side every bar and restaurant I visited on my last trip to Downtown Vegas will be visited again.

As Downtown Vegas continues to re-invent itself the casinos may need to take note from the Golden Nugget and refresh their restaurants and bars every couple of years to keep old customers like me and attract new customers.

Many of my favorite casinos to gamble are in Downtown Vegas so it’s not like I’ll be avoiding the casinos there but I will certainly spend less money in those casinos when there are better bars and restaurants a short walk away.

It’s funny, gamblers always say that the Vegas Strip can learn something about keeping gamblers in their casino by offering better odds like Downtown Vegas. I think it may be the other way around. Maybe the Downtown Vegas casinos need to improve their bars and restaurants like their counterparts on the Vegas Strip to keep gamblers like me happy.

Chicken Parm Sliders Return To Triple George

Chicken Parm Sliders Triple George Grill Downtown Las Vegas
Chicken Parm Sliders

I was bored last week so I decided to spend a day and night in Downtown Vegas mostly on Fremont Street. Surprisingly, I didn’t gamble much but I had a great time anyway. I’ll be sharing highlights throughout the week.

Thanks to everyone’s good friend, Scott at Vital Vegas, Chicken Parm Sliders have returned to Downtown Vegas. Chicken parm sliders were a favorite on the original Mob Bar menu before Mob Bar moved to Downtown Grand and lost everything that made it my favorite bar in Vegas.

Mob Bar’s menu was prepared by the kitchen next door at Triple George Grill so it’s surprising that the popular menu item didn’t just go on their menu. Whatever the case, they didn’t and the tasty chicken parm sliders disappeared.

Thanks to Scott’s constant nagging requests the delicious tiny chicken parm nubs of a sandwich have returned! Even though they are available to order you will not find chicken parm sliders on the menu at Triple George. When they first returned to Triple George you could only them order at the bar if you want these tasty treats. As of last night you can order the chicken parm sliders at a dining room table.

Since the chicken parm sliders aren’t on the menu you might have to speak with the manager, Case, who’s always walking around and very approachable. The chef’s are happy to bring back such a popular fixture from Mob Bar as part of the secret “Parlor Menu”.

While these sliders are delicious they aren’t exactly cheap eats.

$9 For 3 Chicken Parm Sliders
$9 For 3 Chicken Parm Sliders

An order of 3 chicken parm sliders costs $9. My mom would not be cool with paying $9 for what’s essentially one fried chicken breast sliced in 3, a little sauce, cheese and 3 mini brioche rolls. If you’re looking for a better deal you can get a huge chicken parm dinner with pasta and veggies for just $5 more.

Chicken parm sliders aren’t about getting a good deal. They’re about getting a delicious meal, snack or appetizer that won’t slow you down. The three slider portion is just right to feel full and agile for the rest of the night. It’s also a nice way to start dinner if you’re ordering a steak (see Vegas Chatter review).

I’m stoked for the return of the chicken parm sliders and will enjoy them again sooner than later. If you want to drool over more pictures of the chicken parm sliders check this out.

Nacho Daddy: Voted Best…

Nacho Daddy Sign Downtown Las Vegas
Nacho Daddy

I was bored last week so I decided to spend a day and night in Downtown Vegas mostly on Fremont Street. Surprisingly, I didn’t gamble much but I had a great time anyway. I’ll be sharing highlights throughout the week.

Best Margarita In Vegas At Nacho Daddy Downtown Vegas
Best Margarita In Vegas

If you know me you know that I don’t drink tequila. The last time I had tequila I vomited on myself. No bueno. Good thing I met up with someone willing to taste test the margarita at Nacho Daddy.

I needed to know if the sign was true or false advertising! With that in mind I had an ice cold beer. It was so cold that there was almost ice forming on the top of my beer.

Dos Equis Beer At Nacho Daddy
mmm…beer

Unlike previous visits I didn’t go to Nacho Daddy to eat. It was to meet up with Gray from Vegas Solo and have a drink. Unbeknownst to either of us we found Scott from Vital Vegas sitting at the corner of the bar.

Continue reading “Nacho Daddy: Voted Best…”

Banger Brewing Is Better Than I Imagined

Banger Brewing Logo
Banger Brewing

I was bored last week so I decided to spend a day and night in Downtown Vegas mostly on Fremont Street. Surprisingly, I didn’t gamble much but I had a great time anyway. I’ll be sharing highlights throughout the week.

Banger Brewing opened its doors for business late last year to rave reviews. I visit Downtown Vegas pretty often but I’m usually in a casino to gamble. I kind of feel like a jerk for not visiting Banger Brewing sooner. I like beer and was blown away with my first 4 beers from the flight below.

Flight of Beer At Banger Brewing in Downtown Vegas
Flight of Beer At Banger Brewing

There are about 15-20 beers on tap at Banger Brewing and I told the bartender to give me a nice variety without getting too hoppy. Too many hops and I get a headache.

The flight above started with a crisp basic pilsner or wheat (I forget the name) and went to their Sandia (watermelon wheat) which led to the most amazing beer I’ve tried. El Heffe was next. It’s a pretty awesome name for their jalapeno hefeweizen. This might be the most unusual beer I’ve ever tasted. I would never order it alone but as part of a flight the subtle jalapeno flavor was fantastic. The flight ended with their tasty Imperial Stout called Knight Rye*der.

Lemon Shandy
Lemon Shandy

The subtle flavors from the watermelon and jalapeno beer made me want to try this Lemon Shandy which is one of the beers that rotates through (here’s their regular beer menu). This was a perfect beer for how I was feeling at the moment. The beer was crisp, refreshing and not too lemony.

Continue reading “Banger Brewing Is Better Than I Imagined”

Celebrate Sailor Jerry Day June 12 at Hog & Heifers

Hogs And Heifers Downtown Las Vegas
Hogs And Heifers

I’m not a fan of Hogs And Heifers because it’s crazy smokey and I don’t like country music or bartenders yelling into a megaphone (GOML). That being said, I’m always looking for an excuse to use this picture that I snapped of Hogs And Heifers in Downtown Vegas at 11am. The place was bumpin and I couldn’t even fit all of the motorcycles into the frame of this picture. People love Hogs And Heifers and it’s always a party.

With that in mind this event is a perfect fit for those of you who are into the HnH, tattoos and Sailor Jerry – the booze and the man. Here are the details:

Continue reading “Celebrate Sailor Jerry Day June 12 at Hog & Heifers”