Vegas Vacation Notes

Cigar And Cognac At Andre's At Monte Carlo
Cigar And Cognac At Andre’s

When I lived on the east coast I used to take notes of interesting things that happened or I noticed during trips to Atlantic City and Las Vegas. I figured that is do that I would do that again during my recent Vegas vacation. These are just straight notes, so there will be grammar mistakes.

I’ll elaborate on most of these subjects in future writing here and elsewhere. Tweet me or leave a comment if you have any specific questions.

– The D sold out Friday and Saturday.
– Cash or bomb in briefcase?
– The D queen room as big as king room just 2 beds. Not bad. Size.
– AC great
– Andiamo’s best restaurant downtown Vegas.
– When in doubt. The song is Train or Pitbull.
– cornhole.
– Flair bar tending.
– El Cortez vodka selection awful. Drink beer.
– Fremont East between El Cortez and FSE full of awful.
– flamingo always crowded.
– Families suck.
– don’t like kids, eat at nice restaurants.
– Mandalay Bay 3:2 BJ. Good vodka.
– Margaritaville casino fun. 6:5 bj.
– Margaritaville restaurant ok.
– Fab room bathroom disgusting. Rotting. Chipping. Peeling.
– Monte Carlo casino = eh. No even money bj. 6:5.
– Andre’s fun.
– I like cognac.
– Bally’s moved poker room.
– Flamingo casino air not consistent. Nasty.
– Mississippi Stud go boom.
– cash travel?
– Blackjack bad.
– video poker eh.
– craps!
– Traffic everywhere.
– LIFE slot kinda fun.
– new, giant Wizard of Oz slots at V & the D.
– Flamingo sportsbook comfy. Drink tix.
– Carlos n Charlie’s as bad as people say. Loud. Never again.
– Strip traffic sucks. Expect long hauls.
– Gamers v. Gamblers.
– T3 great.
– Flamingo housekeeping awful.
– No more Steve Wynn in cabs.
– VIP better than not. Duh.
– flamingo air a mess.

Rockhouse Now A 5 Star Dive Bar

I was invited to the grand opening of Rockhouse at The Venetian and since I visit The Venetian and The Palazzo pretty often I figured I’d check it out. Between the two casinos I like the sportsbooks, dining selections, coffee options, craps at The Palazzo and wifi accessibility at The Venetian (The Palazzo stopped free wifi last year).

Rockhouse Sign

 

Rockhouse is litterally located in between both The Venetian and The Palazzo in the Grand Canal Shoppes. Across the hall was First Food and Bar which was considered to be a part of The Palazzo. More than anything I was curious how the idea of a dive bar could possibly be a reality at a luxury hotel.

Rockhouse used to be located at Imperial Palace but it closed last year when renovations began turning IP into The Quad. Rockhouse isn’t a dive bar any longer…it’s an “Ultra-Dive Bar“.

WTF IS AN ULTRA DIVE BAR?!

The marketing was such a turn off that before I went to the opening of Rockhouse I was skeptical that there was any way this place could be cool. I was right and I was wrong. Rockhouse is not a dive bar. It’s located in a luxury resort and sells drinks that are competitive for the Vegas strip – not a dive bar. However…

Marketing aside Rockhouse is pretty cool!

Rockhouse Bar

Rockhouse is a bar. No more, no less. This awesome Grey Goose and soda was poured by a bartender that had must have had lead in her wrists (STRONG DRINK). I rarely feel the effects from one drink but this one hit me pretty nicely. In fact, this was the only drink I had at a totally open bar. Thanks Rockhouse, this was perfect. I hope that you can replicate this drink when I visit again.

The decor and name Rockhouse lead me to believe that I would be hearing some awesome rock jams. Unfortunately I heard no rock. The party played the most obnoxious mainstream pop music. I heard Pitbull three times in 20 minutes and I wanted to hurl. I like Pitbull but this was a bit much. The decor makes me think that there will be rock music for me when I return to Rockhouse in the future. Check out this sweet pool table.

Rockhouse Pool Table

The bartenders were I met were all nice and all good looking. There was only a short wait for drinks at a packed open bar. That’s impressive for just 3 bartenders. The back room of the bar has a few tables with views of the strip, mechanical bull, VIP area and a DJ booth. Not quite dive bar-ish. The front room where the pool table above is located has beer pong tables a nice selection of beer on tap and plenty of big TV’s.

Rockhouse has a $50 all you can drink all day deal which isn’t as bad as it sounds. The deal lasts from open to close and if you’re a boozer you and have more than 6 drinks or so this is probably a value. With all of the new TV’s and it being a new bar this might actually be a good deal to watch March Madness. Unfortunately your $50 won’t get you a sweet guitar full o booze.

UPDATE: The day before March Madness Rockhouse raised their all you can drink prices to $125.

Rockhouse Guitar Drink

$35 seems like a lot for a super sugary drink. If I’m getting a souvenir drink I prefer a 22 ounce skull of beer for $10. I walked into Rockhouse with a chip on my shoulder because of the marketing and expected to hate Rockhouse but I enjoyed it. Rockhouse isn’t a dive bar but it is a pretty cool bar away from the family chaos at The Venetian.

Now that First Food and Bar is closed I think Rockhouse will fill the void of a good out of the way place to have a meeting at The Venetian.

Stay Away From Heart Attack Grill

When I first saw the news about someone dying from a heart attack at Heart Attack Grill I thought it was ironic and slightly funny in a dark way. Last week another unofficial spokesperson for Heart Attack Grill died from a heart attack and I didn’t even want to mention it. Death isn’t very funny.

“He lived a very full life,” said Basso, who seemed shaken when reached by phone Monday evening. “He will be missed.”

The Pennsylvania native is survived by his only family, his brother Paul. Basso said Alleman had a genetic predisposition for cardiac problems, as both of his parents died of heart attacks in their 50s.

Basso recalled Alleman as a fun-loving man who loved the Heart Attack Grill. The medically themed restaurant is famous for its high-fat menu that includes a record-breaking 9,982-calorie, 3-pound Quadruple Bypass Burger. The grill’s slogan is “Taste worth dying for.”

I’m not a healthy eater but this place sounds disgusting from all reviews I’ve heard. I love steak, burgers, beer and vodka. I’d rather have a good quality steak, a gourmet burger, top shelf vodka and craft beer. That’s far from healthy but I prefer quality over quantity. I’d probably prefer both. Who am I kidding? Heart Attack Grill is not quality. It’s just quantity.

There are so many independently owned bars and restaurants in downtown Vegas to spend your money for a quality experience that it’s sad people go to a chain restaurant just to eat poorly when there are better options available.

Later this week I’ll share some tips to enjoy yourself downtown. In the meantime, if you’re in Las Vegas just stay away from the Heart Attack Grill.

Tweet me @eastcoastgamblr

 

Sinatra Smash

This morning I was asked what a Sinatra Smash is so I figured I’d take a moment to share with everyone. While I drink, I’ve never had a Sinatra Smash, which is a boozy drink served at Wynn Las Vegas. It’s a berry drink that lots of people love. Below is a recipe from a Wynn newsletter.

  • 5-6 fresh blackberries
  • 2 oz. fresh sweet & sour*
  • ⅓ oz. Sonoma Vanilla Infused Simple Syrup
  • ¾ oz. Briotett Créme de Cassis
  • 2 oz. Gentleman Jack Tennessee Whiskey

I’m not much of a whiskey drinker, even if the taste is faint. (I feel the same about Tequila.) However, I love berries. The newsletter gives more explanation how to make a Sinatra Smash.

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the blackberries with the sweet & sour. Add the remaining ingredients and shake with ice until chilled. Strain over cracked ice in an old fashioned glass. Garnish with a beautiful mint sprig.

*Fresh Sweet & Sour: Cut fresh lemons in half and extract the fresh juice. Strain. Combine equal parts of freshly squeezed and strained lemon juice with simple syrup (*see recipe below). Stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready for use. Expires in 7 days.

To make simple syrup, dissolve equal amounts of granulated sugar and boiling water, allow to cool.

The picture above from Five Hundy’s flickr, doesn’t look very creamy but I don’t like mixing cream or sugar in my drinks. Add whiskey to the mix and you have a cocktail that has little appeal to me.

I’d rather take fresh berries and add them to a glass of Belvedere vodka. In fact, next time I’m at Wynn I think I’ll do that.

Worlds Largest Margarita? Too Bad It’s Not Grey Goose

I rarely see a press release that seems ECG (AC2LV) worthy, but the Flamingo in Las Vegas is opening the Margaritaville casino next week and coinciding with that they will attempt to make the worlds largest margarita for the Guinness Book of World Records. It’s a fitting and fun promotion.

After six months of planning, the mixing of the colossal 8,500 gallon beverage, appropriately named “Lucky Rita”, will begin on October 11, 2011…it will take over 300 man hours working around the clock to mix the concoction, concluding with the public “Topping Off” ceremony on October 14, 2011. Surpassing the previous record holder by 873 gallons, Lucky Rita will feature 2,125 gallons of Margaritaville Gold Tequila, 708 gallons of Triple Sec, 5,667 gallons of Margaritaville Margarita Mix and Lemon-X sour mix and 22,667 Lime Wedges. Lucky Rita will sit at 30 feet tall and will serve over 181,333 margaritas from October 14th to October 23rd coinciding with the 7th annual Margaritaville street party.

I don’t drink tequila (bad things happen) so this sounds disgusting to me. I love vodka, but I don’t think I’d even drink vodka that has been sitting for 10 days. As nasty as the drink sounds this is a very appropriate and fun promotion idea. Whatever the case, I look forward to checking out the new casino.

If you’re bored you can watch the building of Lucky Rita. Or buy this frozen concoction maker.

Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker
Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker