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[MSP] Where to eat in Twin Cities if I wanted to pretend to be in Vegas?

As I said in this thread, http://www.chowhound.com/topics/41403... , I wish I were in Vegas right now. But, alas, I'm not. But, if I wanted to pretend, all weekend, to be in Vegas, where in the Twin Cities would I go to eat? Any ideas? Perhaps you know of places with great buffets? Or places that also have a restaurant in Vegas?


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  1. There is a P F Changs in Vegas and we have them in Maple Grove and Southdale. However feel wise its Manici's on west 7th. The booths of glitter and the bar area reminds me of a Vegas lounge. Good Buffets you will get allot of asian ones listed but for good standard fare .http://www.tinuccis.com/Dining.htm Enjoy baby!

    1. mystic lake buffet-- genuine slot-machine sounds in the background for ambiance?

      i don't do many buffets but fogo sounds like it might be one of the better buffets-- with service, in town

      i agree with liney that the old-timey steak and supper clubs around town remind me of that bygone era of vegas where you might see the rat pack at caesar's: manny's, murray's, monte carlo, nye's, mancini's, jax. . .

      1. Great ideas, thank you, keep 'em coming! (I have a whole weekend to fill...) I love the "lounge" suggestions--perfect for at least one of my meals. And, yes, Mystic Lake would be a good choice, too. FDC would be a kick!

        What about breakfasts?

        Thanks, everyone!


        2 Replies
        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          (first time posting!)

          If you're going for ambiance, and not necessarily the food, I couldn't help but notice how Vegas-like the patio seating in front of Bellanote is while I was downtown a few weeks ago. After dark, with the lighting and the fountains... it was sort of Disney does Vegas. In a good way.

          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            If you want to pretend you're in the seedier parts of Vegas, grab a booth in the piano bar half of Nyes. To really make it feel like Vegas though, take a couple thousand dollars and flush then down the toilets downstairs. ;)

            And someone has to say it, go to Vegas Lounge on Central! Granted, meat raffles aren't a Vegas fixture, but you're less likely to meet some NFL cornerback's stray bullet there.

          2. It depends on the vibe you want! Mancinis does the best job of having the old school thing going on. Head to Nye's for drinks, they have some of that feel while also bringing an "anything can happen" vibe. Pretend the piano is a blackjack table, and you're all set. Sadly, we don't have anything that comes anywhere near The Peppermill.

            If you want a Vegas-like Buffet, Mystic Lake's is very similar to the mid-range buffets in Vegas. If you want to do a big brunch buffet, hit the Famous Daves Sunday Brunch Buffet at Calhoun Square. If you consume enough bloody marys (they have a bloody mary bar) you can pretend you're at the House of Blues Gospel Brunch at Mandalay Bay.

            1. HA! You guys are awesome, as always, thank you. I never even knew Famous Dave's had a brunch buffet! Funny.

              Welcome, blue skiesMN, thank you for the terrific suggestion!

              You know, I've never been to Nyes? (The pull of Kramarczuk's is too strong.) I might have to go this weekend! (and, thanks, Foureyes, but we'll probably keep our cash rather than literally flushing. That's one part of the Vegas experience I don't mind missing.)


              1 Reply
              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                as many have stated in other posts, TDQ, nye's may fall short on chowish value and the food is really quite pricey for what it is. i've slammed nye's a few times but i'd like to say that that sort of ambiance, piano bar and all, is what is adding a few bucks to the price of your entree, & if you go to nye's for the spectacle and the experience, you can't complain!

                it is very vegas-- sparkly booths, martinis, relish tray, 72 year old servers with too much makeup. . . if you've never gone i'd encourage you to experience nye's but expect to pay more than you might like for chow that doesn't wow--- but gosh it's fun especially if "the world's most dangerous polka band" is playing and you've had a stiff shot of polish brandy!

              2. If you want some of the Lindsay Lohan/Britney Spears Vegas (Lindsay's 21st birthday once she is out of rehab is supposedly in Vegas... so smart...) how about Restaurant Miami in Uptown. Not the food but the crazy atmosphere and loud music might fit the bill.

                It is Pride weekend in Minneapolist this weekend too so if you keep your eyes open and maybe head to the parade on Hennepin on Sunday, you might catch a drag show or two!

                1 Reply
                1. re: RedPepper

                  I should think Nye's would hit the spot, wouldn't it?

                  Or an alternate in the polar opposite direction - Chino Latino.

                2. What about the red white & Fing blue bar at the top of chambers? All white decor and bad bartenders remind me of ghost bar at the Palms just a wee bit. You can overlook the strip of Hennipin Ave vs overlooking the vegas strip from the top of the Palms?

                  What's the lounge/disco in Graves? Infinity? its loud & reminds me of a few vegas clubs. overpaying for drinks & hearing loss certainly reminds that I'm too old for Vegas.

                  I would also 2nd the idea of a solid steak to get the Vegas vibe. Something with a wedge of iceberg, blue cheese and crumbled bacon would really work.

                  Have fun in MinniVegas.... or you can always see if there is a cheap flight to get out of town.......

                  1. TDQ - update please..... wondering how vegas-y MSP can be!

                    1. Thanks, everyone, for your fantastic suggestions. This thread really made me laugh. Unfortunately, life intervened and we weren't able to spend the entire weekend pretending we were in Vegas, but we did manage one dinner out at Mancini's Char House on West 7th in St. Paul. As you all pointed out, the red (leather?) banquettes, the mirrors, the sparkly lights all fit the "Vegas" mood perfectly.

                      Plus, I'd been wanting to check out Mancini's since Nick died a month or so ago. The next generation has been running it for years, anyway. Same great toast. They still put the big bowls of pickles, pepper and tomatoes on every table. Salad is still iceberg lettuce+tomato. I had the filet+lobster combo with a side of veggies. Really, it was a perfectly Vegas evening.

                      As we were leaving we stopped to admire the collage of photos in memory of Nick-- one of the sons came by and wished us a lovely evening. It still has that friendly, family-run vibe.

                      We had wanted to have fried banana and peanut sandwiches at one point in the weekend (to honor the King, of course), but it was so hot we ended up at Brewberry's) (Randolph at Fairview in St. Paul) and had the banana and peanut butter ice cream instead. Not as good Izzy's or any of the other places around town that craft their ice creams in-house, but pretty good for "out of the tub" ice cream. The waffle cone was not so great--a victim of the high humidity. I liked the mint chocolate chip soy ice cream--very minty and refreshing.

                      At home, we had several "99 cent shrimp cocktails," and my Wynn knock-off pancakes, as described in this thread. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/41403... And, yes, we played lots of Sinatra on the stereo.

                      We'll have to pick another weekend to do a full Faux Vegas weekend as I'd originally planned, but we had a lot of fun anyway!

                      Thanks again,