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A belated trip report - restaurant reviews included

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(we actually went at the end of August, I had most of this typed up ready to post and totally forgot about it, so here goes)

Arrived in Vegas, Got the rental car, went to Wal-Mart, got some snacks, drinks, water, sundries and booze … it was nearly 4 when we left and my husband I were STARVED.
We contemplated checking in and hitting up the Rendezvous Concierge lounge at Paris where we were staying for a cocktail and whatever they were serving, but instead opted to start out our vacation the right way and we drove over to Firefly on Paradise.
In addition to a pitcher of red sangria (happy hour, half price!) we ate:
Boquerón’s (White sardines) which are marinated and served with yellow pepper verjus on a nice piece of toasty crusty bread and topped with just a touch of basil and a slice of roasted red pepper.
Stuffed Dates: dates stuffed with a Spanish almond, wrapped in bacon and served with a red wine reduction and a little chevre on top… WOW
Chorizo clams
Mussels in a coconut curry sauce.

Everything was very good…the highlights were the boqueron and the stuffed dates. The red wine reduction on those stuffed dates is just delicious and the boquerones are fresh and tangy

The chorizo clams were a little greasy to me this time and I wasn’t thrilled with the sauce for the mussels… kind of had a “Campbells tomato soup” aftertaste to me.
Making a mental note that next time we’ll go straight to Lotus of Siam instead.

Happily sated and refreshed from the sangria, we drove back to Paris and checked into our room.

Day two, breakfast at the concierge lounge. I was quite impressed with the offerings and the smoked salmon was delicious! They also had assorted pastries as well as yogurt and fresh fruit parfaits and a very nice selection of fresh fruit, oh and Good Coffee… (it’s not easy to get good coffee in Vegas!)

We took a trip to Madame Tusseau’s was museum. Tony Bennett is my all time favorite performer, so I have to tell you, I literally got a little teary eyed taking a picture with his likeness.

Walked about the Venetian and saw people having pizza at what we thought was a casual outdoor eatery, so decided on lunch at Zefferino’s.
We were totally unprepared by the way, for the place being dressy. When we went in to get a table the hostess took us upstairs to another hostess who seated us. We were in shorts and Phillies T-shirts and sneakers. They sat us overlooking the canal and their “out door” dining area. They seemed unfazed by our appearance, so we just rolled with it. The service is excellent, the food excellent. I’d give this place 5 out of 5 stars.

I had blue point oysters for an appetizer, a glass of a good crisp Chablis. The oysters were impeccably fresh, and had that nice sweet briny taste that I was looking for with lots of their own liquor. They made me very happy!

For lunch, I had a crab and shrimp risotto that was out of this world. Al Dente risotto nice pieces of crab, a little tomato and so flavorful!

My hubby had agnoletti type pasta stuffed with veal in a pomodoro sauce which was equally as good.
I also loved, loved, loved the bread they serve with your meal.

Day 3 Friday night: no reservations made in advance (shame on us) we ate at Café Il St. Louis in the Paris hotel/casino and it just was a disappointment. I guess I overshot, by ordering a duck confit crepe… it tasted like dark meat turkey to me, definitely not duck and it had a heavy white sauce which I’m thinking was supposed to be a béchamel, but really just tasted like glue. (ugh) lesson learned… I’d have been happier with grabbing a taco or a slice of pizza somewhere. We went to Fremont St and caught the live show, watched the people zip line and went to the Golden Nugget. I played Black Jack and did pretty well, walked with more than what I showed up at the table with, the hubby found a slot machine hidden behind a pillar and it was paying out like an ATM machine, it was as if the Vegas Gods were making up for the bad dinner we had, by compensating us with our gambling efforts.

Day #4, Saturday in Vegas. Drove out to the Valley of Fire. That place is really incredible. The rock formations are so strange, you feel like you’re on another planet and they have petroglyphs that are over 4,000 years old. (some of them look like aliens, creepy!) I pocketed a rock. And then we were at the visitors’ center and there was a sign about not taking rocks… so I put it back. (I don’t need some bad-ass 4,000 year old Native American curse while I’m out in Vegas) My husband called me chicken. I should have put the rock in his pocket.

Came back, cleaned up hit the concierge lounge “happy hour” for dinner… I know totally cheesy right? They have a nice happy hour spread with some pasta and sandwiches and cocktails, so we figured why not? The food was very good, the pasta was a little over cooked, but it was sitting in a buffet server so maybe it wasn’t so when it was first put out. Great selection of cheeses and more fresh fruit. The sandwich selection included Italian hoagie, as well as Turkey and I think roast beef. There was also a very large vessel containing shrimp on ice. (can I ask what it is with Vegas and shrimp?) I’ve never had shrimp on one of these types of buffets which were good… so why bother? (rant over)

We took a cab to Rio to see Penn & Teller (our 2nd time seeing them) LOVE that show! If you’ve seen it in the past, there are one or two tricks repeated, but the rest was new and as fun as ever. Took a cab back to the strip, and drank and gambled like we were rock-stars!

Day 5: Sunday did the champagne brunch buffet at Paris. I was a little hung over… no strike that I was a lot hung over and it was after 11, so that’s like almost lunch, right? Had sushi and crab legs with champagne for brunch… (Don’t judge me, Sushi cures my hangovers) The rolls on the buffet at Paris are… well not bad, really. It was just what the doctor ordered…

Hubby had traditional breakfast fare, eggs, sausage, etc. all of which are very good. We’re not really big on the buffets, but for a late breakfast early lunch, we figured it’d fit the bill and well with our TR credits, it was free (yes, we’re frugal)

Up and out we went…. But to do what now? It’s our last FULL day/night in Vegas. Went to Miracle Mile Mall and did some souvenir shopping for kids and co-workers, oh and of course there’s a Fat Tuesday in the mall too, so we grabbed a couple of those, (hair of the dog) while we wandered around window shopping the MMM. Then went to the Bellagio to walk around the conservatory. We decided to go back to Fremont Street. (hubby did well on the slot machines there two nights before

While on Fremont Street I hit a progressive at the Golden Nugget! This was after two previous sizeable wins on the same machine… cashed each one out separately and we beat feet out of the casino, giggling like a couple of school girls!

Sunday night… still buzzing from the win and the booze, we took our buy one get one free entrée coupon (oh, yes I did, and yes, even after a big win) to Hash House a go-go and we both ordered chicken and waffles. OMG!

We should have split one order because it was so big. It’s delicious…the waffles have bacon in them, and the coating to the chicken has fresh sage in it and they top it with fried leeks and a maple syrup reduction.

It’s stacked high and they stick a big branch of rosemary down the middle. I want to eat that every day!

Monday, last day in Vegas… 3:30 flight. We had breakfast in the lounge, checked out, loaded up the car and got back inside Paris to kill time. Checked out the new Sugar Factory at Paris… all hype. (I love my daughter, but I’m not buying her a crystal studded ‘couture’ lollipop holder for $30 and refill lollipops at 3 for $12. To be fair, the menu looked interesting and they did have some really nice looking cup cakes, but we’d been eating and drinking so much we decided that since it was our last day, we’d give our calorie intake a break.

By the time we checked in and got to our terminal in the airport, the Mister was hungry and I thought “I could eat” … sadly our choice in the terminal we were at was pizza at the bar or Subway. He got the subway, I got the pizza… neither were very good (insert sad face here)

Overall, we learned some very important lessons:

Don’t take any rocks from the Valley of Fire

If you want to eat anywhere decent in Vegas on the weekend, you have to have a reservation…plan, plan, plan!

Buy One Get One Free coupons are still ok, even after you’ve won a lot of money (just be sure to tip based on two dinners)

You can still have a great meal, even if you’re dressed like a couple of bums

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Hash House
2605 S Decatur Blvd Ste 103, Las Vegas, NV 89102

Bellagio
3600 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV

Lotus of Siam
953 E Sahara Ave Ste A5, Las Vegas, NV 89104

Fat Tuesday
3500 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

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  1. Is this the same trip/report posted on Aug 31?