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Mar 27, 2013 02:00 AM

"Best of Las Vegas" - REALLY?!?!

Here are the 2013 "Best of Las Vegas" award results:

However, considering the reader picks for "Best Italian Restaurant" (Olive Garden), "Best Seafood Restaurant" (Red Lobster), "Best Chinese Restaurant" (P.F. Chang's), "Best Steakhouse" (Outback Steakhouse), and "Best BBQ" (Famous Dave's), I'd take these awards with a grain of salt - AT BEST!!

To the Las Vegas locals who voted in these awards: come on, folks! You live in Las Vegas!! And, you think these mediocre chains are the best this city has to offer? Las Vegans ought to be ashamed of themselves!! Bloody hell!!

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  1. Don't know whether this is more scary or funny.

    1. A lot of folks probably can't afford the higher end. That, and for many , it is just a meal, nothing more.

      I have eaten at all of them. The olive Garden, and Red Lobster are off my radar due to how they treated their employees back home, and over fishing of swordfish.

      Dave's has some good BBQ sauces, and I love their hot pickles. Saying that, I cannot tell you the last time I was in there. Simply can't afford to eat out much after the pay cut.

      7 Replies
      1. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR

        You are probably right and that has a bit to do with it. However, I still think it's rather small-minded.

        I'm not saying that the named franchises are BAD...I just can't believe people would vote them EMBLEMATIC of the city's BEST. Why not choose one of the many local BBQ joints, which are at least as affordable and at least as good, instead of Famous Dave's? Why not choose one of our excellent local Italian restaurants (Nora's? Roma Deli? Marc's?) instead of Olive Garden?

        A restaurant doesn't need to be "higher end" to be the best. But when you're going to bestow an award titled "Best of Las Vegas" onto an establishment, you'd think you'd at least want it to be not only quite good, but also the best of what is somewhat unique to Las Vegas. And to say that these mid-level chains are "best" and therefore imply that they are "better" than the local dining landscape takes a lot of credibility away from these awards, in my opinion.

        1. re: TravelScholar

          This sort of thing happens all over. The taste of Vegas residents isn't any more sophisticated than anywhere else, and many people like the consistency of chains. Besides, Vegas has a real shortage of mom-and-pop restaurants -- in my experience, once you get off the Strip, it's mostly chains.

          Not defending Famous Dave's, but as for these local BBQ places, please tell us which ones are as good or better than F.D. I consider the BBQ in this town to be pretty weak.

          1. re: Steve Green

            You are probably right, Steve, on all counts. Even my favourite BBQ place in town is a chain (Lucille's). LOL. And, Famous Dave's is probably my 2nd favourite. Like I said, point isn't that the chains aren't good. But, I think to imply that they are the "best" that Las Vegas has to offer is pretty sad.

            1. re: Steve Green

              I agree. I have friends at home who would absolutely vote for Olive Garden, Cheesecake Factory, Red Lobster, etc as the "best" restaurant. There's a reason there are so many of those places around--most Americans like their food.

              1. re: Njchicaa

                Maybe the title should be Favorites of our readers, not Best of Las Vegas.

                Personally I have yet to dine on the Strip- outside of the buffet at Excalibur, and I was treated to the buffet at Bellagio once-otherwise I would probably never pay that much for a buffet.

                I love good food, but I have my limits cost wise. I would say that a lot more people can afford the chains than any Strip restaurant. So, to do a Best of list they would need to revamp the entire process of picking winners-panel of judges maybe?

                As to BBQ joints I only know of Lucille's, Memphis, and Famous Dave's. Haven't been to any others.

            2. re: TravelScholar

              What "many local BBQ joints" are you referring to? I'm looking for a good one.
              Nora's Italian is considerably better than OG; no comparison.

              1. re: mucho gordo

                Big Paul's on Pecos-McLeod at Desert Inn (SE corner) is decent.

                I've heard that Road Kill Grill at John Mull's Meats is very good, but I haven't been there.

          2. I always have to laugh when I see "readers picks" or "best of" lists in any publication. While, to me, the Review Journal's lists are laughable, these illogical lists are frequently published in magazines and newspapers all over the country. No matter who was at the top of category, would you take it seriously and run right out and dine there? No, you'd do more research because you are a Chowhound and you'd find out the real deal. I'd do the same. For some people, the dining establishments that were named are fine and are regarded as good eating. All I am saying is to each his own, and don't think that anyone knows better than you, what you like.

            1. Olive Garden has been the "Readers' Pick" for best Las Vegas Italian for several years running. All you need to do is read any of the comments to any R-J article (I hesitate to call the Review-Journal "fishwrap", because that would be cruel to fish) to see the mindset of the people who vote in this particular poll.

              1. I am impervious to the reader selections from the RJ -- I've seen every one since the feature began. What is depressing to me, this year, is how bad the editors' picks are.