11 days in Vegas. I'll tell you where to go.
Let me start off by saying we have been going to Vegas since 1985. Breakfast was 99 cents, lunch was $1.99 and dinners were $3.99. The good old days a lot of people long for. Casinos gave food away just to get you in the door. Let me put in a plug for the Station Casinos and the Boyd Gaming Casinos. $5.99 to $8.99 breakfast buffets with excellent choices. What more do you want?
Eleven days in Las Vegas over the holidays. This is the longest we have ever stayed but we thought, ”What the heck, its vacation”.
First stop Ellis Island for the steak special. Salad, potato, green beans, steak and a huge in-house beer. Not the best cut of meat. If you have never done it, try it. Probably our last time. Why? Read on and you will understand.
Prime Rib Loft at the Orleans. Had to be THE best prime rib we have ever had, anywhere. Cajun style is the way to go. Shrimp cocktail here and everywhere in Vegas is getting expensive. (except for the $2.99 places) Very good here. “Pop” in your mouth kind. Crisp salad, choice of potatoes, excellent cut of prime rib with no fat what so ever. Priced from $17 to $21. Great service. Perfect evening. Highly recommend.
Vic & Anthony’s at the Golden Nugget. On-line reviews are almost unbelievable. One or two bad reviews out of a thousand. Too good to be true. As far as we are concerned this place is the BEST restaurant in Vegas. May be a little bit on the pricey side for some but worth every penny. Nice atmosphere, superb service and excellent food. We both had the filet cooked to perfection and melt in your mouth good. Sides are a la carte but reasonably priced. We split a baked potato and broccoli. There was enough broccoli for six people. Steamed just right with a touch of butter. Only one observation. Won’t even call it a complaint. Call me old school but I’m a believer in dress code. Yes, I know the guy in the t-shit maybe a billionaire and his money is just as green as mine, but hey put some decent clothes on if you’re going to go out to a classy place like this. I think the term is “business casual”. The restaurant should require it. To me it adds to the over-all experience. Just personal choice on my part.
Hugo’s Cellar at the Four Queens. Looking for a romantic evening? This is the place to go. All the women get a red rose when they arrive. It is located downstairs with brick surroundings and large wood beams. Low level lighting with plenty of intimate seating. Four waiters in tuxedos service each table plus a very friendly and knowledgeable sommelier to take care of your wine needs. Give the Leonard Kreusch Riesling a try. With steak? Drink what you like. It goes with just about anything. It is a middle of the road type wine. We started with the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, so good. Salads are made table side with at least 15 different ingredients you can choose to add to your lettuce. Again we had the filet cooked to perfection. The cut of meat was very, very good. Side are included here. With your meal is a mini dessert but to really top the evening off go with real Bananas Foster or Cherries Jubilee flamed at your table. This place ranks right up there on the list. Service is fantastic. When I made reservations I was asked if it was a special occasion. Being the week of our anniversary I said yes and promptly forgot about it. They remembered and the Cherries Jubilee was “on the house”.
Billy Bob’s Steak House and Saloon at Sam’s Town. Often visited here, but never stayed. Figured we would try it. Wanted to stay on premises so Billy Bob’s fit the ticket. Nice atmosphere. Good service. Food was pretty good. Not great. I don’t think I would go out of my way to try this place. But if you are staying at the hotel I would give it a try.
BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse. Yes it’s a chain, but I have to say if you have one close to where you live, you are lucky. Closest one to our home is three hours away. We hit this place at least four times in our eleven day stay. Wide menu and everything we had was very good. I make my own beer so when I say this, I know what good beer tastes like. On a hot summer day when you’re cutting the grass or painting the garage a Bud Lite is fine. Other than that, unless you’re on a diet, you can keep it. The beer here is excellent. Check out their website. They have a large variety with a bunch of limited run seasonals. There is something here for everyone’s taste.
Primarily Prime Rib at South Point. Every year we have a contest to see who will have the best prime rib. This place came in second this year. Last year they were #1. This is a really nice restaurant with great atmosphere and service. Located about six miles south of the strip, the trip is worth making for the fine cuisine. Very reasonably priced also.
Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que at Red Rock Casino. This is a chain originating out of California I believe. Two years ago we had a terrible meal at the Green Valley location and swore we would never go back. After giving them time to regroup we decided to give them a try at the new Red Rock location. Someone in management must have taken the hint and took steps to improve their quality. Having lived in Texas for eight years I know what BBQ is supposed to taste like. So far Lucille’s is the best Vegas has to offer. Is it what I consider real BBQ? No, but it’s not bad eating either. The quality of the meat has improved tremendously. Their sides are very uniquely tasting. The price is a little steep but so are a lot of things in life. Yes I realize different parts of the country have different styles of BBQ. But I also know good when I taste it.
Peppermill Restaurant and Fireside Lounge. This place is old school. Good food. Good service. Good prices for what you get. Buy one and split it. Blue and pink “neon” lighting in a forest of trees is like nothing else in town. Go there at night just to look inside. Desserts are mammoth. Everything they serve is mammoth. They are the originators of fire on water decor. Ask Frank Sinatra next time you see him. That’s how long they have been around. They must be doing something right.
Images Restaurant in the Rainbow Club and Casino Henderson. Owned by the Peppermill Casino in Reno and sister to the Peppermill Restaurant mentioned above, has daily specials and a breakfast for $1.89 ( a whole $2.29 on weekends) that puts everybody to shame. We ate here several times throughout our stay. Good food at dirt cheap prices.
Just like 1985.
Loved your report thingfiz! A GREAT report without a ton of word smithing. 6 adjective 20 word sentences to describe a bite is getting very old. Very useful.
I used to think that the Prime Rib at Sir Galahad's in the Excaliber was Da BOMB. I was saddened when it closed and have yet to find (admittedly have not searched all that hard) a great replacement. I went to Lawrys several trips ago with my wife and while the beef was very good, the place seriously lacked personality. Not to mention how they try and get you to buy the over priced cocktails in the bar as they "prepare your table"...excuse me Mr. host, there are only 4 parties in the dining room and 30 empty tables. That really bothered us.
I will have to try the Prime Rib Loft as it has always peaked my curiosity. And the fact that it is not a "Strip" casino means reasonable gambling afterwards! Another rarity in this town.
We have outgrown the strip. Two blocks west at a quarter of the price just can't be beat. I dread the day the Orleans starts making major "improvements". We have been dining at the Prime Rib Loft for as long as I can remember. Very consistent.
Without smithing too much let me point out what change can bring. The Luxor used to be a great place. We stayed and dined there frequently. It used to have a theme. They made changes and now it is a big black pointed thing on the outside and something that resembles a disco on the inside. I cannot name one good restaurant in the place.
THANKS EVERYONE FOR YOUR COMMENTS!!
Keep them coming. I value most of the postings on CHOW. They help take the mystery and sometimes nightmares out of our dining adventures.
re: Tom P
NO school like OLD school. No one likes change. Not when it is tried and true. Sure there are some great places opening in Vegas on a daily basis. I personally don' care to spend a ton of money just to experiment and possibly be disappointed in the process. Most of the new restaurants opening now a days are tying to out-do the previous guy and might I say At my expense $$$$$.
Just my thoughts.
End your curiosity and give them a try.
Don't know what you got to eat but I tell people "It's called Prime Rib Loft, if you want chicken , go to KFC." That being said, everyone has an OFF night. Sorry to say, maybe it was your turn. If you have a chance give them another try. I can't stand smoke myself.
Whenever I go to any restaurant I don't sit in high traffic areas, near bus stations next to dirty dishes, near the restrooms or anyplace I feel I'm not going to be comfortable. I'm at a restaurant to enjoy myself, not to have people running into me or dishes clanging in my ear.
Request where you want to sit and if you have to wait, so be it.
Wish you better luck in the future.
Nice report, will have to try the Prime Rib Loft, sounds great. Someone told me Big Al's Oyster Bar at the Orleans is good too.
Love Hugo's Cellar, somehow it seems overlooked these days with all the newer fine dining restaurants in the big casinos. But it is a classic, old school place as is the Peppermill, although at a different dining level.
One new place we tried that we loved was Delmonico's, Emeril Lagasse's steakhouse. The steak was excellent and their fresh banana cream pie was to die for.
Prime Rib Loft IS great. I don't need to spend $200 just to say I went to some fancy restaurant. I can spend $17 and get great food. My philosophy in life is "Take my money. Just give me what I want." PRL does just that.
We usually get a salad and a shrimp cocktail for lunch at Big Al's. Not big seafood eaters. The place is always packed. I think their specialty is various chowders. They have a row of pots always steaming away.
In Vegas if you don't give the customer what they want, you go out of business. The competition is great. Hugo's has been around since the invention of napkins. That speaks for itself. The place is a favorite of ours.
As far as your suggestions, we have not tried. Can only eat so many places in so many days. I gained 20 lbs. this last trip.
I really enjoyed your report. I had no idea that the Peppermill owns the restaurant in the Rainbow Club. You've made me curious about this.
I usually stay at South Point and admit that I've never gone to anything on the floor with the Prime Rib and Mexican restaurants. How would you compare it to the steakhouse at SP, if you've been there?
re: Dave Feldman
Peppermill website shows all of its properties. Reno Peppermill is fantastic. They own Rainbow Club and the restaurant inside.
SP used to be South Coast owned by Boyd Gaming. The restaurant styles are similar to the Orleans, Sun Coast an Gold Coast. Have not tried Michael's or Silverado Steakhouse so I cannot say. Did try Don Vito's. If you don't feel like leaving the premises and you want some Italian then it's OK. not great. The Boulevard across the street used to be up here in NE Ohio. They moved to Vegas back in 2000 or so. They're still open so it is PROBABLY as good as it was up HERE. Have not been to the one in Vegas so take it for what it's worth. hate to make suggestions on places I have not been to.