The Linq Promenade

2015 has not been a stellar year for my Vegas blog.  Particularly since I hadn’t been to Vegas in a year and a half, and was blogging off fumes of previous adventures.  I finally got back there for a week in October….. I say finally like I don’t find a way to go once a year, and there are people who have never been, but for me it felt right to say finally ok?

What was new in Vegas?  In a year and a half, you’d be surprised.  It’s partially why I love the place, but it never stops evolving, and just when you think there’s just no way it can amass any more stuff, it amasses more stuff.  The most improved cluster on the strip since I was last there, is the stretch between Bally’s and The Linq.  The Linq hotel is in the area where the Imperial Palace used to be, and if you remember Imperial Palace, you remember low ceilings and shortening your life expectancy with the second-hand smoke in a casino where your dealer was almost always a celebrity impersonator of some sort.  It had its charm and the rooms were cheap and cheerful, but as much as I love a bargain, I always ponied up for something better.  The Linq looks nice!  We had breakfast there a couple of times.  Both times we were trying to eat at Hash House A-go-go, but the lineups were in excess of 45 minutes both times.  I’ve seen pics of the food there.  It looks wild.  Oh well, another good reason to go back ;).  We ate at Guy Fieri’s restaurant instead the first time, and checked out Chayo’s Mexican kitchen and Tequila Bar.  Guy’s had a great breakfast.  Chayo’s is probably not known for their breakfast, but it was decent still.  Below is an example of a breakfast item at Guy Fieri’s.  I don’t know what it is because the waitress brought it to me by mistake.  I really wanted it, but they caught the mistake before I could start eating it.  Mine tasted good too, but I’m using this pic because of the presentation.


At Bally’s they got rid of that huge moving sidewalk that brought you from the strip to the casino entrance, and traded it for a mini shopping center clustered with tiny stores, and a huge Starbucks.  Why I didn’t take a picture of that is a mystery, but I quite liked walking through those little shops instead of the dead space which was the moving sidewalk before.  Next time you’re there, you won’t have to go out of your way to see what I’m talking about.  It’s all very close to the sidewalk on the strip.

Across the road, the former Wild Bill’s Gambling Saloon has been replaced with a boutique hotel called The Cromwell.  I do remember spending a morning in Wild Bill’s playing $5 blackjack while the rest of Vegas (or the people I was travelling with) were still asleep.  The Cromwell is a pretty nice facelift though.  It features a restaurant from celebrity chef Giada De Laurentis.  We didn’t get in there this time, but it was on the list.  You should see the list though.

Finally The Linq Promenade……


Right in between The Flamingo and the Linq Hotels is a huge alley way that features a lot of brand new shops and restaurants.  Not to mention the High Roller which is the largest Observation Wheel (Ferris Wheel?) in the world.  No I didn’t go on that.  Yes it is on the list.  Places I did go (aside from previously mentioned breakfast spots at Linq) were Yard House, The Tilted Kilt, and Flour & Barley Brick Oven Pizza.  My wife and I don’t always love eating outside.  Drinking is different, but when I’m eating, I don’t like bugs or dealing with the elements, call me soft, I don’t care.  When we went to the Flour & Barley it was such a perfect evening.  It had probably cooled down to about 22 degrees celsius.  There was no wind, and the sun had gone down.  I don’t ever remember enjoying dining on a patio as much as I did here.  The Linq Promenade has several street performers in the evening.  They’re spread out so there’s always one within ear shot.  When the girl near our patio set up shop, I sort of groaned like she was going to end our perfect evening, but she moved from Sam Cooke to Fleetwood Mac effortlessly.  I’m pretty picky with music, but she was very entertaining.


Other fun things on the Promenade were a new version of O’Shea’s casino, The Brooklyn Bowl, Ghirardelli store, Haute Doggery, a great little store called Kitson (kind of Urban Outfitterish) which my son loved, and of course Sprinkles which boasts of the world’s first Cupcake ATM which dispenses fresh cupcakes 24/7.  Only in Vegas would this be available, and only in Vegas SHOULD this be available, because there is a very real possibility of a 4:30 am cupcake emergency in this town, but now it’s covered.  Who thinks of these things?


In summary, The Linq Promenade is so much better than I even thought it could be.  I would argue it’s now on a short list of my favourite places in Vegas.  We happened to be staying a few blocks away from it, which is why I ended up there so many times.  I was off strip and was simply using it as a path to get to the strip, but on some occasions I didn’t even make it to the strip because I had everything I needed on the Promenade.



Why Stay At Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas?

I’ve got my next Vegas trip planned.  It’s not for a few months yet, but I’m feeling the excitement already.  Time to breathe a little life into this blog.  I’ll be staying at a time share property just off the strip which I’ve done a few times before.  I think I’ll be able to discuss that option in a future post as it will be my 3rd different time share property there.  I’ve only really reviewed one hotel in this blog so far, and I thought tonight I would build on that.

The following link is about my stays at the Cosmopolitan.  (Speaking of stays at the Cosmopolitan, all of my photos of the front of Planet Hollywood are from the balcony of the Cosmopolitan, but half it is cut off by the tower that is closer to the strip.  I literally only have one good PH photo)


I thought here I would write about my stay at Planet Hollywood.  I have fond memories of it.  What I can remember anyways.  This trip was my stag, and the mission was to organize a 5 day trip to Vegas for 8 guys, most of whom had never been there before.  This was one of my favorite trips because it’s the only time these 8 guys had travelled together.  We just couldn’t get time and money organized when we were younger, and when we got older, we just couldn’t get time and money organized, but in a different way.  A lot of guys went through a lot of turmoil to make that happen for me, and I love them for it.  I remember being at an airport (in Denver?) waiting for a connecting flight, and we were all stuffing pizza slices into our faces as quickly as possible.  At that moment, in my mind it was already the best stag a guy could ever have, just to have my boys there with me.  Of course it got much better with our arrival in Vegas.

Most of us were broke as shit, I’m not gonna lie.  I had to be fairly sensitive surrounding the booking, and trying to get it into a reasonable price range for everyone.  We started by choosing a weekend in late January, which is probably the slowest weekend in the 52 week Vegas calendar.  There were deals to be had.  It’s a no-brainer that we wanted to stay on the strip, but where did we want to live on the 3-5 star ranking system?  Seemed like the boys didn’t want to totally cheap out on accommodations, but they couldn’t afford to break the bank, so 4 star hotels seemed to be the move.  Hotels that were in the mix included Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand (which I’d stayed at recently, was so big, I thought we’d never find each other in there), New York New York, Monte Carlo, Paris (but for a stag?), Treasure Island, and I think Harrah’s was in there for some reason.

Planet Hollywood usually lives on the higher side of the price range for 4 star hotels on the strip.  It was a long shot at first, but there was some sort of promotion going on that weekend that evened the playing field a bit.  My impression of PH before I had stayed there was that it was a good ‘stag’ hotel.  It’s kind of darkish in the casino, and most of the time they have games dealers that are extremely hot women dressed up somewhat playboybunnyish if that’s a word.  So it’s a nice walk-through, but maybe not for everyone.  It’s hip, and has a party atmosphere, but feels a lot more accessible than some of the other hotels.  I like it for the 20-40 crowd, which is what we were at the time 😉

The rooms are clean, comfortable, but borderline tacky.  Each room has a theme with some memorabilia from a movie that may not be so memorable.  We all stayed on the same floor (except for a couple of buddies who were at the PH Westgate which is the attached tower in behind Planet Hollywood), and I had a look at their rooms, and I don’t know any of those movies.  That said, who cares?  The rooms were adequate, let’s move on.

If I have one complaint, it’s that the elevators are so well hidden, that after 5 nights there, I still wasn’t too sure where they were.  I feel like the location changed every day.  I feel they do this intentionally, so I’ll get frustrated looking for them, and need to take a rest, and while resting I’ll put more money in their slot machines

This was my stag trip.  After the second day, I completely forgot I even had my camera with me.  I have hardly any photos from that trip, and none of PH.  I can tell you this…. One guy ate at ‘Planet Dailies’ just about every day because he had a crush on a waitress that worked there.  Another buddy ate at Earl of Sandwich on multiple occasions and swears by it.  Man, I had trouble pulling guys out of their comfort zones.  These places are great for casual dining.  I’ve also eaten at Gordon Ramsey’s BurGR which is also sensational, and makes my top Vegas burger list below.

Other random reasons to stay at Planet Hollywood, should you be considering it……

– The ‘Miracle Mile’ runs through it.  This is a shopping center with some decent restaurants, and I’ve eaten at a few and been happy.  You gotta have a few spots near home base just in case you didn’t think through your dinner plans.  Also, nobody wants to stray too far for breakfast or a good coffee.

– There is a huge 2 level Walgreen’s attached to it.  I always find myself there for one reason or another.  Snacks and supplies my friends.  Also, this particular Walgreen’s has a huge walk in beer fridge.  Sometimes you need some hotel beers, and some walking around beers (I’ll mention here to first timers that you can indeed walk the strip with a bottle of beer in your hand).

– Location!  There are several hotels that could claim to be smack dab in the middle of the strip.  I don’t know if there’s a hotel that could claim to be more centrally located.  I always prefer the south side of the strip for whatever reason.  Shorter cab ride to the airport I guess.  Planet Hollywood is close to absolutely everything.

– They seem to have a lot of shows.  Britney Spears is there right now.  I can’t say I’m into that, but I did really enjoy the Beatles tribute band that performs there.

– Garrett’s Popcorn.  I know I mention this in every post, and I know that it’s a Chicago thing, and not specifically a Vegas thing, but you must try it if you haven’t, and it’s in the Miracle Mile.  The last couple of the years I’ve noticed the grocery store is filled with wannabe Chicago Mix popcorn brands.  This makes all other forms of Chicago Mix seem ridiculous.  I’d almost stay at Planet Hollywood just to be closer to it.

I’m stopping at Garrett’s because it’s the only other PH photo I have that worked out.  There is one taken in my hotel room when we were getting ready to go out.  The behaviour had already deteriorated so badly at that point, that I don’t feel comfortable showing it.  It in no way would make you want to stay at a hotel with lunatics like this.




Vegas Burgers


I feel like a burger.  I also feel like going to Vegas.  You know what they have in Vegas??  Burgers!!!  Among other things.  I’ve been trying not to think about Vegas.  Once I come back from there, I have a cooling down period where I still get a kick out of looking at photos, and reminiscing about my trip.  Then a sadness comes over me when I realize that I won’t be headed back anytime soon.  Then the travel deals start coming by every available media outlet.  Then my wife and I start giving each other that look like, ‘We really should go somewhere else this time…… let’s just compare prices……..oh…… Vegas looks cheaper than that other place………Is it weird if we go again?……..’  It goes on and on.  Who knows when we’ll end up there again.  Maybe sooner than later.  In the meantime, let’s talk about hamburgers.

I’m not the foremost expert on hamburgers in Las Vegas.  Not even close.  I’m thinking that I can tell you a few things, and maybe you can tell me a few things.  I want to know what Vegas burger I should try next.  Any input would be appreciated.

The first place I’ll probably go that I haven’t tried yet is……


The last time I was in Vegas, I walked by here on the day that it opened for the first time, about an hour before it opened.  As you can see, there was already a small lineup.


Bobby Flay was there promoting it, and I took a picture through the window like some strange celebrity gawker.  As much as I like him, and have total faith that he would make a good burger, I had just finished a buffet breakfast at the Cosmopolitan, and wasn’t going to eat for another 4 or 5 hours.  Friends of mine,  who travelled to Vegas about a month later, ate there twice, and provided me with this picture of the New Mexico Burger.  Note the location of the potato chips.

Bobby Flay New Mexico Burger


Some of my favourite Vegas burgers include…….

The Rising Sun Burger at Holstein’s (Cosmopolitan).  Man, I wish I took a picture.  Kobe Beef, Teriyaki Glaze, Nori Furikake, Crispy Yam, Spicy Mayo & Tempura Avocado.  This was a recommendation from the waiter.

The Euro Burger at Gordon Ramsay’s BurGR (Planet Hollywood).  Truffle Aioli, Goat Cheese, Arugula, Oven Roasted Tomato.  I ate this before going to a UNLV basketball game.  Go Rebels!!

The Famous Blue Cheese Burger at Strip Burger.  Normal-ish ingredients other than the blue cheese, but this was the best cooked burger I had.  There could have been nothing on it, and it would have been amazing.  This is up near Fashion Show Mall, right on the strip.

ABC Burger at Serendipity 3 (Caesar’s Palace).  Avocado, Brie and Caramelized Onions.  This one I took a picture of.  Notice how proud I look.

Summer 2010 057

What Burgers should I try next time I go???

My Stay At The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas


This Vegas blog is gonna get better and better now that I’ve actually been to Vegas again.  Last week I spent 4 nights at the Cosmopolitan Hotel.  When deciding where to stay, I searched through, and looked at the hotels on the strip.  I don’t have the patience to stay off the strip at this point, although maybe in the future I’ll branch out a bit.  I had stayed at the Cosmo last year, so I did have a comfort level with it, as I had really enjoyed my time there.  It’s a little pricier than most of the hotels I was looking at, but it fulfilled all of my requirements, being centrally located, with lots of cool restaurants, and great rooms.  Expedia had a deal which included free breakfast at the Wicked Spoon each day.  That put me over the top, and made it easier to justify paying the extra money.  In a previous post I’ve talked about some of my favorite buffets in Vegas, and The Wicked Spoon tops the list.  Not only were we not going to be buying breakfast every day, but after feasting there, nobody wanted lunch most days either.


The service there was great.  It is a 5 star hotel and it’s first class all the way.  I had my son staying with us, so we needed a crib.  When we checked in, the lady at the desk co-ordinated crib drop-off and also asked if we were going to be using the mini-bar, warning us that moving items in the mini-bar would result in a charge to the room.  Anticipating that we might need the fridge for milk for our son, she offered to have someone come up and clear out the mini-bar.  This was thoughtful and a nice touch.  By the time we got up to our room, the crib was there in under 5 minutes.

I love the second floor.  This is going to sound crazy, but one of my favourite parts of the hotel is a spot where there is almost nothing going on.  There are two towers at the Cosmo, and the distance between them is substantial.  On the first floor, it’s mostly casino, but on the second floor there are some shops and restaurants in the front, but there’s a long carpeted path to get to the back.  Pretty quiet there most of the time, but actually a great place to bring a 15 month old who needs to run around a bit.  They play obscure 70’s soul music, and have a lot of great pictures of classic Vegas performers to look at as you walk through like Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Harry Belafonte.  There are 3 TV screens with footage of old Vegas, and some people just stop and watch it for a bit.  It’s a sharp bit of decor that gives a great retro feel without being tacky.  The rest of the hotel doesn’t seem retro at all, but I think its ultra cool that there’s this little quiet pocket where you can take a trip through time as you walk to your elevator.  I also like that they’re paying homage to old Vegas, even though it’s a newer hotel.  


I’ve eaten at a few of the restaurants there as well.  I had previously eaten at STK which is a chic steakhouse that usually has a DJ spinning while you eat.  I remember really enjoying it there.  This time I went to China Poblano which is a Chinese Mexican fusion restaurant which is worth going to for the originality of their offerings.  Holsteins is a burger place that has a great beer menu, and specializes in adult shakes.  Probably the most interesting place is the pizzeria which not everybody knows about.  This pizza place (I believe) is open 24 hours, and is located down a hallway with no signage.  I don’t even know what it’s called.  It’s not on The Cosmopolitan website.  It’s a secret pizza place!!  How cool is that??  I had a White Pizza slice.  It was really really good.  Might be the best $5 I spent while I was there.  I would include a photo of that, but I don’t want to blow their cover.


If you’re going to go to Vegas and get hooked on it like I did, get a rewards card.  The Cosmopolitan has a good one.  The drawback is that they only own that one hotel, so you can only use it there, but the awesome part is that you can swipe it for any money you spend there, so even if you aren’t a big gambler, you can still get points for staying there and eating in their restaurants.

I don’t have much to say that would be considered negative regarding my trip to the Cosmo.  If I have to nit-pick, I’d say that the doors to your room are loud enough to hear at Caesar’s Palace, so it’s difficult to sneak in after a night of gambling when you have a baby in the room.  Light sleepers beware.  Also, there’s a significant difference between the views from the windows.  If it’s your first time, try to get a room that faces the Bellagio.  That’s the best view.  If you get a suite, you get a balcony, and that’s the only place on the strip where that is the case to my knowledge.

All told, The Cosmopolitan is an amazing hotel, and I haven’t told you about half of the stuff there.  I highly recommend it, and it’s worth a couple of extra bucks in my opinion.


The Vegas Trip That Wasn’t

As I’m starting to type this I could be in Vegas right now, but I’m not.  It would be 5:25pm right now, and I’d probably be thinking about what to have for my last dinner before heading to the airport and getting on the red-eye to come back home.  I’d had this loosely laid plan which has been a moving target with various factors contributing to if I could go, when I could go, as well as in what style could I afford to go.  Without getting into all that, I’ll just say that it didn’t work out.  It was probably for the best.  My son was really sick this week with a fever, and he has been a handful for both my wife and I.  I’m sure she would have been cursing me to the blazes of damnation if I was in Vegas right now, and she’d be right to do so.  If you’re going to go to Vegas, you need to leave your guilt at the door, or don’t go.  Unless it’s a Stag….. then you have to go!

The truth is that this blog has been suffering a bit.  When I first thought about doing it, I envisioned eventually going back there to take some pictures to use.  I have lots of Vegas pics from the 6 times I was there, but they’re of people with Vegas in the background.  I don’t really want to use pictures of myself, my family and my friends for privacy reasons.  I haven’t been back since I started writing this blog, and the way things are shaping up, I won’t get there again until next year.  I know, I know…. First world problems, right?

So this isn’t a complete bummer, I’m going to list off a few things I haven’t seen or done yet that are on my list of things to see next time I go, (or if I want to stay in a negative space, I’ll call it ‘things I would have done in the last 3 days’).  Maybe some of you have seen/done these things and can tell me if I’m on the right track or not.


I kind of want to see Jabbawockeez at the Luxor.  I think that would be cool.  I like any kind of comedy.  Maybe something with rotating comics.  Brad Garrett’s comedy club at the MGM maybe.  Not too into magic, but I think my first pick would be Penn & Teller at Rio.  Gotta pick a Cirque show too.  I’ve only seen the Beatles LOVE show so far.  I think I’ll go with KA, although there’s a new Michael Jackson show at Mandalay Bay which might be interesting.  Always check the Tix4tonight booths around the strip to see if you can get some cheaper tickets for shows.  I always do that first.


Don’t even think about stealing that word from me 🙂  There are a few bars I’d like to try for different beers.  Near Fremont there are a couple of micro-brewery pubs I’d like to go to.  The Triple 7 which is at the Main St. hotel, and the Chicago Brewing Company at the Four Queens hotel.  Near UNLV I need to head back to the Freakin’ Frog to see if they still have St. Bernardus Witbier which I swear is the best beer in the entire world (at least that I’ve tasted), and I can’t find it anywhere. It’s been almost 3 years since I had one.  I also saw that Gordon Ramsay opened a pub in Caesar’s Palace which is supposed to have a great beer menu as well.  I’ve still yet to set foot into the Nine Fine Irishmen pub at New York New York.  So many left to tick off the list.


Bobby Flay’s MESA grill at Caesar’s.  Holstein’s at the Cosmo.  Yellowtail at Bellagio.  Countless buffets at countless hotels.  There’s a million of them, and no point in me even trying to list them here.  If you go to they have 867 of them mentioned, so if you’re there for 3 or 4 days…… they’ve got you covered!  Maybe in a future blog I’ll list off my 10 favorite Vegas meals so far.

As far as other stuff goes, I just take it as it comes.  I do a bit of gambling, a bit of shopping, a lot of eating, and if I’m there long enough, I just might take in a tourist attraction or two.  If you don’t know what to try, I can’t recommend the booths enough.  Get a good price if you’re gonna take a gamble on a restaurant or show.  I’ve almost never been let down.

Bellagio fountains

Bellagio fountains

NBA Finals in Vegas???

I wish…..

I’m sitting in my condo in Toronto which is finally getting some good summer weather.  I’ll be watching Game 7 from the comfort of my own couch.  I’m cheering hard for the Spurs. I really don’t like the whole ‘let’s get all our buddies together and create an unbeatable super-team’ thing that the Heat has going on.  Now that they’ve already won, I guess I don’t care, but I wanted them to lose soooo badly last year.  Guess where I was???


We went to Town Square the day of the deciding game.  This is about a 5 minute cab ride south of Mandalay Bay.  Don’t try to walk it…. that’s another story for another blog.  We ate dinner at Kabuki which is an excellent Sushi restaurant.  We were there in the late afternoon because we wanted to finish before the deciding game started.  This worked out well because they have a Happy Hour between 3-6 pm where a selection of sushi and specialty rolls are discounted, not to mention cocktails.  I have a picture (which I’m not posting here) of my with an unreasonably sized can of Asahi Extra Dry (which is my favorite Japanese beer).  Kabuki was awesome…. it really got the night going in the right direction, well before it took that awful turn. \

Speaking of Happy Hours…… First let me tell you why Happy Hours in Vegas are the best. If you’re a sports fan like me, and you’re used to watching the games in the Eastern Time Zone, then your favorite team probably has a game at 4 pm Vegas time.  With most of the Happy Hours being around  3-6 pm, you can go have reasonably priced drinks while you watch your favorite team, and the night is still young when the game is over.  I’m tired of all these people telling me that Vegas is just sucking all the money out of us….. if you know where to go and when, Vegas can be the most reasonably priced place around!!

Speaking of Happy Hours, we moved over to the Yard House to watch the first half of the game.  They have an absurd selection of beer from all over the world, and even though it’s a chain and there’s quite a few of them, I’d never been to one before.  I wish I had more time to spend there because there were a lot of different beers there that I wanted to get acquainted with.  Since we’d already eaten at Kabuki, and who can remember how early in the day I actually started drinking, I was no match for Yard House.

We decided to go back to the Cosmopolitan to watch the 2nd half in my friend’s suite.  The Cosmo is a gorgeous 5 star hotel, and this suite was really nice.  I love that they have balconies at the Cosmo, because most Strip hotels do not have them.  I’m not sure why, but I would suggest that liability issues are at play.  We had beers in the fridge that we had purchased at the new Walgreen’s earlier (the Walgreen’s on the corner outside of the Planet Hollywood hotel has a walk in beer fridge with excellent selection, so we weren’t stuck with Bud Lights), so it was just a matter of drinking away the pain of the Miami Heat beating the Oklahoma City Thunder for the 2012 NBA championship.  When I would get upset at the game, I could go out onto the balcony and watch the Bellagio fountain show.  We were so high up that they looked like lawn sprinklers, but if you’ve seen them up close you know how massive they are.

Early 2012 317

I’m hoping and praying that San Antonio wins tonight.  I don’t have ‘chillin in an elaborate suite at the Cosmo with a breathtaking view of the strip in Las Vegas’ to take the edge off a Heat championship this time.


Guac Man

One time I was staying at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.  It was the last day of our trip and we were taking the red-eye flight back to Toronto, which wasn’t leaving until 11:30 Pacific time.  After we checked out we had a bunch of time (all day) to kill before we went to the airport.  I had a couple of complimentary drink tickets from the MGM Grand which I wanted to use, so my wife and I were walking around the hotel so I could drink my free Dos Equis (you’ll notice me always celebrating free things in this blog), while we looked for a place to eat dinner.  When we saw ‘Diego’, she asked if I wanted Mexican food.  I was already drinking Mexican beer, but I wasn’t too hungry.  I have a habit of eating so much when in Vegas that by the last day of the trip, I’m just ordering salads and cereal as a measure of self-preservation.  I also thought that eating Mexican before getting on a red-eye had to be a bad idea.

I finally agreed to go to Diego, so we went in and had a seat.  I think it was only 5pm or something, so the restaurant wasn’t busy yet.  We sat down and started eating some tortilla chips when the waiter came by and asked if we wanted some guacamole with our chips.  It sounded pretty casual, like it might be complimentary like the salsa, or perhaps it would cost extra, but I do love me some guacamole, so I said ‘yes please’, and the waiter disappeared.  At this point, my wife (who is a faster reader than me) whispers the price of the guacamole to me.  This story is from a couple of years ago, so I don’t remember how much it was, but it was in the $12-$16 range.  For guacamole??

Now it’s important to understand where I am in the whole ‘food chain’ thing.  I am not a high roller by any means.  This was our 2nd trip to Vegas that year however, so my wife and I are not necessarily poor either.  On a regular night out at home, I might spend $7 or $8 on some guacamole.  On vacation, maybe $10.  This guacamole seemed a bit pricey to me at the time.  Not going to break me, but pretty expensive for guacamole.

The waiter is gone though, so we’re just going to enjoy this guacamole, and for that price I’m expecting that it will be pretty good.  Then this happened…..

Guac Man

Guac Man


This Mexican guy came out with a cart and started making guacamole right in front of our eyes.  Made to order.  Cut the avocados, squeezed the lime, added however much of whatever we wanted……..  I was not expecting this.  He was a great guy.  He chatted us up while he made our guacamole like a true professional in a fraction of the time it would have taken me to do it.

This was a show!  This was worth every penny.  I don’t dine like this every day, and sometimes it’s the little details like this that make your experience.  The food at this place was great.  The service was excellent, but I can’t get my mind around the guacamole show and how much I enjoyed it.

If you ever make it out to the MGM Vegas, don’t forget to go to ‘Diego’ and get some guacamole.  Just one of the millions of things that will add to your Vegas experience.

Father’s Day In Vegas??

Father’s Day is fast approaching and it makes me want to go to Las Vegas.  I know what you’re thinking….. What doesn’t make you want to go to Las Vegas??  Valid point.  I guess the Father’s Day-Vegas connection started last year.  I only became a father for the first time last October, but since my wife was 5 months pregnant last June, we celebrated Father’s Day in anticipation of me being a father.  The fact that we were in Vegas was totally unrelated.  Some call it a Babymoon.  It’s that last trip before crazy times ensue.  I can think of no better place to be than my beloved Las Vegas.

Father’s Day started for me last year at ‘Mon Ami Gabi’ which is an incredible French Bistro at the Paris Hotel.  If you’ve spent anytime in Vegas, you’ve seen it, because they have some seating that actually overlooks the strip.  We were dining in the inside portion of the restaurant because, let’s face it….. my wife was pregnant and it’s Las Vegas in June which is extremely warm.  I got a corned beef hash with poached eggs.  My wife got oatmeal, with a side of bacon.  I’m not sure what they did with her bacon, but it was the BEST BACON EVER, and I know that sounds cliché, but it was ridiculously good.  So ridiculous… So good…. I remember thinking as I was eating this meal that it could very well be the best breakfast I ever had in my entire life.  IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!!!  We just looked the menu up on-line, and it said ‘Date Glazed Bacon’.  I’m pretty sure that was it.  So do yourselves a favour.  Get on a plane.  Fly there now.  Celebrate Father’s Day the way I did last year.  We ate there again later in the week, even though I have a thing against eating in the same restaurant twice when I’m on a trip.  We had to break that rule.  Another couple we knew had arrived for the following weekend, and the way I was talking????  They had to go too.

After brunch we jumped in a cab, and headed to Cashman Field to watch the Las Vegas 51’s game.  They were the AAA team of my beloved Toronto Blue Jays at the time, although they no longer are.  This didn’t go so well.  First it was crazy hot, and my wife was giving me the look in the 2nd inning.  Second, the 51’s pitchers were getting lit up to the tune of 12 runs in 3 innings, making it impossible for anything good to come out of the game.  I made a mental note to go to a night game next time.  It was probably irresponsible to bring my pregnant wife to an outdoor ballpark in 105 degree heat, but hey……. It’s not the craziest thing someone ever did in Vegas.

Cashman Field

Cashman Field

After we went back to the hotel to get changed, we headed to the Mirage to watch ‘LOVE’ which is the Beatles Cirque du Soleil show.  If you love the Beatles, love dancing, love performance, love music, or basically love anything, you need to see this.  It was awesome!  My first Cirque show (which is strange since you could throw a golf ball down the street and hit about 8 of them), but it won’t be my last.  We got half price tickets, which helped.

We FINished the night off at the restaurant FIN which serves upscale Chinese food also at the Mirage.  I don’t remember what all we ordered, but I do remember it being a perfect ending to an amazing day.  That was the first day of that particular trip, which started off with a bang!