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Checking Out The Charcoal Room At Palace Station

Where: 2411 W. Sahara Ave. [map], 89102
July 18, 2014 at 2:39 PM | by | Comments (2)

There was a time in Las Vegas recently where it felt like a week didn’t go by without a new steakhouse opening. Steakhouses were a dining trend that was music to this carnivore’s ears. Now, just about every casino has a steakhouse so there’s not much new to experience on the steak front. I’ve been revisiting my favorites on the Vegas Strip like SW Steakhouse at Wynn and, more recently, Prime at Bellagio. There’s nothing wrong with eating at restaurants known to provide great food and great service, but there’s something exciting about trying one that's new. Enter The Charcoal Room at Palace Station.

Palace Station is just off the Vegas Strip on Sahara near SLS Las Vegas. It’s an older casino and not the first place people consider for dining. That may change with some new dining options coming on board. The Charcoal Room is a locals' favorite at Santa Fe Station and just opened its second location at Palace Station. If the locals like The Charcoal Room then there’s a good chance that we would be in for a solid meal at fair prices and that’s exactly what we had.

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There's A New Worst Show In Town

Where: 202 Fremont Street [map], 89101
July 18, 2014 at 1:27 PM | by | Comments (11)

Imagine taking leftovers, carving it up and serving one semi-edible portion as the main course all over again. That's what Four Queens gives us with downtown’s biggest little train wreck, Broadway Rat Pack (BRP), which has been reworked and rechristened as The King and The Chairman Chairman of the Board That's Life. Unfortunately, BRP version 2.0 will have you wishing you brought along the air sickness bag from your last flight.

Last November, in a review of Broadway Rat Pack, this writer called it “a cheap amateurish production all the way.” The show, which shared Four Queen's Canyon Club Theater with the long-running hit Mike Hammer Comedy Magic, managed to stink up Fremont for eight months before quietly closing a few weeks ago. Just as the odor was starting to dissipate, Broadway Rat Pack rose from the grave.

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Confirmed: The New Lion Cubs At The Mirage Are Adorbs

Where: 3400 S. Las Vegas Blvd. [map], 89109
July 18, 2014 at 12:30 PM | by | Comments (5)

The Mirage better prepare itself for swooning guests who will be succumbing to cuteness overload at the sight of the newest additions to Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. Three white lion cubs, all boys, have arrived at the Strip attraction straight from Johannesburg, South Africa.

The three brothers, not to be confused with VegasChatter’s 3Brothers, are named Madiba (the tribal name of South Africa’s Nelson Mandela), Timba-Masai and Freedom.

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What To Expect From Mercadito At Red Rock

Where: 11011 W. Charleston Blvd. [map], 89135
July 17, 2014 at 9:07 PM | by | Comment (1)

When you hear "off-strip casino Mexican food," it's only natural to picture a place where 90% of the food comes out of industrial #10 cans and everything is the same set of tired stereotypes. Maybe there's some really cheesy murals or a churro with whipped cream on it for $6.

Mercadito at Red Rock Resort is not that kind of place. It's not groundbreaking nor is it outstanding. The word this writer can think of to describe it best is "competent." It's a competent Mexican restaurant.

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Oak & Ivy Now Pouring At Downtown's Container Park

Where: 707 Fremont St. [map]
July 17, 2014 at 5:30 PM | by | Comments (0)

Where one bar closes, another debuts at downtown's Container Park.

The Boozery is gone and in its place is Oak & Ivy, self-described as an "American craft whiskey cocktail bar dedicated to classic mixology and unique handcrafted drinks." We'll just go with whiskey bar. Here's what you'll be able to order up:

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Sigh, Another Vegas Taxi Scam To Look Out For

July 17, 2014 at 3:31 PM | by | Comments (19)

By now, most Vegas visitors have been clued in to the long-hauling game. A simple “no tunnel” as you enter your cab can ensure that your ride doesn’t unnecessarily cost an extra 25% or more. Unfortunately, long-hauling isn’t the only way to be ripped off. As this writer found out during a recent trip to Venetian, cab customers are sometimes being fleeced even before the ride begins.

My group’s night on The Strip concluded with a late dinner inside Venetian and, as we finished off a second carafe of sake at Noodle Asia, we decided on cabbing home. As a Vegas resident, I know how to avoid a long-haul and was expecting an uneventful ride. What I didn’t anticipate, and was disgusted to discover, was a group of Venetian employees attempting to extort money from customers in exchange for bypassing an artificially inflated cab line.

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Haven't Checked Out Hecho Yet At MGM Grand? Start By Getting Happy

Where: 3799 Las Vegas Blvd. S. [map], 89109
July 17, 2014 at 2:24 PM | by | Comments (2)

Hecho en Vegas at MGM Grand should be on your happy hour radar, if it isn’t already. It used to have a more straightforward weekday special but even if it’s gotten more complicated lately, it’s worth your consideration.

On Sundays and Wednesdays, the Mexican restaurant offers half-off appetizers from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The “primeros” menu includes tres quesos fundido, short rib taquitos, mesquite-grilled chicken quesadillas, Hecho wings, shrimp chicharron, a variety of street tacos and “the chimichanga experience.”

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Only In Vegas Will A $10 Drink Special Catch Our Eye

Where: 3799 Las Vegas Blvd. S. [map], 89109
July 17, 2014 at 1:10 PM | by | Comment (1)

The land of the 99 cent shrimp cocktail transformed into the land of the $20 cocktail in just a few decades. While killer deals can still be found in a a handful of choice locations on the Strip and downtown, they are few and far between. That’s why when this sign caught our eye, we rejoiced on behalf of price-gouged tourists everywhere. Don’t get us wrong, if enough people are willing to pay the price, it’s hard for us to judge venues for fleecing guests with giant markups on bottle and drink prices. Business is business. It does make it rough to find an affordable drink on the Las Vegas Strip, though.

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Want to See Venetian's Exclusive Paiza Club? No Million Dollar Credit Line? How About $150?

Where: 3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South [map], 89109
July 16, 2014 at 8:43 PM | by | Comments (0)

Paiza's reception lobby.

One of the few real-life equivalents of Willy Wonka and his chocolate factory, the super-exclusive Paiza Club at Venetian is almost never open to the public, either. The hangout of billionaire gamblers, created to cater to every whim of the obscenely wealthy, it is secretly one of the finest Chinese restaurants in Vegas (if not the finest).

The club has the ability to function without a menu and instead will whip up pretty much anything the heart desires. Want super-traditional cuisine? Specialized regional food? A Chinese, high-class version of a hamburger? Cake in the shape of a Ford Model-T? They can do it. And now, this ritzy joint is hosting a dinner featuring selections of The Glenlivet paired with food by Corporate Executive Chef Olivier Dubreuil.

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Gaming Synergy Provided By Mergers And Acquisitions

July 16, 2014 at 7:41 PM | by | Comment (1)

Is there anything less exciting than talking about mergers and acquisitions when it comes to gambling? That’s debatable, but we're going to do it anyway. Last night, video poker and slot machine manufacturer, IGT entered into a definitive merger agreement with Italian lottery company, GTECH S.p.A. This wasn’t quite a merger as much as it was GTECH purchasing IGT for more than $6 billion in cash and stock.

So, now what? Not much will change for slot machine and video poker players that are familiar with IGT’s games. You can go about your day without worry unless you, a friend or a relative work with or at IGT. This and other mergers and acquisitions in the gaming space have been made to maximize corporate efficiencies. The slot machines, video poker games and systems that IGT offers complement the services and products that GTECH offers. There will be some overlap and that will be dealt with when the merger actually takes place. When the purchase goes through, the new IGT/GTECH company will be called NewCo.

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Have You Discovered Online Check-In At Flamingo?

Where: 3555 Las Vegas Boulevard South [map], 89109
July 16, 2014 at 6:58 PM | by | Comments (4)

We don’t ask for much when it comes to Las Vegas besides an amazingly memorable experience. This writer used to have an iPod playlist made specifically for final descent into McCarran Airport. My first thought upon landing was that it was time to get busy.

When thinking about different ways technology could improve a hotel stay in Las Vegas, the first thing on my wish list was mobile check-in. After grabbing a Red Eye from Starbucks at the airport and a cocktail at the hotel, there’s nothing worse than spending 45 minutes in line to check-in. It looks as if Caesars Entertainment has heard our plea for speediness. A friend received the following email before checking into Flamingo last week:

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Celebrate July 27 The Scotchy Scotch Way

Where: 3950 Las Vegas Boulevard South [map], 89109
July 16, 2014 at 5:53 PM | by | Comments (0)

Once again, the holidays have snuck up on us and while it isn't yet time for Labor Day, National Scotch Day is right around the corner. If it isn't already set in your fave calendar app, July 27 is the annual date you want to mark.

Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay can think of no better way to celebrate than by turning it into National Scotchy, Scotch, Scotch Day.

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