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Downtown Dining: The Flame

Where: 600 East Fremont Street [map], 89101
August 3, 2012 at 2:57 PM | by | ()

We've never heard an extremely positive or extremely negative review about The Flame at El Cortez, but this writer is always up to try a new steakhouse and he's glad he did. Happiness doesn't come from the fact the steak was good (it wasn't), but this writer won enough playing craps to cover dinner for two and then some.

We weren't expecting the best steak in Vegas, but we did expect something good enough to walk away from smiling. We did do that, but it could have been because of the wine and our awesome waitress who laughed every time we clapped and said "Hercules, Hercules." Despeite our fun waitress, the next time we're downtown craving a moderately priced steak we'll take the five minute walk to Triple George.

As we requested, the New York Strip was prepared a perfect medium. This is where the good part of the evening ended. The steaks were covered in black pepper to the point where it felt as if the purpose wasn't to enhance the steak, but to mask the lack of flavor in the beef. The steak wasn't so bad that it was inedible, but it wasn't enjoyable, either. Our side of mashed potatoes tasted fresh out of a box and the steaks were accompanied with a couple fingerling potatoes, but an unrecognizable brown nub of something else on our plate didn't look like anything we should put in our mouths.

Reviews online range around 3.5 stars to 4.5 stars so maybe this ended up being a bad night at The Flame, but probably not. We eat enough steak to know better. While our meal wasn't great, the price of a steak didn't break the bank at about $30 and didn't make us sick. A bottle of Coppala Shiraz was very fairly priced under $30.

Our soft spot for the El Cortez has lessened our distaste for The Flame, but next time we're in the mood for a steak downtown we'll just look at the sign for The Flame on Third Street while walking to Triple George. The extra few bucks for their steak is worth it.

Archived Comments:

Quite Surprised

I wonder if they have made some changes for the worse. I've always enjoyed it and thought is was well worth the money. I've had good input from readers as well. However, I must admit it has been some time since I've dined there so maybe time for another look-see.

Been awhile

Like AccessVegas, it's been awhile since I was there as well and while the steak wasn't necessarily memorable it was decent for the value at the time with that homey feel served by a downtown aunt.

What was memorable was the side dishes - as big as my head! Not mashed potatoes but creamed corn.  Creamed corn!  Inexpensive and so big (as my my head - remember?) that I said I'd be back just to dine on an entree of creamed corn.

Bargain (Fine) Dining

I've eaten here twice in the last two years, and also didn't think much of the steak. My prime rib was good (and huge) and my mother loved the almond-crusted trout. My wife still raves about the grilled asparagus.

There's a $25 off coupon in the American Casino Guide book, which will save you more than the cost of the book itself. To be honest, that's the main reason we keep coming back.

Go for the sides

I was trying to recall the second side I had last and I think it was that asparagus now that you mention it.  They should rename the restaurant The Side cause that's what I talk about most when this spot comes up.


I got a few tweets back about this that each said that this place was a favorite, but as of each of their last visits it wasn't good. Who knows. I just know what I had. :)

Good and Reasonable

We've enjoyed the Flame numerous times over the last 6-7 years. I usually order the filet mignon but will sometimes go with the double pork chop. The sides are priced separately but big enough to share. I too like the creamed corn and asparagus, and sometimes we'll order the sweet potato fries. To lower the bill we use dining certificates from Restaurant.com. If you're a hotel guest at the El Cortez, your stay includes a coupon for a free bottle of wine at the Flame.