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We’re less than four weeks away from football season, the most wonderful time of year for many sports fans and an event that's amplified in Las Vegas. There’s more money bet on football in Las Vegas than every other sport combined. That’s serious biz. While the NFL and other leagues don’t consider fantasy football to be gambling, it’s pretty close since many fantasy leagues have fees and winnings associated with good gameplay.
Since Las Vegas is home to betting on football it might as well be home to fantasy football drafts. Here are our picks for getting your fantasy football season going in Las Vegas as well as a list of other special events.
As Vegas bakes under an excessive heat warning (it was 112 yesterday while today saw a high of 111), it's a good time to remind you (and inform those whom haven't yet heard) there's alcohol-infused ice cream at Monte Carlo.
The new(ish) BLVD Creamery, one of the food & beverage spots added to Monte Carlo's Strip-facing facade, features spiked ice cream along with the regular variety. There's so much of the good stuff inside each specialty flavor -- Suds Sorbet, made with Shock Top beer; Black Cab, yep, that kind of cab; and Tipsy Bubbles, with Prosecco -- that you have to show ID confirming you're 21 or older before they'll even scoop it up. (Pro tip: take advantage of free samples.) There's also a rotating seasonal flavor which is currently a very rum-y Horchata Mama.
VegasChatter Questions / Coffee / Starbucks / Sambalatte / The Roasted Bean / Palazzo / Palio / The Mirage / Monte Carlo / Bellagio / → All Tags
While many Vegas visitors are looking for the largest drinking vessel at the lowest price for alcoholic beverages, some just want a good cup of coffee. The goal is to still have a little left to spend at the tables. Starbucks are pretty much on every corner, with some hotels offering multiple locations, though VegasChatter reader Tom G. wanted to know where to get a decent cup of coffee on the Strip that’s actually affordable. The easy answer is you can get good coffee or cheap coffee, but not both. More often the easiest to find is moderately to expensively priced mediocre coffee. Most of the Starbucks on The Strip are even more pricey than their off-Strip incarnations.
The newest coffee shop on The Strip is one of the best. Though not what we would call cheap, Sambalatte on the plaza at Monte Carlo offers high-quality products and serves them with flair. Think fancy frothy designs in your cappuccino foam. You should ask them to try and recreate the Welcome to Las Vegas sign. Why not? You might get lucky. While coffee purists may not value the literal fluff, rest assured you are also getting a beverage that’s as delicious as it is beautiful. Personal favorites include the Nutella Latte and White Chocolate Mocha. For those not into the sweet stuff, a small coffee is $3.78 and a cappuccino is $4.86.
Update: Thanks to VegasChatter reader Howzie for adding new insight to this article.
High dollar shows in Vegas are nothing new. (Really, high dollar anything.) But, when you see information that leads you to believe your favorite show featuring all blue men is pricing you out of the section that doesn't require squinting, it's pretty easy to see red.
VegasChatter reader Henry M. reached out to us recently with a self-admitted rant about Monte Carlo's headline production, Blue Man Group. He noticed the show's seating chart is in the midst of change. But, where it initially looked as if the show's seating tiers were being arranged so that there would be less 'cheap' seats and more high-priced ones, VegasChatter reader and Strip concierge Howzie has shared insider information that sheds some interesting new light on the issue.
Yesterday, the restaurant/bar's Facebook and Twitter accounts sent out this message to followers:
The original location of Sambalatte in Summerlin serves one of the best cups of coffee you'll have anywhere in Las Vegas. It's a little more expensive than some of the chains, but each cup is handcrafted by pouring filtered water over your choice of freshly ground beans. This single cup brew is a unique sip. No two cups will taste exactly the same. It’s worth paying a little more for such attention to detail. Yes, a cup of coffee can cause us to wax poetic.
The hotels on the Vegas Strip are often more concerned with simply making sure there’s an option for coffee. Any coffee. For most, it's okay that there’s little care put into making a cup. But, that's not true with everyone. When MGM Resorts announced Sambalatte would be opening its third location at Monte Carlo, this coffee lover was a little excited. The Vegas Strip was finally getting a coffee shop worth leaving another hotel for to get the day started.
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The project's reboot was announced last week. Full details can be read here. Essentially, executives will give the main road leading to Monte Carlo's porte cochere a serpentine twist to add new structures to the south side of Monte Carlo. They've also greatly enlarged a promenade on the north side of New York-New York while providing additional eateries on that side as well.
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When there's a big pay-per-view boxing match in town, none of the casinos will show the fight for free in their sportsbook. In fact, the only casinos where you’ll find the fights being shown are affiliated with the host casino. Since either MGM Grand or Mandalay Bay host most of the pay-per-view boxing matches (occasionally Wynn will host a fight that takes place at the Thomas & Mack Center), you’ll usually find the fight showing in an MGM Resorts property.
Here are the viewing parties on the Vegas Strip where you can watch this Saturday's Floyd Mayweather vs. Marcos Maidana fight:
Aria: Bristlecon Ballroom viewing party is $75 general admission. Food and beverage is extra.
Openings / Monte Carlo / Coffee / Eating / Dining / Sambalatte / BLVD Creamery / → All Tags
Both venues, offering walk-up entrances right off Las Vegas Boulevard, were hosting employee previews when we swung by this afternoon. Ask a tourist what a Sambalatte is and you'll probably get a bit of head scratchin', but mention it to a local and you'll receive an enthusiastic, "SAMBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA... AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA."
The Las Vegas chain is well-respected for its coffee skillz and Monte Carlo's location marks its third in the city. And, it's an expansive one, offering not one but two Strip-side entrances as well as a third entry point just off the property's casino floor.
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Always seen as a response to The Linq (the new outdoor mall between Flamingo and The Quad by Caesars Entertainment), the changes taking place to Monte Carlo and New York-New York, more specifically the land between them, have received a major reboot.
While the transformed facades of both resorts are expected to soon see three new walk-up additions in the form of Nevada's first Hershey's Chocolate World (still taking shape in front of New York-New York), the first Strip Sambalatte (a popular locals' coffee shop attached to Monte Carlo) and the still yet-to-be announced BLVD Creamery (also at Monte Carlo and which recently polled patrons about their interest in gluten-free, sugar-free, hormone-free, low-calorie, low-fat, non-GMO, and organic ice cream), it was clear something was up with the original plans when MGM Resorts recently announced that Shake Shack would be moved from the land between the two to where the Sporting House currently resides and that it would be joined by Tom's Urban. Our inquiries as to what was to happen to the acreage where the old CityCenter condo sales building once stood went unanswered but a new announcement today clears that up.
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Last week ended with a sneak peek at the newest restaurant at Monte Carlo. More specifically, a look at six draught cocktails from Yusho, a Strip-side, Japanese street-style food joint by way of Chicago. We'll get to the food in a moment. First, which of those $13 concoctions were our favorite?
This writer isn't a fan of gin at all (or tonic for that matter), but keeps searching for a gin-based cocktail that may change his mind. Yusho's Gin & Tonic has come the closest to turning my opinion, to date. The navy strength gin and housemade tonic combines for a rusty color that goes down fairly smooth and is a gin drink I'd return to. My favorite by far, however, was the Chuhai (Sudachi Shochu, Jasmine Tea, Citrus). Push aside your favorite summertime mojito, sangria and lemonade cocktail because the Chuhai is that perfect light-and-refreshing outdoor drink. It holds its own indoors as well.
Just One Drink / Yusho / Monte Carlo / Drinking / → All Tags
Straight out of Chicago, Yusho is the latest restaurant to call Monte Carlo home as the resort's Strip-facing exterior continues to evolve. The Japanese street-style fare offers plenty of things that make you go yummmm that we'll review next week. Today, we'll just get the weekend started with a quick peek at its cocktail program.
Chef/Owner Matthias Merges had already teased us that his bar program was going to "kill it" so we had to take that challenge during a restaurant preview last night. The menu features seven specialty cocktails ($15) and half a dozen draught cocktails ($13).