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Shake Shack Las Vegas Is What You’d Expect

Shake Shack Las Vegas

Shake Shack Las Vegas Is a bit more than a shack

Shake Shack Las Vegas just opened at New York-New York and the burgers are pretty much what you’d expect. The design and layout of the restaurant are very cool and I’ll get to that another day.

I just want to focus on the food today. Specifically the famous ShackBurger.

Shake Shack Las Vegas menu

Shake Shack Las Vegas menu is quite large

The buzz on Shake Shack opening in Vegas was heard all around the country. People that have visited Shake Shack in other parts of the country compare the burgers to In and Out Burger. A fair comparison as they’re both fast food burgers and use fresh high quality ingredients.

The Vegas Shake Shack Las Vegas location offers a much larger menu than a In and Out Burger or normal fast food or quick serve restaurant. So it’s important just to focus on the burgers (and shakes, the restaurant is called Shake Shack). Okay, on to the food.

Burger, Fries, Lemonade at Shake Shack Las Vegas

Burger, Fries, Lemonade at Shake Shack

Nothing fancy here. I wanted my first meal to cover the basics so I ordered a ShackBurger, fries and their Shack-Made lemonade to drink. Before discussing the ShackBurger I need to talk about the star of my meal – them fries.

The crinkle cut fries are thicker AND crispier than any fast food fries I’ve had before. After a little googling and I found out that these fries were brought back late last year because of customer demand. I also learned that each batch is double fried and that helps with the crispness. Here’s a close up of the light, crispy french fries. I’m not much of a fry guy but they were gone before the burger. That never happens.

Believe it or not, there is a burger hiding under the lettuce in the photo above. Here’s a better picture of the ShackBurger.

[Read more…]

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2nd Umami Burger Was Even Better Than The First

Lunch At Umami Burger At SLS Las Vegas

Lunch At Umami Burger

If you follow me on twitter or facebook you know that I had lunch at Umami Burger at SLS Las Vegas the other day. This was my second visit to Umami Burger. My first visit was on the first day SLS Las Vegas was open. While I really liked the first burger and fries I wasn’t paying close attention to the food. I was busy drinking, chatting, playing video poker and just looking around. This time around I was alone and more focused on my burger than checking out the new restaurant/sportsbook/beer garden.

On my first visit I split half of the Manly Burger and really enjoyed it although I thought it was almost too flavorful. The beef flavor was almost overpowered by the beer-cheddar cheese, bacon lardo and smoked salt (fried) onion strips. Not to mention a mustard spread and house ketchup on the side.

A wise man recommended that I try one of the truffle burgers. I went into lunch with this and mind but was in the mood for bacon. None of the truffle burgers on the Umami Burger menu have bacon so I went back to the Manly Burger you see in the picture above. I added the off the menu cheesy tater tots for $5. Before diving into the burger I just want to say that you should ALWAYS ORDER THE TATER TOTS.

This Manly Burger tasted a bit more mellow than my first one. This time the ingredients we much more in balance than the first burger. If we were running this burger through a photo editor the beef flavor was enhanced, the cheese was dialed down and the bacon and onion rings provided a perfect accent. The flavors of the burger and toppings were in perfect harmony. I had a Rogue Dead Guy ale which complimented all of the flavors perfectly.

Looking back at both burgers I think that the sharpness of cheddar cheese is what was a little shocking on the first burger. Keep that in mind if you have a gentle tongue. The burger with less cheese spread really tasted much more like a burger. Call me crazy but when I order a burger I want to taste the burger.

Video Poker at Umami Burger Straight Flush

Thanks for lunch Umami Burger!

I ate at the bar because I wanted to play a little video poker and have a couple of beers. The restaurant side of the bar only had the 3 play machines (the casino side has a few 1 line games). While waiting for my burger to arrive I snagged this sweet straight flush. The straight flush covered my lunch bill which was under $20 ($13 burger, $5 tots) and gave me a couple more dollars to spend on my next visit.

As I mentioned in my full overview of the Umami Burger restaurant/sportsbook at Vegas Chatter playing video poker while you eat allows you complimentary drinks. Not only did I make a few bucks with the straight flush but I had a couple “free” $9 beers.

It’s a nice touch that the bar on the restaurant side has more bar space to eat in front of the video poker machines. It makes eating easier than on the casino side although the video poker is a bit far.

I find it hard to choose a best of any food category but the burgers at Umami Burger are definitely among the best on the Vegas Strip. The service at the bar is great and I really like the sportsbook/sports bar setup. Umami Burger has definitely become one of my new hangouts on Vegas Strip.

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Caesars Happy Hour Deals In Vegas

Caesars Happy Hour At Fizz Las Vegas

Caesars Happy Hour At Fizz

Caesars just released happy hour deals at some of their Vegas bars and restaurants. Happy Hour in Vegas is a great way to save money and get the night started or just try something new.

I’m not a champagne drinker but the $36 All You Can Drink deal at Fizz sounds like something I’d like to try one night. It’s a good excuse to try something different. Plus I can drink champagne fast.

I highlighted names of the restaurants and hotels where you can find them. On a related note, if you need discount codes for Caesars hotels in Vegas there are various discounts to the right. I also just got this “up to 40% off” deal.

  • FIZZ, the lavish champagne lounge and bar inside Caesars Palace, is now hosting Bottomless Bubbles, a daily bottomless champagne event, where for $36 per person, guests can drink all the bubbles they can within the 5 to 7 p.m. or 7 to 9 p.m. windows.
  • With a recently expanded dining room and outdoor patio, including a full-service bar and 26-ft. tall Tiffany-style lamp, Serendipity 3 at Caesars Palace is now hosting a special $5 happy hour from 2 to 6 p.m. daily. The menu features a variety of beers, well cocktails and house-made sangria. Also featured are small bites like soft pretzels with nacho cheese and honey mustard, two bbq pulled pork sliders and mini-sundaes.
  • Las Vegas’ favorite pub experience, Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace, has introduced a very special Hell’s Kitchen Happy Hour, in honor of Ramsay’s hit FOX reality series. Happy hour offerings include $5 13oz draft beers, with a $2 upgrade for a 20oz pint, $5 draft wines, and $5 pub snacks, which include house-made pretzels, Devils on Horseback, truffle chips and Deviled Eggs. Guests can experience these special offerings Monday through Friday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Overlooking the world-famous Strip, Las Vegas’ only Ruth’s Chris Steak House at Harrah’s Las Vegas, is now hosting a daily Sizzle, Swizzle & Swirl Happy Hour from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. and from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. Premium cocktails and menu items are offered throughout this time, including: Prime Burger with fries, Steak Sandwich with fries, Seared Ahi Tuna, Spicy Lobster, Bluberry Mojito, La Paloma, Manhattan Eastside and selection of wines.
  • Carnaval Court at Harrah’s Las Vegas joins in the happy hour fun, offering a daily special of $4 Miller/Coors from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, $8 call drinks are available as well.
  • Harrah’s Las Vegas country music party spot, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill, hosts its own brand of happy hour Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a variety of food and drink specials. Guests can buy one draft beer in a 32oz. Mason Jar for $9 and get one free. Food specials are available for $11 and include pulled pork sliders, hot link hoagies and the Honky Tonk meatloaf sandwich and more.
  • The sophisticated New York City import, BLT Steak at Bally’s Las Vegas, boasts a stylish bar with elegant fixtures and signature cocktail staples, including the Watermelon Basil and the Cool Woodford with Woodford Reserve and Ginger Beer. Guests can enjoy these cocktails and more half-priced at the bar from 4 to 7 p.m. daily.
  • Offering a French interpretation on American classics, Burger Brasserie at Paris Las Vegas hosts a daily happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. with 2-for-1 on any drinks in the bar area.
  • Flamingo Las Vegas’ cool and casual steak house, Center Cut, is hosting an all-new happy hour that includes swanky bites such as signature Poutine, bacon two ways, truffle mac and cheese, as well as Giggle Water cocktails such as Spice Pear Mojito, New Fashioned and Patron Pomegranate Cocktail. Center Cut’s happy hour is offered daily with drinks available from 4 to 7:30 p.m. and bites available 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino hosts casino-wide happy hour with happy hour specials at several casino bars:
    • Shutters hosts happy hour Sunday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., offering guests
      Sauza Silver Margaritas in 16oz. souvenir shakers for $12, $6 Jack Daniel’s or Jim Beam “You Call Its” and $10 Coors Light or Miller Lite bottle with a shot of Jack Daniel’s or Jim Beam.
    • Village Bar’s happy hour is Sunday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. with $12 Sauza Silver Margaritas in 16oz. souvenir shakers, $6 Skyy Cosmos and $6 shot specials.

Photo: Vegas News

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Here’s Some Pre-Opening Video Of SLS Las Vegas

SLS Las Vegas Casino Bar

SLS Las Vegas Casino Bar. I hate renderings.

I’m heading out to SLS Las Vegas in a couple of hours and will share pictures and info from the press conference and property tour on twitter and instagram. In the meantime here are a couple of PR videos to show and tell you about the newest hotel on the Vegas Strip.

SLS Las Vegas Property Tour – Shows what the casino, restaurants and rooms look like. This video is actual footage of SLS Las Vegas (thankfully) and not a crappy rendering video. The audio was wonky for me so crank up some jams, it’s 4 minutes long.

Sound bites from SLS Las Vegas Partners: Sam Bakhshandehpour, Philippe Starck & Jose Andres talk about their excitement for the property. I didn’t watch this video because I don’t need to hear how excited they are and how this will change Las Vegas forever.

Tweet ya later!

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Prime At Bellagio, This Is How Steak Dinner Should Be

About a month ago I visited Prime Steakhouse at Bellagio. Dinner was so flawless that I almost forgot about it. Almost.

Prime sits on the Bellagio lake that looks out onto the Vegas Strip. We planned to sit outside on the patio so we could enjoy the Bellagio Fountain Show but it was a bit hot for that. The sun was setting on a 115 degree day and it didn’t seem like the right time to eat steak outdoors. Call me crazy but steak outside doesn’t sound awesome when it’s still 100 degrees outside. We opted to sit inside and ended up with a seat near the window so we could kinda see the show.

Since this was a birthday celebration dinner started with a couple of drinks. Macallan 12 with 4 cubes (of ice) was how I began the night. As usual the ice was nearly melted when the drink arrived and totally gone when I finally got around to taking a sip.

Macallan 12 At Prime At Bellagio Las Vegas

Macallan 12

Each section at Prime has 3 distinct waiters. SW Steakhouse at Wynn has a similar staffing model and it’s wonderful. You’re always speaking with someone who knows their section of the menu, be it a drink, food or otherwise.

There’s always a waiter checking in to see if you need something. THIS is how dinner at a $100+ per person meal should be served. Thankfully the service wasn’t the only great part of dinner.

Bone-In Filet Mignon At Prime At Bellagio Las Vegas

Bone-In Filet Mignon

I’m usually a New York Strip guy but recently have found myself enjoying a filet mignon my last few times out. When I saw that there was bone-in filet mignon on the menu, I had to have it. If there’s one complaint about the filet cut of steak is that it’s not flavorful. It makes sense since there isn’t much fat to keep the flavor in. The bone acted as a flavor saver (TWSS).

The bone-in filet mignon at Prime was outstanding!

As you can see I was so excited looking at the steak that I couldn’t wait to take a picture before digging in. The steak was so juicy and flavorful that I almost couldn’t believe that it was a filet. The steak was so gentle to the touch that I barely had to put pressure on the knife to cut it.

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At BLT Steak; No Wine, No Cocktails, No Service

Bone-In New York Steak From BLT Steak At Bally's Las Vegas

Bone-In New York

I’ve been looking forward to checking out BLT Steak at Bally’s since the great New York City steakhouse was first announced. Last night I finally got to dine at BLT Steak. Since the NYC location of BLT Steak was a favorite when I lived there I was hoping for the same in Las Vegas. Any positive thoughts I had of the food were erased by bad service.

I ordered the Bone-In New York steak. Besides the last, and most important, bite it was really good. I don’t like my steak being sliced for me since it normally loses juice and flavor. This steak was prepared well enough that the flavor wasn’t lost. The last bite was a very charred and too burned for my taste – and I like char. I was saving this piece for my last bite and was disappointed.

The hash brown side was bland but fine. The bacon and jalapeño corn was fantastic. The corn was smokey and a little spicy. The corn was the standout dish of dinner.

Now for the service issues.

[Read more…]

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Downtown Vegas Is Taking Me Away From Casinos And I Don’t Like It

Outside Of The Fremont Street Experience Downtown Las Vegas

Outside Of The Fremont Street Experience

It’s funny, gamblers always say that the Vegas Strip can learn something about keeping gamblers in their casino by offering better odds like Downtown Vegas casinos. I think it may be the other way around. Maybe the Downtown Vegas casinos need to improve their bars and restaurants like their counterparts on the Vegas Strip to keep gamblers like me happy.

A couple of weeks ago I spent a day and night in Downtown Vegas. I stayed at the Fremont Hotel because they always offer low room rates and no resort fee. My hotel room for the night was $32 after taxes. Not bad.

I went into this day away with no plan. My solo trips to Downtown Vegas have always been similar to someone going on a bender. I’d eat, drink and gamble way too much for a 24 hour period. This time my night in Downtown Vegas was different. I had a great time but it was a different kind of great time.

If you read this blog last week you saw daily updates of where I spent my time in Downtown Vegas.

  • I had a beer and chicken parm sliders for dinner at Triple George.
  • I grabbed a few beers and had some fun conversation at Nacho Daddy.
  • I had a flight of beer and then some at Banger Brewing.

Wow, I drank a lot of beer. There’s one thing missing from my night in Downtown Vegas. I hardly spent time in a casino and I barely gambled! This is very unlike me and I reflected on this on my drive back home to the burbs.

The casinos on the Vegas Strip are re-inventing themselves with new restaurantsbars and clubs to keep you on their property. My visits to the Vegas Strip haven’t changed. New restaurants and bars draw me to casinos on the Vegas Strip where I’ll inevitably end up gambling a little.

Eat, Drink, Gamble in one place – that’s my kind of fun. Let’s go back to Downtown Vegas.

Most of the new bars and restaurants are outside of the Downtown Vegas casinos. When I’m eating a great burger and drinking great beer at Pizza Rock there isn’t anything that says that I must go back out to the casino and gamble. The casinos in Downtown Vegas feel as though they’re becoming less relevant to me. They’re out of sight while I’m having fun eating and drinking and that puts them on the back burner.

Besides Andiamo Steakhouse at The D and Du-Pars at Golden Gate there really isn’t a restaurant destination inside of a Downtown Vegas casino that I feel like I ever need to visit. On the flip side every bar and restaurant I visited on my last trip to Downtown Vegas will be visited again.

As Downtown Vegas continues to re-invent itself the casinos may need to take note from the Golden Nugget and refresh their restaurants and bars every couple of years to keep old customers like me and attract new customers.

Many of my favorite casinos to gamble are in Downtown Vegas so it’s not like I’ll be avoiding the casinos there but I will certainly spend less money in those casinos when there are better bars and restaurants a short walk away.

It’s funny, gamblers always say that the Vegas Strip can learn something about keeping gamblers in their casino by offering better odds like Downtown Vegas. I think it may be the other way around. Maybe the Downtown Vegas casinos need to improve their bars and restaurants like their counterparts on the Vegas Strip to keep gamblers like me happy.

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Jayde Fuzion At M Resort Adds All-You-Can-Eat Sushi To Its Menu

Jayde Fuzion At M Resort Las Vegas

Jayde Fuzion At M Resort

I don’t eat sushi but $24.95 for All You Can Eat (AYCE) anything sounds like a good deal. Jayde Fuzion at M Resort is 3.5 Stars on Yelp so this might be a good excuse to strap on a feed bag and head a few miles away from the action on the strip. M Resort is a great casino sometimes offers like this give people an excuse to leave the comfort of the Vegas Strip.

UPDATE: I must have missed that this includes free sake. That makes this an even better deal!

The press release is below if you want more info.

Beginning Sunday, June 1, Jayde Fuzion at M Resort Spa Casino will proudly offer all-you-can-eat sushi Sunday through Thursday at the sushi bar. Guests will enjoy unlimited sushi, nigiri and hand rolls, along with complimentary sake, for $24.95 per person (pre-tax).

[Read more…]

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Buddy V’s At The Venetian Even Better The Second Time

Sunday Gravy At Buddy Vs at Venetian Las Vegas

Sunday Gravy At Buddy Vs

There are always new restaurants to visit in Las Vegas so I rarely visit the same place repeatedly. I checked out Buddy V’s in February and liked it. I liked it enough to say yes when I was invited to dinner at Buddy V’s at The Venetian again this week.

I liked Buddy V’s even more after my second meal. It’s not that the food or service were better but they were equally as good as the first time when I thought:

It was just good and tasted like food that a friend’s grandmother would make.

I don’t always come across mid-range priced restaurants on the Vegas Strip that are consistently good. When I visit mid-tier restaurants the food and service are hit and miss. The experience is sometimes good and sometimes less than stellar.

The service and food were almost exactly equal to my first visit to Buddy V’s. I ordered Sunday Gravy again and the only part of dinner that was different was that we only received one piece of focaccia instead of a basket of bread.

The other difference was the price. Without wine this time dinner was only $35 per person after tip. Dinner for $35 per person is a good deal on the Vegas Strip.

I’ll repeat myself. Buddy V’s went from “I’d return if someone wanted to have Italian but wouldn’t go out of my way” to a place that I will return to and would recommend because it’s constantly good.

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Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar, Now Open at The Quad Resort & Casino

Guy Fieri Las Vegas

Guy Fieri

In case you haven’t heard Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar in now open  at The Quad. Early reviews haven’t been very good and pictures of the food look disgusting but I’m willing to give it a shot. I’ve never said no to Flavor Town before and Guy has actually had good recommendations on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. Besides The Yard House and Brooklyn Bowl at The Linq none of the dining options seem all that interesting.

Here’s the press release:

The highly anticipated Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar is now open at the Quad Resort & Casino. The restaurant opened its doors to customers for the first time on Thursday, April 17, with Fieri at the helm welcoming guests to his new digs.

As the first diners entered, Fieri was at the door greeting guests, thanking them for coming, signing autographs and taking pictures before jumping back into the kitchen for dinner service.

Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar offers guests a taste of Fieri’s signature cuisine, featuring bold flavors and unique twists on traditional dishes. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. for brunch, lunch, dinner and late night dining, the 200 seat restaurant features a delicious blend of casual foods including an extensive variety of burgers, wings, tacos, small bites and shareable food items.

The restaurant’s extensive drink menu features 16 craft beers, in addition to the Sonoma County wine selection and a frozen tap system shot bar that will create a one-of-a kind experience for guests. Instead of having shots strained or mixed with ice, which then run the risk of getting diluted, the frozen tap system bar will dispense eight different shots straight out of iced dispensers.

The 6,500 square foot space features a large outdoor patio and dining area to seat patrons who are able to enjoy the panoramic views of the Las Vegas Strip. The cooking space features a metal, tile, and wood theme that closely resembles Fieri’s kitchen at home. The interior design features an open arrangement with wood and steel elements along with repurposed materials.

Fieri’s tattoos are also incorporated as part of the design elements throughout the restaurant and bar, including coasters, napkins and dishware, as well as memorabilia from his alma mater, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar is open daily from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. The restaurant is adjacent to the popular Carnaval Court and The Quad’s main entrance. Please call 702-731-3311 for more information.

Photo: Vegas Chatter

Copyright © 2017 Marc Meltzer & EDGe Vegas