How to Leave Las Vegas and Want to Come Back – Ep #35

Posted: November 7, 2017 in comedy, Las Vegas Secrets, Las Vegas Truth, movie news, nerds, Podcast, tech news, Uncategorized

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Jamey, Adam and Sam bring you the last segment in the How to Navigate Las Vegas series…How to Leave Las Vegas.  Also included in this episode are discussions about Veganism in Vegas, the Pro Bull Riders tour and Planetary Safety…along with the Topless Report, Nerd Alert, Gear Grinders and Area 52.

Plus segments from contributing editors John Thorpe & Jamey Kirklin

A Couple of Classic ‘Vegas Restaurants – by John Thorpe

In episode 33, in response to a query from Danjam9, the panel discussed the best steak restaurants in Las Vegas. Jamey mentioned a classic Las Vegas steakhouse, The Golden Steer, and that reminded me of a couple of other iconic Las Vegas restaurants that wouldn’t be labeled as “steakhouses,” so fell outside the parameters of our discussion. Although the two I will discuss here serve meat dishes, they also offer a great deal more; and like The Golden Steer, they predate the celebrity chef invasion and offer a glimpse of the way Las Vegas was before the sad and regrettable corporate infestation of our beloved town. (“Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets.”)

The perennial favorite restaurant among many well-informed locals for romantic occasions such as anniversaries and Valentine’s Day is Hugo’s Cellar, located downtown at the Four Queens Hotel. I’m not a particularly big fan of downtown Las Vegas, and the Four Queens can best be described as falling somewhere in that no man’s land between a shithole and a fleabag. You know that old, moldy sleeping bag you’ve got in the garage? The one caked with dust and stains of an unknown origin (or a known origin that you’d rather forget about)? The one that smells like a bear puked in it? Now imagine that sleeping bag turned into a hotel, much like Cinderella’s pumpkin transformed into a horse-drawn carriage. That nasty sleeping-bag-turned-hotel is the Four Queens. But don’t let the downtown location or the decrepit hotel that houses it deter you from dining at Hugo’s Cellar. It’s a Las Vegas institution and a first-class restaurant. Do stay away, however, if you’re just looking for a “quick bite” or want to eat and get on with your evening as soon as possible.  Hugo’s offers a true dining experience. Women are given roses. The waiters wear tuxedos and won’t refer to the Bananas Foster as being “awesome” or to your party as “you guys.” Many of the dishes are served table-side. Relax, have a drink, enjoy your dinner, and experience old Las Vegas in style. Here’s a link to their menu:

http://www.hugoscellar.com/files/menu.pdf

If you have your heart set on exceptional Italian food within the milieu of old ‘Vegas, then you’ll have a great time at Piero’s. Located in a stand-alone building at 355 Convention Center Drive, Piero’s is across from the Las Vegas Convention Center and less than a mile from Las Vegas Boulevard South (i.e., The Strip). Probably nothing exudes the old ‘Vegas vibe better than Piero’s high-backed leather booths and brick interior. Remember that fight scene in Casino between Sam (Robert De Niro) and Ginger (Sharon Stone)? The one in the restaurant? That scene was filmed at Piero’s. (Here’s a link to the scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0G_m7BAbQs). Hopefully, you and your dinner date will be on much better terms than Sam and Ginger, and although getting blown in the parking lot is unlikely, it can be arranged . . . just ask your concierge ; ) . All joking aside, I can pretty much guarantee you’re going to have a wonderful time at Piero’s. Here’s a link to their menu: http://pieroscuisine.com/menu-2/

One thing I like about both of these restaurants is that despite being elegant, classy, and traditional, they are not pretentious. If thoughts of a Belgium Endive Salad topped with St. Agur blue cheese, red wine poached pear, and candied walnuts and a plate of Foie Gras Au Torchon, served with rhubarb chutney, pickled mustard seeds, and a Pedro Ximénez reduction whet your appetite, then you should probably dine elsewhere. These are old-school establishments and the dishes they serve are recognizable, long-standing favorites, and probably haven’t changed much since these restaurants first opened.

When I worked with Jamey at the Venetian, I would occasionally get a perceptive and savvy guest who wanted a recommendation for an established, well-respected restaurant that wasn’t operated by a chef with his or her own TV show and an arrogant staff who thought they were doing their diners a favor by seating them. A restaurant that has withstood the numerous changes that Las Vegas has experienced over the years and still thrives. A place where the cognoscenti and the locals choose to dine. The three restaurants I would recommend to these guests were Hugo’s Cellar, Piero’s, and Lawry’s (which I mentioned on the podcast). I never had a guest come back and tell me that they had a lousy time at any of these restaurants. On the other hand, I did have people come back to complain about their experiences at restaurants that they specifically requested. What? You’re upset you spent 18 bucks for a side salad consisting of three Lacinato kale leaves, candied pine nuts, and a sea urchin aioli? You feel foolish because you couldn’t pronounce half the shit on the menu? Really? You weren’t impressed when the server set the plates down ever so gently in front of you, as if the small portion of what-the-fuck-is-that were about to explode if mishandled?

So do yourself a favor and get off the Strip and try one of Las Vegas’s classic restaurants. Unless, of course, you really are looking for a place where you can leave hungry, broke, and pissed off.

Vegas Vegas…The Truth from One Who Dared – by Jamey Kirklin

I am a man who enjoys a good ol’ stadium dog, a juicy burger on a soft bun (yes, with bacon) and a pizza right out of the oven with more cheese than meat – but barely.  I am also a man staring into both barrels of 50 years old and could now be victim to any one of the myriad problems facing men my age including brain numbing republicanism and social justice inducing lethargy.  Put simply, it was time to take stock of my consumption of life.

Now, I do have to admit that there were three outlying factors that caused a shift in my food intake.  One, was my wife and her desire to trim down and get back to her fighting weight of high school/college.  The second, although a bit disturbing on the outset, was the viewing of some of the more popular albeit controversial documentaries of the Plant Based (Vegan) lifestyle.  The third reason is one that again strikes deeply into the soul of men my age…the desire not to be a fat bastard and subsequently a dead fat bastard.

I must divulge that as this project came to the planning stages, my wife and I had a leg up.  We already had what I will call a decent dietary regimen which included most of the culturally accepted food groups and a good schedule of exercise.  We had never been slaves to the churches of sodium and high fructose corn syrup called Fast Food restaurants, and with the exception of a few smoothies and Starbuck’s coffees we were also not drinking our calories.  However, we were participating members of our society in that we espoused with little modification the Western Diet.

So our journey began…

We set upon our task of researching how we should approach beginning the adventure of the Plant Based diet.  Of course, everything being true on the internet we started there first, quickly followed by a small binging of the documentaries currently available on our streaming services.  Our new lifestyle choice had show after show and article after article praising us and encouraging us to sally forth and prosper from our choices.  Each proponent provided us copious notes and boundless positivity regarding our newly adopted food goals.  We were going to be dazzled by exotic tastes, save countless dollars at our local grocery and feel gleefully justified by our new culinary life.  To our dismay, we found each of the preceding promises to be fanciful and fantastic lies.

How could this be?  How could we have been led astray by such seemingly forthright and healthy(if a bit combative) individuals?

Undaunted we forged ahead…what follows is an accounting(striving for brevity) of a real world experiencing of the switch to Veganism.

As I am sure with most individuals who embark on this adventure, our first step was to head to our local store for supplies.  We chose not to go to the groceries where the professional Veg-heads shop(i.e Sprouts, WholeFoods etc) but to frequent our local food store in hopes they could accommodate this freshman vegan effort.  Having spent both several hours and several hundred dollars, we drove back home with our Vegan bounty and staggered into the kitchen with bushels of brightly colored vegetables – not a meat, milk or cheese could be found; and I am sure that I will receive a hearty amen from my fellow newbie’s (if they will stand for the truth) when I tell you that we clearly purchased way more than we could possible eat…therein illustrating the first problem with this plan.  You must forgo the Costco mentality and embrace the fact that you will no longer be buying flat carts of food to fill your pantry for those months before and after the zombie apocalypse, but will soon become fast friends with the cashiers and baggers of your local store for you will constantly have to be there shopping for fresh produce.

Now, as to the exotic tastes promised by  these Plant Based snake oil salesman.  Yes, those of us who grew up in the United States do tend to rest our laurels and our menus on a rather bland set of colors in the crayon box.  Initially, one can be mesmerized by the brightly colored and oddly shaped new vegetables you now have in your crisper; and upon your first tastings you think to yourself that this may not be as big a disaster as first thought.  Then, as sudden as your first impression came upon you, the distinct feeling of déjà vu washes over you, and then again…and again.  Worried you have chosen poorly, you try something Red, then something Green, then Yellow and Purple and so on.  To your horror, the hidden truth, a truth buried deeply along with the JFK assassination and the fact LOST was really a terrible show, becomes all too clear…everything tastes the same! (insert long agonizing scream here)

I know at this point I have raised the ire of my Vegan friends, acquaintances and followers.  The accusation will be simply be that I am ‘doing it wrong’ or I am simply not showing enough creativity when making my meals.  Well, I am sure that most will agree, after a long day of work the last thing you really want to do is be creative.

Now, of course, I have written this article with a bit of levity and my tongue firmly placed in my cheek.  I must acquiesce to some of the Vegan tenets.  I have indeed lost weight and lost it properly over an appropriate time frame.  I do feel my digestive system, which did tend to be a bit testy, has shown marked improvements.  My energy, which was never an issue, has stayed high.  In short, I feel good and will most likely continue this lifestyle with modifications that fit my needs.

If you do intend to explore the Plant Based community and lifestyle, keep in mind that your fellow humans rarely show the capability or desire for moderation.  You will see, as you do with those who espouse the Western diet or diets that involve meats, opinions in the extreme.  Each side will try to convince you that the other has intentions of malice and will contribute to your ultimate demise.  Fear not, for if you strive to disseminate all of the material out there you will ultimately find the diet and nutritional information you need.  The plain fact is that most diets and most exercises work; you just have to stick with it.  Most importantly, if you plan to make changes to your life in these ways, do it for yourself and not for the growing number of groups that say you should.

 

Episode #35 – Rundown

Coming up on this episode we will discuss

–  Final Step of our Las Vegas Series – Leaving Las Vegas

–  Vegan Vegas, PBR 2017, Planetary Safety

–  with the Topless report, Nerd alert, Gear grinders and Area 52

Keep those comments and show suggestions coming in…we love them all –

– georgejungle12 commented “Thanks for the Vegas Truth…I hear it’s turning Vegan…say it ain’t so!?

          –Vegenation, Komol

Vegan Vegas – The truth from one who dared…

 The Topless Report! Where are they naked now…

–  The Show “Crazy Girls” marked its 30th year in Las Vegas.

        Currently at the Sin City Theater at Planet Hollywood

Top 3 Fun Facts

First all-female topless revue on the strip. A 2008 movie was produced called “Crazy Girls Underover” about the cast thwarting a terrorist attack for the CIA.

The cast is spray tanned multiple times a week for the show.

PBR 2017 – What is it really Like?

Nerd Alert (Adam)

–  Thor Ragnarok Review

–  Super Mario Odyssey for Switch

Concierge Chronicle – Leaving Las Vegas

–  Plan your last day to be relaxing, sober and focused

–  If you must gamble, play games like Keno over which you have a little control – Also hit the sports book, grab a tasty stadium dog and place a bet(horse, harness etc.)

–  You want to leave with a good feeling and desire to come back.  Pack early, make sure to check the room for those pesky items that get lost (chargers), leave a small tip for your house cleaner(if deserved)…why, because it’s a classy thing to do and you’re a pig.

–  Hit the cab stand or grab your car early and head out…don’t forget to play a last machine in the airport.

Do this and I guarantee you, you will feel great and not look like Nicolas Cage or Elizabeth Berkley.

Gear Grinders – Las Vegas

–  It’s that guy again…had to shut down the “Once a Year” Vegas Expert…No you can’t Groupon a Bottle Table.

Area 52 (Jamey)

–   NASA creates one of the coolest jobs ever – and they have to come to Las Vegas:  Planetary Protection officer. Role was held by Catharine Conley ($124,00-$187,00 salary).

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