Tips from a Townie
January is CRAZY in Las Vegas! CES and PPAI just finished. Up next is SHOT Show, International Builder’s Week, and World of Concrete. Blink once and it will be February. Blink again… EXHIBITORLIVE!
Several years ago, I shared my VEGAS LOCALS perspective on places to eat, shows to see, and things to do while at EXHIBITOR. A lot has happened since then, and I wanted to suggest some new places. These are not your standard tourist fare and many are (thankfully) outside the Hacienda Triangle (Mandalay Bay, Luxor, and Excalibur). Part 1 — Dining Options in Las Vegas.
Down Las Vegas Boulevard from Mandalay Bay is Michael’s Gourmet Room at the Southpoint Casino. It’s a longtime locals favorite and a hidden gem. Michael’s is a throwback to the glamour of the Rat Pack era with captains, uniformed staff, velvet banquets, intimate size, and exquisite service. The old school menu features forgotten dishes like saltimbocca, escargot, chateaubriand for two, and a signature intermezzo of sorbet with Dom Perignon champagne. The food, the service, and the setting… It all works here.
On the opposite end of the strip is The Top of the World Restaurant at the Stratosphere. It’s perched 844 feet above the city and revolves in place, rotating a full 360 degrees every 80 minutes for a birds-eye view of Las Vegas. The view attracts tourists, but it’s the menu of re-imagined classics that makes it hard to get a reservation. In addition to a generous helping of ambiance, the menu boasts delectable seafood, prime-cut steaks, and decadent specialties. While there, you can visit the observation deck. The Stratosphere boasts several thrill rides that are not for the faint of heart. My recommendation, make a choice… rides or restaurant and stick to it! The two aren’t very compatible.
At the center of the strip, there’s the new LINQ area. I’ll get to the High Roller (the fancy ferris wheel you’ve heard so much about) in Part 2. This time around (no pun intended), we’ll focus on the eateries. Guy Fieri, of Food Network fame (graduated from UNLV don’t ya know) opened his first Las Vegas Restaurant, appropriately named Vegas Kitchen & Bar. Yardhouse has an installation here too, as well as Brooklyn Bowl, Tilted Kilt, and Sprinkles Cupcake ATM. Yep, you can now get your cupcake fix 24/7 in Vegas! Chayo Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Bar, Haute Doggery, Flour & Barley, and F.A.M.E round out the line-up of eateries in this lively new section of the strip.
Finally, there’s the buffet. The Bacchanal Buffet at Caesar’s Palace is the “sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll” of Vegas buffets. Bacchanal Buffet is what happens when you throw $100 million budget at a buffet renovation. The Bacchanal Buffet is not only a feast for your tummy but also for your eyes. The dining room is broken into air, water, or wood-themed sections. And then you have the more than 500 daily offerings many of which are prepared in front of you. The menu changes daily depending on products, season, and chef’s whims. Must tries include fried chicken and waffles, red velvet pancakes, mini Wagyu sliders, Japanese curry, and a made-to-order dessert crepe.
I’m not going to lie, it’s a little spendy as buffets go ($52+ for dinner) but Groupon has a deal going right now that will get you breakfast buffet and mimosas for 2 plus VIP line passes for $65 total. The catch is that it is only valid Monday- Friday but might be a good option for Thursday if you have an afternoon flight.
Depending on your culinary mood, you might want to give these Off-The-Strip Delights a try:
- Mexican – El Dorado Cantina
- Sushi – Raku
- Italian – Chicago Joe’s, Downtown Las Vegas
- Thai – Lotus of Siam
Okay, I’ve done my best to get you going in the right direction. Let me know what you think and please add your own suggestions.
In the meantime, don’t forget registration for EXHIBITORLIVE 2015 is OPEN! Click Here to access registration and receive an Exhibits Only pass courtesy of Classic Exhibits.
Western Regional Manager (and Vegas Local)
Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or www.classicexhibits.com.