I love the El Co. and always will, the staff are so friendly and locals even remember you when you return. Great pay tables, great rewards. Truly a throwback, which I hope continues. Sad to see The Flame Restaurant gone, but excited to return when Siegels opens.
We hit Oscars for a drink and quick bite, ended up having Calamari and Sliders while sitting at the bar. The place was pretty slow when we got there about 4pm but filled up by 5 and we left around 6. Sliders were great, made from ground prime and came with a homemade sauce we were told was a combo carrot juice/hot-sauce mixture. Very good, and the Calamari was fresh tasting but just the usual when it comes to Calamari. The bartender made a delicious Peach/Champagne Martini and poured me a Guinness. Happy Hour prices were half off all drinks and bar food, so that was a great deal as well. No sign of Oscar but we had a great time chatting with our bartender.The restaurant was not too busy yet but they did seat about 4 groups before we left. The place is very "Vegas" and thats why I stopped to enjoy a quick throwback before tripping down Fremont.
I knew it was getting bad but, As if the kiosks weren't getting big enough and "legitimate" beggars and homeless scavengers didn't already stand outside every Casino, we now have to swim our way through Fat guys in diapers, their wives(just as fat) in pasties and overflowing bikini bottoms, a Fidel Castro look a like, at-least 4 pairs of show girls(one pair is enough), horrible musicians and "bucket" playing boys, Minions, Frozen Princesses, Big Bird, a couple drunk looking Sponge Bobs, 3 of 4 KISS members, a rap battle, the guy who puts himself in a small box, Smokey as well as The Bandit, a couple shady Elvis's, wanna be comedians, mini-marionette theaters, Zombies, hookers, pimps and the spray paint guys(actually they're pretty good). Ill stop there. Im still trying to get used to Slot-Zilla the zip line that takes up a ridiculous amount of space under the canopy. It might grow on me, but im kind of a traditionalist. I dont mind growth but come on, grow up. OK, Im done with that, sorry.
We decided to stop in at Micky Finnz on the way out of Fremont. Great live music and more drink specials so we stayed a while. Cant recall the times of their Happy Hour but we enjoyed a "bucket of fries" and a lot of 2 for $5 drinks. We really like the beach/summer rental style theme happening there and our bartender was great even know she was all by herself behind the bar and taking care of inside and outside customers and the wait staff. Then we headed way past El Cortez and past the new Container Park to check in at Atomic Liquor. Another blast from the past. An old jukebox and plenty of vintage paintings and photos on the wall.
Stayed within budget the first day and headed back to the room for an early night. Had the Big Strip walk planned the next day.
- Next morning we actually wanted to try a cheap downtown breakfast buffet, so we went to Fremont's Paradise Buffet. For $6.99 it was a great bargain. Very clean with a good variety of stuff, including great omelets.
Headed to Mandalay Bay to start our stroll.
We walked as far as we could handle during the morning, took plenty of pictures pointed out some of the "must sees" to the Vegas rookie i was walking with. It was about 75 degrees so we stopped to try Shake Shack and loved it, we grabbed a strawberry shake and a shake of the day(Caramel, silk something) both very good and great seats for watching the NY NY crowd walking by. They have a great patio outside and a large dinning room inside. (burgers, hot-dogs and other quick bites).
We were heading to Cleopatra's Barge in Caesars for Happy Hour so along the way we walked through Monte Carlo, Aria, Cosmo and Bellagio. We didnt stop much but to snap photos.
When we got to the Barge inside Caesars we find out its closed for renovations.
So my back up plan is Rhumbar at Mirage. We head for there, but construction takes up the entire front of Caesars at and around the Colosseum. So throw away the itinerary for today and head over to The Link.
Only my second time at The Link I enjoyed the relatively new feel to it. Everything was still very clean and polished. We needed to sit for a minute after our tour of the strip. We did some gambling and checked out the machines around Tag Bar. Great drink service, even at the Roulette machine right outside the Tag Bar. Then we went to Oshea's and hung out with the younger crowd. Lots of beer and Beer Pong. They did bring back their famous (or at-least popular) frozen Baileys for $3 a cup. They have around 50 different beers to choice from and gaming tables throughout the bar. Behind the bar we sat at is a mural of the original Oshea's Casino front. For those of you who may remember Lucky the Leprechaun, you will be happy to know he is still around but works more of a management role today.
From here we walked out onto the patio to High Roller plaza area.
I was pleasantly surprised by the High Roller shops and bars. Tilted Kilt, Chayo Mexican, Yard House, and a lot more smaller eateries. But my favorite by far was Brooklyn Bowl. Its a cross between a 2 story bowling alley and concert venue. I cant say enough good stuff about this venue.
We sat on the 2nd floor, in a kind of vintage circus themed bar and had some pulled pork sliders and drinks. Talked with two bartenders upstairs one named (CARLO, i believe)...... sorry if I got that wrong because he was excellent as was his partner but I never got a chance to ask the others name. The pulled pork sliders were Great and drinks very tasty. Then we went out on the balcony overlooking the plaza area and fountain side shops below. Great High Roller picture opportunities out there. We spent the rest of our evening there. Stayed out pretty late..............
Woke up sometime in the afternoon Tuesday, today is a downtown gambling, picture taking and souvenir hunting day. (remember im with a Vegas rookie)
So we snacked here and there, went to The D and hit American Coney. The menu is small but tasty snacks and fast service. Went and check out the vintage games upstairs, always fun to play some SIGMA-DERBY.
Hit Downtown Grand signed up for their players club, got a free shirt. Not surprisingly slow at The Grand. Walked through and the place is VERY nice, just empty.(I mean empty)! Art bar was unique with pieces of art covering the very small ceiling, a very inexpensive menu. The menu they have on the DTG website is not the same one we saw, we saw a new menu with items like pizza rolls and pretzel bites ($5) and Beer and a Shot ($6).
So next, I had to do some research(snooping around) for my self. I've been wanting to see whats happened to the old GOLD SPIKE aka TONY HSIEH-Ville(SHAY-VILLE). So we hiked down to do a walk through. It was as I thought, a little like a family picnic with life sized checkers and chess, large 10 person day beds and 24hr cafe/employee lounge and bar with no one at it but the security guard. No gaming unless you count the chess and bean bags out on the patio next to a suspicious Air-stream trailer. They do have rooms, labeled crash pads, next door at what is now called Oasis at Gold Spike.
All and all not very exciting yet. Rooms are relatively cheap though $29 weekday and $129 weekend. Pool is nice and everything is squeaky clean.
Headed back to watch the Fremont Experience before stopping in and gambling at Golden Gate then on to Binions. Met another awesome bartender, Pete, at the bar next to the poker room. Stayed at the bar way to long and drank for free the rest of the night eventually cashing out $18 of my original $20 VP deposit. Great relaxing day.
Last day is always a short one, especially when we get up as late as we did. First thing to do is pack because shuttle leaves at 4am for the airport.
Next we head to Container Park, another pleasant surprise. Not as cheesy as I thought except for the huge bug blasting fire balls from its antenna and talking to passers by like Stewie from Family Guy. Just on the back corner of El Cortez, this place is a unique park containing shops and some eateries and bars. Theres a concert spot at one end and as well as a playground. We walked around the park and felt very safe with security officers standing at the entrance. Two levels of recycled shipping containers used for shop spaces. We found a great joint called Cheffinis, took a seat outside and enjoyed a gourmet hot-dog and a beer.
We headed to Golden Nugget to do some gambling and picture taking. We somehow got into the pool area and sat by the hot-tub bar for a drink. Moved over to The Cal for some gaming and sight seeing, not a lot happening there except everyone seemed excited about California Noodle House opening recently. Looked nice but we didnt get to close. Felt a little hungry so hit Tony Roma's at Fremont Hotel for the Prime Rib special($8.99) cant beat that. Service was average but they were packed as one would expect. Food was very good and no complaints.
Last stop is back to Binion's to say good bye to our friend Pete the bartender, we took photos with the Million bucks as souvenirs and sat for a few hours, drank and played video BJ until we needed to go grab the suitcases and jump a shuttle. Another NO PRESSURE experience ends with more likes then dislikes. -NEONVACATION