Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Staying at the Paris Hotel in a room where you couldn't tell it from the Clarion up the street. most Vegas hotels are like this. no frills. The object is to get you out of the room to roam with the zombies and drop your coin into the vats of Vegas. Although I have been known to don a 007 dinner jacket and head to the craps tables, I'm not a gambler. Life is a gamble enough for me, Hell, just driving here is a gamble. 6 1/2 hours it took this time. My God, I have made this trip more times than I care to remember on wheels. This time I drove straight through, not stopping at Peggy Sue's or Mad Greek's, No Alien Jerky for me this trip. I wanted to get there fast and get out quicker.
There was an Avon convention at the Hotel as well. Nothing like seeing overly made up Avon ladies with one to many cosmopolitans in them, cruising through the jungle looking for prey. It was quite a sight to see every night. the continual parade of drunken cougars in there finest Avon make up looking for 20 somethings and their male counter parts, "Manthers" looking for the same. never noticing each other. For me. I'm content on my bar stool with my favorite bar tender "Big D", sipping my double Crown Royal with a twist and watching the game play out before me. This is life. Like watching ants parade in front of you.
Hunger set in hard as we had worked all day long for 12 hours straight. An associate suggested we go to Bally's Steakhouse. it was close by, So off we went. I had never been to this place before, but can assure you I won't be back. was in the mood for a nice cut of Prime rib. You know that wonder of the buffet line. the cut of meat that has been downgraded to $4.99 specials at low brow casino billboards all over Vegas. I wanted to see what "fine dinning" / "Steakhouse" could do with it. This is a great cut of meat. a roasted whole rib eye. It was absolutely horrid. I actually felt that the animal was so defiled by this I could have become a vegan on the spot. $36.00 for it a la Carte and it was tougher than Rosie O'Donnell in a fight with Oprah Winfrey over a canned ham. The service atrocious.
Next evening after another long day we decided to go to one of my favorite steakhouses in Vegas. Mon Ami Gabi, which of course is in the Paris Hotel. they have the best aged rib eye steak I have had in the area. When the Europeans come to the US. they all order the beef. In Europe they don't "age" beef as we do. It's OK in Europe. But US beef is still king. aging breaks down the fibers and makes the flesh turn to butter. truly worth the price. But not this time. I was shocked that my beloved dry aged rib eye that I order every time was of the same quality as the prime rib at Bally's! Tough, tough tough and I ordered it rare. Not black and blue, but rare.Oh the humanity. Too tired to complain, Hell it would have taken another 45 minutes at least for a replacement to arrive. I opted instead to focus on the Escargot. Now these are perfect, succulent little garden pests swimming in a sea of garlic, parsley and olive oil. slathered on a piece of bread. oh my, these go down quicker than a Clinton intern.
Which leads us to Capo's Italian Steakhouse. Tired of the fare on the strip and looking for something else, maybe even a place that was worth the money. I don't mind paying top dollar, but I want more to my meal than a busting out everywhere server.
Located a few miles off the strip in a rather nondescript shopping mall is the Capo's. It doesn't look like anything special at all from the outside.
We are sat and left in the dark. just the candle light glowing dimly in front of us I can't see my dinner companions faces. I can make their figures out in the dark but that's it.
Soon as our dinner had arrived, so did the stereotypical crooner. He started to belt out really classic Sinatra tunes that no one hears anymore. his voice circled the room in a low pitch adding to the place and not taking away from the experience. He wasn't the show. he was the ambient music and it worked. When you dine in the dark your senses are heightened. your smell, your hearing. I felt rather fine doing so. I was able to relax and felt free and ready to tackle the rest of the week.
Capo's Italian Steakhouse
5675 W. Sahara Ave
Las Vegas, NV
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Prior to the event we made up or changed is more like it, drink recipes that we thought would match this ginger vodka concoction. The menu, of course, was purely 50's Trader Vic's "Polynesian". And the Hawaiian shirt dress code was strictly adhered to. Guests entering without proper attire, were quickly whisked to a rack with assorted thrift shop Hawaiian attire and held at drink point, (no drink,until changed) until they relented and changed into one of them.
We came up with a few variations of those classic Tiki drinks and here are a few.
An Island, Delight with Hues of the Ocean. Made with SKYY Ginger Infused Vodka, Blue Curaco and Pineapple juice.
The blue Hawaiian, we just throw copious amounts into a shaker and let the requester shake it up on the dance floor. Grass skirt is required.
- 1 oz. Matusalem Gran Reserve
- 1 oz. Appleton V/X
- 1 oz. Mount Gay XO
- 1/2 oz. 151
- 1 oz. grapefruit juice
- 1.5 oz. SKYY Ginger Infused Vodka
- 1 oz. orgeat
- .5 oz. cranberry juice
- .5 oz. pineapple juice
You know the best way I like this vodka is just plain, chilled and straight from the freezer and substituted for Saki with a nice plate of sashimi. I find she can be a party girl but she can also be an elegant dinner guest. It is the perfect compliment for classic Japanese. And like a good dinner date it doesn't over power you with talking about itself all night, but brings something to the table and makes you want to spend the whole evening with her.
So if you are in the mood for a slight change of the regular. This is good stuff.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
But the Chuck Box is in a league all to itself. It's as unrefined and unpretentious as it gets. None of that pseudo intellectual tripe here. Just good burgers. I was amazed to see this place run by just two college students on the night I went there. from cooking to cashier to busing tables.
The place has a sign out front that says over 278 sold! hilarious place, but with serious food.
The burgers are cooked over a mesquite charcoal grill and you step right up to "Juan" as he's grilling and tell him what you juan, and he slaps it on the grill in front of you and you move down the line and get your beer or soda. Just like they do at Pinks hot dogs in LA. Then you travel back around and wait for your burger to be done.
I love fries, but I love onion rings more. The rings at Chuck Box are not the best item on the menu. maybe because I like my rings with Panko crumbs and not a batter base, which the ones here are.
Ok so it's by a major college campus and it has a funny spokesman. but it really works and is a very good little dive of a place.
And if you want to volunteer to take pictures. I will buy ya a beer....or two.
202 E. University Dr.