Today’s featured dealertainer at The Quad is Scott as Garth Brooks.
Find out more about the dealertainers at The Quad.
Today’s featured dealertainer at The Quad is Scott as Garth Brooks.
Find out more about the dealertainers at The Quad.
This year’s Vegas Uncork’d food and wine festival by Bon Appétit (May 9-12, 2013), was a non-stop series of high-profile events highlighting Sin City’s best chefs, sommeliers and restaurants.
Among the more popular events of Vegas Uncork’d were a “Master Series” of hosted dinners at Caesars Palace, where guests had the opportunity to rub elbows with celebrity chefs and sample the cuisine at the hotel’s world-class restaurants.
Eight “Master Series” dinners happened simultaneously on May 10. We know because this blog visited every single one.
The restaurants featured were Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, Mesa Grill, Nobu Restaurant, Restaurant Guy Savoy, Rao’s, Central, Payard Patisserie & Bistro and Old Homestead Steakhouse.
Yes, these restaurants are all at one Las Vegas hotel. We marvel at this daily, especially because that’s not even a complete list of Caesars Palace restaurants.
At each “Master Series” event, chefs made presentations before each course, sharing thoughts about the dishes as their top-secret cooking techniques. Oh, all right, they aren’t too secret. Several of the chefs have books and TV shows.
Perhaps the biggest draw of Vegas Uncork’d was the Grand Tasting on May 10. About 50 award-winning chefs and 2,500 foodies join together for an orgy of food and libations. Virtual orgy. We probably should have made that part clear up-front.
The gathering began with a lively red carpet.
After the arrivals, the chefs and their teams manned their stations and provided guests a rare culinary experience, with bites from their restaurants and a chance to schmooze with those who have helped make Las Vegas the premier restaurant destination in the world.
The Grand Tasting was held in the Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis at Caesars Palace, which looks like something out of a Hollywood movie, except Hollywood movies don’t typically have their own Ramsays or Flays.
We did mention there was food at this event, right? The new Nobu Restaurant at Caesars Palace won some extra points for artistic merit.
A special area at the Grand Tasting was reserved for a sneak preview of restaurants coming to The Linq, the new restaurant and entertainment promenade from Caesars Entertainment. And we are not just mentioning this because there were cast members from “Jubilee!” at Bally’s on-hand, although that certainly didn’t hurt. See below.
Restaurants from The Linq giving guests a taste of what’s to come were Brooklyn Bowl, F.A.M.E., Off the Strip Bistro & Bar, Flour & Barley Pizzeria and others. See some of the other tenants coming to The Linq.
The final day of Vegas Uncork’d included a backyard-style BBQ, with an Italian twist, at Rao’s, and a traditional English Sunday Roast at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace.
Here are a slew of Vegas Uncork’d photos this blog somehow found time to share in between visits to the treadmill. What’s not to love about Vegas Uncork’d, we asked rhetorically?
Jon Gray, “Mayor” of The Linq project being built between the Flamingo and The Quad, has shared the first photo of a freshly-erected sign for the new O’Sheas.
For those who have been missing the original O’Sheas (like this blog) since it closed in 2012, this new sign represents both a blast from the past and a glimpse into the future.
The new O’Sheas will bring a more contemporary twist to the popular casino, beloved for its beer pong, plentiful hooch and Lucky the Leprechaun.
The new O’Sheas will have a bar, gaming tables and live entertainment. Just like the old O’Sheas, but significantly less sticky.
Comedy-magician Mac King recently celebrated the lucky 13th anniversary of his show, the Mac King Comedy Magic Show, at Harrah’s Las Vegas.
In honor of the occasion, the supremely likeable King got a proclamation from Mayor Carolyn Goodman naming May 11 “Mac King 13th Anniversary Day” in Las Vegas. Sadly, no cash value, but money isn’t everything.
Said King in a news release we just cut and paste this quote from, “A big thank you to all my pals and fans who have come out to support comedy and magic in the afternoon. I look forward to making more memories here at Harrah’s Las Vegas and I really am the luckiest boy on Earth.”
Also in attendance at the event were cast members from Million Dollar Quartet, also at Harrah’s.
Thanks to our buddy, Gabe Ginsberg, for the great pics.
Some Mac King stats: He’s performed more than 6,760 shows at Harrah’s, used 20,280 feet of rope in his timeless rope trick, and he’s magically appeared more than 20,280 Fig Newtons. Or whatever they’re calling Fig Newtons now, possibly just Newtons.
As for some of our favorite Mac King moments from the past 13 years?
Don’t miss Mac King’s very funny, family-friendly show at Harrah’s, consistently named the best afternoon show in Vegas, as well as one of the best bargains in the known universe. Although we may have embellished that last part a little bit.
Being a Las Vegas showgirl might seem glamorous (and it is), but it also takes a lot of work. Staying in shape is part of the gig.
One of our favorite Vegas newscasters, Maria Silva from Fox 5, recently dropped in on two “Jubilee!” showgirls at Bally’s Las Vegas, Jane Cesler and Amelia Bruff, to get some showgirl workout tips.
Through the miracle of the Interwebs, you can view the full workout segment here.
Check out these showgirls, and seemingly hundreds of others, in action at Bally’s Las Vegas in the last of the classic production shows on The Strip, Jubilee!
The recently-revamped Total Rewards Visa Card has upped the ante when it comes to earning comps through Total Rewards, just for doing what you already love to do. Total Rewards is the player loyalty club of Caesars Entertainment casinos across the country.
There’s never been a better time to sign up for this special Visa card, because when you do, you’ll receive a one-time “Buffet of Buffets” pass for two people for 24 hours of access to some of the best buffets in Las Vegas. Learn more about the Buffet of Buffets pass, perhaps the best invention since sliced roast beef.
Use your Total Rewards Visa card as you would any Visa card, but it won’t take long to see the difference between this and other cards. As you use your card on qualifying purchases, you’ll rack up Reward Credits, those magical “loyalty points” you can use for a variety of goodies like rooms, dining, shows and more at Caesars Entertainment destinations across the country.
For a limited time, get up to 10,000 Reward Credits as a bonus when you get the Total Rewards Visa card (5,000 Reward Credits for spending $250 outside a Total Rewards destination and an additional 5,000 after spending a total of $750 within the first 90 days after being approved).
Another great selling point for the card is when you use your card, you’ll automatically be upgraded to Platinum Tier level for the next year, including a 15% discount for rooms, casino gift shop merchandise and more. With the Total Rewards Visa card, your Reward Credits will never expire, as long as you earn at least one Reward Credit every six months. Without the Visa card, you have to visit a casino to keep Reward Credits active.
Get all the details about the Total Rewards Visa card here, including lots of small print and disclaimers, but nothing you can’t handle. Have fun, and earn responsibly. Whatever that might mean.
After a stand-out season on NBC’s “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice,” Rio Las Vegas headliner Penn Jillette has been named a finalist in what’s sure to be a clash of the Titans, all for the sake of charity.
For the show’s final competition of the season, Penn and country singer Trace Adkins have been tasked with creating their own flavor of ice cream.
On May 13, outside the Walgreen’s adjacent to Planet Hollywood at Harmon Center, Penn was joined by “Jubilee!” showgirls and other Las Vegas performers to launch his ice cream flavor, Vanilla & Chocolate Magic Swirtle.
Trace Adkins’ flavor, Maple Macadamia Mash-Up, is not nearly as good as Penn’s flavor, despite this blog having no real basis of comparison, because we didn’t try that one. If you want an unbiased opinion about things, please visit another blog.
What we do know is Penn’s ice cream is vanilla-based, with salted caramel swirls and pieces of chocolate mixed in. Even if we weren’t biased, this blog would love it.
After a few remarks, Penn and friends dove into the serious business of handing out ice cream samples to members of the crowd. Caesars Entertainment purchased 200 pints to get the party started.
At the ice cream social, Penn was joined by Opportunity Village clients, his Rio co-star, Teller, as well as Paris headliner Taylor Hicks, comedian George Wallace (Flamingo Las Vegas), comedy-magician Mac King (below, Harrah’s Las Vegas) and Blue Man Group.
The competitors’ ice cream flavors will be sold at Walgreens and Duane Reade locations nationwide through May 18.
The “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” winner will be announced May 19, 2013.
George Wallace seemed in his element, giving out ice cream as gleefully as the cash he sometimes gives away at his Flamingo shows. Note to ourselves: Attend more George Wallace performances.
If Penn Jillette can sell more ice cream than Trace Adkin, who is probably a very nice person, other than being on the losing end of a Vegas versus Nashville throw-down, Walgreen’s will award $100,000 to Opportunity Village, a Las Vegas-based charity that serves those with intellectual disabilities.
The ice cream sales will also help determine who will be named the “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice,” and if Penn wins, another $250,000 would go to Opportunity Village.
Penn’s playing for Opportunity Village has already brought in a whopping $400,000 to the organization. The Southern Nevada nonprofit provides vocational training, community employment, advocacy, arts and social recreation, among other services. They also do this. Find out more at OpportunityVillage.org.
Here are a few more photos from the “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” festivities on The Strip.
The Last Frontier hotel-casino opened in 1942, and was one of the first casinos on The Strip. Believe it or not, at one time, the hotel transported guests to and from the airport in a horse-drawn stagecoach.
In 1955, the Last Frontier became the New Frontier. In 1967, it was re-named just Frontier. In 2007, the hotel became vertically challenged. Specifically, it was imploded.
Here’s another little tidbit that might help win you a bar bet, someday: The New Frontier was the site of Elvis Presley’s first appearance in Las Vegas, in 1956.
Yes, May is National Burger Month. But at KGB at Harrah’s Las Vegas, they treat every month like National Burger Month. How do we know this? Because each month, the restaurant, brainchild of Chef Kerry Simon, rolls out a new Burger of the Month special, each more piquant and pleasing than the last, whatever “piquant” might actually mean.
Currently, the featured burger is a Carne Asada Burger, with a carne asada-marinated beef patty topped with pepper jack cheese, grilled lime-marinated onions and peppers, guacamole and crispy tortilla chips. Take note: The jalapeno cheddar bun has a sassy kick to it.
Each monthly burger special is paired up with a shake, straight from the ever-creative minds of Chef Simon and his team. The Carne Asada Burger comes with a Mexican Hot Chocolate shake.
The cavalcade of burgers doesn’t have to end with the end of National Burger Month, of course. In June, the Burger of the Month at KGB is the Mushroom Swiss Burger. It comes with a mango milkshake. Don’t freak out. It’s probably not as healthy as it sounds.
Looking ahead to July, it’s a Breakfast Burger, with an eight-ounce burger topped with apple wood-smoked bacon and a fried egg. That swoon you just heard is that of people who are really, really into burgers topped with friend eggs. (Hint: There are a lot of them.)
This burger forgoes the usual fries, and goes straight for the tater tots.
The shake for the July special is the Creamsicle Shake, and yes, if you’re drooling, you’re a human being rather than a mannequin.
So, the next time you’re at Harrah’s, or anywhere within a 60 mile radius, stop by KGB: Kerry’s Gourmet Burgers and ask about the Burger of the Month deal. Tell them we sent you. And that we asked you to bring us back some tater tots.
The seventh annual Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit festival is officially under way in the city known as much for its restaurants as its neon.
As is the tradition, this year’s event began with a “saber off” ceremony (the removal of a cork via a dramatic, sabering motion), wherein this blog was drenched with expensive champagne.
Vegas Uncork’d, a four-day food-lover’s extravaganza is resplendent with dinners, wine and food tastings, cooking demonstrations and all things gastronomical.
Some of the town’s best chefs take part in the event. We forced several of them to have their photo taken.
A variety of hotels on The Strip host Vegas Uncork’d events, and a highlight of the festival is the Grand Tasting at Caesars Palace on May 10 at 7:30 p.m. Lots of chefs. Lots of food. Lots of wine. Oh, yes, there will be trash-talking.
It is important that you do not attempt to get between this blog and a Grand Tasting. We’re just saying.
We finally got to meet “Hell’s Kitchen” winner Christina Wilson. Her prize was a gig at Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris Las Vegas. Happily, she seems to have made it through her Probationary Period.
About 40 chefs took part in the Vegas Uncork’d saber ceremony. We are sharing some of the ones from Caesars Entertainment hotels, because we’re sort of biased like that.
Although you have procrastinated masterfully, there are still tickets available to some of the Vegas Uncork’d events.
Vegas Uncork’d runs through May 12, 2013, so get on that.
Find out more at the official site, VegasUncorked.com.
Wow. Thirty years ago, there was no Internet, no DVDs and no cell phones. There was no Prozac or Viagra, and no disposable contact lenses.
What was around 30 years ago? “Legends in Concert,” the tribute show now at Flamingo Las Vegas that shows no signs of slowing down. “Legends in Concert” celebrated its 30th anniversary on The Strip on May 5, and recently put on a special anniversary show, so we grabbed some photos to memorialize the occasion.
When it opened in 1983, “Legends in Concert” originally ran in the hotel now called The Quad, then had a long run at Harrah’s Las Vegas. Now, it’s all about the Flamingo Showroom, on a stage shared with famed performers George Wallace and Donny & Marie.
The current line-up of “Legends in Concert” features Britney Spears (played by the aforementioned Katie Murdock), Michael Jackson (Damian Brantley), Elvis (Victor Trevino), Rod Steward (John Anthony) and Lady Gaga (Kate Steele.)
There have been about 18,000 performances of “Legends in Concert” during its run on The Strip, and it’s estimated the production has been seen by a staggering 6.5 million Las Vegas visitors. Well, not all of them were staggering, but quite a few were. It’s Las Vegas. We’re just saying.
Each of the performers in “Legends in Concert” has to be a triple-threat: They must look similar to the star they emulate, they must sing like the star, and must must be able to replicate the star’s moves.
And, yes, these performers do their own singing. No lip-syncing.
There are times when you’d swear you’re at a concert by the superstars they emulate. In that way, it’s like getting five mini-concerts, all in one fast-paced show.
The featured performers are backed up by one of the most talented live bands on The Strip. Remember, they have to master music from multiple artists, across multiple styles and decades.
The dancers and choreography are top-notch as well.
Dancers never get enough love, so please enjoy this photo of the show’s dancers we grabbed at the anniversary party.
“Legends in Concert” has managed to remain fresh for three decades because the show changes often, and audiences can return over and over and always see something new.
More than 500 tribute artists have been featured in the Las Vegas version of “Legends in Concert.”
Kate Steele as Lady Gaga is crazy good. She always seems to be changing up her costumes and songs, and does a mean solo on the piano, with spot-on vocals and a Tony-worthy take on Gaga’s whole vibe.
Of course, no Vegas tribute show would be complete without The King, and Victor Trevino (below) is easily one of the best Elvises we’ve seen in a town teeming with them.
Since its recent move to the Flamingo, the show has become the city’s only big production that offers a matinee show, at 4:00 p.m., six days a week. Other shows happen at 9:30 p.m., each Sunday and Monday.
Congratulations to everyone at Legends in Concert for a truly remarkable, 30-year run. This crowd-pleasing show is part of what makes Vegas so, well, Vegas.
This blog does not love commercials. We use our Tivo remote to blow by commercials on TV, and have clicked “Skip Ad” links since the very invention of the “Skip Ad” link.
But the ads in this blog post are different. They’re for Horseshoe casinos around the country, which is cool and all, but somewhat beside the point, because these videos actually transcend geography or a specific casino, even one with as sweet a history as Horseshoe. What are we talking about? Why, here’s one of the ads now.
Anyone who loves casino games recognizes this moment. It’s the moment of anticipation of a result, the outcome of your bet, whether it happens at a blackjack table, or craps table or slot machine.
Funny you should mention slot machines (well, somebody mentioned slot machines), because there’s also an ad featuring (wait for it) slot machines.
Who hasn’t had those moments? And if they haven’t had them, what sad planet are they from?
And just when all the craps players were starting to grumble about how they feel left out of the fun (not that a craps player would ever grumble about anything, of course), another video appears, as if by magic.
People sometimes say to us, “Pulse of Vegas, you’re an award-winning blog, right?” “Yes,” we reply, humbly. They continue, “Why do you seem to love casinos so much?” We sit them down, and try to describe that feeling when the decision is about to happen, when fate is in charge. That moment of anticipation, when anything is possible.
At which point, they tend to look at us like our hammock doesn’t reach both trees.
But, now, we can show them these videos. And they’ll get it. And hopefully, they’ll join us at the craps table.
Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino has just unveiled 380 redesigned suites, called Samba Suites, in its Masquerade Tower.
Teal and orange hues are used throughout these 600-square-foot suites, which also feature patterned carpets, dark wood furnishings, brushed chrome fixtures and a 32-inch flat screen TV. The rooms also have upgraded bathrooms.
Click here to view a larger image.
Today’s useless trivia: Samba is a Brazilian style of music and dance, using a 2/4 tempo and a sung chorus to a batucada rhythm, with various stanzas of declaratory verses. Which this blog totally knew off the top of its head, by the way. The musical instrument most closely identified with samba is the tamborim, which this blog would not be able to recognize in a line-up, even under duress.
Here’s something we do know. Samba Suites at Rio Las Vegas start at $69 a night. The new-room smell is included at no additional charge. Go check some rates, already.
The weather in Las Vegas is absolutely gorgeous, and dining outside is a wonderful way to take advantage of the sunshine.
This blog completely sympathizes with those around the country still in the throes of winter. (Sorry, Minnesota and Wisconsin.) And what better way to “sympathize” than to “share photos of people enjoying outdoor dining” while also “gloating a little”?
1. Serendipity 3
This restaurant in front of Caesars Palace has ample seating, warm breezes and ranks among the best places to people-watch on The Strip.
Note: There are two seating areas at Serendipity 3. One faces The Strip (above), and the other faces, well, this.
2. Central Michel Richard
Central Michel Richard recently opened its centrally-located patio, and diners can order lunch to-go at the restaurant’s bar for consumption on the patio, complete with an ample supply of umbrellas for shade.
With a great view of the Garden of the Gods pool complex, Rao’s is a terrific spot to enjoy a take-out order and play a little bocce while catching some rays.
4. La Salsa
This popular restaurant at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace also has outdoor seating next to a replica of the Trevi fountain.
Even regular diners at Margaritaville at Flamingo Las Vegas aren’t always aware of the restaurant’s third floor patio, complete with a bar, lots of tables and a spectacular view of Caesars and The Strip.
We weren’t kidding about the nachos thing.
6. Carlos’n Charlie’s
This tequila-fueled party spot at Flamingo Las Vegas boasts a patio with sun, fun and drinks the size of bathtubs. More Carlos’n Charlie’s.
7. Mon Ami Gabi
Mon Ami Gabi at Paris Las Vegas is easily one of the more well-known spots to dine outside in Las Vegas. Great service, consistently good food and people-watching make it an essential part of any Vegas visit.
8. Cabo Wabo Cantina
There aren’t too many places where you can dine outside and hang out with a bona fide rock star, but Cabo Wabo Cantina fits the bill. Even when Sammy Hagar (The Red Rocker) isn’t in town, the lively outdoor seating at Cabo Wabo at Planet Hollywood is worthy of an ovation.
The dogs are plentiful at this Planet Hollywood eatery, as is the sunshine and ogling at this intimate seating area facing Las Vegas Boulevard.
10. P.F. Chang’s
What’s not to love? Check out some pics from our recent visit to this fixture at Planet Hollywood, including our encounter with some new, 96-ounce cocktails.
11. PBR Rock Bar & Grill
The fun at PBR Rock Bar at Planet Hollywood can’t be contained inside, so it overflows into the restaurant’s perfectly-situated outdoor patio. Step inside for a ride on the mechanical bull, or just watch as hundreds of Vegas visitors stroll by. Many in sun dresses and inappropriately-short shorts. We’re just saying.
So, pick your spot and enjoy Sin City’s fabulous weather and diverse dining. But don’t wait! This window of wow-worthy weather may not last forever. One time, in 1987, we had a day in May where it was, brace yourself, overcast for upwards of 20 minutes!
Just kidding. Never happened. But we didn’t want the people in Minnesota and Wisconsin to feel too badly. Probably.
A lucky player at Rio Las Vegas was just dealt four aces with a three on a $25 Super Double Double Bonus 5 play video poker machine.
Honestly, we have no idea what most of that means, but we do know it resulted in the following.
Thanks to the team in the Rio’s high limit salon for passing along the photo.
Note: Actually kissing a video poker machine is not recommended. At least not on the first date.