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Recommend a "casual" (or at least "casual-ish") steakhouse?

What steakhouse do you recommend that would seat me if I was dressed in:

(a) A short sleeve polo shirt, white (possibly black) khakis (full-length, not shorts - think Levis Dockers), and Nike trainers;

(b) what I think is described as "casual business" (no jacket or tie, short sleeve shirt with button-down collar, but "dressy" pants and shoes)?

May 09, 2015
That Don Guy in Las Vegas

Pizza by the slice?

Rather than eating an entire pizza from a single spot, I an thinking about getting a slice from various locations. I know most of the places on the Strip:
New York Pizzeria @ NYNY
800 Degrees @ Monte Carlo
550 @ Aria
Secret Third Floor No Name Mystery Meat @ Cosmo
DiFara @ Caesar's Food Court
Francesco's @ TI
Flour & Barley @ the Linq
Fulton Street Food Court @ Harrah's
Pin-Up @ PH
...and, of course, Pizza Rock across the street from Downtown Grand downtown.
Can anybody recommend some others? The only two rules are,
(a) It has to serve pizza by the slice, and
(b) It has to be within range of the Vegas buses, so anything south of Tropicana is pushing it.

Apr 28, 2015
That Don Guy in Las Vegas

Trip Report (Pizza Rock, Guy Fieri's, Toby Keith's, not much else) - June 15-20

I just got back from five nights in Vegas, and thought I'd mention a few things about where I ate. Note that the closest I came to breakfast was a boston cream doughnut from the Dunkin inside (IIRC) the Fremont. Also, anybody interested in "foodie" places does not have to bother reading any further.

I arrived at the Downtown Grand on Father's Day, and pretty much went straight to Pizza Rock across the street (literally - the DG casino entrance is across the walkway from the PR main entrance). Had the "Classic American" Pepperoni (about 13" - it's the only size this comes in); one of the better pizzas in the area, in my "old school" opinion; it ranks up there with Secret Pizza at the Cosmo. However, when I asked for a slice of "deep dish", the server at the time didn't know what I meant, and I ended up with a slice of Sicilian thick crust. (Then again, maybe I read the menu wrong - what I thought was Chicago style "deep dish" turns out to be "cracker thin crust".)

On Monday and Tuesday, I rented a car so I could hit the casinos I had missed the last few times I was here. Monday Lunch was at Original Tommy's on Boulder (just north of Longhorn and across Boulder Highway from Sam's Town); I decided to have a chili cheese dog, chili cheeseburger, and chili cheese fries. However, the chili was incredibly bland (you can order it with onions and/or jalapenos, but I chose neither), and it congeals rather quickly.

Monday dinner was at Via Brasil out near Red Rock. I was surprised how empty it was right after the USA-Ghana soccer match. It's typical rodizio, but I don't think it's as good as Fogo de Chao.

Tuesday lunch was 99 Cent Taco Tuesday at The Commissary; however, what they don't tell you is, these aren't the normal tacos in the menu - they're on small flour tortillas, and come only with steak or chicken, plus pico de gallo, lettuce, cheese, and I think guacamole. One of these days, I'll have to get out to Tacos El Gordo.

I finally managed to get out to Arizona Charlie's Boulder for the Tuesday BBQ Buffet Dinner. It was pretty much what I expected; a buffet with a few BBQ items thrown in, including having brisket and pork at the carving station. There was also pulled pork, but it was mixed with all sorts of things, so I passed on it.

After returning the car Wednesday morning, it was "back to the buses" for me. Wednesday, I went to Guy Fieri's at the Quad for lunch. I started with the Mac & Cheese Burger, which, although the menu doesn't seem to say this, includes three kinds of fries (shoestring, kinda sorta steak cut, and crosscut); the burger seemed to be too big for the bun and the meat patty tended to fall apart. I then went for the Cheesecake Challenge, and they weren't kidding; it was something like half of a 7 or 8-inch round cheesecake, covered in chocolate, with pretzels and potato chips (!) on it.

For dinner, I was still under the effects of that lunch, so I looked for something "small", and ended up at Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill at Harrah's, where they had a 14-oz Ribeye special that night. A little undercooked for "medium," and a little fatty, but nothing to complain about.

Thursday, I just had a slice of pizza (Pizza Rock Sicilian) and a hot dog (American Coney Island over at The D - bland) for lunch, then dinner at the Aria buffet, mainly because (a) I got a free one from MyVegas, and (b) it claimed to have an Indian station, but it was pretty much just Tandoori chicken, one type of chicken curry, and some rice and naan. It did include some halfway decent desserts, like bananas Foster.

Jun 20, 2014
That Don Guy in Las Vegas

Casual Lunch in Henderson?

I'm planning on being in Henderson around noon on a weekday. Are there any "casual" (as opposed to something more "foodie" like, say, Todd's) places that anybody can recommend?

Jan 15, 2014
That Don Guy in Las Vegas

Buffet with BBQ?

Actually, I was specifically looking for a buffet, or some other "all you can eat"-style restaurant. Considering the BBQ stations I came across at some of the buffets I did go to, I think I'll stick to places with rodizio (e.g. Via Brazil, Fogo de Chao) for my "all you can meat" fix.

Jun 24, 2013
That Don Guy in Las Vegas

Restaurants We Went to in Vegas...How'd we do?

I don't know about the Vegas Buca di Beppo in particular, but I have been to other locations (Columbus, Ohio (near Nationwide Arena) comes to mind) where they served "individual" portions (about half the size of a Buca Small) for dinner.

Then again, the last time I was in one was in 2009...

Jun 24, 2013
That Don Guy in Las Vegas

Trip Report - June 16-20

I just got back from five nights in Vegas on the "pretty much anywhere you can reach by bus" plan, and here's what I had:

Sunday dinner - I was staying at the Rio, so right after I checked in, I headed to Carnival World. I expected a little more variety, especially for the price, but the fact that I didn't go to the seafood or sushi stations may have some effect on my opinion here. However, why is it that everybody's idea of a BBQ station seems to be a pile of fatty beef ribs, a pile of stale cornbread, some chicken pieces, and occasionally a pile of "BBQ beans"?

Monday lunch at BurGR (at Planet Hollywood). The burger was excellent - it rivals BLT for the top of my list - and they do go overboard on the fries as well, but when I ordered a pudding milkshake, I was expecting some mixture of the two; instead, it was pretty much a half-glass of milkshake on the bottom and a half-glass of pudding on the top. Was I supposed to mix them myself or something?

I was planning on making my way out near Red Rock and having dinner at Via Brasil, but something in my stomach (and my legs) was disagreeing with me, so I headed back to Rio and went to All American Bar & Grille, where I ordered a dry aged New York Strip (which, they don't bother to tell you in advance, is bone-in - it appears to be the non-filet half of a porterhouse) and a side of macaroni & cheese. I was expecting the M&C size to be something that would fit on the plate with the steak, and was surprised to see it served in a (shallow) soup bowl; I didn't quite finish, especially as the "medium well" steak I ordered was still red near the bone. I expected a little better for a $30 steak that was still only USDA Choice.

Tuesday lunch was at Smashburger on the east side of UNLV (I was in the area to go to the Pinball Hall of Fame about two blocks east). Nothing remarkable, although the burgers I had for lunch this trip did tend to lie in my stomach for a while - something that happened to me last year with a Fatburger as well.

I had a comp for the buffet (Cravings) at the Mirage, so I tried it out for dinner. Nothing out of the ordinary, except that I didn't remember there being very many desserts.

Wednesday lunch was at Burger King - that was pretty much the only place in the area at lunchtime between lengthy bus trips.

Wednesday dinner was at the Ports o' Call buffet at Gold Coast, and it's worth it if you want to turn it into an all-you-can-eat for something in particular (e.g. pizza, or turkey breast), but despite the fact that it had prime rib, it wasn't really worth the effort.

I was downtown on Thursday, so for lunch I had a "four cheese" burger at the 777 at Main Street Station; it appears to be a burger where they melt four kinds of shredded cheese on it - not impressed.

Finally, one of the best "quick eats" I had in Vegas was from an unexpected spot - the meatball sub at the deli next to the Sports Book at the Rio. (Maybe next time I'll try out the half-pound hot dog as well.), I never did get to the "BBQ Buffet" at Arizona Charlie's Boulder (that BBQ station at the Rio buffet turned me off), and I didn't get to a rodizio either, although I did go to one in Columbus, Ohio the week before, so I wasn't particularly interested this time.

Jun 21, 2013
That Don Guy in Las Vegas

"Best of Las Vegas" - REALLY?!?!

You also have to keep in mind that "best" means different things to different people - otherwise all you would have to do is ask one person, and everyone would agree with that.

Besides, how many people on Chowhound bow down to the very name of In & Out? Should that be considered a contender for "best burger", even though it's a chain?

May 30, 2013
That Don Guy in Las Vegas

Buffet with BBQ?

I'm going back to Vegas in a month or so, and I am looking for a buffet that does BBQ-style food (ribs, brisket, mac & cheese, that sort of thing). I know that Arizona Charlie's in Boulder has a "BBQ Night" at its buffet for about $10. However, I have heard quite a range of opinions about the food at AC's. Can anyone recommend a better one?

I'm not looking for just a BBQ restaurant - I know about places like PBR, for example; I want to know about buffets.

May 22, 2013
That Don Guy in Las Vegas

The Revenge of...My Upcoming Las Vegas Vacation

If Burger Bar and In & Out are on your list, I think Gordon Ramsay's burger place at Planet Hollywood is supposed to open in mid-December.

Oct 17, 2012
That Don Guy in Las Vegas

Diner's Drive-In's and Dive's Type Stuff Near The Strip?

There's also a Smashburger inside of the Fiesta Rancho casino now.

Sep 03, 2012
That Don Guy in Las Vegas

Trip Report - August 13-17

I got into Vegas on Monday afternoon 8/13 from O'Hare (after spending four days there from San Francisco), albeit with a two-hour flight delay - either because of weather at O'Hare or the tail end of a cell of showers in Vegas - followed by a 45-minute wait for a hotel shuttle.

To start, I went to Fogo de Chao (and by "went", I mean, "walked the mile and a quarter from Planet Hollywood hotel"). Whoever recommended this place over the closer Samba and Pampas got it on the nose; there wasn't a thing wrong with it (well, except that they did tend to waste food by refilling the side dishes; I can take only so many fried bananas). Definitely on my list of regular haunts.

The rest of the trip involved building on my chip collection by going to the outlying areas, so there aren''t that many "name" places the rest of the way. For example, on Tuesday, after pulling a Lisa Simpson and getting on the wrong bus (the idea was to take the 106 to Texas Station, then continue onto Santa Fe Station and back down to Red Rock, but I got on the 206 and did them in reverse order), I had a pound Fatburger at Santa Fe Station, which decided to make its presence known in my stomach for the next three hours or so.
Tuesday Dinner was at PH's Spice Market Buffet, and while I didn't go through all of the dishes, the ones I did have made for quite the range - there was a Chicken Kabob that I rated "good", and a Beef Kabob that I rated "good God, do they seriously consider this edible?" (it was either fat or so undercooked that the knife you get won't cut it). Also, both times I asked for a Pepsi, I got a diet (not sure if it was Diet Pepsi or Pepsi Max).

Wednesday, I had lunch at TGIFriday's at Sam's Town; the Jack Daniels burger was good, but nothing spectacular, especially when the sauce soaked the bun. For dinner, Planet Dailies (the PH cafe) advertised a $10 All You Can Eat pasta special from 3 to 6:30 PM with "your choice of three types of pasta and three sauces, or Mac & Cheese"; however, I was told Mac & Cheese was not an option. I went for spaghetti with marinara sauce; it tastes like something I make at home from cans of Hunt's Tomato Sauce, only slightly thickened, and with what I think were strips of red pepper added for spice.

On Thursday, I decided to give the Pink's stand at PH a try; okay, it's a decent hot dog (although I don't really go for "old-fashioned" dogs), but I added chili to it, which tended to overpower it. That night, nursing quite a few aches from all of the walking in the heat over the previous four days, I stayed close, going to No Name Pizza Kitchen at the Cosmopolitan. I haven't had a slice like that since Empire State Pizza was still open in Berkeley in the mid-1980s (if you're familiar with south side Berkeley, it was in that strip where Nation's is located, across Durant from where La Val's used to be). Okay, it's overpriced, but, after all, it's the Vegas Strip. I finished off at Earl of Sandwich; the Hawaiian (ham, pineapple, cheese, BBQ sauce) was good, but the Cannonballs (meatball sub) needed work, as I could hardly taste the cheese and the sauce tended to be little more than chunks of cold tomato. The "artisan bread" did not do them any favors.

And to think I walked right by Tacos El Gordo at one point...

Aug 17, 2012
That Don Guy in Las Vegas

Suggestions for the Wynn for casual dining

Maybe it was just me, but "Wynn" and "casual dining" do not seem to be two terms that go together. Venetian/Palazzo and Fashion Show Mall are only an elevated walkway away.

Jul 26, 2012
That Don Guy in Las Vegas

Bradley Ogden closing?

Reportedly, Gordon Ramsay will be opening some sort of pub there

Jun 25, 2012
That Don Guy in Las Vegas

Best Churrascaria (Brazilian / Rodizio)?

I'm back - it's pretty much down to between Fogo de Chao and Samba; I'm leaning toward Fogo.

Anybody know what the dress code is at Fogo de Chao?
Normally when I'm in Vegas, I wear a polo shirt (with white undershirt underneath), white khakis, and Nike athletic trainers. Is that underdressed, or is it more of a "pretty much anything better than a T-shirt and shorts, and we'll even stretch that on a Monday-Thursday before 6" policy?

Jun 14, 2012
That Don Guy in Las Vegas

Largest and/or Best Pizza in Las Vegas (Preferably both!)

Well, Graziano's (at Desert Inn and Durango) has a 24" pizza that weighs over 10 pounds that's part of a challenge (two people have 45 minutes to complete it); that's the largest one I could find, although if it's for a wedding party (reception? rehearsal dinner? just eat?), maybe some restaurant can make a larger pizza at your request - it can't hurt to call around.

Apr 19, 2012
That Don Guy in Las Vegas

Station properties "All You Can Eat Tacos"

I see that most of the Station properties (Texas Station, Palace Station, Aliante, etc.) have an "All You Can Eat Tacos for $8" deal at their Mexican restaurant/bars (mostly Cabo, but a couple of other names slip in). Is anybody familiar with this, and if so, should I be expecting something more than the equivalent of buying $8 worth of tacos at Del Taco?

(And let's keep the "forget both of those, and go to Tacos El Gordo instead" replies to a minimum.)

Apr 10, 2012
That Don Guy in Las Vegas

Best Churrascaria (Brazilian / Rodizio)?

What's the best Churrascaria anywhere near the Strip?

I have been to Samba (Mirage) and have heard about Pampas (Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood) and Texas de Brazil (Town Center). Am I missing any?

Apr 04, 2012
That Don Guy in Las Vegas

Las Vegas- Fremont street eats?

Be warned; the buses that go from the Strip to downtown tend to get crowded starting around mid-afternoon (it's not as bad going back to the Strip).

As for a "light meal" downtown, I also recommend the deli at Binion's; i've also been to Hennessey's Tavern, and the Triple 7 (Main Street Station), and can't complain about either one.

Mar 01, 2012
That Don Guy in Las Vegas

BBQ at Sam's Town - how is it?

Has anybody been to the Wednesday Night BBQ Buffet at Sam's Town? There isn't much description of it on the hotel's site (just some pictures of ribs, mac & cheese, and some form of greens), and I'm trying to find out just what they serve.

Mar 01, 2012
That Don Guy in Las Vegas

Mah Jong (Rio) closed?

I went to the Rio website to check out the restaurants, and I noticed that the link to Mah Jong is no longer there; however, there don't seem to be any other mentions of it closing. Does anybody know if it's still there (and if it isn't, what's going to replace it)?

Feb 16, 2012
That Don Guy in Las Vegas

Best Corn Dog?

Does it have to be upscale? There's a Hot Dog On A Stick in the food court at Fashion Show Mall (across the street from TI & Wynn). However, I vaguely recall that some of the pubs may have corn dogs on their menus.

Dec 05, 2011
That Don Guy in Las Vegas

"Seven Steak" Buffet at Ports O'Call (Gold Coast)

Has anybody tried the Thursday night "Seven Steak" Buffet at the Ports O'Call (at the Gold Coast)?

Yes, I realize that I shouldn't expect much from the steak, but how would it compare to, say, the one at the Orleans (and isn't there one downtown somwehere)?

And while I'm asking, is there a better "all-you-can-meat" meal than the Rodizio at Samba? (I go alone and go right to the main course - in accordance with the Ron Swanson Yin-Yang of Failure, "no salad and no sharing".)

Nov 22, 2011
That Don Guy in Las Vegas

Trip Report (four nights, three days)

Here's my take on my recent trip to Boston (I stayed at the Parker House - didn't try the rolls or Boston Cream Pie, however):

Monday night (August 9) - after about eight hours of train travel from Pennsylvania Dutch country, I get to my hotel about 6 PM, and pretty much the only places that are still open in the area are pubs, so I go to Silvertone B&G; the jerk chicken with rice and fried bananas was excellent, although that may have been because I had pretty much all fast food the previous week (when you attend a gaming convention for a week in the middle of Pennsylvania nowhere without a car, you don't get much choice).

Tuesday - despite having been warned, I end up at Quincy Market for lunch, as that's where pretty much all of the tour buses (except for the duck boats) start. I get a bread bowl of mac & cheese mixed with bacon at MMMac & Cheese. The M&C is pedestrian, and the bacon is a little underdone, but the real problem is with the bread, which seems to be from the last Boston title - Stanley Cup title, that is.

One of the things I am checking out in Boston is the burgers, so for dinner, I head off to Eagle's and get a Godzilla - a one-pound burger with one pound of fries. The fries are the kind you get in supermarket freezer sections, and the burger, while good, was a little overcooked (I had asked for a medium rare originally, but when told it would be "a bit on the bloody side", changed it to medium). Oh, and you would think that they would tell people that, on the green line, at the above-ground stops, you can only enter the cars from the front (presumably so the conductor can see your ticket).

Wednesday - round 2 of my burger quest takes me to Harvard and Bartley's. I get to Harvard Square at noon, and spend the next 20 minutes trying to find Massachusetts Avenue. I finally get to Bartley's at around 12:45 and am a little surprised that it is still crowded (you would think any "lunch rush" would have died down by then), but I do manage to get a stool at the counter. I order the George Bush (two 7-ounce patties with cheese and BBQ sauce) with regular fries in place of the sweet potato fries that normally come with it. Once again, the fries are not of the homemade variety, but these guys do know how to make a burger. What surprised me more was that there was a line well out the door at 1:15.

After a big lunch, I went for a small dinner, so I got a meatball sub at Pizzeria Rico in Downtown Crossing. The good news: the meatballs were incredible. The bad news: who makes a meatball sub without provolone? All it was was meatballs, a little sauce, and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese in a bun.

Thursday - I was back in the Quincy Hall area for lunch (I was en route to the Constitution), so the less said the better, and for dinner, I had some nondescript cheese ravioli at the Beantown Pub. (I also noticed that they were still well under construction with the new UBurger in that area.)

-- Don

69 Bromfield St, Boston, MA 02108

Pizzeria Rico
32 Bromfield St, Boston, MA 02108

Beantown Pub
100 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02108

Recommend any "casual" places south of City Hall?

I'm visiting Boston for a few days this August, and am at a hotel south of City Hall (just off the NE corner of Boston Common). Anybody have any recommendations for somewhere not particularly formal/gourmet to have lunch/dinner in that area?

Anywhere near a T station is acceptable as well, but let's not turn this into a Battle of the Burger Places - I already have a list of those.

City Hall Cafe
695 Main St, Fitchburg, MA 01420

Pizzeria Francesco's at TI - still open?

I can't find any reference to Pizzeria Francesco's at the TI website, but I also can't find any online comments that it was closed or replaced with anything else. Anybody know what, if anything, happened to it?

Nov 23, 2009
That Don Guy in Las Vegas

Pizza in Vegas

This may be a little "lowbrow", but I recommend Uncle Joe's on Fremont Street (just east of where the pedestrian-only section begins), although I do recommend that you order it to go. (And there's nothing wrong with red sauce on pizza, unless you're really into the Chicgao style with chunky tomatoes instead of the sauce.)

Then again, I like pizza with pepperoni, extra cheese, and pineapple, so take my opinion at your own risk.

Nov 10, 2009
That Don Guy in Las Vegas

Two trips to Carnegie - two different experiences

I was in Vegas for a few days just before July 4, and I had a couple of meals at Carnegie Deli at the Mirage. They felt like two entirely different experiences, and I don't mean the service or the ambience; it was all in what I ordered.

The first time, I hadn't eaten in 24 hours, so I decided to go whole hog and order a Woody Allen. They weren't kidding when they tried to describe it; even with my appetite, I only managed to get about 3/4 of the way (1 1/2 pounds of meat, from what I understand) through it. The second time, I went for an open-faced turkey sandwich with gravy, and it was almost as if I had been handed a couple of slices of turkey on some rye bread, topped with turkey gravy, at the buffet; it just wasn't much of a sandwich. On top of that, the turkey cost more, although it was hot and came with a choice of fries or beans whereas the Woody Allen was just for the cold sandwich.

In case you're interested in my other stops, the only one that was particularly noteworthy in terms of the food was Cheeseburger Vegas at the Miracle Mile shops next to Planet Hollywood; it may have been the size (I ordered a double, which I think is a pound of beef) or the way it was cooked (it appeared to be cooked medium but still managed to be somewhat juicy), but it was one of the better non-gourmet burgers I have had on the Strip (not quite Burger Bar, but better than BLT or Stripburger). (Speaking of BLT, I was a little surprised they didn't make a big deal out of their first anniversary on July 1. Yes, I was the first person in line, just like last year.)

-- Don

Jul 06, 2009
That Don Guy in Las Vegas

Is Burger Stop (Vegas) still open?

Say, here's an idea - why don't I call the store's number and ask?

Disconnected - something tells me that answers that question.

May 29, 2009
That Don Guy in Las Vegas

Is Burger Stop (Vegas) still open?

Is Burger Stop at Ocotillo Plaza (corner of Eastern and E Tropicana, I think) in Las Vegas still open? I can't find any recent references to it, and what I am told is its web page address is coming up as not found.

May 20, 2009
That Don Guy in Las Vegas