48 hours in las vegas
i think this 48 hours in fill-in-the-blank city could become a thing. i’m really really enjoying it. it gives me an excuse to travel more and to try a bunch of new places. i used to go to cities with no plan. now i’ve got all kinds of plans.
one of my biggest travel complaints is that it’s hard to find the best stuff to do in cities. you can google, but most of the stuff you find is written for the masses and we are not the masses.
this weekend i took on vegas for the super bowl. i’ve been to las vegas a lot. in fact, i’ve been so much that i don’t feel like throwing out a number. i have a love / hate relationship with that city. i used to joke that i’ll just send them a check once a year for $1000 and skip the hangovers and long plane flight. with that said, each year i go i feel like i get better at it and with this last trip now in the books, i can safely say i’ve finally got it down.
since there were three of us this past weekend, we stayed at the venetian. hat tip to the venetian for being awesome – not super expensive for 3; easy check in; huge room with 2 queen size beds and a pullout sofa; convenient to most of the other casinos; and easy checkout. boom! what more could you want.
vegas is a weird city. these casinos want you to stay in the casino for your entire trip and
lose spend money which is why a) the casino is set up like a maze b) there are 100 restaurants and shops in your casino and c) there is usually a show or attraction that you may be interested in. one of my buddies wanted to go on the rollercoaster at new york new york. true story.
before i get to our itinerary, here are a few quick hits regarding a weekend in vegas:
- shopping in vegas is either crap or high end stuff you can’t afford. there is no middle ground. seriously, across from the m&m store is prada. if you’re in your early 30’s and make a decent living, you shouldn’t be shopping at either. actually, you should never be shopping at the m&m store no matter how old you are. period.
- i don’t go clubbing. it’s so stupid. i’m sure i would have fun if someone force fed me 25 liquor drinks, but then again maybe not. what do you get out it? an empty wallet and a hangover. if you’re going to pick up chicks, it’s not gonna happen. the type of girls that get in clubs for free are not the ones you’d want. trust me.
- all casinos are pretty much the same. if you’re going to play table games all weekend, then it doesn’t really matter where you stay. you can lose your money at all of them.
- some sportsbooks are better than others. my favorites are the mgm grand and mandalay bay. i haven’t been to the westgate, but i hear it’s awesome.
now onto the good stuff…
bouchon – this is my favorite breakfast in the entire world: le petit dejeuner american. it’s basically the french version of the grand slam. 2 eggs over hard, chocolate croissant, some sort of potato sticks, bacon, sausage, juice and coffee. holy shit. it’s so good. we ate breakfast at bouchon every day. do not miss this place if you’re in vegas.
todd english pub – we stopped by here after walking the strip. it’s in the crystal palace shops next to the aria. the three of split some sliders. they were just ok. no reason to check it out unless you want a beer. they have an excellent beer selection. i will warn you though that most are around $14. nothing is cheap in vegas. nothing.
the donut bar – after walking the strip, we went to fremont street for a little taste of old vegas. i found a restaurant i wanted to check out on the other side of fremont and we stumbled into this place on our way. they were almost out of everything beside the rather large donut you see below. i give it a solid A. i believe it was dark chocolate and bacon. i’m a sucker for donuts with bacon.
carson kitchen – i read about this place before going to vegas. it’s kerry simon’s restaurant. no clue who that is but his name is attached to it, so it must be legit, right? we shared the tempura green beans and burnt ends. my pictures are terrible, but both were solid. bartenders were on point as well. we stayed here longer than expected.
the griffin – one of my favorite bars in the history of bars. it’s right past all “geeky shit” (as my old man would say) on fremont. i always feel at home in this bar. it looks like an old english pub mixed with an los angeles metal bar. or maybe i throw in the metal reference because they were playing motorhead when we walked in. anyway, it’s awesome and there are fire pits in the middle of the bar. i love you, the griffin. i will be back in april. see you then.
momofuku – for dinner on saturday, we ventured to the cosmopolitan to check out the new momofuku. i always hit up when i’m in new york. i was curious to see if would translate to a casino. we didn’t sit in the main dining area which was a blessing because it’s a little too vegas for me. i highly recommend the bar area if you want some sort atmosphere with your food. the food was right on par with the new york version. i know chef david chang didn’t invent the pork bun, but it tastes that way. i love their food. chicken noodles were good too. oh, and david chang was in the house that night. pretty fucking cool.
b&b burger & beer – do not go here. this is mario batali’s burger joint in the venetian. not good. worst wings i’ve ever had. we also split a burger. i give the wings an F and the burger a C. wtf, mario batali. get your burger game together, sahn.
public house – this is the spot we chose to watch the super bowl. watching the super bowl in vegas is not an easy task. there’s a cover or a food minimum and most places are booked months in advance. one place i called was $600 a person. no thanks. batali’s b&b was $225 a person and that place sucks. here it was $125 a person. honestly, the food was ok. my biggest fear this past weekend was getting stuck in a spot where i was unable to view the game. fear not, young man. they gave us a great spot with a great waitress. we had wings, lobster mac & cheese, some dumb pigskin sampler, and burgers. again, nothing to write home about, but i felt like i didn’t get ripped off. and let’s be honest, bar food is bar food.
my first vegas trip of 2017 is now in the books. i have 2 more on the schedule – both in april. i’m going to keep traveling and keep writing in hopes that someone out there will find this and appreciate it. if you have any suggestions for a 48 hours city, lemme know and i will book that shit today.