Joe and I are back from our fantabolous weekend getaway in Vegas, baby! (I’m sorry, but the law states that you must always follow the word “Vegas” with the word “baby.”)
We left on a very hot LA afternoon and arrived in an even hotter Las Vegas. We stayed at the MGM Grand, which was, of course, very grand.
We spent the weekend, eatin’, swimmin’, and gamblin’. But we sure didn’t spend it winnin’.
The MGM Grand is home to numerous restaurants by some of the world’s hottest chefs. We grabbed lunch twice at Tom Colicchio’s ‘wichcraft, which was fairly pricey but serviceable. The sandwiches were a great mix of the familiar and the I-can’t-quite-put-my-finger-on-it. Chicken salad with earthy roasted tomatoes. Tuna fish and fennel. They sure hit the spot.
What didn’t quite hit the spot (and I’m being picky here) was craftsteak, Colicchio’s steakhouse joint (so we were on a Top Chef kick, so what?). Maybe it was the price (Joe got the Japanese wagyu beef), but I didn’t leave the restaurant with a WOW! Everything we tasted was so rich (pureed potatoes, warm frisse salad, lobster bisque, zucchini blossoms, and the steak), I felt weighed down rather than rejuvenated or refreshed. Great ingredients, not a perfect execution.
Joe and I also stopped by Emeril’s, which was good but hit your wallet with a BAM! (Cheesiness is not a sueable offense, nyah!) I got the gulf shrimp over rice with what appeared to be deep-fried kale (interesting flavor, paper-like texture) and… bacon? sausage? Anyway, it was good but greasy (and expensive).
Finally, just to round things out, Joe and I ate at the Cabana Grill, which is the outdoor cafe in the pool complex. Decently tasty, ridiculously pricey for what it was… hey, I was hungry, and it was right there! Not bad for a meal after a crappy pina colada.
The MGM Grand Pool Complex, or swimmin’ hole as I like to call it, was part-ay central for frat boys and the beer-swilling blondes who love them.
The complex has five pools, not including Wet Republic (the “ultra pool”) and a lazy river, which was scary on Saturday (drinking, shouting college kids) and pretty darn lovely on Sunday. The pool area was crowded on the weekend, but Joe and I actually found a pool with plenty of swimming room. Bring gobs of sunscreen; it was 108 degrees F on Saturday.
We spent the majority of our time gambling in the MGM Grand, (we joined the Player’s Club… jealous?), sticking mostly to video poker. We also tried our luck out at NYNY. We stopped by a few other casinos: the Tropicana, Planet Hollywood, and the Hard Rock, where we saw a million drunk idiots heckle Sarah Silverman (why pay $80 to ruin the show, geniuses?).
The Tropicana was at its most cheesy brilliance (why does it smell like… old?), and Planet Hollywood was merely meh with a side of sexist. The Hard Rock was just horrid; I can totally see why Howard Stern hangs there: big booby girls wearing leather bras serve the drinks. The testosterone was so heavy in the air, I could hardly breathe. Gross.
Overall the MGM was the best casino we visited this trip. We are more than looking forward to going back (next weekend, please!).