Chain Restaurants Everywhere! Vegas 2011

March 15, 2011

As you well know, Vegas is possibly my favorite destination, especially during the winter months. It is a time to get away from the harsh cold and snow and have some fun! D and I joined my parents for a four day excursion this January, and while we were thrilled to get away there were two major problems with the trip.

TE beer

Problem #1-We totally lost! This was, by far, our worst gambling excursion ever! Neither of us could win at any point on the trip. It got so bad at one point that my mom was trying to give me money. As if this was not enough…

Problem #2- It seems all of the Vegas restaurants, even those with big name chef/owners, are nothing more than chain restaurants in disguise.

Our first experience with this was Nobhill Tavern located in the MGM. This is a Michael Mina restaurant, and while it was the best of the big name chef restaurants, it still did not make me say WOW. I guess I was a bit cranky because I had heard so much about the Lobster Pot Pie. However, when I ordered it, I was informed that it was $85. Ok…I am a foodie, but I was a bit shocked by this price tag, and ended up opting for the fresh fish option, good, but I could have had comparable at home.

Nob fish

Our next attempt was Lagasse’s Stadium located in the Palazzo. This is Emeril’s version of the sports bar. And, while I was definitely impressed with the decor, especially the stadium seating section, the food was nothing more than slightly elevated bar food. This is a big disappointment because I have been a fan of Emeril’s New Orleans Restaurant for a long time.

lagasse stadium

The next morning we finally experienced a the meal and service we had been waiting for at Simon located in the Palms Place. I had called the night before because we wanted to watch a basketball game and, with the time difference, the game was in the morning. They were very pleasant on the phone and we showed up the staff was so excited. “We have been waiting for you!” and we were escorted to the perfect table with a great view of the television with our game already on. The breakfast was outstanding and we will be visiting for their brunch on our next trip.

simon pancakes

Our final restaurant on the trip was Todd English’s Pub located in Aria. Again, I am a huge fan of Todd English, visiting his other restaurants in Boston and Vegas, but this, again, felt more like an upscale chain. (On a positive note, the beer selection was amazing.) The food was simply good bar food.

TE Corndogs

So, you may say that I got exactly what I ask for…I guess I didn’t expect Emeril to be back there cooking for me himself…But, I did expect an excellent meal. I have resolved to find local establishments on my next visit!


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