Category Archives: Las Vegas Restaurants

Jay Leno, Brad Garrett Taping on Fremont Street Accompanied by Drama

Comedians Jay Leno and Brad Garrett were spotted on Fremont Street taping an episode of CNBC’s “Jay Leno’s Garage.”

Jay Leno Fremont Street

Jay Leno hosted “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” from 1992 to 2009. He pretty much had to because the show had his name in it.

The duo drew quite a crowd on Jan. 27, 2017, as they interacted playfully with fans and showed off a vintage car, Brad Garrett’s 1948 Chrysler Town and Country.

Jay Leno's Garage

We have no idea if this is a 1948 Chrysler Town and Country. We are a blog, not a gearhead. Assuming those are still a thing.

The “Garage” segment was taped largely on Las Vegas Boulevard, just outside Hennessey’s Tavern and the Heart Attack Grill.

What you won’t read anywhere else is the behind-the-scenes drama that happened prior to the shoot on Fremont Street.

Jay Leno Brad Garrett

In the sequence, Jay Leno prodded the crowd to express their disdain for Brad Garrett putting a modern engine in his classic car. We expect this is very amusing to car people.

Originally, the sequence was supposed to feature the Heart Attack Grill restaurant in nearby Neonopolis.

The restaurant is known for its indulgent, high calorie food and quirky culture. For example, all customers are required to don hospital gowns before dining. Women dressed as “Naughty Nurses” spank customers who are unable to finish their meal, and one of the nurses, Lorren “Lola” Cackowski, is a little person.

heart_attack_can2

According to a rep of Heart Attack Grill, after a month of planning for the taping inside the restaurant, the production company (Original Productions) sent a message saying, “Jay let us know he doesn’t want to partake in any of the theatrics with nurses, little people or spanking.”

The owner of Heart Attack Grill insisted the shoot include the “theatrics” (although he concedes the spankings aren’t everyone’s cup of tea), so the deal was off. The plug was pulled and the shoot took place exclusively on the street.

Jay Leno

Someone should get to the bottom of whether Jay Leno has a problem with hospital gowns, spankings, little people or all three.

In any event, Las Vegas will feature prominently in an upcoming episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, and now you know the story behind the story. Or perhaps not behind so much as the story sidled up next to the story. Or maybe the story wedged like a thong in the donk of the story.

Enjoy more exclusive photos of Jay Leno and Brad Garrett in Las Vegas as we mull this over and get back to you on the whole metaphor thing.

Jay Leno and Brad Garrett On Fremont Street

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Rejoice, Chick-fil-A Has Finally Arrived in Las Vegas

The wait has been agonizing, but Chick-fil-A has finally arrived in Las Vegas, with two locations opening on Jan. 26, 2017.

Yes, two. As they say in Vegas, “Double up to catch up!”

Chick-fil-A Las Vegas

We have never been so tempted to kiss a restaurant on the mouth.

We were lucky enough to sneak in for a preview of the new Chick-fil-A restaurants, and as expected, the food and friendly service more than live up to the hype.

Simply put, Chick-fil-A is the best thing to happen to Las Vegas since the invention of the tassel.

Chick-fil-A Las Vegas

If you didn’t think we’d drone it, you clearly don’t understand our obsession with Chick-fil-A.

Both of the new Chick-fil-A restaurants are in Henderson, about 10 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip.

One Las Vegas Chick-fil-A location is 9925 S. Eastern Ave., Las Vegas NV 89183 and the other Las Vegas Chick-fil-A can be found at 460 N. Stephanie St., Henderson, NV 89014.

Just follow the unmistakable scent of OMG.

Chick-fil-A Las Vegas

This is the first and last time you will ever see a Chick-fil-A empty, guaranteed.

We first checked out the Eastern Ave. location, then the Stephanie St. location. From what we could tell, both locations share an identical floor plan.

We even got a peek at the inner workings of Chick-fil-A. It’s like being invited into the Wonka factory, but with waffle fries instead of snozzberries.

Chick-fil-A Las Vegas

Neither bribery nor cajoling could get Chick-fil-A team members to spill the secrets of the mind-blowing chicken. Rest assured, we’ll keep at it.

Both locations have drive-throughs, and we were surprised to learn about 60% of a Chick-fil-A’s revenue is generated by the drive-through. About 90% of its breakfast business is done via the drive-through window.

Chick-fil-A Las Vegas

Chick-fil-A is said to have the best drive-through service of any of its competitors. No, really.

Because you didn’t click that link, we’re now compelled to pass along another Chick-fil-A tidbit: Chick-fil-A generates more revenue per restaurant than any other fast food chain in the country.

Why?

If you need to ask that question, one of these sandwiches has clearly never been anywhere near your face. Which makes us sad just thinking about it.

Chick-fil-A Las Vegas

That sound you hear is a choir of angels.

The two Henderson Chick-fil-As are the first of 10 coming to Nevada over the next five years. The next will open across the street from Palace Station, temptingly close to The Strip.

Chick-fil-A has more than 1,900 restaurants in 42 states, but the two new locations are obviously the best because Las Vegas.

Chick-fil-A Las Vegas

Here’s the Stephanie St. location, because when it comes to Chick-fil-A, they’re all our favorite.

Las Vegas has a metric hell-ton of pent-up demand for Chick-fil-A, and by “Las Vegas,” of course, we mean this Las Vegas blog.

Seriously, though, when we Tweeted some photos of Chick-fil-A, our Tweet nearly broke the Internet. It was viewed by more than 40,000 people in 12 hours. That’s a lot of Chick-fil-A love.

Here’s more Chick-fil-A love in the form of a fly-over.

Even the Chick-fil-A cynics, often based upon myths and outdated information, will come around the first time they bite into a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich made in Las Vegas. Because even the greatest of things are better in Las Vegas.

Chick-fil-A Las Vegas

Each Las Vegas Chick-fil-A did its own take on the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign. Adorable.

Expect long lines when these new restaurants open, but we anticipate the hoopla about Chick-fil-A coming to Las Vegas to die down after approximately never.

Chick-fil-A Las Vegas

We’ll make this easy. One of everything, please.

If you think Chick-fil-A is overrated, you’re doing taste buds wrong.

Join us in giving Chick-fil-A long, lingering, inappropriate embrace to welcome the chain to Las Vegas, a city worthy of its lightly breaded, deep-fried gloriousness.

Are you as excited as we are about having Chick-fil-A in Las Vegas? If so, you are clearly a genius and we’d love to hear your thoughts.

Chick-fil-A Arrives in Las Vegas

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Milk Bar Opens at Cosmopolitan and It’s the Ideal Time to Lower Your Expectations

There’s a new way to satisfy your cravings for sweets on the Las Vegas Strip, Milk Bar at Cosmopolitan Las Vegas.

Milk Bar opened amidst quite a bit of hoopla, but as with too many things in Vegas, the reality veers a bit from the hype.

We popped in to Milk Bar to give it a taste.

Milk Bar Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

Bon Appétit named Milk Bar “One of the Most Exciting Bakeries in the Country.” Yet another reason we probably shouldn’t trust the French.

Milk Bar is the brain child of owner and noted chef, Christina Tosi. And by “noted,” of course, we mean we also have never heard of her.

Milk Bar is part of a chain, with seven other locations in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Toronto, which we’re relatively sure is in another country.

Milk Bar Las Vegas

Milk Bar seats three people, so everything is grab-and-go. Like your sister.

Milk Bar is touted as being a “playful, approachable spin on familiar home-style desserts and savory snacks using quality ingredients and locally sourced dairy.”

Because if there’s one thing on your mind when you’re eating fattening treats, it’s where the milk came from.

Here’s a look at the Milk Bar menu.

Milk Bar Cosmo Las Vegas

Nothing says party like a six-inch cake for $56.

We tried a few of the items on the Milk Bar menu, and we can assure you they were all perfectly adequate. Please feel free to use that on your advertising, Milk Bar.

We dove headlong into the soft serve ice cream, and while adorable, it wasn’t anything spectacular. Here’s a look at the Fruity Cereal Milk soft serve with cornflake crunch.

Milk Bar Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

“Soft Serve” was our nickname in college. Long story.

Milk Bar serves four different flavors of soft serve, the aforementioned Fruity Cereal Milk, Cereal Milk, Crack Pie and Sweet Potato Pie.

The stand also offers “MilkQuakes.” They’re basically Dairy Queen Blizzards, but at a Las Vegas Strip price (an absurd $10).

We tried the Birthday Cake MilkQuake. Again, nothing to write home about, but then again, nobody has actually written home since 2004. MilkQuakes flavors include Strawberry & Corn, Crack Pie, Bkfst (sic) and Sweet Potato Pie.

Milk Bar Las Vegas

Milk Bar’s McFlurry was McCeptable.

Milk Bar also serves alcohol-infused “Fancy Shakes,” like the Cereal Milk White Russian, Fancy Fruity Shake and Fancy Chocolate Malt Cake Shake. We’re fairly sure we’ll be back to try one, or all, of those. Because fancy.

At this point, we figured we’d make a Hail Mary to ensure we found something to love, so we tried a cookie. Yes, they’re $3, but certainly a venue known for its desserts would make a killer cookie.

The closest thing we could find to a chocolate chip cookie was the Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookie, and it was spectacularly meh.

Milk Bar Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

We have tried every known cookie in Las Vegas and this was certainly one of those.

What the cookies lacked in succulence it more than make up for by having a metric hell-ton of ingredients.

Milk Bar Las Vegas

Say that five times, fast.

Milk Bar is located on the second level of Cosmopolitan and is open 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. daily. This information is especially useful if you’re a time traveler.

If you give Milk Bar a try, we’d love to hear what you think, even if you disagree with our infallible opinion.

Milk Bar Las Vegas

When in doubt, merch.

We suspect Milk Bar would fare well anywhere else, but its competition in Las Vegas has set a ridiculously high (wait for it) bar.

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In-N-Out Burger Opens at Linq Promenade and All Is Right With the World

More than a year after we first reported In-N-Out Burger was coming to the Las Vegas Strip, it has. The popular fast food restaurant opened for its first day of business at Linq promenade on Jan. 11, 2017.

In-N-Out Linq Las Vegas

The first non-California location of In-N-Out opened in Nevada in 1992. This one’s the prettier, though.

Just another burger joint in Las Vegas? Uh, no.

The popularity of In-N-Out is the stuff of legend in Sin City, with many visitors considering a stop at the restaurant an essential part of their vacation.

In-N-Out Linq Las Vegas

The first and only time you’ll ever see no line at In-N-Out.

Here’s a quick walk-through of the new In-N-Out at the Linq shopping district.

We’d wager the new In-N-Out Burger location will quickly become the chain’s most profitable, and we did our part during our first visit.

In-N-Out Linq promenade

We let them put the fruit and vegetables on it for the photo. Yes, tomatoes are a fruit. Stop fact-checking our photo captions. You’re not our mom.

The staff was predictably young, friendly and impeccably groomed. In-N-Out gets great talent because, unlikely the majority of its fast food chain competition, it pays team members more than mandated minimum wage guidelines. Managers make in excess of $100,00 a year.

Many of the opening night staff members were employees of other out-of-state locations shipped in to assist with the restaurant’s Strip debut.

The food was just plain delicious, as always. Context: Every other burger in the neighborhood is $12, at least.

In-N-Out Linq Vegas

Yes, there’s a bit of a price bump compared to other locations in Las Vegas. Not too surprising given the primo location.

The Strip’s first In-N-Out is located by the mall’s fountains, between Flour & Barley restaurant and Sprinkles Cupcakes. When you’re ready for dessert, check out the cupcake ATM just a few feet away.

Thanks to the Linq for turning off the fountains so we could take a photo with a pretty reflection.

In-N-Out Linq promenade

None of the food served at In-N-Out travels more than 500 miles to any restaurant location. Sorry, east coast, not happening.

The restaurant seats about 150 people inside, and a patio holds another 90 or so. In-N-Out Burger is going to need every seat it can get.

It’s no secret In-N-Out prints bible verses on some of its packaging. Chill out, it’s just a cup.

In-N-Out bible verse

We don’t know who this John guy is, but he makes a kick-ass burger and fries.

In-N-Out’s hours of operation at Linq promenade are Monday through Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. and Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.

In-N-Out Las Vegas

Are you listening, Chick-fil-A? Open on Sunday!

In-N-Out joins a host of great dining options at Linq promenade, and is sure to give them a run for their money.

It’s elevated fast food, with reasonable prices and flawless, friendly service, and the restaurant is sure to be a much-needed draw for the mid-Strip mall. It’s been estimated 20 million people walk by the Linq pedestrian mall every year, and now they have an even better reason to stay awhile.

Let’s eat something, already, Animal Style.

In-N-Out Linq Promenade

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Serendipity 3 Closes at Caesars Palace to Make Way for New Gordon Ramsay Restaurant

It appears the plug has unceremoniously been pulled on Serendipity 3 restaurant at Caesars Palace. And if you’ve ever had your plug pulled, even ceremoniously, you know how awkward that can be.

Serendipity 3 restaurant closed on Jan. 2, 2017.

It’s been reported the space will be overhauled and become home to a new Gordon Ramsay restaurant concept, his fifth such partnership with Caesars Entertainment on the Las Vegas Strip.

Serendipity 3 closed

We keep telling you not to get emotionally attached to things.

No specifics are available about the new Gordon Ramsay offering, nor has the new restaurant been officially announced.

Serendipity 3 opened in April of 2009 and was expanded significantly in late 2013.

The closure of Serendipity 3 means the demise of the restaurant’s $1,000 Golden Opulence Sundae and what was the largest menu in Las Vegas and possibly the Western hemisphere. At one point, the menu boasted 116 items. Seriously.

Serendipity 3 Las Vegas closed

Security breaches are so much more fun when it’s something about to open rather than just closed.

As the Serendipity 3 era ends, so too does a good deal of drama around the restaurant.

In August 2016, the restaurant’s owner, Rowen Seibel, was jailed for hiding about a million bucks from the IRS.

Serendipity 3 closed

Our money’s on Gordon Ramsay keeping the patio. It’s a summertime goldmine.

The WTF twist here, of course, is that Seibel is a former business partner of (wait for it) the aforementioned Gordon Ramsay. He was involved in several of Gordon Ramsay’s establishments in Las Vegas, and the two had a serious falling out.

Caesars Entertainment has no doubt been looking for a way to extricate itself from any entanglements with Seibel, and it appears handing over the reigns of the Serendipity 3 space to
Gordon Ramsay is the way of choice.

We have no idea what will become of the restaurant’s Tiffany lamp. The lamp made its debut in 2014.

Serendipity 3 closed

It’s lights out for Serendipity 3 at Caesars Palace.

It’s unknown whether Caesars will continue to operate both Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill and the new Ramsay concept. The hotel’s Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill tends to get lukewarm reviews, as opposed to the glowing ones for BurGR at Planet Hollywood, Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris and Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips at Linq, so it might be time to change things up.

It would be awesome for Caesars Palace and Las Vegas if Ramsay were to tape a future “Hell’s Kitchen” season at his new restaurant in the Serendipity 3 space, but that remains to be seen, donkey.

What, you expected us to write an entire story about Gordon Ramsay without a single reference to “donkey”? Do you know this Las Vegas blog at all?

Update (1/5/17): Caesars Entertainment says the Serendipity 3 space will re-open as Stripside Cafe & Bar. The company hasn’t confirmed or denied the involvement of Gordon Ramsay in the new restaurant.

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Virgil’s Real BBQ Debuts at Linq Promenade

The Linq promenade in the center of the Las Vegas Strip has a new restaurant offering to add to its already strong line-up, Virgil’s Real BBQ.

Virgil's Real BBQ

Let’s smoke something.

Virgil’s comes from a company called Alicart, the folks behind Carmine’s, an excellent Italian restaurant in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.

The original Virgil’s opened in 1994 in Times Square in New York City.

Virgil’s Real BBQ takes over the space formerly occupied by the F.A.M.E. Asian food court at Linq promenade, a shopping center between the Flamingo and Linq hotels.

Virgil's Real BBQ

Virgil’s is a spacious, two-level venue, seating around 450 people, most of them wishing they’d been seated farther from the band. Related: Get off our lawn.

There are two bars at Virgil’s, and the full menu is available at the bars, which works well for solo diners.

We tried the Virgil’s Old Fashioned, mainly because Virgil’s doesn’t serve Captain Morgan. As you might suspect, that’s a cardinal sin in our book, but we forged ahead. The things we do for you.

Virgil's Real BBQ

The Old Fashioned comes in a “flask” customers can keep. We’re still a little foggy on how a flask is different from a bottle.

So, how’s the barbecue at Virgil’s? Well, it didn’t blow us away, but we aren’t a barbecue expert.

Las Vegas is notoriously weak in the barbecue realm, and we suspect Virgil’s won’t do much to move the needle in that regard.

The official Web site for Virgil’s says the “meats are smoked at a low temperature over indirect heat for up to 10 hours with a unique mix of hickory, oak and fruit woods in order to impart the most flavor and to keep the meat from drying out.” We’ll take their word for it.

Virgil's Real BBQ

Yes, there are vegan and vegetarian options, but let’s get real, it’s not about the veggies.

The big selling point of Virgil’s is that it pulls together local styles of barbecue, such as Texas beef brisket (the high point of our meal), Carolina pulled pork and Memphis pork ribs and chicken.

Portions are ample, and there’s a healthy selection of about 10 sides, including baked beans, cole slaw, cheddar cheese grits, pickled beets and the like. We tried the buttermilk biscuit and mac and cheese, and neither were particularly memorable.

Virgil's Real BBQ

The bar for mac and cheese in Las Vegas is very high, so this falls firmly in the “meh” category.

The Virgil’s menu features salads, burgers, sandwiches and a solid roster of appetizers, including chicken wings, “Trainwreck Fries,” crab cakes, popcorn shrimp, onion rings and Texas chili.

The food prices aren’t outrageous for mid-Strip, with combination platters providing some of the best values. Our “Pick 2” combo, with “Trash Ribs” and sliced Texas beef brisket (along with two sides) ran us $24.95, and could’ve easily fed two people.

The drink menu is strong on variety, serving up whiskey drinks, “Porch Rockers,” margaritas, slushies and other tourist-friendly libations. Most drinks run in the $12 range. Our Old Fashioned was $15.

Virgil's Real BBQ

A little second floor action.

The service wasn’t stellar at Virgil’s, and at the bar it took ages to have our plate taken away after we finished dining. The food also wasn’t piping hot, possibly caused by some confusion about where the food was supposed to be delivered. The restaurant is still new, so it’s possible some of those service issues will be hammered out in the weeks to come.

As for the atmosphere, Virgil’s had live music during our visit, of which we are not a personal fan. We know, everyone loves live music, everywhere. It helps avoid having to “converse,” we get it.

Thankfully, Virgil’s is so big, you can make your way to the far end of the place (or upstairs), so it’s not as intrusive.

Virgil's Real BBQ

Virgil’s is so big, it’s like four restaurants, and two bars, in one. It’s important to always have an emergency back-up bar.

Virgil’s is yet another restaurant that’s fallen victim to the practice of having rock-hard chairs, making it clear you’re not expected to hang out for too long.

Overall, Virgil’s should fare well at Linq promenade. It’s not destination dining, but the liquor is strong and the food is adequate. Which is probably not a blurb they’ll be using in their advertising anytime soon.

Virgil's sign

We stand corrected.

If you’ve tried Virgil’s and had a great experience, please share. We’d love to hear about your experiences with their meat.

Virgil's Real BBQ

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