Monthly Archives: June 2014

Golden Nugget Takes Its Show, and Its Gold Nugget, On the Road

For some time now, it’s been a fairly well-known fact that various Golden Nugget casinos around the country have the world’s largest gold nugget on display.

Specifically, some of the gold nuggets (one in Laughlin, Nevada and another in Atlantic City) are replicas.

Hand of Faith

The real deal, where it belongs, in Las Vegas.

Until recently, the one-and-only real Hand of Faith gold nugget was at its true home, Golden Nugget Las Vegas.

When we wrote recently about the hotel’s Gold ATM, we mentioned it was located near the Hand of Faith display. This Las Vegas blog’s eagle-eyed reader Adam Mace mentioned, “At the moment it appears the Hand of Faith is on display at the Golden Nugget casino in Biloxi Mississippi, not across the way from the Gold to Go ATM as this article suggests.”

We scoffed, of course, because we know everything! Except when we don’t. It turns out Golden Nugget Las Vegas has loaned the original Hand of Faith to Golden Nugget Biloxi.
In its place, a replica.

Hand of Faith replica

The Hand of Faith’s stunt double.

The Golden Nugget seems more than happy to confirm the locations of the replicas when asked. For example, a Golden Nugget rep in Las Vegas confirmed the nugget was loaned to the Biloxi location on May 1, 2014 and will be returned to Las Vegas at the end of the summer. (Update: This never happened. As of December 2015, the real nugget remains in Biloxi.)

Apparently, this whole loaning-out process is a pretty common occurrence, as the same thing happened when a Golden Nugget opened in Atlantic City in 2012.

Will the average visitor know their selfie with the world’s biggest gold nugget is actually with a look-alike? No.

Would it feel a little less unseemly if Golden Nugget made a mention of which nuggets are replicas in their various display cases? Yes.

Are we going to keep answering our own questions? Yes.

Will it get annoying? Yes.

Hasn’t it already? Yes.

Are we going to keep doing it, anyway? Apparently not.

Three New Things at Caesars Palace, Plus One Phenomenally Stupid Sign

There’s lots of newness at Caesars Palace, so we figured it was time to stop by and see what’s what.

First up, the hotel has a new lobby bar. It’s called (wait for it) Lobby Bar, and as such immediately takes its place on our list of things in Las Vegas named what they are because naming things is hard. It used to be called the Galleria Bar, but that apparently sounded too much like a shopping mall, so people were understandably confused.

Lobby Bar Caesars Palace

Just around the corner from hotel registration.

The lounge feels about twice the size of the previous bar, and has some distinctly Roman flourishes.

Especially if you consider hooch a "Roman flourish."

Especially if you consider lonely businessmen a “Roman flourish.”

The new Lobby Bar makes a good first impression by providing two bowls of goodies, at least one of which is a fancy bowl of cashews.

Lobby Bar

You had us at 9% palmitic acid.

There’s relatively little seating at the bar for playing video poker, so you may have to actually pay for your cocktails (gasp!). There’s a great selection of signature cocktails, as part of an all-new cocktail menu, most for around $15. Oh, stop your whining. Did we mention you get a giant bowl of cashews? Those are gold.

If you have money to burn, you can always spend it on a couple of ounces of Hardy Perfection “Earth” brandy for $900.

We opted for the Cleopatra’s Smile, a panty-dropper if ever there were one. Cleopatra’s Smile has Ketel One Citroen vodka, Aperol Apertivo, Pavan liqueur, fresh-squeezed ruby red grapefruit and lemon juices and clover honey syrup.

Cleopatra's Smile

Sweet and satisfying, just like other, better blogs.

The Lobby Bar cocktail menu is robust, as they say. Here are the Classic Libations. Here are the House Specialties. The gin and vodka selection is here. Drinks with whiskey, tequila, bourbon and rum are here. More whiskies, brandy and beer are here. Wine, non-alcoholic drinks (why?) and cold-pressed juice drinks are here. The things we do for you.

We quite enjoyed our visit to the new Lobby Bar at Caesars Palace. It makes a nice companion to the also-new Apostrophe Bar, near the hotel’s Bacchanal Buffet.

Lobby Bar

Told you there were Roman flourishes.

The Lobby Bar renovation is estimated to have cost $1.3 million, at least a portion of which was devoted to a serious cocktail waitress upgrade, if you get our drift.

Also new at Caesars Palace is the Poker Room. The former poker room has closed, and is expected to be swallowed whole by an expansion to the also-closed Pure nightclub.

Caesars Palace poker room

Poker? We hardly know her! (We’ll be here all week.)

The new poker room is just across from Mesa Grill and the hotel’s statue of a famous boxer we can never remember the name of, mainly because we’re not convinced punching another person in the head repeatedly is a sport.

Caesars poker room

The new poker room is a little on the smallish side, but it’s not as if poker players could possibly complain more, so no biggy.

Here’s a photo of the shuttered Pure nightclub, mainly because we really like the idea of nightclubs closing.

Pure nightclub

Feel free to stay closed just as long as you need to, Pure.

The third new thing at Caesars Palace? Here, we’ll give you a hint.


It’s a Starbucks.

Talk about new. This is so new, it’s not even a thing yet. Have you guessed what it is, or what it will soon be?

Here’s another hint. It’s coming soon to a walled-off portion of the Cypress Street Marketplace (food court). The part of the Cypress Street Marketplace closest to Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill. Figure it out yet?


It’s a Starbucks.

You’re correct, it’s a Starbucks! That public school eduction just keeps paying dividends, doesn’t it?

Before you ask, yes, there’s another Starbucks just down the hall from this Starbucks, next to Central restaurant. So, there are going to be two Starbucks in the same hotel. Because Starbucks! We expect the new Starbucks will open within a month or two, whether we’d like it to or not.

That’s it for the new things, now we finally get to the phenomenally stupid thing. Admit it, that’s the part you were really looking forward to, right?

So, here it is, in all its phenomenally stupid glory.

Stupid sign

Face, meet palm.

That’s right, “Others implode, icons reinvent.” Because while other Las Vegas resorts are busy imploding their snack bars, Caesars is reinventing its snack bar. As a Starbucks.

It’s just this kind of game-changing reinventing that’s made Caesars Palace the icon it is today.

Our work here is done.

Triple George Brings Back World’s Best Sliders, But Not On the Menu

When downtown’s Triple George restaurant stopped serving its life-altering chicken parm sliders, a great wailing and gnashing of teeth resonated throughout Las Vegas. The decision to discontinue these delicious diversions was easily one of the greatest travesties in Sin City history, casting a pall over what was once a renowned dining mecca.

So, yeah, we loved those sliders. And, no, we have no idea what a “pall” is.

Months passed, with little more than our fond, marinara-drenched memories to sustain us.

Recently, though, following the almost daily badgering by a certain Las Vegas blog, ears perked up at Triple George, and we are ecstatic to announce the famed Triple George chicken parm sliders are back, although you won’t find them on the menu.

Chicken parm sliders

Sadly, Nevada will not allow marriage between a person and sliders. For shame. Do we live in the Dark Ages?

For whatever reason, Triple George has decided not to make these sexy little vixens an official menu item. They are, however, available upon request. It’s actually more fun that they’re on the “secret” menu, or as the staff lovingly refers to it, the “speakeasy menu.”

So, here’s the deal. Sidle up to the bar and ask about the chicken parm sliders. Depending upon whom you ask, you’ll either get a smile or a look of utter confusion. That’s because this item is super, super secret. So secret, in fact, not all the servers know it’s available. (Find a manager, but be nice about it, or no sliders for you.)

They’re $9 for three sliders. If you think the price is too high, you have issues. Try them once and you’ll quickly realize you’d be willing to pay triple.

Of course, while the sliders are tremendous, the same chicken parm is served as an entree for $15 (complete with spaghetti and veggies). The chicken parm entree is, not surprisingly, also the best of its ilk in Las Vegas, or possibly the world.

chicken parm

You don’t have to sell your children on Craigslist to have this meal, but if you did, you’d be OK with it, promise.

Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to Downtown Grand’s Assistant Executive Chef Todd Harrington for engineering the return of our favorite Las Vegas dish, despite what a pain it is to prepare when the joint gets busy. And it’s busy a lot, because there are so many things to love about Triple George.

If the way to a blog’s heart is through its stomach, Triple George has our heart. And possibly our liver. But definitely our heart. Let us know how your Triple George speakeasy menu adventure goes. And tell them we sent you. Although they’ll already know, trust us.

Update: Almost simultaneously with our posting this resounding endorsement of the chicken parm and chicken parm sliders at Triple George, we were informed the restaurant’s Executive Chef, Joe Leininger, is no longer with the restaurant. Yikes, we thought.

Since his departure, some changes have been made to the menu, including to our beloved chicken parm. We tried the new version, and it’s different all right, and pretty darned good.

New chicken parm

It’s certainly different! Which we’re thinking Triple George will not be putting on its ads anytime soon.

It appears the restaurant is shaking things up a bit, so we’re putting our raves on hold to see how things shake out. The ingredients are certainly fresh (the previous chicken was apparently frozen, this is not), the chicken parm is no longer deep fried (we have mixed feelings about this, but we’re assured deep frying doesn’t change the flavors), and while not pictured, the dish still comes with spaghetti. The jury’s still out about the bone-in aspect, too. We trust the sliders don’t have that feature, and look forward to giving them a chance. One. Chance.

If you try the new chicken parm at Triple George, we’d love to get your feedback, as would the restaurant.

Kiss Residency Coming This Fall to Hard Rock Las Vegas

Long-standing rumors about a Kiss residency in Las Vegas are being confirmed, with an official announcement from the hotel-casino on the way soon.

Kiss residency

This sign is at The Joint at Hard Rock. Here’s hoping they stop spelling it “nite.” We hate that.

Posters like the one above have been spotted at the Hard Rock, touting the iconic rock band is coming to The Joint at Hard Rock Las Vegas in “fall 2014,” but specific dates aren’t yet available.

The poster urges fans to text “Rock” to 97580 “to be one of the first to find out about show dates and on-sale info.”

Kiss residency

Expect a run on greasepaint in Sin City in the months to come.

Kiss member Paul Stanley previously confirmed a Las Vegas residency was in the works, but until now, nothing concrete had materialized. (Much like the rumored Kiss Coffeehouse.)

The band already has a presence in Las Vegas with its popular Kiss Monster Minigolf.


BrandWeek says, “Kiss has licensed its name to more than 3,000 product categories.” Yes, as you may have heard, including the casket category.

Kiss recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. The group released its debut album, the self-titled Kiss, in 1974.

Since then, Kiss has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide. Not to mention a metric ass-ton of lunch boxes.

Hard Rock Las Vegas

This seemed a good place for a gratuitous photo we took of the entrance to the Hard Rock.

So, since the contracts are signed, why hasn’t the Hard Rock just come out and announced the residency officially? Apparently, Kiss is currently touring under the umbrella of a live music company called Live Nation Entertainment. At Hard Rock, however, they’ll be working with AEG (Anschutz Entertainment Group). Chances are Hard Rock is holding off on an official announcement until Kiss is clear of its obligations to Live Nation. Note that the posters at Hard Rock don’t mention Kiss by name. Of course, the Kiss brand makes that almost entirely moot.

Kiss Army members can expect more news soon.

Three Weird and Wonderful Las Vegas ATMs

Las Vegas has some world-class weird stuff. Thankfully, much of that stuff is wonderful, too. That include three specialized ATMs that have made headlines around the world.

Here they are.

Bitcoin ATM at The D Las Vegas

The D Las Vegas, the casino where this blog spends most of its non-day-job hours, recently unveiled the first Bitcoin ATM in Las Vegas.

Bitcoin ATM

The Bitcoin ATM can be found just outside The D’s gift shop.

In case you haven’t heard, Bitcoin is a virtual currency, of which this blog now owns $200 worth. The Bitcoin ATM makes buying and selling Bitcoin easy, even for those of us who have spent, oh, the last year trying to figure out what Bitcoin actually is.


The Bitcoin ATM is the brainchild of a Vegas-based company, Robocoin. Which helps make Bitcoin sound a lot less nerdy if you ask us.

It helps to think of the purchase of Bitcoin as an investment in a stock. The price when you sell your Bitcoin can be higher or lower, depending upon the going rate.

The Bitcoin ATM at The D does virtually real-time checks (every 10 minutes or so) of the Bitcoin market to determine the price to sell or buy, with a small commission built in for the makers of the machine.

Bitcoin ATM

Yeah, about 90% of the people who approach the Bitcoin machine think it’s a regular ATM. It’s a casino. There are others.

Given the going rate of Bitcoin sits at around $650 a pop, we figured we’d skip the whole virtual currency revolution. Then we learned you can actually buy $1 worth of Bitcoin, and we were in. For a buck, at this very second, you can buy 0.001527 Bitcoin. Our initial investment went up about 20% in a couple of weeks, so our bank’s saving account got schooled. Actual results may vary, of course. Bitcoin values can fluctuate greatly.

To accept your Bitcoin, you’ll need a virtual wallet. We set ours up at When you make a Bitcoin purchase, your shiny new Bitcoin is transferred to your virtual wallet. (The machine scans your virtual wallet’s QR code on your smartphone. Yeah, still sort of nerdy.)


Don’t have a freak-out. Congress got a demo of Robocoin, and was duly impressed.

The first time you use the Bitcoin ATM, there are several steps you’ll go through to prove you are you, including an I.D. scan and a palm scan. You’ll also have your photo taken. Return visits to the Bitcoin ATM are quicker and easier, with fewer security hoops.

Bitcoin ATM palm scan

Palm-scanning is so “Mission Impossible.” The first, good one.

The D was also the first Las Vegas casino to accept Bitcoin as payment at several of its venues, including American Coney Island, Andiamo Italian Steakhouse, D Grill and in the aforementioned gift shop.

Gold ATM at Golden Nugget

The Gold ATM at Golden Nugget was installed back in January of 2011, and it’s been quietly dispensing gold bars ever since.

Gold ATM

This Gold ATM is the gold standard of Gold ATMs.

The Gold ATM, like the Bitcoin ATM, does real-time checks (every minute in this case) of the price of gold and adjusts its prices accordingly (with a 5% mark-up).

Gold ATM

All that glitters is, you know, sometimes actually gold.

Gold bars of varying weights are available from the Gold ATM: a one gram bar, five gram bar, 10 gram bar, one ounce bar, one ounce Eagle coin and a 10 gram Golden Nugget Special Edition bar.

We got the one gram bar, mainly because we are a Las Vegas blog, not a Wynn.

Gold ATM Las Vegas

You can almost see a gram of gold with the naked eye.

The Gold ATM at Golden Nugget is located just across from the famed Hand of Faith, said to be the world’s largest gold nugget, weighing in at a mammoth 61 pounds, 11 ounces.

Hand of Faith

Yeah, that world’s biggest gold nugget. One of the best free photo ops downtown.

One caveat: The Gold ATM takes cash only, so no credit cards. On the bright side, though, the Gold ATM offers a 10-day money-back guarantee.

Cupcake ATM at Sprinkles Inside the Linq

The Cupcake ATM at the Sprinkles store at The Linq pedestrian mall is a newcomer to the world of weird, wonderful Las Vegas ATMs.

The ATM is located on the store’s patio, and kicks out cupcakes 24 hours a day, and is restocked throughout the day.

Cupcake ATM

So many calories, so little time.

The cupcakes are dispensed in a small box, and cost $4.59. Yes, that’s one expensive cupcake, but you can’t put a price on a unique Las Vegas experience. Unless you consider a price of $4.59 “putting a price on a unique Las Vegas experience,” of course.

Why do we say it’s an “experience”? The Cupcake ATM often has a line even when the store is open!

Sprinkles cupcake

Nothing nipple-like to see here, please move along.

A cool feature of the Cupcake ATM is a touchscreen that includes not only your cupcake flavor options, but also a camera that follows the process of your cupcake being selected inside the ATM and delivered into your drool-slathered hands.

Sprinkles cupcakes

Sprinkles also has ice cream, but plans for an Ice Cream ATM were scrapped when engineers realized it often tops 400 degrees in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas has a little bit of everything for everybody, and these specialty ATMs make for great stories when you get back home. Let us know how it goes!

Looking for more things you must do in Las Vegas? We’re all over it.

Hershey’s Chocolate World Opens at New York-New York, Takes Advantage of Slowest News Day, Ever

Hershey’s Chocolate World has opened at New York-New York in Las Vegas, and could not have done so at a better time.

Due to an utter lack of competing news, the new candy store received nationwide news coverage on its opening day despite the fact it’s, you know, a candy store.

Hershey's Chocolate World

Gird your loins and feast your eyes, let’s all get some thunder thighs.™

The amount of news coverage was remarkable, especially since the store is essentially a clone of the successful M&M’s World, just across the street, but without the cute mascots.

Hershey's Chocolate World

Question: If you have hundreds of the world’s largest of something, is it the world’s largest?

Just about every aspect of Hershey’s Chocolate World has a been-there-done-that feeling, including the store’s personalized candy bar wrappers. Chocolate World lets customers add their photos to wrappers, M&M’s World lets customers put custom messages on M&M’s.

Hershey's Chocolate World

People love these. Of course, many of those same people went to public schools.

Hershey’s Chocolate World Las Vegas covers two floors (M&Ms World has four floors), although the top floor feels like a bit of an afterthought, and is mainly there to capture the foot traffic entering New York-New York by way of the bridge from MGM Grand.

The first floor of Hershey’s Chocolate World features a massive wall of chocolate Kisses (M&M’s World’s second floor features a massive wall of M&M’s, starting to see a pattern here?).

Hershey's wall of kisses

Katie Couric is having an episode right about now.

Two aspects of Hershey’s Chocolate World would typically make the store remarkable, a sculpture of the Statue of Liberty made from 800 pounds of milk chocolate and an Empire State Building built with 1,800 chocolate bars. We say “would typically” because, well, it’s Las Vegas. In Las Vegas you have to take it up a notch. It’s the law.

Hershey's Chocolate Lady Liberty

Chocolate sculptures in a desert. What could possibly go wrong?

Yes, the light is right behind the torch. Thank you for noticing!

Beyond its Hershey’s temptations, the store offers other brands in the Hershey’s empire, including Jolly Rancher, Reese’s, Bubble Yum and Twizzlers. Twizzlers, of course, are to Red Vines as Hershey’s Chocolate World is to M&M’s World, if you get our drift.

Jolly Rancher candles

Credit where it’s due: The Jolly Rancher-scented candles are epic.

A stand-out at Hershey’s Chocolate World is the variety of baked items. We did not personally try the S’mores cupcakes, but we predict more than 1.2 trillion will be sold. And that’s just to celebrity journalist Robin Leach alone.

S'mores cupcake

Even the S’mores cupcake thought that joke was a little mean.

While Hershey’s Chocolate World may have more than its fair share of meh, it’s part of an impressive transformation at New York-New York and the adjacent Monte Carlo. Lots of new shops, restaurants and, gasp, open spaces have made this stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard a must-see for your next visit.

Hershey's Chocolate World

The house that child labor built. Allegedly.

In the meantime, we’ve put together a low-cal photo gallery of Hershey’s Chocolate World to satisfy your cravings. For looking at photos of chocolate. Or something.

Hershey's Chocolate World

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