Category Archives: Panty-Dropper Cocktails

Impossible Burger at Andrea’s is a Good Burger, But a Spectacular Veggie Burger

There’s been a good amount of buzz about a new menu item at Andrea’s inside Encore, the Impossible Burger, so we wasted no time trying the burger that uses “zero percent cow.”

The Impossible Burger is served three ways. We chose the sliders.

Impossible Burger

Some assembly required.

The Impossible Burger patties are served on a hot plate, with the patties still sizzling, and the fragrance is distinctly meatlike.

Despite their appearance, Impossible Burgers are completely meat-free and vegetarian-friendly.

Impossible Burger

“Improbable Burger” is probably more accurate, but doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

According to the Impossible Burger Web site, “Compared to cows, the Impossible Burger uses 95% less land, 74% less water and creates 87% less greenhouse gas emissions. And it’s 100% free of hormones, antibiotics and artificial ingredients.”

We may have removed a couple of Oxford commas from that excerpt, but only because they’re about as necessary as a clever pick-up line at a brothel. Moving on.

Impossible Burger

Yes, they could’ve inserted the meat in the kitchen, but imagine the number of H.R. and health violations.

Impossible Burger meat is a concoction of wheat, coconut oil, potatoes and other all-natural ingredients. We liked it, anyway.

A key ingredient of Impossible Burgers is something called heme. Heme is “an iron-containing compound of the porphyrin class that forms the nonprotein part of hemoglobin and some other biological molecules.” Which, as you can imagine, looks sexy as hell on the menu at Andrea’s.

According to the folks at Impossible Foods, heme “is what makes meat smell, sizzle and bleed.”

Andrea's Encore

Andrea’s is named after Steve Wynn’s wife, Andrea Hissom. (Those are her eyes.) She’s not called Andrea Wynn, mainly because if she were, Wynn’s former wife, Elaine, would rain down hell fire and haunt us all for an eternity.

The three sliders are served with frisee (or endive, a member of the chicory family), kimchee (think vegetables with a personal hygiene problem) and pickles (think cucumber with a personal hygiene problem).

Impossible Burger sliders come with two delicious sauces, kalbi and kochujang aioli.

Yes, we took notes for a change.

The sliders cost $20, and were undeniably delectable. Millennial translation: They’re amazeballs.

Impossible Burger

We’re nominating the Impossible Burger as the best veggie burger in Vegas, emphasis on “nom.”

While Impossible Burgers are, indeed, tasty, we can’t say they’re indistinguishable from beef hamburgers. Veggie burgers still haven’t managed to replicate the mouth feel of their meaty counterparts, but Impossible Burgers are surprisingly close.

The other two dishes using Impossible Burger meat are the Thai Crispy Rice Cups (made with mint, cilantro, chili, onion, ginger and peanuts) and Ma Po Tofu (a take on meatballs, with chili paste, shiitake mushrooms and green onion).

While you’re devouring your Impossible Burgers, make sure to try one of our all-time favorite panty-dropper cocktails, the Asian Pear.

Andrea's Encore Asian Pear

Bonus: The Asian Pear is meat-free.

If you’re visiting Andrea’s solo, have no fear. We had our Impossible Burgers while seated at the bar.

The Impossible Burger is that rare creature, so to speak, that lives up to the hype.

Andrea's Encore

Andrea’s is a little fancy, so, please, no lederhosen.

Die-hard meat eaters may ultimately prefer a traditional burger to the Impossible Burger at Andrea’s, but there’s a lot to be said for having a viable alternative to meat, especially if one is toying with the idea of cutting back on meat, or even going whole hog vegan or vegetarian.

Yes, we see what we did there, although we’re not entirely sure what.

Encore Las Vegas

What, you thought we’d miss an opportunity to share a gratuitous photo of Encore? Do you know this blog at all?

The bottom line is this: Impossible Burgers don’t feel like a compromise or sacrifice. Whether you’d like to save a cow or possibly save the planet, meat-free food is inherently more appealing because it’s also free of guilt.

If you try an Impossible Burger, let us know what you think. Visit Encore’s Web site to learn more.

The Nerd Nightclub Opens at Downtown’s Neonopolis

A new nightlife offering has opened at downtown’s Neonopolis, The Nerd.

The Nerd nightclub takes up residence in the former Drink & Drag space and offers bowling, pool and frosty beverages. No drag queens, but you’ll survive.

The Nerd nightclub

Fun fact: The stigma of being a nerd vanished about 15 minutes after Bill Gates made his first billion.

The Grand Opening of The Nerd was attended by Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and other tenants of Neonopolis, a shopping center that has struggled in the past, but which seems to be building momentum with new businesses like Fremont Arcade and an eSports arena.

The Nerd nightclub

You can keep your cornhole. We’ll opt for pool every time.

The Nerd is on the second floor of Neonopolis, and features a 12-lane bowling alley, four pool tables, a dance floor and DJ booth.

The Nerd nightclub

We hear The Nerd’s dance floor features go-go dancers on the weekend. Guess we have some further research to do.

So far, The Nerd feels a bit hastily put together. There’s no permanent signage to speak of, and while there’s a full bar, there’s no signature cocktail menu. During our visit on opening day, however, there was one specialty cocktail being served, the Carolyn Cosmopolitan (named after the mayor, of course), and it was delicious.

The Nerd nightclub

A certified panty-dropper cocktail. All due respect, Mayor Goodman.

If you’d like to make the Carolyn Cosmo at home: Grey Goose Le Citron vodka (2 oz.), Pama pomegranate liqueur (1 oz.), Cointreau orange-flavored liqueur (1 oz.), fresh lime and a splash of cranberry.

There’s no food currently being served at The Nerd, but that is likely to change in the future. (Related: We’ve heard a food truck may take up residence in the courtyard of Neonopolis, which would certainly help to satisfy our drunchies.)

In fact, The Nerd’s owner, Jonathan Borchetta, seems to have lots of plans in the works for the place. Some of the most ambitious are off-the-record for the time being, but stay tuned. Borchetta is also owner of the VooDoo Zipline at Rio Las Vegas.

The Nerd

Jonathan Borchetta receives a Proclamation from Mayor Goodman. In Las Vegas, it’s the law.

Borchetta understands The Nerd is in a challenging location, but thinks the quirky theme and libations will win the day.

He’s also enticing customers with the promise of free bowling and pool. We’re sold.

The Nerd nightclub

Bowling continues to be one of the best ways to humiliate yourself in front of your friends.

Speaking of the nerdy theme, The Nerd has ample movie and TV memorabilia on display, will sell comic book and pop culture costumes for those into cosplay, and anyone wearing a costume will get half-price drinks.

The Nerd

We’re thinking “Breaking Bad.” There was a placard, but this blog is more of a drinker than a placard reader.

There are also classic video games throughout the venue, and those, too, are free to play.

The Nerd nightclub

Even if you’re wasted, you’ll be able to tell you’re at The Nerd.

We fell in love with the Drink & Drag space during its short run at Neonopolis and were sorry to see the establishment close. The Nerd has a lot of potential, and we look forward to seeing what’s next.

If The Nerd can tap into the gamer and Comic-Con crowds, while wooing the cool kids who frequent Gold Spike and Fremont East, it truly will be the revenge of the, well, you know.

The Nerd Nightclub at Neonopolis

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Alto Bar Opens at Caesars Palace With Virtual Reality On the Menu

Caesars Palace recently unveiled its new Alto Bar, replacing the decade-old Seahorse Lounge.

Alto Bar Caesars Palace

Replacing the Seahorse Lounge at Caesars was especially good news for the seahorses. Let’s just say they went through a lot of seahorses.

Alto Bar is the result of a multi-million-dollar renovation, and the bar is located adjacent to Omnia Nightclub and Searsucker, a restaurant you never hear anything about, which is always a good sign.

Alto Bar Caesars Palace

Officials haven’t said what inspired the name “Alto,” but recent bar names (Vista, Apostrophe and Fizz) have intentionally steered clear of the resort’s Roman Empire theme.

Alto Bar is the biggest bar at a resort with lots of great bars.

Booths throughout Alto have adorable TV screens because god forbid you go 15 minutes without access to sports.

Alto lounge Caesars Palace

There are six people on staff just to keep track of all the remotes.

The bar has 18 video poker machines. The machine we played was looser than our sister, but your results may vary. With the machines. Our sister is pretty much a sure thing.

The cocktail menu features wildly overpriced drinks, and by that we mean sort of typical prices at Strip resorts these days. Remember, you’re not just paying for a drink, you’re paying for an experience!

Alto Bar Caesars Las Vegas

We don’t know what all those symbols mean. We are a Las Vegas blog, not an Egyptologist.

We had the expertly-prepared Alto Margarita. Hey, $16 is the new $8, but it was delicious. The margarita features Caesars Select Patrón Reposado tequila, Cointreau liqueur, agave nectar, lime juice and a floater of Grand Marnie, whatever that might actually be.

Alto Bar Las Vegas

In awesome news, video poker players can get the signature drinks comped when they play (drinks up to $16). This baby definitely qualifies as a panty-dropper cocktail.

There’s a small selection of draft beer ($9), bottled beer ($8), wine and non-alcoholic offerings.

There are also snacks, including mixed nuts ($7), classic ketel chips ($7) and a “Chef’s Selection” of meats, cheeses and heath breads. Psst, it’s not about the snacks.

The best thing about Alto Bar at the moment is the virtual reality lounge!

The adjoining Oculus Virtual Reality Lounge is easily overlooked and a complete and utter blast.

Alto Bar virtual reality

Oculus Touch, owned by Facebook, uses a pair of tracked hand controllers that give you the feeling the virtual hands are your own. It’s freaky and addictive. Sorry, it’s fire. Or possibly lit. We have trouble keeping up.

If you haven’t tried VR yet, now’s the time, and not just because it’s free. Although, that certainly doesn’t hurt. (Ads for the Virtual Reality Lounge say it’s free with the purchase of a cocktail, but tell them we sent you and they’ll probably let it slide.)

Basically, VR requires that you don a goofy headset and wear two hand controllers. Motion sensors track the movement of your body and create a virtual interaction with your surroundings.

The VR lounge at Alto Bar offers several demos, including The Unspoken, The Climb, VR Sports Challenge and Bullet Train.

Alto Bar Caesars Palace

We’d say virtual reality is the best thing, ever, but we’ve been with actual women. Yes, plural, thanks to a little something called red wine.

The VR lounge won’t be there forever, so take full advantage before March 28, 2017.

Alto Bar is open Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m., Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m and 24 hours Friday through Sunday.

Alto virtual reality lounge

Caesars doesn’t seem to be heavily promoting the VR lounge, so that means more playtime for you.

The virtual reality lounge operates from 4:00 p.m. to midnight during the week and stays open until 1:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Guests must be 21 or older to use the virtual reality system.

Kudos to Caesars for giving guests some added value at Alto Bar. Virtual reality is mesmerizing, and once you’re in, you’ll never want to stop. Trust us on this one!

Caesars Palace Las Vegas

When you’re at Caesars, check out the swanky new carpet. It definitely doesn’t steer clear of the Roman theme.

Expect to see more VR cropping up at Las Vegas casinos. There’s a new VR Adventures shop at Linq promenade, and MGM Grand has been promoting its “Ka” show with virtual reality stations in its lobby.

It’s only a matter of time before there’s a virtual reality strip club in Las Vegas. Not that anyone would be interested in something like that. At all. Especially not this Las Vegas blog. Ever. Probably.

Alto Lounge at Caesars Palace

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The Dorsey Lounge Replaces Bourbon Room at Venetian

A swanky new lounge has opened at Venetian, The Dorsey.

The new lounge sits in the former Bourbon Room space. Bourbon Room was a lounge themed to complement the hotel’s departed show, “Rock of Ages,” which relocated to Rio Las Vegas. “Rock of Ages” closes, once again, on Jan. 1, 2017.

There will be a quiz.

The Dorsey Venetian

The Dorsey. Just the right amount of fancy.

The Dorsey does a 180 from the “rockin’ loud” Bourbon Room, delivering a more refined experience in well-appointed surroundings. (The 180-degree change is punctuated by the fact the bar no longer has video poker.)

The Dorsey Venetian

The Dorsey cost $2.5 million and was worth every penny.

The Dorsey’s signature cocktail menu is replete with unique libations “designed by award-winning barman Sam Ross of New York City’s Attaboy fame.” We are clearly a dim-witted muttonhead because we have no idea what an “Attaboy” is or why it’s famous. However, we can attest to the fact Sam Ross knows his hooch.

We tried the Banana Hammock and our socks were blown.

Off.

Related: Punctuation is hard.

The Dorsey Venetian

The Banana Hammock features two rums, lime, banana, orgeat and cinnamon. It was infinitely better than it sounds. Especially the orgeat thing. Which you’ll be Googling in three, two…

Here’s The Dorsey cocktail menu in a resolution that won’t make you squint like an albino in a tanning booth. Here are more cocktails (including “Stirred & Boozy,” “Shorties” and “Punch Bowls”). Look here for the champagne, wine and beer.

Signature cocktails run in the $18 range, which may cause some Las Vegas regulars sticker shock. But $18 is the new $8, so it’s best to just settle in and enjoy the creativity of the cocktails.

Or the ambiance.

If you get our drift.

The Dorsey Venetian

Your elevated heart rate is duly noted and completely warranted.

The model-servers are friendly and helpful, as are The Dorsey’s bartenders.

The Dorsey is 4,500-square-feet, in case square footage somehow adds to your enjoyment of a lounge. You freak.

The space is warm and as comfortable and sophisticated as The Dorsey’s news release claims. There’s a lot of oak and brass and leather and marble.

There are two areas in The Dorsey that provide a semi-private feel, the Cage and the Library.

The Dorsey Venetian

If you guessed this isn’t the Library, you’re right. Your future as a detective is assured.

The Library, lined with hundreds of books, has a sweet fireplace. It blows smoke and it lit in a way that makes the smoke look like fire. It’s cozy, trust us.

The Dorsey Venetian

You remember books. It’s how people occupied themselves before memes and Facebook stalking.

The walls of The Dorsey are lined with digital displays featuring the work of a number of artists whose names we don’t recognize, such as Marilyn Minter, Poyen Wang and Jason Salavon.

The Dorsey is on par with Clique at Cosmopolitan and Skyfall Lounge at Delano.

The Dorsey Venetian

Beyond its dreamy bar, The Dorsey also has a DJ booth. We won’t hold that against it.

If you’re looking to knock something back on the cheap (ditto slamming or chugging), this probably isn’t the place. The Dorsey is, however, a place with an air of class, memorable cocktails and waitresses who will make you feel like the most interesting, attractive person in the world.

The Dorsey Venetian

Let’s infuse something, already.

The Dorsey is open nightly from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. It’s located just off the main floor of the Venetian’s casino, near the hotel’s restaurant row.

The Dorsey at Venetian

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Lip Smacking Foodie Tours Will Whet Your Appetite for Las Vegas Restaurants

When you’re a Las Vegas blog, one of the most common questions you hear is “Which restaurants should I visit?” Another common question is, “What makes you think you can do a blog when you write as though you’ve experienced a traumatic brain injury?”

Focusing on that first question for a moment, Las Vegas has so many great dining options, it can be overwhelming. That’s where Lip Smacking Foodie Tours comes in.

Therapy restaurant

Therapy restaurant’s soft truffled goat cheese and almond stuffed date wrapped in bacon served on Romesco sauce. Say that five times fast.

Interest in foodie tours has skyrocketed in recent years, mainly people are lazy and indecisive. Foodie tours take the guesswork out of deciding what’s for dinner.

In the case of Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, recently named the “Best Las Vegas Tour” in the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s “Best of Las Vegas” honors, guests choose between exploring restaurants on The Strip or downtown. We chose downtown, mainly because we work there. (You thought we were kidding about the “lazy” thing?)

In the downtown and Strip tours, guests gather at an appointed place and time. In our case, the tour began at Carson Kitchen. We didn’t eat there, but it’s sometimes included in the tour.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

Let the appetition begin. Which, we should say, we’re only 40% confident is an actual word.

Right off the bat, you start to bond with your fellow tour mates. Foodie tours are a great way to meet new people, especially because there’s also alcohol involved.

The downtown version of Lip Smacking Foodie Tours includes visits to three restaurants and a bar, plus a guided tour around downtown, including the Downtown Container Park and other points of interest, some of them super top secret.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

We’ve walked by this wall a hundred times, but until our tour we didn’t know you could peek between the stickers into the super private Laundry Room at Commonwealth, a popular downtown bar.

Our first stop was Therapy restaurant, one of our favorite downtown Las Vegas eateries. And drinkeries, come to think of it.

The restaurants on the tour set aside special seating, and the food comes out very quickly, since everyone has the same dishes.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

It’s Therapy, in more ways than one.

The restaurants serve a selection of their signature dishes, which means guests get more variety, and the restaurants get to show off.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

Foodie tours are perfect for people with commitment issues. Try everything!

One cannot live by signature dishes alone, so this was the panty-dropper cocktail we had at Therapy. We’d tell you the name, but it was a very, very good cocktail.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tour

This is The Smash, with Four Roses bourbon, blackberries, fresh limes and mint. Translation: Get in our belly.

Our next restaurant was Itsy Bitsy Ramen & Whiskey, in the Ogden luxury apartment building. The day after our group visited, the restaurant closed its kitchen. They were like, “That meal was so good, we can never match it, so we’re dropping the mic and we’re out.” Or something along those lines.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

We probably shouldn’t bore you with photos of Itsy Bitsy Ramen & Whiskey food which no longer exists. Moving on.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours changes up its roster of partner restaurants, so it’s not a big deal to lose one.

Next up, we hit the Wayfarer bar at Inspire, for a cocktail. That cocktail is included in the tour price ($125 downtown, $199 Strip), but there’s a cocktail package add-on for $40 ($60 Strip) where you get a cocktail at each restaurant. Oh, just do it, you big baby.

Part of the Inspire visit involved special access to a “secret,” members only bar, 365 Tokyo.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

According to the owner of 365 Tokyo, it doesn’t exist. Let’s pretend this photo never happened.

A bartender showed us how to chip a block of ice into a ball, as well as showing us his herbs. The other kind of herbs. What is wrong with you?

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

Sharp object, dark room. What could possibly go wrong?

If you’d like to know where the bar is that doesn’t exist, just look for the mirrored part of Inspire’s exterior.

Inspire Las Vegas

It’s the protruding part, upper left. Now you know.

Our last restaurant stop was Glutton restaurant.

The food was great, and when you’re on a Lip Smacking Foodie Tour, you get the full VIP treatment from the restaurants. No waiting. Expert information about the restaurant and food, and just an all-around great time with 15 of your new best friends.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours Glutton

Just power through, gang. It’s Glutton!

The food was fast and fresh at Glutton, another downtown restaurant success story we completely forgot to take notes about.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

We have a vague memory this cocktail at Glutton is called ‘Merica. Just order the cocktail with the coconut. They’ll figure it out.

All the dishes at Glutton were shared, and you’ll feel relieved that’s the case, unless you’re wearing pants with an expandable waistband.

Everything was delicious, from the ahi tuna tacos to the Spicy Coppa Flatbread, from the wood charred broccoli to the pickled tomatoes. Yes, we just said the broccoli was good. By this time, the cocktail package was doing all the heavy lifting.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

Flatbread is like pizza, but after it’s been to the gym.

Glutton did a masterful job of topping off the evening’s festivities with dessert, apple cobbler and caramel corn profiteroles, whatever those might be.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

It’s a cream puff, choux à la crème if you’re a blog trying to pretend you know something about food.

We chatted with Donald Contursi, President of Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, for our podcast, so it’s worth a listen.

Contursi is not only a very likable tour guide, we were impressed with his vast knowledge of not just the restaurants and bars on the tour, but Las Vegas and downtown in general. And we don’t tend to be impressed by things that haven’t been enhanced with saline or silicone.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours take between two and three hours, but the time flies by.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

The tour pops in at the Downtown Container Park. There tend to be children, so they don’t stay long.

The company offers other packages, including one with five restaurant visits and a helicopter flight ($299).

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours are a great way to sample some of the best food in Las Vegas, while meeting new people and learning about the city from those in the know. Gratuities are included in the cost of the tour, so you can enjoy your night out without having do to any math whatsoever.

Thanks to Lip Smacking Foodie Tours for hosting our tour, and you can find out more at the company’s official site.

If you give it a try, let us know what you think. Oh, and you should probably avoid eating during the 48 hours prior your tour. You’re going to need the room.

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

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Freedom Beat Restaurant Opens at Downtown Grand

Freedom Beat has opened at Downtown Grand, offering a shiny new menu with American favorites, live entertainment and an energetic vibe that could inject some new life
into the three-year-old resort.

Freedom Beat Downtown Grand

Freedom Beat was designed by Bunnyfish Studio, the company that also did Eat, Perch, Carson Kitchen (still no Captain Morgan, so suck it) and Nacho Daddy, among many others.

Freedom Beat replaces the casino’s original cafe, Stewart + Ogden, utilizing that restaurant’s space and more. Freedom Beat also incorporates part of another closed venue, Red Mansion.

Freedom Beat Downtown Grand

Unforgiving seats in this section for the Millennials, booths with cushioned seats for the rest of us.

Freedom Beat will operate 24/7, and the plan is to have a variety of artists perform in the space.

Music was front-and-center during our visit. We’re pretty much of the mind that the world is divided into two groups: Those who love live music in restaurants and those who don’t. We tend to be in the latter group, as we like our music as an undercard as opposed to the main event.

Yes, we made a sports analogy. Don’t freak out.

Here’s a walk-through of Freedom Beat.

We are as impressed with our videography as you are, especially since most restaurants discourage indoor droning.

But enough about us. What’s up at Freedom Beat? Well, for starters, we love the decor. It has a rock ‘n’ roll vibe, with guitar cases built into the booths and artwork fashioned from vinyl records. You remember those, right? They were a thing.

Freedom Beat Downtown Grand

A thing of beauty, but that paint is going to wreck your stereo needle.

Freedom Beat is a collaboration between Downtown Grand and 34th Floor Hospitality Group, the same folks who revamped the hotel’s Citrus pool deck with very pleasing results.

The restaurant’s menu was developed by Chef Scott Commings, a name that might sound familiar because he won season 12 of “Hell’s Kitchen.”

Here’s a look at the menu.

Freedom Beat Menu

Breakfast anytime, apps, sandwiches, salads and desserts. The prices don’t scream a locals play, but aren’t bad given there’s live music.

While you look adorable squinting, for a version of the menu you can actually read, click here.

We haven’t tried the food at Freedom Beat yet, but it looked tempting on its way to customers, and we did try a signature cocktail. You know us so well.

The Bathtub Gin Daisy is a bone fide panty-dropper. All the cocktails run $12, and we expect to try them all over time. And by “over time,” of course, we mean our next visit.

Freedom Beat cocktail

Panties, consider yourself dropped.

Freedom Beat also has regional boilermakers, craft beers and a healthy selection of wine.

Overall, Freedom Beat is a huge leap forward from the previous restaurant, and there’s a lot to like about the joint. If loud, live music isn’t your thing, just plan to dine when there’s no entertainment scheduled.

Freedom Beat bar

In music, a “bar” is a segment of time corresponding to a specific number of “beats.” Freedom Beat has thought of everything!

We’re interested to see how live music is received in the casino floor, and how much of the ambient casino noise bleeds into the performance space. We’re also curious whether Freedom Beat will cannibalize business from Triple George Grill, just across the street, as it also serves American fare.

Now that Freedom Beat is open, we understand The Commissary at Downtown Grand will be put out of its misery, although that hasn’t been announced yet.

Freedom Beat private room

We’re a big fan of this smaller, quieter dining room area. The screen door wasn’t even installed yet.

Props to Downtown Grand for changing things up and striving to attract a younger crowd (an ongoing effort exemplified by the eSports lounge on its casino floor).

Let us know what you think of Downtown Grand’s new restaurant, Freedom Beat.

Freedom Beat at Downtown Grand

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