A Hearty Breakfast: Omelet House

Omelet_House-welcomeOmelet House is another great Las Vegas restaurant tucked away in a strip mall. Located at 2160 West Charleston, Omelet House is a large, homestyle breakfast and lunch restaurant with huge portions, friendly service and delicious food.

Omelets, as you would guess, are their specialty, and they offer over thirty varieties from the basic “Just Cheese” ($7.99) with a choice of cheddar, jack, Swiss or American, to the over the top “Kitchen Sink” ($11.99) which weighs in at about three pounds and really does have everything but the kitchen sink in it. Each omelet is made with no less than six eggs, loaded with fresh fixings and accompanied by their made-to-order crisp, thick-sliced potato chips and a choice of homemade pumpkin or banana nut bread. The homemade breads are served warm, moist and fresh, with butter. Don’t tell my grandmother I said this, but their breads are even better than hers. I have had both and I’d have to give a slight edge to the pumpkin bread, but they are both amazing.

Pumpkin BreadFor $0.95 you can split your plate with your dining companion. This makes for a great value, as half an Omelet House omelet is plenty of food for most appetites, and each plate tends to come with more than a 1/2 portion of their delicious chips. On my last visit my girlfriend and I shared a “Black Forrest” (Swiss cheese, ham and mushroom omelet), which cost only $10.94 for both of us including the split plate fee. I ordered my own square of pumpkin bread ($2.19). With two bottomless coffees ($2.49 each) our entire meal came in under $25 including a generous (and deserved) gratuity. If dining alone they also offer a “small” portion, similar to what you would get when splitting, but at an $0.89 cent discount off the full portion ($9.10 in this case), this isn’t quite as strong of a value. Besides, this place is too good not to share.

Split Plate

Split Plate

Service is friendly and efficient. Not only did they not bat an eyelash when I announced I would like to share my omelet, they brought it out already divided and plated. Very nice! They have handled late arriving guests and early check requests (plane to catch!) with ease, and never fail to make me feel at home. Omelet House consistently fills me up and sends me away smiling.

Tips:

  • Omelet House also serves eggs benedict, pancakes, french toast and other standard breakfast fare as well as burgers and sandwiches for lunch.
  • If you have fond memories of the Omelet House at the Plaza, then rejoice! This is indeed the same place, except with shorter lines and better service. The decor isn’t quite the same, but the menu is!
  • The West Charleston location is the original, and the subject of this review, but if you can’t make it there try one of the other Omelet Houses at 316 North Boulder Highway in Henderson or 6520 Boulder Highway in Southeast Las Vegas.

Website: www.omelethouse.net
Omelet House on Urbanspoon
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Gold and Silver Pawn: Long Lines, Short Changed

Gold and Silver Pawn Las VegasFor those that don’t know, Gold and Silver Pawn is the pawn shop that the hit reality television show “Pawn Stars” is based upon. The shop is located between the strip and downtown at 713 South Las Vegas Blvd. Due to the popularity of the show, there are often long lines of people baking in the sun waiting to get inside. When they are filming you will wait even longer… No-one is allowed in or out during most of the filming.

Once inside it’s one huge line of people snaking around the small (smaller than it looks on tv) shop. It’s pretty much single file, moving slowly around the shop in as orderly a fashion as possible. There’s enough pressure from the crowd behind you to keep you from lingering too long to fancy any one thing. You get to see most of what the shop has to offer, rather sequentially. Eventually the line weaves past the registers and out of the store, your passage out allowing one more person in.

Picadilly Circus Roulette Machine at Gold and Silver PawnI’ve joined the lines outside Gold and Silver a couple of times now. Once with my girlfriend, and once with my dad. Each time I’ve waited no less than 45 minutes in the hot Las Vegas sun to get in. In both instances, the only person I recognized from the show was Antoine the bouncer, who was manning the door. Inside I did see a number of items from the show: superbowl rings, the Jimi Hendrix artwork, presidential signatures, the Piccadilly Circus electronic roulette slot machine, and merchandise… lots of merchandise… t-shirts, coffee cups, those silver coins with the Old Man’s mug on them… you name it.

Gold and Silver pawn is no longer a pawn shop, and the stars of the show no longer “work” there. I’m pretty sure a couple of them never did. It’s a set for a tv show, and it’s a tourist trap. If you treat it as a busy museum, it’s kind of cool. You can see some neat, rare and valuable items – some of the same items that are featured on tv. If you just hit a colossal jackpot you might even be able to take one home. Otherwise, it’s “free” entertainment.. the only cost is your time and your discomfort, waiting to get in.

Superbowl Rings at Gold and Silver Pawn Las VegasTips:

  • If you go, don’t expect to meet the Old Man, Rick, Cory or Chum.
  • Don’t expect to be on television unless you have an appointment.
  • And don’t expect to pick up a cheap souvenir, unless you want to buy the same trinkets they’re hawking on the History Channel website.
  • Do bring a big jug of water, a fold up chair, and some sunscreen. The throngs waiting outside with you will think you’re a genius, and you’ll enjoy the rest of your day a whole lot more.

Website: www.gspawn.com
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Ellis Island Cafe: The Best Steak Special in Las Vegas – Update

According to the latest reports coming from Vegas Message Board, the Steak Special at Ellis Island Cafe now requires a coupon, without it the price jumps to $10.99. To get a coupon you need to swipe your Passport Players card at a kiosk near the players club counter. Thanks to “Redzone” from VMB for the head’s up.

Three Drinks for the Apocalypse and Where to Get Them

Zombie at Frankie's Tiki Room

Zombie at Frankie’s Tiki Room

In 2009 Jill Sobule released California Years, which features “A Good Life”, the best (and only) apocalyptic love song I know. In it she croons: We won’t have to make our beds, so break out the booze, and like I said, let’s have a ball before we’re dead… In that spirit, here are three great drinks to party it up in case the Mayans were right:

1) Zombie: For those seeking a zombie apocalypse, this 1930’s cocktail made from a blend of exotic rums (including 151), lime juice (and a few other secret ingredients) will surely do the trick. Made properly, this drink includes more than four ounces of liquor and often carries a two-drink limit – for tradition’s sake.

Where to get it: Frankie’s Tiki Room. 1712 West Charleston Blvd. Frankie’s makes some of the best (and most potent) drinks available anywhere. It’s the perfect place to spend your final hours. Check out my writeup of the place here.

2) La Fin Du Monde: A Belgian style triple fermented wheat beer made by Unibroue in French Canada. It’s name is translated from the French as “The End of the World.” At 9% alcohol, this is the perfect brew to dull your pain.

Where to get it: The Yard House. 6593 Las Vegas Blvd South (Town Square). On tap while supplies last.

3) The Last Word: A balanced and unusual prohibition era cocktail made from Gin, Green Chartreuse, Maraschino Liquor and Lime Juice. It has an ominous cloudy green glow and a unique bright herbal flavor. It’s the perfect cocktail over which to utter your last words.

Where to get it: Herbs & Rye. 3713 West Sahara Ave. No bar in Las Vegas takes their classic cocktails more seriously.

How will you toast the end of the Mayan calendar?

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Fremont Street Stage Shows: Rock Candy Sticky Sweet (and friends)

Rock Candy Sticky Sweet LogoRock Candy Sticky Sweet is a rock’n’roll stage production sponsored by the Fremont Street Experience. Their show consists of multiple vocalists, dancing girls (this must be a theme around here), a drummer and a single guitarist. They perform powerful, fun rock songs like “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll”, “We’re Not Gonna Take It”, and “Nuthin’ But a Good Time”. It’s all very polished and it sounds great.

Each musician gets a chance to strut their stuff, with solos by each vocalist, the guitarist and the drummer. Each of the songs has choreographed dance moves – sometimes by just one or two performers, sometimes by the entire troupe. It’s clear that these are well seasoned performers, and it’s clear that they are having a good time while on stage. It makes for a show that’s fun to watch over and over. See what I mean?

And if you spend a few nights in front of their stage that’s exactly what you will do. The show repeats itself a bit, but that’s the nature of a stage production. It trades variety for consitency and quality. Luckily, I haven’t yet tired of “Rockin” Renee’s rendition of Pat Benetar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” or “Hit Man” Hunter’s pitch perfect performance of Living Colour’s “Cult of Personality”.

This solid group of performers is put together by Face Productions for the Fremont Street Experience. As far as I can tell, the show is exclusive to Fremont, and the troup of performers is employed (with some variations in cast) for a number of different shows on Fremont. Spend enough time at the stages downtown and it all starts to come together: Many of the performers you see as Rock Candy Sticky Sweet throughout the year are also in the Halloween shows “Frank and the Steins” and “Drac and the Vamps”. At Christmas, you’ll notice a couple familiar faces in “Candy and the Canes”. Each show is its own production, has different dancers and different songs are performed, but the basic lineup appears to be drawn from the same cast. Here’s “Frank and the Steins” performing this past October:

So, if you love these performers, but tire of seeing them play the same old songs, just check out one of their other incarnations. “Rock Candy Sticky Sweet” and “Frank and the Steins” are the most polished, have the most performers in common, and are my personal favorites, but all these shows are pretty amazing for the low low price of free. Here’s hoping that the Fremont Street Experience brings these talented performers back in 2013 with a few new tricks up their sleeves!

  • The Fremont Street shows are typically three hours long with three separate sets. Since these are stage productions that change little from night to night you can catch each hour of the show on a different night.
  • I could not find websites (or even Facebook pages) for Rock Candy Sticky Sweet, Frank and the Steins, Drac and the Vamps or Candy and the Canes to share with you, so watch for performances by them on the Fremont Street Experience Calendar, linked below.
  • If you know of other Face Productions shows that feature the same performers, or you know more of the backstory on these productions, please share in the comments.

Website: www.vegasexperience.com
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Downtown Cocktail Room: An Air of Exclusivity

Downtown Cocktail Room Las VegasThere is a certain satisfaction in knowing a secret, being part of the “in” crowd. I have to admit, it’s fun sitting inside the Downtown Cocktail Room, sipping a cocktail, watching people try to figure out how to get inside. Some figure it out straight away, some give up way too easily. Some people are really determined, but just can’t quite figure it out. Usually someone will let them in… eventually.

Downtown Cocktail Room Las VegasDowntown Cocktail Room is at 111 Las Vegas Bouevard South, where it intersects with Fremont Street East. From the outside, this place doesn’t look very inviting. There’s a simple red neon sign atop the building, else you would never guess there was a bar inside. Once you figure out how to get inside it’s a different story. Dim lighting, dark red walls with simple black and white artwork and modern furniture transform this otherwise shabby room into a chic lounge. A dark translucent curtain over the floor to ceiling windows in the entrance creates a two way mirror effect, offering a view of Las Vegas Boulevard and of the people trying to find their way inside. The resulting vibe is that of a secret hideaway, a modern speakeasy.

If you go early, and I recommend you do, the music is usually just quiet enough to allow for conversation and relaxation. Monday through Friday from 4-8pm they offer happy hour specials, including seven dollar hand-crafted original cocktails, three and four dollar beers and five dollar wine. The cocktails are the raison d’etre, and they truly are both hand-crafted and original. The menu changes with the seasons, and the cocktails are rated based on their complexity. Level 1 drinks are as easy to drink as kool-aid, and level 5 are incredibly complex and filled with unusual flavors – the sort of drink that you need to work up to.

Downtown Cocktail Room Don't Fig With MeOn my last visit, I went right in the middle and ordered the Level 3 “Don’t Fig With Me”, aptly described on the menu as “Autumn in a glass”. The main spirit for this drink is Apple Jack, melded with flavors of fig, orange and cinnamon spice. Everything tastes fresh and natural. The glass is rimmed with cinnamon sugar. This drink fits the season perfectly, and its texture is somewhat thick and pulpy, which encourages sipping instead of gulping. It’s a decent value at the regular price of nine dollars, and a bargain at the seven dollar happy hour price.

When you go to the Downtown Cocktail Room, you are not limited, however, by the menu. This is one of the few craft cocktail lounges in Las Vegas where you can tell the bartender what sort of drink you are in the mood for and they will craft something to your tastes. I did just that on one of my early visits. I liked the resulting drink so much I had to get the recipe and buy the ingredients so I could make it at home. It’s a variation on the Alaska Cocktail, and it really was exactly what I was looking for.

Las Vegas learned long ago that it’s the little things that make a customer feel special, like a VIP, that keep them coming back. At Downtown Cocktail Room, one way they do this is their little black book. It’s a brilliant idea, really. There is a special black book that they keep behind the bar, full of recipes for off the menu drinks that their regular customers enjoy. If you’re there enough, and they take a liking to you, they might offer to put your favorite drink in there. You definitely feel like a VIP ordering your own drink from the book, and having the recipe in writing ensures that the drink is made consistently, regardless of who your bartender is.

Downtown Cocktail Room is a delightful respite from the craziness of Fremont Street. Find your way in, relax in a comfy chair (or bar stool) and chill with a tasty beverage. It’s a great way to start your evening!

Downtown Cocktail Room Between the SheetsTips:

  • To get inside you need to push on the most immovable looking thing in the entrance. You’ll see what I mean.
  • Downtown Cocktail Room also offers up a few classic cocktails on it’s menu, which can also be had at a discount during happy hour. The drink to the right, “Between the Sheets” from the Autumn menu, is one of my favorites.
  • Check out the lower right corner of their cocktail menu for “Nosh”, a few small, tasty morsels that go perfect with your drink (2 for $5). The Honey Sesame Cashews are quite good.

Website
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Our Second Winner, and in Record Time!

Congratulations to James, the winner of our second Where In Vegas competition. He was the first to correctly identify the location of the photo (Downtown Cocktail Room), and did so just 29 minutes after the contest launched!

If James emails me back with a US/Canadian address he will soon be the proud owner of an American Casino Guide 2013!

Thanks to all who followed along. No-one else got a chance to participate, as James was the first to answer. We’ll be doing this again each month, so subscribe to the RSS feed so you won’t miss out!

Contest: Where in Vegas? Second Edition

Where in Vegas?Yup, It’s that time again! I’ve been busy scouring my old Vegas photos and I’m ready with the next “Where in Vegas?” contest. To make things a little more interesting I have procured a small but valuable prize for this month’s winner: The winner of this month’s contest will receive my review copy of American Casino Guide 2013, which is chock full of valuable coupons you can use in Vegas and other casino locations around the country. To learn more, check out my review in last week’s post.

Due to the high cost of international shipping I can only offer this prize to US/Canadian residents. If you live outside the US/Canada you are still welcome to join the contest for bragging rights (and the chance to rob an American or Canadian of a chance to get this fabulous prize). If there is no winner, or the winner is not from the US, the prize will carry over to next month’s contest.

Last month’s winner, Eric, gave the correct answer less than 24 hours after the contest was posted. So, what are you waiting for? Leave a reply to this thread and tell me Where in Vegas this picture was taken. The first to do so correctly wins!

American Casino Guide 2013 FrontAmerican Casino Guide 2013 BackSome simple rules:

  • One entry per person, please.
  • You must provide a valid email address so that I can contact you for shipping info if you win.
  • Have fun!