"" Writer's Wanderings: Las Vegas - Outside the Casinos

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Las Vegas - Outside the Casinos

Yesterday I talked of some of the sights to see in Vegas. I neglected to mention some of the museums--like the neon sign museum. That's on our list for the next visit. The visits are never long enough though to get to all the restaurants we'd like to sample.

It used to be that the highlight of your visit was the all-you-can-eat buffet. They were usually very cheap and quick and got people back into the casinos where they wanted you to be. The buffets we saw this trip were anything but cheap. The least expensive we saw (in the nicer hotels of course) was around $27. We were able to get some very nice meals in sit-down-and-be-served places for the same amount.

We were already familiar with some of the restaurants in Mandalay Bay--Shanghai Lilly (Asian) and Red Square (Russian), both excellent. There are a dozen or so restaurants in all with all sorts of price ranges and types of food.

As we were walking over to Luxor through Mandalay Place, a shopping area, we found Ri Ra, an Irish Pub. Since we are soon to embark on a four week tour of Ireland we decided it was the perfect place to sample some Irish food. And it was! Our waiter was actually from Ireland, near Dublin, and helped us with our choices. I had Irish stew and Bob had a lamb burger with goat cheese. Both were wonderful.

The next day we ate lunch at the Westin's restaurant, Suede, since that was where our afternoon show was. We ordered what we thought was light--a burger and a taco salad. Both were huge even though they were on the lunch menu but really good. Suffice it to say, we were not hungry at dinner time and ended up sharing a bucket of popcorn at our evening show instead of eating out again.

Our last day, we wanted to try out a restaurant new to the Luxor called Rice & Company. It features Chinese and Japanese food including sushi and sashimi. I love their motto: Eat Rice, Drink Tea, Slurp Noodles, Stay Healthy. Bob had orange beef and I had pecan shrimp which was a shrimp dish with candied pecans in it. We also split a salmon sushi roll between us. We were not disappointed. Everything was tasty.

No matter where you go on the Strip, you are going to find excellent restaurants with world-wide appeal. We've eaten a few times in Paris in the tower restaurant, and in some of the Caesar Palace restaurants. The internet makes it easy to do your homework and see what is available where you are staying or where you are exploring along the way. And, oh yes, McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Denny's, and many more fast food chains are available. Prices are a bit higher than at home but give you an opportunity to save for those special meals at a fancier place.

Thursday, there's nothing like the Vegas shows!

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