Top 10 of Super Happy Joy Joy

=First, thank you for all your responses and messages over the last couple days. You have warmed my heart and made me smile and cry (but it was a good cry). So here is my answer to my own question, now what?

My list of what made me love Vegas and what I enjoy about Vegas. The thing in Las Vegas that I still love doing and going to. This could be restaurants, venues, sites, pretty much anything. Of course, this blog is not only about me. It is about Las Vegas and the people that come to Las Vegas so please send me comments and include your choices. You don’t have to have 10 but let’s limit it to 10. I know some of you can list 50 but try and narrow it down.

So without further adieu, from the home office in David Letterman’s basement…

Vegas Hotel Confidential’s Top 10 Things I Love in Las Vegas



Casa Fuente at Caesars  – I only have one vice, smokingdrinkinggambling. If you do it all at once it only counts as one and this place fits the bill nicely. Very good bartenders and the rest of the staff is knowledgeable and always friendly.


Nacho Daddy – My favorite bar in Las Vegas, specifically the Fremont Street location. Great food, great drinks and the staff is the best. The prices are very reasonable. Nothing bad on the menu.


Red Rock Canyon State Park – Nature’s beauty in all her glory. Whether you want to sight see or hike or just a relaxing walk in some fresh air, you will have a great time.


Fremont Street Experience – This one would be higher up on the list but I can only take the drunk crowds for so long before they wear on me. I love hanging out at Whiskey Licker or the bar at the Four Queens and watching the live bands, especially Alter Ego and Spandex Nation.


House of Blues at Mandalay Bay – My favorite music venue in Las Vegas. Great acoustics, great selection of music acts and great vantage points no matter where you are.


The Peppermill – I love old school Vegas kitsch and I would visit this place even if the food sucked. Good thing the food is great too. If you like people watching, especially hungover people watching, there is no better spot.


The Bellagio Conservatory – Every single display I have seen over the last 20 years has taken my breath away. I wish I had 10% of the creative ability that their designers have. It’s worth the bit of suffering I get from my allergies


Wicked Spoon Buffet at the Cosmopolitan – I have eaten at probably 90% of the buffets in Las Vegas and this one is hands down the best one I have had. The twist on standard buffet fare is impressive. The staff is also tremendous. They make even a solo diner feel special. Well worth the price.


The Grand Canal Shops at the Venetian – I am not sure I have ever bought anything in any of the shops. I have eaten at some of the restaurants and sat in St. Mark’s Square and had an espresso and gelato. Someday I hope I can afford to buy something there but I just find so much beauty walking around. I am a sucker for this kind of architecture.


The Bellagio Fountains – I have seen the fountain display over 40 times, I have seen them during the day, at night, from above and they always amaze me. Absolutely stunning. I always tell first timers that if you only have 1 hour in Las Vegas, go see the fountains. You will have had a memorable trip.


This was a tough list, a lot of my favorites are gone and I tried to limit the number of restaurants because to be honest 7 of the 10 would have been food related. I think there will be some more top 5’s and 10’s to come.

I hope you enjoyed the list and it inspired you to try a couple things. I look forward to seeing your lists.

Twitter: VegasHC

The Vegas HC Top 5 – Part 3

I had a request for Top 5 Las Vegas beers earlier this week and thought I would tie that into a Top 5 bars on Fremont Street. I hope you enjoy.

Top 5 (non-IPA) Las Vegas Beers

I am saying non-IPA because I just don’t care for IPA’s. I have, however, talked with my IPA loving friend and have a only IPA list right below.

  1. Big Baby Porter from Bad Beat Brewery
  2. Watchdog Wit  from Big Dog Draft House
  3. Passion Fruit & Guava Berliner Weiss from Joseph James Brewery
  4. Firedog Smoked Wheat from Big Dog Draft House
  5. Bourbon Barrel Russian Imperial Stout by Joseph James Brewery

There are some great beers that I haven’t listed from other Las Vegas beer makers like Lovelady Brewery, Banger Brewery, Tenaya Creek and CraftHaus.


Top 5 IPA Las Vegas Beers

  1. Any Which Way Double IPA by CraftHaus
  2. Hopatomic by Lovelady Brewing
  3. Peace, Love & Hoppyness by Big Dog Draft House
  4. Hoppy Times by Bad Beat Brewing
  5. War Dog Double IPA by Big Dog Draft House


Top 5 Bars on Fremont St.

A little disclaimer. I am not a big fan of hip hop or oontz oontz clubs, when I say bars I mean a bar that you can sit and have a great beer or cocktail, have a little atmosphere and some people watching.

  1. Nacho Daddy – Yes, technically it is off Fremont but the bar staff here are incredible, the drinks are great and the food is delicious.
  2. Don’t Tell Mama – Live entertainment, singer waitstaff, open mic every night
  3. Hennessey’s – Great bartenders and two levels of Fremont people watching, a different drink special each day.
  4. Mickie Finnz – Great people watching place with good food and fishbowl drinks that will get your whole group smashed.
  5. (tie) Whiskey Licker/ Four Queen’s Patio Bar – I placed these together because the main reason I visit either place is for the prime seating to watch the bands on Fremont. The drinks are pretty good too.


Thanks for the continued support and comments. My next blog is going to be based on an interaction with a casino patron as I was coming back from break. A little different from my normal front desk experiences.

Top 5’s – Part 2

I was asked to do some top 5’s. I apologize if I didn’t pick ones that you submitted. Some, I didn’t have answers to. Some I didn’t have a top 5, like top 5 tourist things I still do as a local. I’m a boring kind of guy. I work and spend time with family and friends. I like listening to bands on Fremont and I still like the Bellagio Fountains and driving up the strip but that is about it.

So if you have any other suggestions I will try my best.


Top 5 Restaurants that tourists might not know about.

  1. Le Pho – Some of my favorites are the Ribeye Pho, House Special Bahn Mi and Oxtail Bone Marrow Fried Rice. The prices are reasonable and the food is awesome.
  2. Therapy – Favorites are Chicken and Red Velvet Waffle Slider. The Ricky Ricardo and the Roasted Chicken with Roasted Corn and Pearl Onions. Simply amazing.
  3. The Cracked Egg – I never knew how good breakfast could be until I ate here. The Chile Verde Rancheros, Benedict Ole and the Homemade Corned Beef Hash are fantastic.
  4. Marche Bacchus – A little more expensive than the other entries on the list but well worth it. Red Wine Braised Beef, Veal Medallions and PEI Mussels make my mouth water just thinking about them.
  5. The Oyster Bar @ Texas Station – My only entry that is in a casino. I know there are a lot of Oyster Bars in Vegas but this one has amazing food and some of the best staff I have ever encountered.  Favorite dishes are the Cioppino, Bouillabaisse and the Signature Pan Roast

There are a couple that I thought about putting in but I think Hot and Juicy Crawfish is getting more well known and so is Nacho Daddy and Lotus of Siam. These are right up there if you aren’t familiar with them.


Top 5 Casino Restaurants

Note that these are restaurants that I have eaten at.

  1. Lemongrass – Not only is the food great but I don’t think I have ever experienced better service.
  2. Border Grill – What I wrote about Lemongrass is pretty much the same here. They really know how to treat a person.
  3. Bouchon – I have never had better fish anywhere and I am a tough critic of fish.
  4. Zeffirino – Best pasta I have had and the veal was amazing.
  5. Tender Steak – I am a huge fan of trying new things and I have been able to enjoy wild boar, elk and other game meats here. Also the first place I tried fois gras.

My number one all time restaurant recently closed and that was Andre’s at Monte Carlo. I am definitely going to try Alize at the Palms his other restaurant or his bistro in Summerlin.


I hope you enjoyed the list. More to come in future weeks.


Let’s do some top 5’s

Been a slow week at work with not many memorable stories so let’s do some Vegas Top 5’s.

Note: These are my opinions on places that I have been or things I have done. Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments.


Top 5 Buffets

  1. Wicked Spoon @ The Cosmopolitan – Is it expensive? Yes, but worth it. A large variety of ethnic food. Very fresh and they have small plates and bowls so your food doesn’t get all mixed together. Some of the most friendly staff I have ever seen.
  2. Bacchanal @ Caesars Palace – Pretty much the same comments at Wicked Spoon but the staff at WS make this one slightly below.
  3. The Buffet @ Aria – The Asian and Mediterranean stations are standouts to me. The staff is decent. The coffee may be the best I have had at a buffet. The carving station is hit and miss.
  4. Carnival World Buffet @ The Rio – A big disclaimer here… This rating is based on if you get the seafood add on. The regular buffet is very average but the added seafood section is fantastic. If you don’t want to spend the extra money, it is definitely a decent buffet but you are going to be very jealous of the people that are eating lobster, stone crab and the many other seafood options.
  5. Le Village Buffet @ Paris Las Vegas – If I was being honest, I probably would put the Wynn buffet here but the top 4 here are all high end, high price buffets. I want to throw in the best of the mid range priced buffets. Great pastries and a charcuterie section that is to die for. Staff is very friendly. One of two buffets, that can make an eggs benedict on a buffet and still have the yoke be runny. That is a hard thing to do and I appreciate it.


Top 5 Poker Rooms

  1. Red Rock – Off the beaten path and mostly locals but the staff is top notch. A friendly atmosphere with great promotions. They offer Omaha and Texas Hold’em in limit and no-limit. Games run steadily for probably 20 hours per day. The tournaments could be structured better.
  2. The Orleans – Another off-strip poker room but they offer a great variety of games. The dealers are very professional and the level of talent makes it a beatable game and hey, isn’t that what you want in a poker game.
  3. Bellagio – Think of a type of poker game that you would like to play in Vegas, this place has it. Omaha, Hold’em, HORSE, Chinese, you can probably even find a stud game and that is rare these days in Vegas. The players can be a bit intense here and the level of talent is high.
  4. Aria – Another great strip poker room. Less choice of games here and the talent is pretty strong, especially as the stakes rise. I am a big fan of their tournaments. The room, like Bellagio and Red Rock is an actual room that is offset from the noise of the casino which is a big plus.
  5. The Venetian – The Venetian used to be my favorite room as a tourist but over the last few years they have downsized and there is less game variety and the dealers seem less friendly than before. The do have some of the best tournaments in Vegas. Great bang for the buck, especially during their Deep Stack Extravaganza that they run a few times per year. Cash games are a tougher go than the tournaments.


Again, thanks for reading. Please spread the word and please leave a comment or share this blog. I can’t know what you want to read here if you don’t give me feedback. Any other suggestions for Top 5’s??