Eating Las Vegas

John Curtas is …

Pawn These Restaurants!

imageThere is a certain type of knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing, fanny packing, Red Stater who considers a trip to the Pawn Stars pawn shop the ne plus ultra of their trip to Sin City.

The crême de la crême of their Vegas vacation, the piece de la resistance of their precious playtime, if you will.

ELV does not understand these people.

Of course, The Official Younger Sister of ELV once went to Dollywood and he didn’t understand that, either.

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Oldies Not Goldies

imageIt took me almost two years but I finally did it: forced myself to eat in every one of Las Vegas’s venerable establishments. The oldest restaurants in town. Those slices of history that have hung on for decades, bucking trends and stemming tides.

And you know what I found?

They’re all terrible.

Not terrible terrible as in inedibly terrible, but so dated, shopworn and threadbare that there is no appreciable culinary reason to go to any of them.

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Au Revoir ANDRE’S

imageEd. note: After eighteen years at the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino, the last Andre’s will close its doors in early October — management having made the decision to close before the lease is up to make room for a gigantic Eataly to span the Strip side of the hotel. The good news is that Andre’s will soon resurface in a new location in the southwest part of town (in the space of a well-regarded local joint that has already relocated downtown), and that negotiations are underway to bring a casual bistro back downtown, only a stone’s throw from the original Andre’s location on Sixth Street. Below, I share some thoughts on my long and tortured relationship with the chef-owner of this culinary pioneer.

When I got the news last night that Andre’s would be serving its last Dover sole on October 5, it suddenly dawned on me that Andre Rochat and I have had a decades long, movie-of-the-week relationship straight out of a bad rom-com.

You know the kind: where a couple who each has been starved for affection meet cute, have a torrid affair, drift apart for years, miss each other terribly but won’t admit it, rediscover the flame, re-connect for what looks to be a long, steady relationship right up until they both disappoint then infuriate each other causing both to swear undying loathsome contempt for the other until one is found to have a disease that brings them back together even thought willful pride won’t let either one admit they made a mistake and  even though everyone is rooting for them to get back together and it’s only when one of them is leaving for good that both realize what they’ve been missing all along.

Yeah, that one.

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