Vegas has changed since I was there last, man. I don’t know if I can go back again, everything is so…commercialized now. It’s like they don’t even care how much fun you have, they just want you to spend money.

Seriously, though, I only have three regrets from the weekend:

1) I didn’t bet higher during the best craps games of my entire life. Game one was spent adoring our shooter, a stone-faced Latino who hit point after point while I gleefully stacked up chip after chip. Game two had me as shooter–my favorite cocktail in one hand, dice in the other–nailing the point time and time again. At the height of my run I had money down on virtually every number on the table. When I finally rolled a 7 and ended it all, I was still up a couple hundred dollars.

2) I didn’t stop playing once I sevened out and lost a hundred dollars.

3) I left my plastic Eiffel Tower cup from the Paris in the cab on the way to the airport. A cup like that has sentimental value! At least, I’m fairly sure it does; the details of the evening in which I acquired it get kind of hazy around the tenth pint of Bulmer’s.

I know you all assume that the highlight of my trip was the craps game–or possibly the booze–but there’s a culinary revelation or two lurking in the wings here. One I’ll save for Friday, but one I’ll tell you right now:

Have you guys heard of “hanger steak”? I sampled this amazing cut of meat at the Mon Ami Gabi (yes, I went to the cheap steakhouse when my hotel had a Keller restaurant in it, no, I’m not made of money) and let me tell you, I’ll be keeping a sharp eye for the “butcher’s cut” in grocery stores from now on.

I’ve always been more interested in flavor than texture; it’s why I loved elk steaks so much out in Utah, and why I think “gamey” is a good thing. But this steak, when cooked properly, manages to combine amazing flavor with just the right amount of tenderness. I had it with some rich garlic butter and delightfully thin fries, sipping a fine red and watching Vegas go by through Gabi’s huge windows; that and a trip to the Nine Fine Irishmen pub were the perfect end to an outstanding weekend.

A note for fellow travelers, though: don’t sleepily pay a $50 upgrade fee to get into first class on a flight from Vegas to Phoenix. It’ll be the least satisfying forty minutes of your life.*

-Jim thinks people who bet on Don’t Pass are jerks

*Seriously. They don’t even have champagne.

  • http://clumsycook.com Robin

    No champagne in first class! That’s an outrage! I guess all of those movies where they show people sipping champagne and eating caviar are lies—an airplane/media conspiracy!!

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