I got into Vegas on Monday afternoon 8/13 from O'Hare (after spending four days there from San Francisco), albeit with a two-hour flight delay - either because of weather at O'Hare or the tail end of a cell of showers in Vegas - followed by a 45-minute wait for a hotel shuttle.
To start, I went to Fogo de Chao (and by "went", I mean, "walked the mile and a quarter from Planet Hollywood hotel"). Whoever recommended this place over the closer Samba and Pampas got it on the nose; there wasn't a thing wrong with it (well, except that they did tend to waste food by refilling the side dishes; I can take only so many fried bananas). Definitely on my list of regular haunts.
The rest of the trip involved building on my chip collection by going to the outlying areas, so there aren''t that many "name" places the rest of the way. For example, on Tuesday, after pulling a Lisa Simpson and getting on the wrong bus (the idea was to take the 106 to Texas Station, then continue onto Santa Fe Station and back down to Red Rock, but I got on the 206 and did them in reverse order), I had a pound Fatburger at Santa Fe Station, which decided to make its presence known in my stomach for the next three hours or so.
Tuesday Dinner was at PH's Spice Market Buffet, and while I didn't go through all of the dishes, the ones I did have made for quite the range - there was a Chicken Kabob that I rated "good", and a Beef Kabob that I rated "good God, do they seriously consider this edible?" (it was either fat or so undercooked that the knife you get won't cut it). Also, both times I asked for a Pepsi, I got a diet (not sure if it was Diet Pepsi or Pepsi Max).
Wednesday, I had lunch at TGIFriday's at Sam's Town; the Jack Daniels burger was good, but nothing spectacular, especially when the sauce soaked the bun. For dinner, Planet Dailies (the PH cafe) advertised a $10 All You Can Eat pasta special from 3 to 6:30 PM with "your choice of three types of pasta and three sauces, or Mac & Cheese"; however, I was told Mac & Cheese was not an option. I went for spaghetti with marinara sauce; it tastes like something I make at home from cans of Hunt's Tomato Sauce, only slightly thickened, and with what I think were strips of red pepper added for spice.
On Thursday, I decided to give the Pink's stand at PH a try; okay, it's a decent hot dog (although I don't really go for "old-fashioned" dogs), but I added chili to it, which tended to overpower it. That night, nursing quite a few aches from all of the walking in the heat over the previous four days, I stayed close, going to No Name Pizza Kitchen at the Cosmopolitan. I haven't had a slice like that since Empire State Pizza was still open in Berkeley in the mid-1980s (if you're familiar with south side Berkeley, it was in that strip where Nation's is located, across Durant from where La Val's used to be). Okay, it's overpriced, but, after all, it's the Vegas Strip. I finished off at Earl of Sandwich; the Hawaiian (ham, pineapple, cheese, BBQ sauce) was good, but the Cannonballs (meatball sub) needed work, as I could hardly taste the cheese and the sauce tended to be little more than chunks of cold tomato. The "artisan bread" did not do them any favors.
And to think I walked right by Tacos El Gordo at one point...