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Southwest Brewpub Trip Report

Trip Report Part 4: Dona Maria, Mesa Grill, Monte Carlo Brewpub

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Restaurants & Bars

Trip Report Part 4: Dona Maria, Mesa Grill, Monte Carlo Brewpub

Thomas W. | Jan 19, 2006 12:57 PM

Wednesday, 12/14

Having slept another 5 hours, I began the day with a few coupons
again. Over the day, I´d win $20 at Texas, $10 at Barbary Coast and
lose the $25 matchplay at Fiesta, $5 at Santa Fe and $5 at the IP. Not
my most succesful matchplay day (up $71).

I stopped for breakfast at Dona Maria´s Tamales. I´ve read about that
one quite a lot, and the reviews have been favorable. I have eaten
Tamales only once before, somewhere in the South, and loved them. I
wish I could report the same here. But the chicken and cheese tamales
($7.95) were mushy and mostly flavorless. The Beans and rice were ok,
and the horchata (a milky drink with cinnamon I´ver never seen
anywhere outside of Spain) was very good. Still, my most disappointing
meal on this trip.

I checked out of the Stardust and drove to the Monte Carlo. You know
the drill, for my $59 (including $30 dining credit) I got myself a
Strip view room (29313).

Then I caught the tram to Bellagio (which is really useful) and did my
rounds as usual: Conservatory with a nice seasonal decoration,
chocolate fountain where I got a fantastic and very overpriced
icecream and the check-in area. At Desert Passage, I used my shopping
credit from MGM which worked like a traveller´s cheque: I´d buy some
stuff for $8 and got paid out $27. This made the MGM deal even sweeter
- this room was essentially free too (and in my case with a free spa
admission thrown in for good measure).

Lunch was chicken and sweet potato hash with poached egg and green
chile at Mesa Grill ($16). Originally, I had planned to order the
Burger, whh has earned rave reviews, to compare it to the Burger
Bar´s. But the price of that one had gone up from $11 to $15, and I
wasn´t feeling much like a burger anyway. Bread, especially the corn
muffin, was excellent and so was the rest of the food, spicy, as
advertised, but not overly so. Chicken and sweet potatoes worked
together well. Only my lemonade was a little watery. The rest of their
lunch menu looks pretty interesting, too.

I inquired at the Concierge about the time of the Pussycat Dolls´ show
and was told 8-12 p.m. Then I spent some time sitting at the Monte
Carlo pool in the sun and shopped a bit more (Episode 3 for $9, yay).

As it got dark, I drove to Mandalay Bay to check out Mix. The very
nice ladies there next to the elevator told me that the cover starts
at 10, so I took the rather cool glass elevator up to the 64th floor.
There was nobody there to greet me, so I started to wander around.
This lounge is hands down the coolest place I´ve seen in Vegas yet.
Basic black, with some red thrown in, it radiates cool. The cocktail
waitresses are gorgeous, and the view can´t be beat. It helped that it
was such a great evening, totally clear skies. I liked the music they
played and stayed on the balcony a long time, just staring out to the
city. Of course I checked out the restroom, too, where you can pee
while looking outside the window. Nobody ever asked me to order
something, so I took a pass at the $15 cocktails, though the
experience would have been worth it. I´m not a fan of clubs, but this
one I really dug. The restaurant associated with it looked plenty cool
and didn´t seem to be THAT expensive.

After that, I checked out the Teddy Bear Picknick at the Four Seasons.
It takes place in the Presidential Suite on the 39th floor.
Unfortunately, the curtains are drawn. The suite is plenty nice, but
somehow I had expected even more. The bears were cute, of course and
my kids will love the pictures. Not worth that great a detour, though.

My careful plans for the evening were thwarted when, arriving at 8
sharp, I was informed that the Pussycat Dolls wouldn´t play until
10.30.

So I returned to the hotel and went to the brewpub,where Springsteen
was being played. My kind of place. I ordered a filet mignon ($21.95)
which was very good and the Beer sampler (6 beers for $8.50) - I´m a
sucker for Variety. As has been mentioned here a few times before,
wednesday nights, Purple Reign, a great Prince tribute band, plays at
the pub. There have been questions about the setlist and I remember
Let´s go crazy, She´s got the look, Kiss and Poplife. Raspberry
Beret, Little Red Corvette and some stuff I didn´t know followed. The
guy had the look, the moves and the voice (and a very sexy dancer,
too). He just wasn´t short enough. But it was the best tribute band
I´ve seen yet - I hope they find a new place when the Boardwalk
closes. I didn´t know who the two guys that relieved them temporarily
were, but they were pretty good, too.

By the way, this was my first alcohol since the martini episode. Yes,
I had been a good boy.

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