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The Steakhouse at Circus Circus

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The Steakhouse at Circus Circus

Panoz | Jun 30, 2005 06:03 PM

I recently asked about The Steakhouse at Circus Circus and we went this past weekend. I was hearing that it's a very good bang-for-your-buck steakhouse in a city briming with high end steakhouses and cafes with $4.99 steaks. A lot of people were incredulous when told that we went to Circus Circus for food.

The Steakhouse is a stark contrast to the clown theamed casino that it's housed in. It does have that classic clubby look with dark woods and muted lighting. As you walk past the host station, you see a large locker filled with dry aged loins. I believe they told me that it's done for 14 days. A central station grills the meats over mesquite charcoal, with an excellent ventilation system that keeps the smoke out of the diner's areas.

We had reservations for 7pm, but it looked like we would be late, so we called in a couple hours before to see if we could get in at 7:30. They said sure, as long as you're out by 9. But it turned out that we got in at around 6:40. They were happy to seat us.

The prices were not what I hoped. I thought that a *real* bargain in a Vegas steakhouse would be in the $26-$29 range. Instead they were more in the range of $34-$38 ranges with a petite filet on one end and the porterhouse at the other. It is however, not a la carte as many of the high end places are. Every steak comes with salad or black bean soup, potatoes (mashed or baked) or rice pilaf, and green beans. I wish I had a copy of the menu so I can report prices. But the cowboy ribeye which I ordered was $36 for a 16 oz cut. I ordered medium rare. I also had a glass of Cabernet Savignon (can't remember the winery). Funny thing, there were six of us dining, all of us ordered the cowboy ribeye medium rare.

They gave us a bread basked with various breads. Some with rasins, some dark, but I couldn't find any sourdoughs. It was presented with a plate of butters molded into some indicernable shape. Water was always poured from a bottle branded with circus circus. There was no charge for it.

First came the salad. It was very good because they used real mixed greens, carrots, tomatoes, and some croutons. I got it with a spunky blue cheese dressing.

They gave a plate with various toppings for the baked potoatoes: a dish of sour cream, a dish of unappetizing butter (the ones that came with the bread looked better), real bacon bits (not bac-os), and real chives (not green onions/scallions).

Then came the star of the show. The ribeyes all had the bones frenched. They had a goodly thickness to them. The baked potatoes were not a huge size, but a reasonable one of supermarket size. The green beens were a bit salty to some and had shaved almonds on them.

As I cut into mine, I noticed it was more cooked than I liked. It also was not salted enough. Now, I am not a salt fiend, I use salt very judiciously myself when I cook, but this was notably underseasoned. I also noticed as I got further in, it wasn't getting any rarer. Everyone else thought theirs were a bit overcooked too. Only two of us thought it bad enough to send back. I mentioned it to the waiter, and he asked me to cut it in half. He agreed and took mine and another back. He graciously assured me they would get it right. In about 5 minutes, we had our steaks back with fresh sides. He asked me to cut into this one as well to verify - it was indeed medium rare. Still underseasoned, but I didn't care at this point. Despite this, the steaks were tender and juicy.

Dinner over, we all passed up on the dessert cart. There were creme brulee, chocolate cake, and apple tart, I think. You can get Godiva Chocolate Liquer topped on one of them.

The service attitude was excellent, with very friendly, attentive staff. There were a few instances where they poured water or passed something across my face.

I don't think I'd go back. I'm really trying to find that restaurant in Las Vegas where I don't need to pay $40+ for an a la carte (although fantastic) steak, nor $6 for the piece of leather that mascarading as a steak, but something in between. I nice middle of the road place.

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