The next stop on our cross-country road trip is the great state of Nevada. We decided to go to Las Vegas. Jason and I have been to Vegas before but, the kids had not. They were super excited about it. The options for RV camping in Las Vegas near the strip are extremely limited. If you want to RV on the Strip, you have one option-Circus Circus. We wanted to be able to walk to restaurants and entertainment and take a break from driving and parking fees for a while. So, we decided to stay at Circus Circus. Because the rent at Circus Circus is so cheap, we opted to stay longer in one place than we usually do as well.
Vegas is a hard place to describe if you’ve never been there. There are two sides to the city. One is beautiful and luxurious. The other is ugly and cruel.
Opulent buildings are landscaped to the hilt. There are waterfalls, live flamingos, Venetian gondolas, and fountains set to dance to classical music. Everything is oozing with the idea of wealth and sophistication. There are art installations, shows, and shopping. There are lavish buffets with everything from French pastries to dim sum. Marble, chandeliers, and fresh flowers are everywhere. It’s architecturally gorgeous. Accommodations are plush and upscale. Even the bathrooms are adorned with intricate mosaics, sparkling vanities, and polished fixtures. Everywhere you look, it’s ornate. From the elaborate carpets to the muraled ceilings, everything screams extravagance.
Then, you see a homeless man being forcibly escorted out of a building for trying to get a drink of water. There are drunk people arguing and screaming on the street. Men are taking pictures of women without their knowledge or consent. People are sleeping on the streets everywhere. You can smell weed and urine. There are women in thongs and pasties offering to take pictures with your kids. And a lot of people are clearly high. They wander around like zombies. There are sketchy areas where I wouldn’t want to be alone after dark.
In a nutshell, Vegas draws a very clear line between the “haves” and the “have nots.”
Millions of people visit Las Vegas every year. One thing that Vegas is known for is food. Food on the Strip can be great but it’s also extremely expensive. Since we had the RV, we decided to cook some of our own meals. But, we ate out a lot as well.
Here are my tips for dining on the Las Vegas Strip-
Avoid Circus Circus like the plaque.
They can’t even get the food court right. We witnessed an employee cuss and scream at a customer, they seemed to be out of half the items on the menu, and it was very dirty. Literally all of the trashcans were overflowing with garbage and all of the tables were filthy. The prices at the concession area in the Midway were completely ridiculous. We were too nervous to try the buffet or the steakhouse.
Try a buffet.
There are so many to choose from! We chose two. Our favorite was the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesar’s Palace. It is the largest buffet in Las Vegas. It’s incredible. There are nine kitchen stations. The restaurant is over 25,000 square feet. But, it isn’t just big. The food is fantastic. Sushi, fresh squeezed juices, carving stations, seafood, gelato, tacos- you name it- they have it. I really enjoyed the Japanese and Mexican kitchens. My favorite thing to do at a restaurant is to try something I’ve never had before and I found several things to try here. Sometimes, when a restaurant has such an extensive menu, the quality of the food suffers. But, every bite we had was perfectly executed. The Bacchanal is an experience and one of the best things we did in Vegas.
If you want something inexpensive, there are some options.
Denny’s, White Castle, Chipotle, Panda Express. Sbarro, Subway, and McDonalds are all available if you want a cheap quick meal. For the most part, ordering something in a casino is going to come with a higher price tag. So, walk out on the strip and choose a stand-alone franchise. Or, head to the food court at the mall.
We had brunch at the Terrace Point Café at Wynn. The server was wonderful and I was so excited that there were options for people with food intolerances. They even had egg substitutes. I had the Huevos Rancheros Skillet and a Bloody Mary. It was filled with chorizo, cotija, spicy potatoes, and drizzled with some sort of magical Mexican sauce. Charlotte chose the Coconut Chia Pudding. It was filled with fresh strawberries, dragon fruit, kiwi, granola, and crystallized ginger. She loved it. Jackson ordered Croissant French Toast. It was served with lemon coconut yogurt and berries.
Jason kept it classic with typical American fare- pancakes and bacon. I ended up having watermelon juice and a latte that if I remember correctly, had lavender in it. It was a beautiful meal. (The Buffet at the Wynn Las Vegas was also very good)
Make a reservation at least a day in advance.
You really need a reservation at most popular spots on the Strip. Otherwise, you won’t get a table or you will be waiting a very very long time. We learned this lesson the hard way. Tired and hungry is not a good combination for attitudes.
There are so many dining options in Las Vegas. The sheer volume of choices can be overwhelming. But, trying a new restaurant in a city like this can be a lot of fun. Dinner out is truly an experience in Las Vegas and it’s worth it to splurge on a nice meal here. Have a great time and Bon Appetite!
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