Caesars Palace (last visit: May 2009).
This is a branch of the original New York restaurant - and no, there is no Serendipity 1 or Serendipity 2. The New York original is known for big food, and for big desserts. Perhaps its most famous item is Frrrozen Hot Chocolate. The Las Vegas branch opened in April 2009, promising to add some items unique to Las Vegas, but also offering what had made the original famous.
Pretty basic stuff. Think sandwiches, hot dogs, salads and the like - plus of course lots of ice cream desserts. Now about that hot dog. I saw another group order one, and it was enormous; it might even have given the late lamented Ho Dog a run for its money. Of course, the Ho Dog only cost $1.49, but then times have changed in Las Vegas.
Inside, there are about 25 four top tables. Walls are covered with multicolor striped wallpaper. The high ceiling sports very large, brightly colored lamps. Tables are white; chairs are white, with vinyl seats of several bright colors. Loud pop music is playing. Lots of glass makes it very bright at lunch time. Outside, there's a patio on three sides of the restaurant, providing about another 30 tables.
I arrived shortly after the restaurant opened, in order to avoid the long lines that develop shortly thereafter. Service was friendly and prompt.
One half of my sandwich
I vaguely remembered reading about a great BLT at the restaurant. Seeing "Mr. Tasty's T BLT," I went for it. What a disappointment! It was a triple decker sandwich, using large bread slices. It gives Carnegie Deli a run for its money when it comes to size. Too bad size doesn't make up for quality. The turkey you see in the above photo is generic, supermarket-style, watered down, tasteless sliced bird. A slightly smaller amount of not crisp, not delicious, peppered bacon came next. The bread was good, but there was nothing else to recommend the sandwich.
After reexamining web reviews, I'm pretty sure I picked the wrong BLT. The one I read about was probably The Catcher in the Rye ("blt with chicken topped with melted muenster in rye toast with russian dressing"). I don't know if that version is available in Las Vegas.
The sandwich might have been redeemed with a Brooklyn Egg Cream, but the server told me that item wasn't available yet. What's so hard about adding seltzer to chocolate milk? Oh well; I settled for ginger ale.
Another time, I stopped by the carry out window for a Frrrozen Hot Chocolate. At carry out, it comes in a 16 ounce plastic cup. The drink tasted like chocolate (lo-fat?) milk that had been partially frozen, then put in a blender. On a hot day, it was refreshing and pretty good, but not worth going out of the way for.
A good location and giant portions don't make up for mediocre food.
The meal was $19 plus tip. I don't remember how much the frozen hot chocolate was.
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