June 22, 1996

Monte Carlo

This column began while the spaghetti "Bolognese" was wrapping around my fork. Moments before I was in the Polo Towers, resetting the computer which captures pictures of the Monte Carlo and other views along the Las Vegas Strip. It was then I decided to walk across the street for dinner and a look at the "new" place. The web page was fresh in my mind as I looked around for a place to eat.

Enjoying my spaghetti, the thought occurred to me that many of you will be coming to Las Vegas in the next year and might like to know something more about what's happening around town. Something more than what shows up in a travel brochure. Perhaps you're even wondering "Well how about the spaghetti? was it good?", "What are the prices like?", " What other types of restaurant do they have?".

So here's the idea, this web page will give you a local's view of Las Vegas, as up to date as you want it to be, about what you want to know. I'll visit places, take pictures, and report on the things you ask for. It's as simple as clicking my e-mail button to let me hear from you. jim-l@ix.netcom.com

Now for The MONTE CARLO. When I walked in the front door, I was somewhat surprised to see a restaurant right in front of me, the "Dragon Noodle Company". Las Vegas is continually evolving, and the old way of putting the restaurants somewhere behind a maze of gaming tables and slot machines seems to have changed. A few more steps, just past the "MegaBucks" ($8.858,435.38) slots, was the Market City Cafe. This restaurant is open to the casino, with a low wrought iron fence surrounding the perimeter, giving it the appearance of a sidewalk cafe.

At 6 pm I was able to get a table with no waiting and sat close to the entrance watching the endless stream of humanity. Many of the passersby appeared as curious about the diners on my side of the fence as I was about them. Several stopped to look at the menu posted at the entrance. The food is mainly Italian, with pasta priced at about $7.95 to 13.00, Pizza, fish, poultry, and various meat dishes are available, and you can add the antipasto (salad) bar for $4.35. By the time my friendly waitress, Dee, brought me coffee, I noticed the Megabucks was up to $8,859,261.97 (and no, I don't play!). The service was very good, and I noticed that the chef (Armando) stood right up front, wearing a headset which he used to give commands to unseen food preparer's, he watched every detail and inspected every plate before it was sent on to a guest.

What else do they have at the Monte Carlo? Well, Lots! Another restaurant named simply Cafe, Hagen Daaz, MacDonalds, Sbarro, Golden Bagel, Nathans (the hot dog stand from Coney Island in New York) and the very large but somehow cozy Pub & Brewery. They brew their own and have an attractive forest of copper kettles to view. Overall I liked the Monte Carlo, for one thing I didn't get lost. The layout is such that with just one brief visit I have a good sense of where everything is, whereas in some of our other mega-resorts I feel the need for a road map to get around. Their "middle-class elegance" seems to have worked as well. Throughout the casino and restaurants the feeling is that things have been done with quality in mind. A $350 million dollar resort has much more that I haven't talked about, but I'll leave that for another time.

Please send your comments, suggestions or questions to me at jim-l@ix.netcom.com Write and tell me what you would like to know about Las Vegas, and be sure to let me know if you'd like me to mention your name if I use your comment on this web page.


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