Travel Fanboy

July Trip Report: James

Editor’s note: Yet again, another great trip report from frequent contributor, James. If you, like James, have a trip report to share, feel free to send it my way! They’ll make a great addition here and to the low roller forum that’s to come soon. Enjoy:

I was in Las Vegas at the end of July. We stayed 1 night at the Gold Coast and 3 nights at the Flamingo.

On day one we made sure to go downtown and have a few drinks. We did Oak and Ivy one of my favorite bars, the Parlour at the El Cortez, Vanguard and the Laundry Room. This was the first time I have been to the Laundry room and I thought it was wonderful. The drinks are not cheap but they are very good. Great atmoshpere, bartender and hostess was amazing. I recommend as a splurge once in a while. All and all a good first day. Nothing special to report on the Gold Coast rooms are nice and very reasonable price especially for a Saturday night.

The next day I checked into the Flamingo for a 3 night stay. I stay here often good location staff treat me well and a good value. While at the Flamingo I did happy hour at Center Cut Steakhouse. I really enjoyed this happy hour had the oysters, drunken muscles, and dirty spiced fries (BBQ brisket, Jalapeño, Queso and fried egg) along with an IPA. A very good meal and gave me a chance to try this restaurant.

We also did the Bally’s pool cabana again. We had a Groupon for this $99 for the cabana, which included 4 cocktails, water and a fruit plate. Certainly not a party pool but a nice pool for older people like myself to enjoy the sun, a few drinks and the pool. I recommend this especially with the Groupon a great value.

I did Top Golf again and had another great time. Make sure when going there to stop by the Top Golf desk at the MGM for your $10 off coupon. I played before noon so one hour of games a coffee and energy drink was only $35 another good value.

I had another Groupon for Beer Park at Paris. A good place for a drink and a wonderful view especially at night. I do not think this is the best value in town but the Groupon helps. I think it is worth a stop.

I did an afternoon of what I call the low rollers tour which consisted of Ellis Island, Tuscany and Casino Royal. Ellis Island has great limits, good beer and food at good price. The Tuscany has some good food as well try Pub 365 a good value with excellent burgers and sandwiches. Lots of older slot machines here I enjoy playing. The Royal is just the Royal, dependable and fun.

One of my favorite food experiences this trip was Umami Burger at SLS. I wanted to try this before it closes (I think it will with new owners SLS). We had a Travelzoo deal for this. $35 you get an appetizer to share, two burgers and two drinks. We decided to get beef barbacoa nachos, truffle burger, ahi tuna sandwich and 2 beers. The nachos are fine but not great the truffle burger is the best burger I have had in Las Vegas, very juicy and flavorful but not too over powering with the truffle flavor. The ahi tuna sandwich I had lettuce wrapped and I think that made the sandwich even better. All and all a great deal and I hope to be able to try this again. I think SLS has some of the most under rated food choices in Las Vegas.

I went to Blue Ribbon Chicken in the Grand Bazaar shops at Bally’s. This is hands down the best fried chicken in Las Vegas very good price and excellent chicken. I recommend the beak to butt meal which has chicken gizzards, hearts, legs, wings, breast, thigh and back.  It was so good I had this twice during my trip. I also think the Bazaar shops may have finally found their way, still not my favorite place but a good mix of restaurants, bars and shops.

I also was able to see the Vortex at the Linq. I went to the Vortex to view the Killers playing outside Caesars. This was a good time, we could not hear the music too well but it was a lot of fun to be at the Vortex since I have always wondered what this was like. I hope the Linq finds ways to use this part of the building it would make a great venue similar to beer park.

Final note here from Adam: One of my big regrets is that I haven’t yet been able to meet up with James in Vegas. He’s been a big supporter of this site and the podcast. While I may be retiring from the podcast, I am very much hoping I can bump into you in Vegas at some point, James! 

Travel Fanboy

Adam is the host of the Travel Fanboy Podcast, editor of, and a super famous travel influencer. He's no expert, just an enthusiast who enjoys having a top-shelf trip at a happy hour price. Formerly of Vegas Fanboy fame.