Suburban Wino 2: The Wordpress Experiment

Rollin’ the bones and shuckin’ the stones | May 22, 2009

“Welcome to our craps table. Yes? Hi, Ed from Kansas City. It’s a pleasure to meet you! Play all you want, but don’t you dare touch the dice.”

Yes, our friendly and firm greeting/mantra to all those who slunk up to our golden-goose of a craps table at Paris. We were all looking for that roll that would catapult us into financial freedom; surely on a gravy train to endless seafood sammiches and Royal Crown Cola…or at least a free Coors Light here and there.

But Booty and I were on the way: pockets lined with green and black chips; bellies sloshing and brains swimming with liquid nerve. We couldn’t lose. From 2 AM to 8 AM, it was the hottest craps table I’ve ever experienced…courtesy of the concept of the “DS”, or “designated shooter” (not a paragon of originality, but what our strung-out noodles could muster at the time). Ever seen an entire craps table pass the dice to the last person who shot? A thing of beauty; a utopian society of degenerate gamblers, all putting ego aside for the common good. When a “DS” decided to leave, auditions would be held for the next one. Hit two points, maybe a 7-way “yo”, and you’re it. But there was no pressure. For but a moment in time, the dice…just…cooperated. They were part of the team, and we were freakin’ loving it!

Ah, Vegas. The latest trip was yet another one for the history books. The highlight- no doubt- this 6 hour craps roll that was truncated only by physiological necessity for sleep and breakfast. As you can see, the aftermath was gruesome:


Being lulled to sleep by oatmeal and mimosas outside Paris

However, as with any trip to Las Vegas (at least my trips, anyway), there was more to the story than the hot gaming (formerly “gambling”…”gaming” sounds much less degenerate). For me, this is certainly one of the best food towns in the States. Sure, not a great food town in the sense of street food or long-tenured regional classics. There’s just not enough history for all that. Remember: Vegas looked like a setting out of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome before 1905. But with the city’s popularity virtually unmatched as a resort destination, and with the somewhat-disturbing rise of the celebrity chef, everyone wants to get his food to Nevada, where it will no doubt collide with the thundering herds of Croc-clad touristas, exposing them to the 5-star experiences that they would normally have to schlep the globe to find (pretty sure this sentence is a run-on…sorry to all my English teachers from years past). Anyway, all this great food is in one place. And no doubt, the crowd’s come with the money to pay for the experience.

While dropping $500 on a meal is almost certainly going to guarantee you a meal sure to disarm your embarrassing food boner, I find that getting good food on the cheap is the real cat’s pajamas. And, since there’s really no “local” specialty to try, I felt perfectly fine tucking into a hell of a meal at Joe’s Prime Steak, Seafood, and Stone Crab.

Joe’s located in the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace, has another location in Chicago, and is no-doubt a spin-off of the legendary Joe’s Stone Crab in South Beach, Miami. Stone crabs are native to those waters around Miami, and the population has been maintained by regulations only allowing one claw to be removed from the crabs at harvest, which they will regenerate while having the other one to survive. Sure, it sounds a little harsh, but not as harsh as killing the little guys. Besides, once you’ve tasted these delicious morsels, you’d probably be complaining that they only take one claw. Man, you’re sick sometimes.

Bottom line: $21.95 lunch special was 7 claws, coleslaw, hash browns, and bread. Paired it up with a nice New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (I think it was Kim Crawford), which I feel is always a good match with flavorful shellfish. Killer. And to top things off, I waddled out of there, feeling more full off shellfish than my last visit to Orlando’s Boston Lobster Feast– with much less shame for humanity- and proceed to finish the night with the amazing craps roll that surely hooked you into reading this boring anecdote about crab claws.

Gotcha.

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